Every child, young person and adult who learns to be happier, more satisfied and more peaceful will have a powerful impact on their families, friends and community. The 16 Guidelines offer a practical framework for helping people of all ages and cultures to achieve this, through exploring how they think, act, relate and find meaning in life. Based on universal values which are familiar to everyone, the Guidelines are perfectly suited for both individual study and group activities. The book 16 Guidelines: The Basics provides all the initial materials that will be needed: an easy-to-read commentary on each guideline and the role model associated with it, reflections, challenges, true stories, and suggestions for further reading.
Example: 16G PARENTING GROUPS
The Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom office is regularly contacted by individuals around the world who have had a life-enriching and transformative encounter with the 16 Guidelines, either through the 16 Guidelines website or through reading 16 Guidelines: The Basics. Some of these individuals feel inspired to set up groups that take the Guidelines to a wider audience. We encourage setting up groups after having participated in Level 1, BoB and Level 2 and once you have integrated the 16 Guidelines into your own life.
In Australia and in Mexico, 16 Guidelines participants, Christina Smerdon, Adriana Ortiz Stern and Brenda Tapia have set up Mum’s Groups that aim to support women in their parenting journey, and to empower them to consciously bring the values of the Guidelines into family life. A Mum’s Group (see below) provides a precious opportunity to socialize and share in a meaningful way with other mothers and babies, while taking a much-needed break from the daily activities of parenting.
A 16 Guidelines Mum’s Group doesn’t have to be complicated: all that’s needed are some interested mothers and babies, a room large enough to meet in, and a copy of 16 Guidelines: The Basics. Tea and biscuits is a welcome extra!
The structure of the 16 Guidelines means that it works fine for mothers to join the group at any point, or when necessary to skip a session. At the end of 16 weeks the group often chooses to start the whole programme again, and finds richness and satisfaction in reviewing what they’ve learned since the first time around.
The most important aspect is to provide a forum for the mothers to share their daily experiences. When the 16 Guidelines are sincerely applied to the challenge of leading a good life, the material that they provide for reflection and discussion is inexhaustible.
The average Mum’s Group session lasts 1.5 hours. It begins with a few moments of mindfulness, followed by a review of the previous week’s homework and an opportunity to share any new insights regarding that guideline.
Discussion of each new guideline begins with the question: “How does this guideline relate to our mothering journey?" This opens up the dialogue to the group: to explore what the guideline means to each mother, to share any experiences relating to that guideline, and to discuss how it can support and enhance their the mothering journey. Supporting material can be taken from 16 Guidelines: The Basics.
At the end of the session the group chooses some homework for the week related to that guideline. This is often based on the challenges from 16 Guidelines: The Basics, but sometimes a mother makes a different suggestion. “For example, for the forgiveness topic, we all had to forgive someone from our own sides in our own minds, without any interaction from the other person. Some people in the group had really big reactions to the homework and were able to shift long-held resentments.”
What next if you want to share the 16G in your family or community?
Get inspired by browsing the information and stories on this website; and take a look at the online resource for families and educators Ready Set Happy.