Spirituality, as defined by these criteria, is a multifaceted quality that includes an active search for answers to life's “big questions” (Spiritual Quest), a global worldview that transcends ethnocentrism and egocentrism (Ecumenical Worldview), a sense of caring and compassion for others (Ethic of Caring) combined with a lifestyle that includes service to others (Charitable Involvement), and the ability to maintain one's sense of calm and centeredness (Equanimity).
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- While religious engagement and religious/social conservatism decline in college, individuals' spiritual traits significantly improve.
- If students are actively involved in church during college, they will demonstrate the most spiritual progress “Self-reflection, contemplation, or meditation are examples of “inner work.” Religious Commitment and Religious Engagement are also strengthened by meditation and self-reflection.
- The growth of the other four spiritual traits is promoted by most sorts of charitable involvement during college-community service work, assisting friends with personal concerns, and donating money to charity.
- Studying abroad, interracial interaction, multidisciplinary coursework, service learning, and other forms of civic involvement expose students to a varied range of people, cultures, and views, all of which contribute to spiritual growth.
- Students' academic progress and personal growth are enhanced as spiritual traits such as equanimity, caring ethic, and ecumenical worldview grow. Growth in religious traits was not linked to similar consequences.
- Increasing the number of opportunities for students to interact with their peers “As a result, “finding their inner selves” helps them improve their academic and leadership skills, as well as their psychological well-being and contentment with college.
The following are excerpts from “Attending to Students' Inner Lives: A Call to Higher Education,” published in April 2011.
What are examples of spiritual growth?
- Read the Bible from beginning to end. Set aside a few minutes each day to read some Bible verses. Reading the Bible in its whole is probably possible with 365 days in a year.
- Participate actively in church services. It's not enough to just show up. You must be physically, mentally, and spiritually present.
- Make it a habit to pray every day. It's enough to say a short prayer for a few minutes each day. It's something you can do every morning when you get up or before you go to bed. It will become second nature with time.
- Keeping a spiritual notebook is a good idea. It's a great place to write down your thoughts and everyday reflections. It's a great read for when you're feeling low.
- Forgiveness should be practiced. Forgiving someone who has harmed you will not only help you restore your relationships, but it will also help you grow as a person. It will also provide you with peace of mind.
- Return the favor. Donating to charity should not be limited to the Christmas and Thanksgiving seasons. Giving back should be done throughout the year. Every day, strive to be a benefit to others. Volunteering at a soup kitchen or donating your old clothes to the underprivileged are good places to start. (See also: 50 Random Acts of Kindness You Can Perform Today)
- Every day, have a conversation with God. Spend a few minutes every day alone with God. Tell him about the things you're grateful for today, as well as the things that are causing you concern. Communicate with him as if he were a buddy.
- Read books that will make you feel good. Inspirational literature, in addition to the bible, are a terrific method to find spiritual contentment.
What does spiritual growth involve?
Spiritual development entails letting go of false and unreal conceptions, thoughts, beliefs, and ideas in order to become more conscious and aware of our inner selves.
This method reveals the inner spirit that has always existed but has been veiled beneath the ego-personality.
Spiritual development is the process of inner awakening, of rising above ordinary, everyday living and of awakening to Universal truths. It entails going beyond the mind and ego to discover who you truly are.
What is the difference between physical growth and spiritual growth?
Personal development entails expanding our knowledge and talents in order to improve our lives on this planet. It's also about putting up the effort to overcome obstacles, issues, and setbacks, as well as learning to regulate our feelings and emotions. Personal development has a wide scope, owing to the fact that everything we do in life can be improved.
Spiritual development has a deeper meaning, but it's also highly vague. Your spiritual development is frequently described by your relationship with your soul or other creatures of differing vibrations. Enlightenment is the result of spiritual growth. It's coming to terms with your true nature as a human being and accepting your unique place on the planet.
Why spirituality is important in education?
After becoming a swami, Paramhansa Yogananda's first public activity was to establish a school for young boys. He began his teaching career in 1916 in the village of Dihika, Bengal, with only seven students “I was determined to build a school where young boys might grow into complete manhood.” He relocated the school to Ranchi a year later and established the Yogoda Satsanga Brahmacharya Vidyalaya, which is still operational today. The first Ananda school was formed nearly sixty years later, in 1972, at Ananda Village, based on Yogananda's educational ideas and directions. The original Ananda School, which began with only seven pupils, now has a site with seven classrooms and ninety students, as well as branch schools in Palo Alto, Portland, and Seattle. The following article is based on a discourse given by Swami Kriyananda, in which he outlines the Ananda Schools' Education for Life system.
In my life, I've tried to apply Yogananda's primary principles to a variety of disciplines, including business, the arts, relationships, growing families, schools, and communities. Yogananda cared deeply for children's education, yet he said very little about it. We've taken what he's given us through the years, thought on it, and utilized what we've learned in the Ananda School classrooms to enhance our understanding and attunement to Yogananda's vision for spiritual education.
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At Ananda, we're working on a system called Education for Life, which is desperately required in today's world. We are instilling in our children what Yogananda referred to as an essentially atheistic vision of life, which is the source of many of our world's ills. When we strictly prohibit all spiritual teachings and higher values, our children learn that there are no such things as higher values, and that there is no such thing as God. Children have a natural desire for values and ideals, but our society provides them with a universe and a life in which they are unable to believe. The cynical lessons of modern education are so ego-oriented, as well as money and job-oriented, that it's scarcely surprising that youngsters grow up cynical and furious at the universe. That is the fault of our culture for allowing such things to occur.
The goal of spiritual education is to help children realize their divine potential and to prepare them for life by providing them with the tools they'll need to keep learning throughout their various experiences.
We don't mean religious education when we talk about spiritual education. What we mean is that we want to teach kids that being good to others and working toward lofty goals will make them happier. A child who has a small bag of dates and eats them all by himself is not nearly as happy as a child who shares his dates with others. In every scenario, we can see that selfish people are unhappy, whereas selfless people are content. They can use this knowledge not only at school, but also at home and in other situations. This is spiritual education if we can bring this type of teaching to youngsters.
Spiritual education also serves to develop a person on all levels. We are triune beings made up of body, mind, and soul, and we are incomplete if any part of us is starved at the price of the others. It's an intriguing truth that people who write, for example, as a mental activity, will frequently engage in some form of physical activity to keep themselves grounded. Sri Yukteswar, Yogananda's guru, offered him a broom when he first had an experience of cosmic consciousness, adding, “Let's sweep the porch together.” We need to figure out how to maintain these worlds in sync with one another. We become unbalanced in some way if we let one go in favor of the other.
We must help our children develop their characters and minds while also preparing them to live successfully in this world through their education. We don't want kids to go out into society and discover that they can't relate to what's going on. They must have access to the facts that are a part of our modern education. They don't, however, need to be taught those truths in such a way that they believe there is no worth in anything. Today, there is a lot of attention on the wrong things. Spiritual education is based on preparing students for society in a way that allows them to maintain their idealistic outlook.
Assume you have children who have learned to love everyone and to appreciate the beautiful things in life. When kids venture out into the world, they may encounter prejudice, criminal behavior, and a variety of other undesirable experiences. Will they be able to deal with the situation? This is most people's main concern when it comes to spiritual education. The answer can be found in people who live their lives with love. It's not as if they become illiterate or lose their ability to comprehend reality. In fact, the broadest understanding comes from a love-centered perspective, while the smallest understanding comes from a hatred-centered perspective. You can only relate to the lowest level if you're on it; if you're on the highest level, you can relate to all levels. To demonstrate that this is true, we can point to examples of people who live this way and are significantly more capable of dealing with life's numerous obstacles. People who are full as human beings tend to be more successful, in my experience. Even in the way that worldly people define success, a spiritual education can assure better success.
Rajarsi Janakananda, Yogananda's most advanced disciple, is a suitable example. He was the chairman of numerous major corporations and the owner of a number of others. He had the clarity, tranquility, and centeredness to step back from the stress and excitement and see the path to resolving challenging problems. His success was due to the fact that his consciousness was anchored in God and the desire to do the right thing.
Children are born with various inclinations, strengths, limitations, and educational requirements. The assembly-line method to teaching, in which the same information is more or less poured out to everyone, is one of the bad elements of modern education. There is no philosophy; all that exists is data. Small classes, in which the teacher can get to know each kid individually, are critical for providing particular attention and determining each child's natural level of comprehension.
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Life is made richer by teaching youngsters kindness, concentration, willpower, character strength, truthfulness, and other higher traits. These are extremely crucial to a person's growth, yet they are not taught in public schools nowadays. The ultimate goal of life isn't just to find work. So many people live like this and ultimately die, not of old age, but of severe dissatisfaction with their lives. Money won't buy you happiness if you don't know how to be truly happy.
Spiritual education prepares people for the rest of their lives. How many people marry and then divorce because they don't know how to communicate with their partner? They haven't been prepared for that. neither for the sake of life.
Education, properly defined, is the process of increasing one's awareness. It's a warm-up for the real learning that happens after we leave school, when we're in the midst of a never-ending struggle, on the front lines of life's battleground. We can lead children to long-term happiness by providing them with the tools and knowledge they need to make the best decisions possible. They will then be able to attain the kinds of spiritual wins that define success in the genuine sense.
How do you achieve spiritual growth?
When trying to put all eight aspects of wellness together, the spiritual aspect of wellness can be the most individualized piece of the puzzle. People, on the whole, like to live lives that have meaning and purpose. When these objectives are attained, it brings peace into one's life and the lives of those around them.
So, what are some things you may do to increase your spiritual well-being? It's best to experiment with several ways to see what works best for you. Spiritual wellbeing can be reached in a variety of ways, both physically and intellectually, because it involves one's values, beliefs, and purpose.
1. Examine your spiritual foundation. You are merely asking yourself questions about who you are and what you mean when you explore your spiritual essence. Consider the following question: “Who am I?” What is the point of my existence? What am I most passionate about? These questions will lead you down a path where you will think more deeply about yourself and recognize aspects of yourself that will assist you in achieving fulfillment.
2. Search for hidden meanings. Looking for deeper meanings and examining patterns in your life will help you realize that you have power over your future. Knowing this can help you live a happier and healthier life.
3. Get it off your chest. It will be easier to retain a concentrated mind if you express what is on your mind. You may feel befuddled and unable to make sense of your feelings after a long day or an important event. You may be able to think more clearly and move forward if you write down your thoughts.
4. Give yoga a shot. Yoga is a physical discipline that can help you achieve spiritual wellness by eliminating mental and physical stress. Yoga is taught at all levels and can help relieve anxiety, sadness, weariness, and sleeplessness as well as reducing stress, strengthen the immune system, and lower blood pressure.
5. Take a trip. Yes, it is correct! Taking time for yourself to travel to a familiar location or to a new location can do wonders for your mental health. You will have a greater connection with yourself when your mind is able to block out distractions and assist you in reflecting and resting. This allows you to eliminate stressors and retrain your mind to focus on total wellness. Exercising, visiting with a counselor or advisor, meditation, or taking a temporary vow of silence are all activities that can be done while on a trip.
6. Keep an optimistic attitude. You will find yourself thinking differently and shifting your mind to a happy, healthy place once you begin to view things in your life in a good light. You'll discover that you're more comfortable when you eliminate negativity and re-frame how you think about specific things and situations.
7. Set aside some time to meditate. While managing your time and everyday tasks can be difficult, it is critical to make time for yourself. Take five to ten minutes each day to meditate, whether it's first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, or right before bedtime. By incorporating meditation and relaxation into your daily routine, you will be able to clear your mind and strengthen your connection to your spiritual well-being.
How do we grow in spiritual maturity?
Wife, author, boss, friend, daughter, teacher, professional coffee drinker, and now mama are just a few of the hats I wear. For over two years, I've been giggling at this parenthood thing. I've had twenty months of the most life-altering, heart-wrenching, joy-filled, bone-weary job I've ever had… and I've loved every minute of it.
During my pregnancy, I distinctly recall being terrified of the enormous responsibility that would soon be placed in my hands. I was terrified at the prospect of raising a child without completely ruining her. “I feel more capable of being air-dropped into Afghanistan and finding my way out in the middle of a Taliban fire war than I do of parenting a child,” I told a friend.
God does not wait for us to be ready to stretch us before he stretches us. Whether I was prepared or not, my full-fledged education into the realm of parenthood began in November of 2016. I've discovered that He equips us even while we're in the thick of a mess. Now that I'm well into motherhood, I've learned that it's not something you can learn from a book; it's a hands-on, learn-as-you-go, trial-and-error process.
I'll be honest, every three months when we take Sydney to her pediatrician for her visit, I expect her to hand me a lollypop and a sticker because…
I'm joking, but it's true. For all the restless nights and countless prayers imploring Jesus to take the wheel, the infant gets shots, and we get nothing.
The best part about going to the pediatrician every three months is understanding what developmental milestones Sydney should hit at each stage. My doctor even gives me a checklist of things to look for and how to deal with different situations.
The anticipation of a youngster is that he or she will grow. Over the course of a few months, newborns grow from defenseless 8-pound infants to 28-pound toddlers intent on destroying everything in their path. I can't help but think about spiritual maturity as I've watched my little girl grow from infancy to the great adventure of toddlerhood. Our Heavenly Father rejoices as we grow and mature in our faith, just as a good parent rejoices when their kid develops new talents.
Spiritual maturity is the expected, not the exception, for all Christians, according to the Bible.
We are “born again” into God's family and then begin to mature as God's children, just as a newborn is born and then begins to grow. Despite the fact that this is the expectation, many Christians become stuck and stagnate in their faith.
The Apostle Peter describes seven “spiritual milestones” that should increase in our life if we are truly children of God in 2 Peter chapter 1. These anniversaries aren't meant to be a legalistic checklist on which we attempt to improve. These characteristics, on the other hand, show that a person is spiritually maturing.
Through our awareness of him who called us by his own glory and goodness, his divine power has given us everything we need for a holy life. He has given us his most significant and precious promises through them, so that you may share in the divine nature while avoiding the pollution in the world caused by sinful impulses.
Make every effort to add goodness to your faith, and goodness to knowledge, and knowledge to self-control, and self-control to perseverance, and perseverance to godliness, and godliness to mutual affection, and mutual affection to love. Because if you increase your possession of these traits, you will be less ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Whoever does not have them, on the other hand, is nearsighted and shortsighted, forgetting that their past offenses have been forgiven.
Make every attempt, dear brothers and sisters, to affirm your calling and election. Because if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will be warmly welcomed into our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ's eternal kingdom.
Born-again believers should evolve spiritually beyond their first conversion, much as my daughter Sydney no longer acts like an infant but has progressed to a healthy and busy toddler. The traits stated in 2 Peter as evidence of this progress include “faith, kindness, knowledge, self-control, holiness, and love.” Surprisingly, I've encountered teenagers who are spiritually more developed than some of the older adults I've met. Spiritual maturity has nothing to do with our age; it is entirely about our ability to grow in our relationship with God. If you've read this far, I'm guessing you're someone who wants to grow in her faith. Here are five spiritual growth keys that I'm working on in my own life:
1. The WordIn 1 Peter, we're instructed that drinking the “pure milk of God's word” helps us develop in faith. The analogy is clear, and one that I've personally observed. Milk is given to infants, and the consequence is a remarkable metamorphosis! Simply drinking milk causes those tiny fingers and toes, legs and limbs to expand, stretch, and develop! It's no accident that the Bible refers to itself as “pure milk” for spiritual development. A believer must feed herself the Word of God on a regular basis in order to progress in her faith. Going to church or Bible study once a week is insufficient. That would be the same of eating a meal on Sunday and then going hungry for the rest of the week. If we want to grow and deepen in our faith, we must feed ourselves the Word of God on a daily basis.
2. Christ-centered Community I can attest from personal experience that nothing has helped me grow spiritually more than being around by other Christ-followers who love Jesus, fear God, and want to live for His glory. We encourage accountability, we are challenged to know God better, and we have relationships with others who will pray for us when we face hardships or temptations when we surround ourselves with a Christ-centered community. Indeed, we are stronger when we work together.
3. Walk in the Spirit – Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as our “Assistant.”
He is the one who walks alongside us and supports us when we are weak. The Holy Spirit is the one who changes us from the inside out so that we might act, think, and love as Jesus did. God's Spirit develops us and produces Christ-like attributes in us as we stay in step with Him. We must continually ask the Holy Spirit to lead, guide, and direct our steps, and to conform us to Christ's image.
4. Surrender – The only way to win in the Kingdom of God is to surrender. We can only begin to live the abundant life Jesus promised when we yield to God's will and walk in His ways. We begin to manifest the fruit of the Spirit when we surrender our will to God's will. Surrendering to God is what obedience entails. We mature and grow as a result of these surrendering moments. “Physical maturity is connected to time,” argues John Bevere. “Obedience is a prerequisite for spiritual maturation.”
5. Humility – Pride is the greatest significant impediment to spiritual progress. Pride deceives us into believing that we are doing fine. Instead of gazing at Jesus' perfection, pride compares itself to someone else. Our pride makes us blind to our flaws. Humility, on the other hand, is essential for maturity because it keeps us living in daily desperation for Jesus and clinging to Him for everything. “Apart from Jesus, I can do nothing,” the mature person knows.
As a mother, I'm inclined to clutch my child and hope she'd never grow up. Then I remember all of the amazing things Jesus has planned for her, and I realize that, as much as I enjoy the cuddles and sweetness that come with this age, I want her to blossom into a mature lady who loves Jesus and lives for His glory.
Friends, we are in the same boat. As we grow in our faith, the whole of heaven is rooting for us. As we grow from infants to great women of God capable of leading, teaching, and shepherding others, God, our Heavenly Father, watches over us and loves us.
Make sure you've dealt with your own baggage.
Religion and religious individuals have harmed many of us. These church-inflicted scars can sometimes be very serious and last for years. As you begin the process of spiritually leading your children, be sure to identify your own baggage and begin actively seeking recovery. This could entail having uncomfortable conversations, forgiving problematic people, and/or getting professional help.
Pray as often as you can for your children and with them. Your prayers don't have to be elaborate or lengthy. Children must understand at a young age that they can talk to Jesus about anything and at any time, just as they would a close friend.
Fill your home with the Word.
Raising your children in a Bible-centered setting is essential. Deuteronomy 11:18-21, Deuteronomy 11:18-21, Deuteronomy 11: “So make a complete commitment to these words of mine. As a reminder, tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead. Teach your children about them. When you're at home and on the road, when you're going to bed and when you're getting up, talk about them. Write these on your house's doorposts and gates so that you and your descendants might prosper on the land the LORD promised to give your forefathers as long as the sky remains above the earth.” Reading a Bible story before bed or listening to the Bible while commuting to school or running errands are two simple methods to do this.
Teach your children to serve.
You're doing it right if the love of Jesus Christ is at the heart of your religious instruction to your children. Jesus had a complete love for people and served them selflessly. As early as possible, teach your children to build a servant's heart. Make sure the homeless are fed. Seek out the underserved. Show compassion and consideration to individuals who have been marginalized by society. Be willing to get dirty and inconvenienced in your everyday life in order to serve others as Jesus did. Your youngster will learn to behave like Christ in these ways.