Ashram pilgrimage and Yogic Peace Education curriculum development: an autoethnographic study

Janine Joyce

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This autoethnographic study explores how my (the author’s) four-year ashrama pilgrimage was a transformative learning experience in peace education. The pilgrimage was an embodied, sociocultural spatial immersion in the Raja Yogic tradition which led to the development of Yogic Peace Education: Theory and Practice, a pedagogic framework and collaborative practice workbook. In 2011, I answered a ‘call to pilgrimage’ in which Shri Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari invited me to learn Raja yogic philosophy, principles and practice within an ashram structure, i.e. a spiritual, monastic retreat. My journey was documented through electronic and hand-written journals, highlighting and exploring inner spiritual conditions alongside psychosocial and behavioural changes. The metacognitive and autoethnographic analysis of my pilgrimage revealed unacknowledged personal goals, such as the search for self-knowledge, for inner peace, and for connection to community, nature and the eternal. These goals were similar to the goals of other sacred and secular pilgrimages, and they were also consistent with the goals of peace education. Furthermore, the journal entries also document how this pilgrimage contributed to the building of a new peace education framework which integrated and streamlined teachings from the Raja Yoga tradition, from various pre-Yoga Hindu legacies, and from Gandhian non-violent principles.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)263-282
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of Peace Education
    Issue number3
    Early online date1 Jan 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020


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