Supporting Our Children To Develop Faith For Their Life Path

sDear Friends,
over the last two days I shared in the posts “planting a seed of meditation and inner communion in our children” and “introducing our children to authentic spiritual expression“, steps how to talk to the next generation about prayer, meditation and developing an internal connection to the higher self. Today we are talking about purity to our path and acting on the guidelines we share.
I hope this trilogy of expects has provided lots of loving guidance, valuable insides and helpful tools for you. May they serve you well in your attempt to support your children on their path of developing a spiritual practice for themselves.
Love and Blessings!

Edith

A personal message to all my facebook friends!! FB is limiting the distribution of my posts daily more. If you resonate with my articles and are used to find my work  shared in a group, rather sign up on my newsletter here to make sure you get the information!!! Over time I might not be able to put in the FB time, if it does not lead to what it is about – SPREADING THE WORD ;-)!

Teaching our children and teenagers to perform obligatory prayers, is a delicate and often stressful matter for families. What is the divine guidance on the matter? When and how is it best done? Parenting expert Hina Khan-Mukhtar sheds some light.

6) “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” – Rumi
For some kids, positive sensory associations are very important in creating an attachment to prayer. From a young age, my boys have taken great pride in dressing up for Jumah (Friday) prayers in their best clothes, wearing their best perfume and their best kufis (prayer hats). We always set out their most special clothes for the most special of days, and they feel noble and dignified as they wash and dress for going to the mosque on Friday afternoons. I know of one mom who created a magical “prayer corner” in her daughter’s bedroom, complete with a lace canopy that cascaded down over an intricately embroidered prayer mat and an ornate table that held a beautifully designed Quran and crystal prayer beads. Other parents regularly light sweetly scented incense or candles during prayer time in the home. One mother used to wear a silk prayer gown stamped with gold and silver block print for her night prayers; her children sometimes have compared her to a princess, other times to an angel. These are examples of kids who saw, heard, smelled, and tasted nothing but beauty and elegance when it came to prayer in their homes.l7) Aspire to be what you want them to be.
No one recognizes hypocrisy quicker than a child. The truth of the matter is that you can encourage and teach a child to pray all you want, but if you’re not going to pray, the chances are highly likely that he/she’s not going to pray either. And letting a child witness that you pray isn’t always enough either. What about how you pray? Are you rushed and distracted? Are you nonchalant if you miss the prayer? I know of an adult who remembers his own father weeping when he once missed a prayer, and that reaction made more of an impression on him about the importance of prayer than all the lectures in the world ever could.

In conclusion, I feel it’s important to confess how emotionally difficult it was for me to actually write this article. I’ve been analyzing what my hesitation was, and I realize that it was rooted in the fear that my words will come across as preachy and imbued with a sense of self-satisfaction when nothing could be farther from the truth. Another part of me worries that I will somehow jinx my family by admitting to the world that my husband and kids are regular with their prayers. I remember when I had my first son in 1997, how desperate I was to find any kind of reading material that would help motivate and guide me in teaching him the fundamentals of this beautiful tradition.

Source: Seekershub.org

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Introducing Our Children To Authentic Spiritual Expression

aDear Friends,
in yesterdays post about “planting a seed of meditation and inner communion in our children“, we received first insides how to help our children cultivate an inner relationship with their higher self. Today we learn how to put meaning and mindfulness into the process of daily practice. And please remember how easy it is to turn everyday life activities into meditation by adding mindful awareness to them!! Enjoy the insides and tips!
Blessings and lots of success!
Edith

A personal message to all my facebook friends!! FB is limiting the distribution of my posts daily more. If you resonate with my articles and are used to find my work  shared in a group, rather sign up on my newsletter here to make sure you get the information!!! Over time I might not be able to put in the FB time, if it does not lead to what it is about – SPREADING THE WORD ;-)!

Teaching our children and teenagers to perform obligatory prayers, is a delicate and often stressful matter for families. What is the divine guidance on the matter? When and how is it best done? Parenting expert Hina Khan-Mukhtar sheds some light.

3) “If it was good enough for the Prophet, it’s good enough for me.”
When I asked Shaan why he is committed to his prayers, he said, “It was the last thing the Prophet (salallaahu alaihi wasallam) told us to hold onto; he was talking about it right up until the point he passed away. How can we ignore that? How important must prayer be if he (peace be upon him) was reminding us about it even with his last breaths?” They learned that missing a prayer just isn’t an option for anyone who has taqwa (God-consciousness).

4) Teach them what they’re saying, what they’re doing, and why.
Prayer should not be allowed to become a series of robotic yoga-like motions devoid of meaning or purpose. Zeeshan and I have been forthright with our kids and confessed to them that there will be times when prayer might feel like an inconvenient, rote duty that just needs to be discharged — and they may find themselves feeling disillusioned and disheartened when those thoughts come to them — but, nevertheless, the prayer is never to be abandoned.
We have made sure to make it clear to the kids, however, that God is not in any need of our prayers or our praise or our prostrations; on the contrary, it is we who are in need of Him. We have also emphasized that none of us should ever feel self-righteous or holier-than-thou about the fact that we are choosing to pray when others are not. “We need prayer; it’s like taking medicine that the Doctor prescribes,” I tell the boys. “Would any of us go around bragging about taking meds or look down on others because they aren’t taking the prescription that we’ve chosen to take for our own health?”Ados-pour-HAWe all know that you are only as good as the company you keep, and being in an environment where prayer is as natural as eating or drinking just helps create a new type of “normal” for the kids. My boys have grown up seeing not only their parents and their friends praying in congregation but seeing their parents’ friends and friends’ parents giving significance to prayer.

Teaching our children about the Isra and Mi’raj (Night Journey and Ascension) has been instrumental in getting them to understand how the prayer was revealed and what the different parts of the prayer mean to us on a spiritual level. The position of ruku (bowing) is compared to the way one would bow in front of a king. In the humbling position of sajdah (prostration), we point out how that is the only position in which the human heart is elevated over the human brain. It is the heart that truly knows God; it is the heart that truly recognizes Him.” The prayer will suddenly have relevance for them.

Finally, it’s really important to talk to the kids about intention. One of my favorite quotes that I like to share with the boys is a comparison of worshipers of three types — the first is the worshiper who worships out of desire for Heaven (he is like the businessman looking only for a profit); the second is the worshiper who worships out of fear of the Hell-fire (he is like the slave who wants only to avoid punishment); and the third is the worshiper who worships out of gratitude because he recognizes that Allah is worthy of worship (he is the truly free man).
“Which one are you?” we ask our sons…and then we leave them to reflect.
And we reflect on ourselves as well.

5) Set them up for success.
We recently invested quite a bit of money in some high quality khuffs (waterproof socks) for him so that he wouldn’t have to deal with the inconvenience of having to stick his foot in the sink while making wudu in the boys’ restroom at his high school. He can just wipe over his khuffs during school hours now. On Shaan’s first day as a freshman, his father and I helped him come up with talking points so that he could approach the principal with confidence when he requested a private space for prayer; we promised to have his back if he ran into any resistance.
Our “support” turned out to be unnecessary however. It’s been three years now, alhamdulillah, and the high school front office staff knows Shaan really well — he’s the kid who comes in every day during lunch to go to the conference room to pray.imagesWhile all of these gadgets and gizmos may be great to have around for convenience’s sake, the kids understand that they will have to make do for prayer — one way or the other — whether they have their prayer packs on hand or not. “Guard your prayer” is the mantra in our home.

Source: Seekershub.org

If you enjoy my posts, please sign up for my daily newsletter, JUST CLICK HERE & enter your e-mail. Please also like New Beginnings Guatemala on Facebook, and keep up the good work spreading the word ;-)! Feel INVITED to share this post also on your website or social media, just keep the links and credit active PLEASE! THANKS!

Planting A Seeds Of Meditation And Inner Communion In Our Children

eliminate-violenceDear Friends,
in my post of the last year, I have mentioned again and again the importance of the practice of prayer and meditation, as tools to enter a space of inner communion with the higher self. I shared how easy it is to turn everyday life activities into meditation by adding mindful awareness to them; posted a study from the University of Harvard on the impact of meditation on the brain; let you know about the success Schools in San Francisco have by adding meditation to their curriculum; and most importantly, I shared how it is even scientifically proofed that group meditation can change the energetic field of the entire world. And of course in many of my pieces I mentioned the effectiveness of prayer to the energies of the Ascended Master Realms.
Nearly a year ago I ran into this wonderful article describing how to pass on a sense for cultivating commitment and bliss in our daily practice of prayer. While reading the piece I realized, that the author speaks with such a beautifully open heart and from such deep insides into human nature, that sharing her piece is of big value for many. The article is a very long one, that is why I choose to only use excepts and share the knowledge in a trilogy starting today! The guidance was originally written for Muslim parents looking for a way to introduce their kids to the intense commitment of five prayers the day, but they are just as valuable for every parent looking to give their children a feeling for meditation and a mindful lifestyle. I hope you enjoy her wonderful insides just as much as I did, and find profound guidance in her words.
Tomorrows post will be the second part, watch out for it!!
Love and Blessed Communions!
Edith

A personal message to all my facebook friends!! FB is limiting the distribution of my posts daily more. If you resonate with my articles and are used to find my work  shared in a group, rather sign up on my newsletter here to make sure you get the information!!! Over time I might not be able to put in the FB time, if it does not lead to what it is about – SPREADING THE WORD ;-)!

Teaching our children and teenagers to perform obligatory prayers, is a delicate and often stressful matter for families. What is the divine guidance on the matter? When and how is it best done? Parenting expert Hina Khan-Mukhtar sheds some light.

“How the heck do you get a teenage boy in public high school to care about not missing his prayer?”
It is a question that I’ve been asked more than once, and there has never been a simple, easy answer to give. The quickest and most honest one is to frankly admit that all guidance is a blessing and a mercy from God and none of us are in any real control of what our children choose to take — and not take — from our teachings.
But let’s face it — we all know that’s not what parents want to hear (even if they know it’s the truth). Parents are looking for tips and advice, some kind of handbook to follow, a checklist of do’s and don’ts. For the purposes of this article, I did sit down and reflect on what has brought us to where we are now after almost 18 years of raising sons, alhamdulillah (praise be to God). I write this article with the full knowledge that we are no experts; we are no authority figures; we are no success stories. We just happen to be parents who for whatever reason are blessed with children who choose to pray…for now.MeditatingI asked my kids what they think has helped make prayer a priority for them in their lives, and I informally interviewed some friends to get their insights as well. Here’s what has worked for our families so far, and we hope that our experiences may help others in turn, insha’Allah (God willing)…

1) For God’s sake (literally), leave those kids alone for the first 7 years!
You shouldn’t have any real expectations of them until after they are 7 years old. I still remember how I cringed when I once saw a well-meaning father pretty much forcing his 6-year-old daughter to join the congregational prayer. She kept running off, and he kept bringing her back, insisting that she fold her hands and stand silently by his side as he recited the Quranic verses aloud. His intentions were noble and sincere, no doubt, but the execution left much to be desired. It was painful to watch, and I remember hoping that his plans weren’t going to backfire on him one day. Another time, I heard a mother tell her son that “Allah will be mad at you if you don’t pray; the angels are writing down that you’re being a bad boy”, and it took all my willpower not to cry out loud, “Stop! Please don’t say that to your 5-year-old!”
What baffles most adults is trying to figure out how they are supposed to take the spiritual souls that have been placed under their care and then successfully prepare them for the lifelong duty of praying five times a day once their physical bodies have attained puberty.

In the early years, children should be allowed to join and leave the prayer at will, letting themselves get acclimated to the motions and the sensations of the ritual prayer at their own pace. Praying with the family should be an enjoyable experience — one that kids can partake in (or not) as much as they desire. Their association with prayer should be one of sweetness. I know one father who has all of his children share their duas (supplications) aloud one by one after the prayer is over so that everyone can join together in asking Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) to grant their siblings’ wishes. Once the duas are over, the kids often dissolve into tickling and wrestling matches while the father finishes up his supererogatory prayers on his own.

2) When the time for praying finally comes, go all out and make the initiation into prayer a celebration to remember! Treat it like an exciting honor, a real rite of passage.
When each of my boys turned 7 years old, I bought them beautiful journals which I gave to my friends and family to fill with inspiring messages about prayer. My parents and my in-laws each wrote messages to their grandsons, sharing their hopes and wishes for their futures with them. Older cousins wrote about how prayer helps them in good times and in bad; aunties and uncles gave advice on what helps them get through “prayer slumps” which — if we are truly honest — are bound to come in one’s life at some point or another. The general theme was one of encouragement and excitement. It’s been almost 10 years since I put together those gifts for my older two sons, and even now, I will sometimes catch them perusing their Prayer Books with smiles on their faces as they read the heartfelt messages to themselves.eZeeshan and I have found that slow and steady wins the race. When each of our sons turned 7 years old, we allowed them to choose one prayer that they wanted to take on as their daily commitment. The understanding was that — no matter what — the one prayer would never be neglected from that day (i.e. their 7th birthday) forward. If the boys wanted to pray any of the other prayers, that was all well and good, but it was their choice and we made it clear that we would not be monitoring them or holding them accountable.
Whether they were at a play date or in the middle of a shopping mall or at a swimming lesson, if the time for their prayer came in, they made sure to take a few minutes to complete it.We continued this routine for twelve months. When a year of praying one prayer on time had finally passed by successfully, we told the boys that they were now “qualified” to take on a second prayer. We treated it like an honor that only the most responsible could be trusted to handle! We told them that we were trying to teach them how to honor commitments, we knew that it took practice and discipline to do so, and we accepted that it was our job to slowly but surely teach them those tools for success. Using this method, all three of our boys were praying all five of their daily prayers by the time they were 9 1/2 years old, alhamdulillah. By age 10, prayer was an established routine.

During the course of writing this article, I asked my almost-16-year-old son Ameen why he prays all of his prayers on time, and he responded, “I don’t remember ever not praying, so I can’t imagine not doing it now. It’s a part of who I am.” My most fervent prayer is that he always feels that way. I am no fool; I know prayer is a gift and, if not treated with gratitude and humility, it can be lost at any moment. May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) protect us from ever experiencing such a devastating void in our lives. Aameen. (Amen.)

Source: Seekershub.org

If you enjoy my posts, please sign up for my daily newsletter, JUST CLICK HERE & enter your e-mail. Please also like New Beginnings Guatemala on Facebook, and keep up the good work spreading the word ;-)! Feel INVITED to share this post also on your website or social media, just keep the links and credit active PLEASE! THANKS!

Listening With the Heart to Those Who Cannot Speak

Dear Freinds,
this article makes hope and made me cry at the same time! As I am also an empath  and an emotional intuitive, I was in many situations where I could feel the pain of animals. Wherer the energetic field talked to me about their horror and suffering. And some of them shared their happiness, their deep passion for life and for a connection with human beings. It is time we take better care of our fellow animal friends! A wonderful story that fits beautifully to the time we are in – the time to call back the animals into co-creation of a new – harmonious world for all beings!! AHO! Love and best connections!!!
Edith
How a chance encounter with a Horse demonstrates the power of listening with the heart.

As an emotional intuitive, I often find myself called into unchartered territory to be of service to help individuals and animals. It is in these moments that I witness the greatest potential for miracles. Synchronicity does not shout; it whispers, to see if you are listening and courageous enough to be of service.
After a long hike on a Sunday afternoon, my husband and I were famished, but we had arrived at our favorite restaurant only to find that it wouldn’t be open for another hour. It seemed like an easy choice to simply find another place to eat.
But something in my gut said, “Wait!”
We decided to aimlessly tour the countryside for that hour and eventually crossed a street named after my hometown. We giggled and turned the corner. Strolling past the rolling hills of cattle, horses, and sheep; we felt at peace.

Further down the road, I had a strange feeling as we approached a horse isolated in a small pen 25 feet in diameter. He was separated from a group of horses across the road. Intuitively, I could feel the pain and anxiety the horse was experiencing. I told my husband that something was wrong and he asked if he should pull over.
Synchronicity had led me here to be of service so my darling husband happily obliged. Afraid to get out of the car for fear of overstepping personal boundaries, I could feel the inner struggle between being of service to this horse who couldn’t speak for himself and the fear of being yelled at or shot. But the horse’s suffering was too intense to disregard; I decided to act with courage.

horse-eyeI approached the horse in his pen slowly, allowing him to see the loving intention in my eyes and heart. I telepathically let him know that I was there to connect with him and that I cared about what he was feeling. I felt an immediate burst of joy come from inside his heart.

The horse allowed me to feel his deep grief and anxiety. He felt unacceptable and alone. He felt a strong sense of panic, anxiety, humiliation, abandonment, and bewilderment. He didn’t know who he could trust and was terribly unhappy in the tiny pen filled with his own feces that he was left in. This left him feeling humiliated and rejected.
The horse’s pen was one of those pens that had been used for breaking them. I saw a flash of the horse’s past where he was beaten into submission by previous owners, men who had whipped him repeatedly.
The experiences had left him emotionally scarred. Being left alone in that pen told him that he was unacceptable psychologically. I could feel that no matter how many times he had tried to trust, he had been consistently betrayed, mistreated, and left alone. He longed to be free, grazing with the other horses in the pasture. Most people do not understand that horses, like other conscious animals, form attachments and have real emotions like humans.
With all of this information, I knew I wanted to overcome my own fear of being misunderstood and potentially harmed in order to do what I could to help the horse relay this message to his current owner.
I left a detailed note and my phone number with the owner and let the horse know that his wishes had been communicated. He responded by trying to play with me, grabbing with his mouth at the ends of my clothing to pull me in to the pen with him. He really wanted to connect with someone who saw him for the beautiful and intelligent spirit that he is.

horse-pen

On our way home, I was surprised to receive a phone call from the horse’s owner and could therefore explain our chance encounter in more detail. “You are very in tune!” she said, to my surprise and delight.

She told me that the horse had bonded with her daughter but since she had just had knee surgery, she was not able to get out to see him. This explained why he felt so abandoned and alone. She went on to tell me that the horse had seven previous owners, many of whom had severely beat him and forced him to do very hard work. Most recently, he had been relocated from Oklahoma where someone in their family had passed away.
“Did you notice the broken gate on the pen?” she asked. “Yes,” I replied. “He broke free during a thunderstorm one night about two months ago” she said.
Could you imagine being trapped in a small pen alone in the dark during a violent thunder and lightning storm? Just like you, the horse was afraid as he had no where to hide and was terrified.
“But he lived in Oklahoma” she said. “They have great big storms there.”

She didn’t understand that horses are just like people. We all need shelter and a place to feel safe. Even horses get scared. I offered solutions to help the horse adjust to his new home and family in a more interconnected way by possibly contacting the owner of the adjacent property to see if the horse could socialize with the others. She was very grateful and happy to respond to make the situation better immediately. I was happy that I did not allow my fear to get in the way of trying to alleviate the suffering of another being. It was an honor to communicate empathically with a beautiful life force who could not speak for himself.
Many people do not understand the emotional intelligence of other species, but would be changed forever once they did. Words create division but we can connect universally through the empathic language of the heart. No matter what life form you find yourself engaging with, try practicing deep listening and speaking through the emotional compass of your heart. What you will discover is that the world is a much more interesting place.

WORDS BY DAWN AGNOS
Source: http://upliftconnect.com/listening-with-the-heart/