Meditation and Integrated Education

Integrated education believes that meditation and reflection must be incorporated into the curriculum of education so the students are not just given fish; information, and do not just end up with a piece of paper but learn how to fish; learn to contemplate and discover with all the faculties afforded to human mind and body.

 

The Bahá’í Writings teaches that meditation is an integral and important part of spiritual life and the realization of full human potential. In a talk given in London on January 12, 1913, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke at some length on this subject. He characterized meditation as follows:

Bahá’u’lláh says there is a sign (from God) in every phenomenon: the sign of the intellect is contemplation and the sign of contemplation is silence, because it is impossible for a man to do two things at one time — he cannot both speak and meditate. It is an axiomatic fact that while you meditate you are speaking with your own spirit. In that state of mind you put certain questions to your spirit and the spirit answers: the light breaks forth and the reality is revealed. You cannot apply the name ‘man’ to any being void of this faculty of meditation; without it he would be a mere animal, lower than the beasts.

(Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 174-175)

Dale E. Lehman has a nice article on the subject of meditation from a Baha’i perspective.  The subject of meditation has become the focus of research in science. David Lynch Foundation dedicates much effort to research. The article claims:

 

A world-renowned psychiatrist is speaking out about just such a discovery — or rather, rediscovery: a powerful antidote, he believes, for many of our modern woes, a way to help overcome stress and stress-related disorders while opening a new window to the potentialities of the human brain. Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D. is a celebrated author and professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical School. For 20 years he was a senior researcher at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has spent three decades conducting medical research, first at Columbia University and then at NIH. He now heads his own research organization, specializing in pharmaceutical trials. Famous for pioneering the study and treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), his focus recently turned to the Transcendental Meditation technique.

 

Dale Lehman raises the question:

So how are Bahá’ís supposed to meditate? Are there any prescribed forms, any positions to be assumed, or any mantras to be used?

In short, no:

…There are no set forms of meditation prescribed in the teachings, no plan, as such, for inner development. The friends are urged — nay enjoined — to pray, and they also should meditate, but the manner of doing the latter is left entirely to the individual…

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual, January 25, 1943, Lights of Guidance, p. 455-456)

The metaphors and stories in the Baha’i prayers and Writings offer a powerful and rich stimulus to the process of meditation and reflection.

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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