//  Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh on Wake Up, 2008

NOWADAYS there are so many youth groups who are active in helping the society, i.e. reducing famine and poverty, fighting for social justice, stopping global warming, but there is not a youth group yet who make life more beautiful through an ethical and spiritual aspiration.Young people need an ideal in life, an ideal of love and compassion. We have to live in such a way to maintain our physical and mental health, to transform our suffering and strong emotions such as violence, anger, despair and desire and cultivate the seeds of understanding, love, joy and happiness.

Therefore the foundation of this youth group's practice are the 5 Mindfulness Trainings (5MTs), a concrete expression and practice of love and compassion. Practicing the 5 MTs, suffering can be relieved and peace and happiness can be possible in this world. If young people practice like that they will be able to bring happiness to themselves and their families, and with this ability they will have the capacity to build up a healthy and compassionate society.

// Robert Kennedy on Gross National Product, 1968

WE will find neither national purpose nor personal satisfaction in a mere continuation of economic progress, in an endless amassing of worldly goods. We cannot measure national spirit by the Dow Jones Average, nor national achievement by the Gross National Product. For the Gross National Product includes air pollution, and ambulances to clear our highways from carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and jails for the people who break them. The Gross National Product includes destruction of the Redwoods and the death of Lake Superior. It grows with the production of napalm and missiles and nuclear warheads… it includes the broadcasting of television programs which glorify violence to sell goods to our children.

And if the Gross National Product includes all this, there is a much it does not comprehend. It does not allow for the health of our families, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It is indifferent to the decency of our factories and the safety of our streets alike. It does not include the beauty of our poetry, or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials… the Gross National Product measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.

// Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley on Gross National Happiness in Education, 2009

WHAT we want to see is nothing less than transformative — graduates who are genuine human beings, realizing their full and true potential, caring for others—including other species—, ecologically literate, contemplative as well as analytical in their understanding of the world, free of greed and without excessive desires; knowing, understanding, and appreciating completely that
they are not separate from the natural world and from others; — in sum manifesting their humanity fully…. In the end, a GNH-educated graduate will have no doubt that his or her happiness derives only from contributing to the happiness of others.

// Prof. Otto Scharmer on Shifting from Ego-system to Ecoystem Economies, 2013

WE live in a moment of disruption, death - and rebirth. What's dying is an old civilization and mindset of maximum "me" - maximum material consumption, bigger is better, and special-interest-group-driven decision-making that has led us into a state of organized irresponsibility, collectively creating results that nobody wants. What's being born is less clear but in no way less significant. It's something that we can feel in many places across planet earth... It's a future that requires us to tap into a deeper level of our humanity, of who we really are, and who we want to be as a society. It is a future that we can sense, feel, and actualize by shifting the inner place from which we operate... It is a shift from an ego-system awareness that cares about the well-being of me to an eco-system awareness that cares about the well-being of all, including myself [...].

+  More research material and practice tools on Mindfulness here.

+  More research material on Gross National Happiness here.

+  More research material on Prof. Scharmer's work here.