The Seed of Love

Barbara Clark

                                                                                                                                        Painting by Barbara Clark, 2009

                                                                                                                                        Photo by Roy Temple

The seed of love grows through the imaginative interplay of the other seven seeds. Each seed is symbolizing the unmasking of the sacred imaginative realm within each one of us so that in turn we might envision a new landscape of learning. Love in action is especially vibrant when teacher candidates explored compassionate action for homelessness and their sense of social responsibility.

 Symbolic messages were presented   through the voice of storybook characters familiar to children. Children are drawn to imaginative characters and invited into the discussion and the endless possibilities of revealing love in action as modeled by the characters. Messages of love are embodied in the storybook character selected by the teacher candidates to depict a new face of homelessness. The video clip is a segment of the school community performance for 300 children titled, Creating a Compassionate Community to End Homelessness. The teacher candidates stated that their message to the children in the school audience promoted the modeling of acts of love by creating a chain of compassion within a school community. The teacher candidates represent a busy world not noticing or stopping to help homeless people, running in mindless patterns. The teacher candidates represent this through a pattern of clapping until the whistle blows and time stops. A moment of time is captured as if in a still life the scene freezes. The busy cacophony of the street is a moment in time now focused on a person in need as the world stops spinning all the people lower to the ground and freeze. This symbolic representation exhibits how these loving acts of kindness may ultimately impact the larger world community. 

Pre-service teachers’ exposure to critical aesthetic educational pedagogy, enacted through community engagement, increased their citizenship opportunities to unite socially, empathically, cognitively, and spiritually for the greater good of their immediate and local community partners. Vincent van Gogh (1880) strove throughout his life as an artist to create a community of artists. During his struggle and need for love within a community he expressed his thoughts on love in a letter to his brother:

 

One cannot always tell what it is that keeps us shut in, confines   us, seems to bury us, but, however, one feels certain barriers,   certain gates, certain walls. Is all this imaginative fantasy? I do   not think so. And then one asks: “My God! Is it long, is it    forever, is it for eternity?” Do you know what frees one from   this captivity? It is every deep serious affection. Being friends,   being brothers, love, that is what opens the prison by supreme   power, by some magic force.

 

Teacher candidates participated in an aesthetic education partnership between the arts and community members that invited inclusion and participation for diverse learners, including those with special needs. Teachers who have a vision of their classes as compassionate communities are more likely to promote social justice and build upon their students’ strengths to facilitate transformative thinking. Through the imaginative core when touched, through aesthetic and compassionate creative commons education we are lifted to see and possibly love one another and walk towards the light, hand-in–hand, to what might be a better place for all.

A spiritual practitioner who has gained a certain degree of realization as a result of his or her long practice should not rest content. Instead, this practitioner should set out and attempt to communicate it to others, so that they too can share in the experience. Since the essence of all spiritual practice is the practice of love, compassion, and tolerance, once you have had a profound experience of these it is natural that you should with to share it with others” (Dalia Lama, 1998, p. 95).

 

All references to outside sources can be found in the bibliography sections of our published work.