Learn the Methods of Mahatma Gandhi
How did Gandhi free one-fifth of humankind? His freedom was not just political. Neither was it adhering to the oft-quoted: “Become the change you wish to see.” The Mahatma never said that. Take this course to soak in ideas and tactics Gandhi used to open knowledge of holistic freedom and democratic power. Walk his path. Experience the lifestyle he practiced. Learn at his learning center, the Sevagram Ashram in India.
Online study is from Oct 7 - 28, 2017. Then if you want to go to India, join a 10-day residence at his ashram and visit other sites of Gandhian practice from Oct 29 - Nov 8, 2017 (If you arrive a day earlier, you can visit the Taj Mahal.)
- In the month before going to India complete online Modules 1, 2, & 3: Learn to experiment with finding truth, as he said: “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.”
- October 30 -an optional, before-the-course, day trip to the Taj Mahal
- October 31 & Nov 1 -In Delhi, Gandhi’s legacy in history today (Course Module 4): “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
- November 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 -At Gandhi’s Sevagram Ashram - Soak in his method: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
- November 7 & 8 at organizations practicing the method to transform lives: the Society for Education & Action in Health, plus Chetana Vikas-(Empowerment of Individual & Community) “We who seek justice must do justice for others”.
- November 9 ,wrap-up in Delhi, course ends, and participants depart.
Gandhi did not accept the then (or now) conventional methods: for freedom, by fighting; or for life advancement, by making money. His available-to-all lessons await our learning in freedom by “using what we have/khadi” and for advancement by “joining our energies with others/satyagraha.” You can learn, together with members of your community, his methods to act now; not waiting for policy change, grant money, or some leader.
More just and lasting futures can be crafted: with the energies and resources we have. Through study we can learn to walk alternative paths.
Learning to use the resources we have is symbolized by khadi, the handspun handwoven cloth. The symbol was one of protest against British domination of India’s textile industry, but protest was not as important as the positive message: You, though your actions, can spin your own life.
The Mahatma (Great Soul) advocated for people to take control of their circumstances, growing the truth energy in yourself allowed you to confront oppressive forces outside. Beginning by weaving cloth peacefully on your front porch, then you can also effectively march. Where you go is forward-thinking. The path of your own making is so attractive, others will join. Growing a human force is similar to how one strand of hand-woven cotton webs and winds with other strands. The force once frail grows, and gathered with stitching makes a garment that speaks of new, whole, locally-made life.
We shall put behind the glib Gandhi, and engage the transformative, but fitted to the modern age. There are more key ideas to learn, ideas to learn as well as techniques for how to apply them. The method that achieved freedom for one-fifth of humanity is more than political. The search is still from social stigmatism (caste), but the opportunity now grows for new understanding of livelihood versus poverty, and how our health is what we make.
Non-violence, a central component of his method, goes further than refusal to use guns or bombs. It brings together opposing factions. The journey is toward holism of life: sarvodaya and walking together as one lokniti. Learn skills you can use to help your community go in these directions, as he said: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
You will learn through experiencing Gandhi’s life. You will live in his ashram, eat as he did, and study on the mud floors where the Mahatma taught. This is not a yoga course (though such courses are wonderful). This course will open understanding toward Gandhi’s assertion that, “If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
Today’s world is a rougher larger ride than Gandhi’s. The empire to challenge is not as clear as what his. His method did not answer all problems even then. Building on Gandhi’s base, the course will connect to contemporary understandings of social change.
Opportunity is wherever we are, with whatever we have. Consider the mud porch made by volunteer labor, the place from where Mahatma Gandhi came to think through the challenge of how to move free from British rule, from caste, from gender discrimination, from poverty, from ill health, and free the soul from feeling inferior-consider these quests for yourself. Discipline on the base of self-understanding was his foundation, action using what he had was his way forward.
A wealth of materials will be available for your learning. You can participate lightly or deeply. But this is a university level course, though. If you want a Gandhian tour, those are available from travel companies. As a university course, if you desire, your participation can be awarded graduate level course credit. The opportunity here is to learn ideas and skills to strengthen you on your life journey in these challenging times-to give you energy that a better world can be shaped. Ideas and skills inspired by a special man, learned in a special place, this is the course focus. Through collective learning, we shall help each other learn the way of Swaraj (self-rule).
Gandhi never said, “Become the change you wish to see.” It is easy to romanticize great people. But they are always first people-just as you are. Gandhi got to where he did because he worked at learning. As the Mahatma said, “Books are like soap for the mind.” In this course a diversity of mind cleaning resources will be provided; books yes, but also videos, and the mind revealing days in his space, extending then out to visits at organizations that are applying his teachings.
You can elect to enroll in this certificate program as an academic course to earn graduate level credits, or you may simply choose to pursue the certificate of completion. If you choose to earn credits for your participation, you may apply these towards the university’s Master’s degree in Applied Community Change(see: www.Future.Edu for more information).
“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.”- Mahatma Gandhi
Cost : A $250 (non-refundable) registration fee grants access to online course content, and the opportunity to earn a certificate of completion. It is possible to do only the online portion. An additional $1,000 fee covers program costs while in India for 11 days. Students will pay for and arrange their own roundtrip airfare to Delhi, India, but all travel costs in India are covered by the $1,000. If you want to take the one-day trip to the Taj Mahal, that cost is $135.
Travel : This certificate requires travel to Delhi and Sevagram, India from October 29-November 8, 2017.(Depending on from where you depart and if you want the one-day trip to the Taj, you might have to leave your home October 27th.)