students of Palomares Spiritual Empowerment Program (PSEP) after reflection on their training and learning how it feels to be of service to others.
One day a fox was passing by in the forest and saw her old friend dog chasing after its own tail. The fox was puzzled and asked the dog what is all that mary go round all about. The dog said, she is told that happiness is in her tail and she has been trying all day to catch it! The fox said, that is true, your happiness is in your tail but chasing it is not the way to catch it. The dog who was by now quite tired, gladly paused and said, O ya? Then how do I catch it. The fox said just watch me and started to leave while turning around and saying see, my tail comes after me as I start to go about my life!!!
While it is true for animals that going about their lives is the way to happiness, for human beings, it all depends on what they consider to be the purpose of life.
Integration of Psychology & Spirituality To Realize Happiness
Psychology is a science in its infancy and when it is guided and tempered by the light of divine guidance it better serves the mental as well as the spiritual needs of forwarding human civilization.
The mental tests we have been for-warned are closing on our global society and we must prepare ourselves for the stormy ride.
Today, every person who has access to a computer can tell their story first hand and for the first time we see the universal role of story in the globalization of human values. Humanity has the potential and chance to sail its ark towards a global spiritual civilization and salvation or crash it in the violent storms of conflict and separation.
Happiness has a spiritual answer.
Sandi Mann, a lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire, offers a solution. As she outlines in her book, Ten Minutes to Happiness, her programme takes the form of a daily journal, to be completed in six parts:
1. What experiences, however mundane, gave you pleasure?
2. What praise and feedback did you receive?
3. What were the moments of pure good fortune?
4. What were your achievements, however small?
5. What made you feel grateful?
6. How did you express kindness?
Much of the programme builds on a vast amount of scientific research showing that taking a little time to reappraise your day in these ways can slowly shift your mindset so that you eventually find more happiness in your life. When we feel low, it can be easy to overlook the things that are going right – and keeping this journal brings them to the forefront of your attention.
Sandi Mann research shows that the seed of happiness resides in human soul and one must take action to tap into his/her own spiritual and God like reality. Human happiness has much to do with expression of our humanity towards others.
Other pertinent questions to ask:
“And yet, how often we seem to forget the clear and repeated warning of our beloved Master, who in particular during the concluding years of His Mission on earth, laid stress on the severe mental tests that would inevitably sweep over His loved ones of the West… tests that would purge, purify and prepare them for their noble mission in life.”
“Ours then is the duty and privilege to labour, by day, by night, amidst the storm and stress of these troublous days, that we may quicken the zeal of our fellow-man, rekindle their hopes, stimulate their interests, open their eyes to the true Faith of God and enlist their active support in the carrying out of our common task for the peace and regeneration of the world.”
(From a letter written by Shoghi Effendi to the believers in Australia and New Zealand, 1923-1957, pp. 1-2)
Our Cross Road today: A Civilization Torn by Strife
“In the midst of a civilization torn by strifes and enfeebled by materialism, the people of Baha are building a new world. We face at this time opportunities and responsibilities of vast magnitude and great urgency. Let each believer in his inmost heart resolve not to be seduced by the ephemeral allurements of the society around him nor to be drawn into its feuds and short-lived enthusiasms, but instead to transfer all he can from the old world to that new one which is the vision of his longing and will be the fruit of his labours.”
(From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá’ís of the East and West, December 18, 1963)
The Universal House of Justice wrote:
Apart from the spiritual requisites of a sanctified Bahá’í life, there are habits of thought that affect the unfoldment of the global Plan, and their development has to be encouraged at the level of culture. There are tendencies, as well, that need to be gradually overcome. Many of these tendencies are reinforced by approaches prevalent in society at large, which, not altogether unreasonably, enter into Bahá’í activity. The magnitude of the challenge facing the friends in this respect is not lost on us. They are called upon to become increasingly involved in the life of society, benefiting from its educational programmes, excelling in its trades and professions, learning to employ well its tools, and applying themselves to the advancement of its arts and sciences. At the same time, they are never to lose sight of the aim of the Faith to effect a transformation of society, remoulding its institutions and processes, on a sc ale never before witnessed. To this end, they must remain acutely aware of the inadequacies of current modes of thinking and doing—this, without feeling the least degree of superiority, without assuming an air of secrecy or aloofness, and without adopting an unnecessarily critical stance towards society.
Keyvan Geula is a licensed marriage, family, and child therapist specializing in mindfulness approach in therapy, transformation and education.
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