In the 60’s, many young people were disillusioned with Western Culture and sought answers in the Orient and the East. Children of the 60’s may be grandparents now, and their effect on the culture of their family life continues.
Movement forms and disciplines from the Oriental East are very popular these days with practitioners all over the world. Yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, and Karate are a few of the most well known. Western practitioners adapt as well as stick closely to traditional forms, depending on the root teachers involved.
Empatharian differs from these movement forms in several ways:
• positions are meaningful words with abstract meaning, not animals or fighting stances.
• It is easy simple movement, not requiring years of training or special flexibility.
• It can be danced, walked, or simply moved, and doesn’t require special mats, uniforms or equipment.
• It is great to do with music, though music isn’t necessary.
• It is a language which can string words into sentences, paragraphs, a poem.
• Empatharian is an evolving language with a mechanism for its evolution.
• It is specifically non-competitive, non-judmental, and offers individual self-expression.
Also, Empatharian Peace Arts Training includes teaching non-violent communication, empathy exercises, and conflict resolution skills, as well as improvisational art, journal processes, and talking circles. It’s a one hour curriculum piece for schools, or for after school programs.
Empatharian is similar to Yoga, TaiChi, Qigong and Karate in several ways:
• It is a disciplined movement form.
• Alignment, Breath and Posture are key components.
• It develops focus, flexibility, and well-being.
• Showcasing practitioners doing the practices, is a thing.
• There are ranks which a practitioner can achieve, with time and practice. (Empatharian Peace Arts Ranks).
• Many people feel aligned with the values and practice, and become advanced students and then teachers themselves. They can be making a living and having a profession in Empatharian.
• Meditation and centering are achieved when doing the practice: a movement meditation.
• Empatharian is also spiritual but not religious.
These days it’s becoming more common for children to do Martial Arts Training, and even Yoga in school, or sometimes after school. These are wonderful positive developments that have had great benefits for large numbers of youth and children. They have paved the way for alternatives to competitive sports, so that people and kids can excel physically and get the great benefits of disciplined movement. Various dojo’s and teachers also cultivate a sense of belonging and the enjoyment of achievement.
Our vision for Empatharian is that it become like the new morning pledge of allegiance in schools, helping unify and process the peace and diversity that is the new expression of our times.
We understand that many people want children to participate in the power of prayer within the school context, to help focus and center their day. Religious prayer can be done with Empatharian, but the expression of Empatharian is not called “prayer”, even though perhaps any thought going out is actually a type of prayer.
Empatharian provides the power of thought in movement and gesture, a kind of expanded sign language, that excites and inspires practitioners as well as audience. Spiritual expression doesn’t need to be confined to religion. Values and character can be developed without needing religious input. Within our American system, it’s important to keep church and state separate, and religion outside of public schools. Empatharian can provide that piece of spiritual education, values and empathy development, that is missing in our schools currently.