Regular reading of the Writings and prayerful meditation on the teachings are two of the requisites for spiritual growth. Incorporating prayer and the spirit of prayerfulness into our daily routine will no doubt aid in fulfilling these obligations.
When we pray, we are in the presence of God. It is a very special time, a time to be humble and to listen with all our hearts to God’s guidance. Before we pray we should clear our minds and focus on God by taking a prayerful position. This may mean sitting with our arms crossed or hands on our laps and our eyes closed, to help us concentrate. Our voices should be reverent and we should listen quietly when others recite prayers.
This post offers eight ideas for teaching prayerfulness to young children.Pin It Read More
As parents, we convey our values to our children through what we have in our homes. The toys, books, clothes and even foods we give our children will influence their opinions of what is acceptable in our family as well as their perceptions of the world.
In today’s society, children are being increasingly targeted by media to become consumers and buy into a materialistic reality that values beauty, power, entertainment, and wealth above moderation, justice, service to others, and spirituality. Children are bombarded with messages through not only advertisements but children’s products as well about what it means to be a successful person by the world’s terms. Even products labeled “educational” are not necessarily safe from promoting certain ideals which, upon careful inspection, fall short of the high standards set in the Baha’i Teachings.
One way we can guard our children from accepting these notions (and teach them how to investigate truth instead of be swayed by marketing) is to be intentional about what we buy and use in our own homes. Study of the Holy Writings as well as the recent messages from the Universal House of Justice can enlighten us and help us carefully examine our current possessions and spending habits regarding these topics.
Below are just a few thoughts to consider when choosing items for your children to use and play with. If you would like to download these questions and quotations to print out and keep for a reference, you can do so at the end of this post.
Presenting clear “Family Rules” or “Class Rules” (for teachers of Baha’i Preschool Classes) can be helpful in setting up expectations and encouraging appropriate behavior.
Making sure rules are clear, concise, and focused on the positive aspects of behavior is important.
This is one option of a set of rules, entitled “3 Rules for Unity.”
1. Kindly Tongue (what comes out of your mouth)
- Use kind words
- Use a kind and appropriate voice
- Tell the truth
- Practice tactfulness
2. Gentle Hands (what you touch)
- Use gentle movements
- Use gentle touching
- Be considerate of others’ space
3. Respect the Environment (what is around you)
- Take care of the things around you
- Take care of the place you are in
- Take care of the outdoors
- Make choices that consider the earth’s resources
Do you want to incorporate more Baha’i inspired art into your home decor? The possibilities are endless! Whether it’s displaying the Greatest Name in a homemade frame, making collages with photographs of the gardens in Haifa, or creating a beautiful list of the virtues described in a selection from the Writings, you can find a way to add a spiritual touch to every room.
Having spiritually themed art in your home is a way to express your love for the Faith that will also serve as a reminder to keep your spiritual reality in mind at all times. Plus making pieces of art work can be a memorable and special activity for your family to enjoy together.
Here is one idea:
Create something beautiful with your children that will remind you all of your family’s efforts to “strive” using the quotation below for inspiration.
-Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 80Read More
One way to incorporate virtue learning into daily life is to have the virtues visible around you. There are so many ways to decorate with virtues – please share your own creative ideas!
Some include:Read More