What comes to mind when we hear the word Spiritual?
Is there such a concept as becoming spiritually learned?
And if so what are the criteria for becoming spiritually learned?
What will be the benefits of becoming spiritually learned to the individual?
What will be the benefits to the society?
How would spiritually responsible education change the process and outcome of education?
What aspect of human psyche is most targeted and effected as a result of spiritually responsible education application?
what are some examples of perception, thought, feeling, intention and action of spiritually learned individuals or communities?
The curriculum for the Palomares Spiritual Empowerment Program was designed and implemented with all the questions listed above.
The inspiration and hope behind it was guided by the following passage from Abdu’l-Baha in Secret of Divine Civilization.
A sample spiritual empowerment lesson:
Dearest Team October 18, 2016
Lesson Five: Nonverbal Communication Skills & Benefits
The following passage from the Secret of Divine Civilization by Abdu’l-Baha is where we tap into to ground our curriculum in universal spiritual ground.
…there are those famed and accomplished men of learning, possessed of praiseworthy qualities and vast erudition, who lay hold on the strong handle of the fear of God and keep to the ways of salvation. In the mirror of their minds the forms of transcendent realities are reflected, and the lamp of their inner vision derives its light from the sun of universal knowledge.
It is certain that to their discerning taste, the proffered treasures of kings would not compare with a single drop of the waters of knowledge, and mountains of gold and silver could not outweigh the successful solution of a difficult problem.
To them, the delights that lie outside their work are only toys for children, and the cumbersome load of unnecessary possessions is only good for the ignorant and base.
Content, like the birds, they give thanks for a handful of seeds, and the song of their wisdom dazzles the minds of the world’s most wise…. …the happiness and greatness, the rank and station, the pleasure and peace, of an individual have never consisted in his personal wealth, but rather in his excellent character, his high resolve, the breadth of his learning, and his ability to solve difficult problems….
For every thing, however, God has created a sign and symbol, and established standards and tests by which it may be known.
The spiritually learned must be characterized by both inward and outward perfections; they must possess a good character, an enlightened nature, a pure intent, as well as intellectual power, brilliance and discernment, intuition, discretion and foresight, temperance, reverance, and a heartfelt fear of God. For an unlit candle, however great in diameter and tall, is no better than a barren palm tree or a pile of dead wood….
An authoritative Tradition states: “As for him who is one of the learned: he must guard himself, defend his faith, oppose his passions and obey the commandments of his Lord. It is then the duty of the people to pattern themselves after him.”
(“The Secret of Divine Civilization”
Nonverbal communication can include the following:
Opening Energizer Direct students to pair up, and ask student pairs to stand back to back. One person will talk for 30 seconds about what he or she did last weekend while the other person listens. Then the two will change roles. Students can’t look at each other, make physical contact, or ask each other any questions.
Definition and Content.
Ask for two volunteers to come forward. Explain to them that the class will observe them having a conversation about their plans for the summer. Ask these students to wait outside of the room (or in any place out of hearing range) for a few seconds. While they’re out of hearing range, explain to the rest of the class that they’ll be observing the body language of both volunteers. Ask the volunteers to come back inside. The class forms a large circle around them, and the volunteers proceed with their conversation.
Processing for the class
I like to thank Eddie and Roxana for doing a wonderful job in teaching the above lesson. I also like to give credit to Fairfax County Public Schools for their very helpful conflict resolution curriculum. http://www.fcps.edu/dss/ips/ssaw/ConflictResolution/index.htm
A loving spirit is extended to all of our students and administrators at Palomares Academy of Health Sciences for giving us the opportunity to learn what it takes to implement a spiritually responsible curriculum.
Keyvan Geula LMFT
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