The Power of Meditation and Reflection While Asking a Question

Any system of education if deprived of the benefits of the spiritual powers of reflection, meditation, prayer, and asking questions becomes quite anemic and undermines the unparalleled contribution of the other wing of learning and discernment which is the human heart. Without the engagement of the heart the bird of education is lame and cannot soar up to the apex of understanding which is way up above the realm of collecting knowledge and downloading information. The human brain is truly handicapped in understanding the beauty and reality of life unless the human spirit is invited to join in the process of discovery, exploration, reflection, and asking pertinent questions. Asking and questioning is the important function of the human soul and spirit. An integrated process of learning must serve as a magnet for the human soul and keep its spiritual powers engaged. Without the full engagement of the human spirit, the human brain wanders and becomes lost and frustrated and the whole process of education appears difficult, irrelevant dry, and factual. The heart of the child is like a garden that needs all the elements of growth; soil, water, and light. The greenhouse effect sets in when we box the child in the material cage, depriving its essence of souring high and getting the best of the light and flight.

 

The mystics believe that human wisdom is limited in its ability to understand all the mysteries of life and death. Our head needs the accompaniment of our heart to make the best of the journey of life. Without the help of the human heart which is created to serve as the seat of the love of the Creator and the instrument of true understanding and intuition, we miss out on much of what life’s journey has to offer. The sadder part is that out of our ignorance and arrogance we will never know what is missing until the hour is struck. Our head tends to give the impression that we can do it all by ourselves and with this vain imagination we remain blind to the bigger picture. Children must be taught by words, as well as the example that the human brain is only an instrument and while very important, it is part of a greater system of discovery and learning. Human thought, though reflected by the instrument of the brain, is not the product of the brain but rather is a spiritual power that uses the brain like a light that uses a mirror to reflect its warmth, light, and colors to the world.

 

A delightful story by Rumi the mystic poet of Islam sheds much light on the engagement of the head and the heart, the body, and the spirit.

 

A mouse came across a big camel and dared to grab hold of the camel’s leash and while the camel was amused to go along, the mouse was boasting that it is he who is pulling the camel by the leash. After a while, the camel decides to enlighten the mouse and teach him who really is the boss. They came across a deep and gushing river. The mouse took a look and stopped frozen in his track. The camel was feeling amused and casually asked: What is the matter, my friend? Why don’t you jump in like a man? The Mouse was scared and while shivering, he protested to the unreasonable suggestion of the camel; this is a mighty and deep river and I am too small to handle the force of it all! The camel laughed and proceeded forward. The mouse quickly let go of the leash and the camel casually stepped in the water with ease saying: “This is only knee deep”!The mouse is surprised and ashamed at the same time and realizes who is really with the force and shouts; what is an ant to you is a dragon to me, there is a difference between your knee and my knee! The water that is up to your knee, passes way over my head, and safety. The camel smiled and warned how important it is to know one’s limits. The camel felt sorry for the mouse and invited him to climb up and have a ride on its back. The mouse was delighted to take the ride. The camel advised his little friend not to become sure of himself too fast saying; let it be proven as a fact, my dear, that I can carry a hundred like you over the rough waters.
Rumi teaches that the power of the human spirit is a gift of God and relying on this power enables us to navigate through the rough waters of life and reach the shores of safety and happiness.
 
The Center of the Covenant of Baha’i Revelation; Abdu’l-Baha in His talks about peace called The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 263 shares the following wisdom about the powers of the spirit and the weakness of the body.

“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
It is dangerous to let our children believe that all of their problems can be resolved by material means such as a particular product or tool. Creating the hope that the solutions to life’s problems and challenges are outside of ourselves in the form of a pill, cosmetics, more money, technology, etc will ultimately bring hopelessness. Inner joy and fulfillment are not the results of our physical powers, our senses, or what we are given by others such as rewards, praises, pleasure, comfort, etc. Inner peace and happiness are the outcome of us reaching inside and arriving at the answers that we put to our soul in times of test, with prayer, reflection, meditation, and consultation in conformity with the laws of the universe both physical and spiritual.
 
The physical, as well as spiritual universe, is designed and governed by a well-planned sense of order and laws. The laws of our universe are hidden waiting to be discovered and respected. The physical laws are discovered by special people we call scientists. We have scientists who have discovered the laws of physics, chemistry, and biology. Inventors take their understanding of the laws and create an instrument or way to make the best use of the laws for the good of themselves and others. A wonderful example of this process is the means which was just used to rescue the miners in Chile. The spiritual laws are likewise designed for our protection and progress. The spiritual laws are revealed to us through the medium of religion by the divine luminaries such as Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster, Buddha, Krishna, Jesus, Muhammad, The Bab, and Baha’u’llah. They have reflected us the progressive values we must adopt and eternal virtues we must acquire in order to be fully equipped to fulfill the purpose of our coming and going. It is, however, our choice and privilege to know the laws of both the physical and spiritual world for our protection, progress, and happiness. Integrated education is interested and invested in teaching the children to explore, investigate and learn about all the laws of the universe and learn about the example of the divine luminaries that have taken the pain and trouble of helping us understand the Divine Will and showing the path to happiness and salvation. Integrated education also discusses the fact that each of us is ultimately free to make choices; we are always free to deny, ignore or accept and obey the laws of God such as the law of gravity, but we cannot choose the consequences of our denial, ignorance, or disobedience.
 
In a four-day camp, this past August Center for Global Integrated Education sponsored and conducted a Peace Art project Camp for children in collaboration with Unity Church of Pomona. The result surpassed our expectations. The children learned through a hands-on experience how to take charge of their perception, thinking, feeling, intentions, and actions to be socially responsible, personally loving, and emotionally happy. They explored how to make musical instruments with scraps of materials we normally through away. They practiced the art of listening to understand and talk in a way that others would like to listen. They learned about the two expressions of self we each choose to have; the Dart-Wader and Luke-sky-walker inside each one of us. They learned how magnetic is kindness and compassion. They learned that getting angry is about our feelings but controlling our anger and not acting violent is in our control and our responsibility. More about the camp curriculum will be written in future blogs.
 
It is liberating to realize that true religion is meant to serve as the solution to most of the problems that lie inside of us so we are able to live in peace, unity, and justice with each other.
That is all

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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