Integrated Education, Spiritual Attraction and Cultivating Healthy Minds

I just returned from a week of presenting at Green Acre Baha’i School to a most enthused group of parents on the subject of Spiritual Parenting; A research-based approach and application. The course examined the Ten Best Parenting Skills in the Light of Spiritual Teaching of the Baha’i Faith. The center of Global Integrated Education is exploring the resources that help with the healthy education of the mind and the heart of all especially the children, educators, and parents so our communities will find peace and ease.

In our search, we came across many useful resources. We have selected three resources in this blog for you.

 

 

  • A talk of Abdu’l-Baha on 17 August 1912 at Green Acre on man’s physical weakness, his spiritual supernatural powers, and the importance of learning how to attract and tap into this power for human happiness and peace.

 

  • A story which was also referred by Abdu’l-Baha from the early history of Islamic history on the spiritual powers of kindness and compassion.

17 August 1912 3
Talk of Abdu’l-Baha at Green Acre

Eliot, Maine
Notes by Edna McKinney

 

Although the body was weak and not fitted to undergo the vicissitudes of crossing the Atlantic, love assisted us, and we came here. At certain times the spirit must assist the body. We cannot accomplish really great things through physical force alone; the spirit must fortify our bodily strength. For example, the body of a man may be able to withstand the ordeal of imprisonment for ten or fifteen years under temperate conditions of climate and restful physical routine. During our imprisonment in Akka means of comfort was lacking, and troubles and persecutions of all kinds surrounded us, yet notwithstanding such distressful conditions, we were able to endure these trials for forty years. The climate was very bad, and necessities and conveniences of life were denied us, yet we endured this narrow prison for forty years. What was the reason? The spirit was strengthening and resuscitating the body constantly. We lived through this long, difficult period in the utmost love and heavenly servitude. The spirit must assist the body under certain conditions which surround us because the body itself cannot endure the extreme strain of such hardships.

 

The human body is in reality very weak; there is no physical body more delicately constituted. One mosquito will distress it; the smallest quantity of poison will destroy it; if respiration ceases for a moment, it will die. What instrument could be weaker and more delicate? A blade of grass severed from the root may live an hour, whereas a human body deprived of its forces may die in one minute. But in the proportion that the human body is weak, the spirit of man is strong. It can control natural phenomena; it is a supernatural power that transcends all contingent beings. It has immortal life, which nothing can destroy or pervert. If all the kingdoms of life arise against the immortal spirit of man and seek its destruction, this immortal spirit, singly and alone, can withstand their attacks in fearless firmness and resolution because it is indestructible and empowered with supreme natural virtues. For this reason, we say that the spirit of man can penetrate and discover the realities of all things, and can solve the secrets and mysteries of all created objects. While living on the earth, it discovers the stars and their satellites; it travels underground, finds the metals in their hidden depths, and unlocks the secrets of geological ages. It can cross the abysses of interstellar space and discover the motion of inconceivably distant suns. How wonderful it is! It can attain the Kingdom of God. It can penetrate the mysteries of the divine Kingdom and attain everlasting life. It receives illumination from the light of God and reflects it to the whole universe. How wonderful it is! How powerful the spirit of man, while his body is so weak! If the susceptibilities of the spirit control him, there is no created being more heroic, more undaunted than man; but if physical forces dominate, you cannot find a more cowardly or fearful object because the body is so weak and incapable. Therefore, it is divinely intended that the spiritual susceptibilities of man should gain precedence and overrule his physical forces. In this way, he becomes fitted to dominate the human world by his nobility and stand forth fearless and free, endowed with the attributes of eternal life. The Promulgation of Universal Peace p. 263

The Story about kindness

Abdu’l-Baha in a tablet to Aqa Mirza Mohammad Ali khan in Anzali says:

..the blessings of the Lord are like an endless ocean and God’s grace is ever pouring as the spring shower. We must constantly act in a way that increases His grace and attracts ever-increasing confirmation. One of the greatest means of attracting divine confirmation from the Abha Kingdom is kindness to friends, and making their hearts happy as the poet says; Seek the pleasure of a heart since that is the great pilgrimage. Always be intent on making a heart happy.

The above Persian poem refers to a story about an early Muslim believer on his way to pilgrimage. His name was Abdu’l-Jabbar Mostofi. He had 1000 dinars in his possession. When he reached and ched Koofeh his travel companions stopped for a few days. Abdu’l-Jabbar set out to explore the neighborhoods around Koofeh. By chance, he came across a ruin. He saw a veiled figure who was searching for something. On a corner there laid a bird, she pooled the bird under her veil and disappeared.

 

Abdu’l-Jabbar became curious and decided that this woman must be poor with a great sense of dignity trying to conceal her poverty. He followed her to find out more about her. He saw the woman go home and her starving children rushed toward her asking what she brought them to eat. The woman comforted her children and told them that she brought them a bird and she will soon cook it and feed it to them.

 

When Abdu’l-Jabbar heard her he cried and asked the neighbors who this woman was. The neighbors told him that she is a descendant of the prophet and the wife of Abdu’llah-Ibne Zaid-e-Alavi a prominent man. Her husband was killed by the cruel Hajjaj and she has several orphans. Because of her noble lineage, she does not bring herself to ask for help or beg.

 

Abdu’l-Jabbar told himself: “If you want pilgrimage, this is where it is”.  He opened his money pouch and gave the 1000 dinar, all the money he owned, to the woman. For the rest of that year, he sold water as a peddler in the streets of Koofeh to survive unit his travel companions return from pilgrimage. When the pilgrims returned he rushed to welcome them. There he saw a man in front of the qhaflleh (a group of travelers) sitting on a camel. The minute he saw Abdu’l-Jabbar,  the man threw himself down kneeled before Abdu’l-Jabbar and said: “ O great one, from the day you saw me at the Holy places and lend me 10,000 dinars, I have been looking for you”, and then he gave him 10,000 dinars. Abdu’l-Jabbar took the money with great shock and as he pulled himself together to ask the stranger a question, the man disappeared.. Then he heard a voice calling him and saying: O’ Abdu’l-Jabbar, we returned 10,000 dinars for your 1000 dinar. Then we created an angel to resemble you and offer a pilgrimage on your behalf. And as long as you live we will credit you with an accepted pilgrimage so you know that the deeds of no kind man are concealed from our sight and go unrewarded before our Court.

 

May we succeed to attract divine confirmation with every deed.

Keyvan Geula is a licensed Marriage, Family, and Child Therapist; LMFT. She received her Master of Science in Marriage, family, and Child Therapy from the University of La Verne, in La Verne, California. She employs the latest research in behavioral sciences, neuroscience, and the Baha’i principle of the oneness of all humanity to serve the well-being of her clients.

She offers her services as a clinician, lecturer, trainer, and supervisor to a global set of clients in person and online. In her clinical work, she incorporates the wisdom of the Baha’i Writings, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy research, Mindfulness meditation, and consultation skills, as well as knowledge of the spiritual self.

She is an adjunct professor of Behavioral Sciences at Citrus Community College, faculty of continued education at Claremont Graduate University. She teaches psychology online to students at Baha’i Institute of Higher Education.

She is the Founder and Executive Director of Center for Global Integrated Education (CGIE), a non-profit Baha’i-inspired educational organization, which explores oneness of all humanity, and teaches the integrated mind-body-spirit approach in education.

She has served for two years as the producer and host of a two-hour weekly live radio show for the Persian community in Sothern, California focusing on the role of the psychology of spirituality in personal and social transformation, creativity, emotional and social intelligence, and a greater sense of harmony in a global society. She also has been the host and producer of TV series called Transforming Human Consciousness for eight years. She regularly writes and blogs on www.cgie.org/blog on topics related to integrated education, the oneness of humanity, the powers of the human spirit in the betterment of global society, elimination of all prejudice, equality of women and men, and education reform. Some of her shows are posted on her; Keyvan Geula YouTube Channel.

Mrs. Geula has served in several Baha’i institutions since her youth in Iran and USA.

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