This Saturday, we will hear from Sadanand Ward ("Ward") Mailliard, one of the founders (in 1978) of the Mount Madonna Center
near Watsonville, California, and Vice President of the Board of Mount Madonna School
, a K-12 school committed to "whole child education" integrating intellectual, emotional, social and creative learning.
As an educator for over 25 years, Mr. Mailliard is deeply committed to the learning process, and to building bridges of understanding cross culturally, and between the secular and spiritual aspects of life. "It is undoubtedly important that we provide information and knowledge to our youth for their success in life," Ward says. "But unless we also attend to values, character, discernment and creativity we run the risk of leaving our students without the ability to navigate the complex challenges that inevitably arise. In the interdependent world in which we all live, this has great consequence, not only to the individual but also to our communities and our environment."
He has been engaged in creating the "Values in World Thought"
curriculum at Mount Madonna High School since 1992 in cooperation with Bill Moyers, whose ground-breaking interviews with anthropologist Joseph Campbell on the Power of Myth
captivated Ward. Rooted in dialogue and the art of the question, the Values in World Thought program aims to develop capacities of self-awareness and to support an ongoing inquiry into the values that inform actions in order strengthen students' ability to engage in positive and mutually beneficial relationships with each other and with their communities. As Ward explains: "The critical shift we want to make is to encourage the students to take responsibility for their own learning as part of the human experience and to create a more collaborative learning environment with the teacher as facilitator of learning rather than expert."
In 2007 Ward co-sponsored "Project Happiness
" with the Dalai Lama Foundation, a project that developed a student-oriented curriculum based on the Dalai Lama's book "Ethics For The New Millennium." Their journey to India was the subject of a documentary film
released in 2009. More recently in 2009, Mr. Mailliard traveled to South Africa with his students to interview Archbishop Desmond Tutu as part of the Mount Madonna School Ubuntu and Sawubona Projects. He and his students also recently journeyed to India in 2013 to visit the Sri Ram Orphanage and for a third meeting with His Holiness as part of the Vidya Dharma Project.
Ward has served for 35 years as President of the Hanuman Fellowship
, the non-profit corporation that sponsors Mount Madonna Center and that is a vehicle for the teachings of Yoga and for the variety of projects that have been developed by the Fellowship Members. He is Vice President of the Sri Ram Foundation
that sponsors Sri Ram Ashram, an orphanage and school in Northern India where he spends two months each year. Ward resides with his wife Kranti at Mount Madonna Center in Watsonville California, and has been a student and teacher of Yoga for the past 40 years.