To me, faith is a sentiment, it’s an emotion. Just like you fall in love and you surrender in love and you find yourself willing to do anything for the person you love, same is with faith. Faith is love. ~ Om Swami
The year-long Zenrich workshops for the ‘Rising Stars’, concluded in August 2021 with the last of its three-part series – Joyful Living: The Power of Prayer and Faith.
Announced on the heels of the pandemic’s second wave, the theme of the series was apt for a beleaguered and hard-hit world. We all needed some faith, joy, and prayer in the lives of our children.
The series delivered and how!
Conducted over seven weeks by Sadhvi Vrinda Om and Sushree Nishtha Om, each session brought to life the transformational power of faith and prayer in a beautiful manner.
Session 1 by Sadhvi Vrinda Om covered a prayerful life. What really is a prayerful life? Is it merely chanting a prayer or pleading with God to make our dreams come true? No.
Prayerfulness, she guided the children covers many things:
- It is the wisdom that things are not always in our control but having faith in God anyway.
- It is developing a coping mechanism that allows us to experience an inner state of calm.
- It is knowing that to achieve a dream, one has to work towards it.
- God is not out to hand us our wishes on a platter. He waits for us to develop Discipline and Diligence before giving us the third ‘D’ in the triad of prayerful living – the fulfillment of our Dream.
Session 2 by Sushree Nishtha Om covered all things faith! Faith, she said to the children, is our life’s most powerful ally. When we live a life of faith, our every moment is filled with the Divine. We have surrendered our life to a higher form, which could be God, Nature, the Universe, or just our Inner Voice. It keeps our spirits high.
Her next session explained a different, but important aspect of faith: the Mind-Body Connection. It is something, she said, children experience on a daily basis. Simply put, our thoughts and feelings affect our physical health, and the reverse is also true. This is why when we are nervous or stressed, we feel the urge to run to the washroom. Anticipating the results of an exam, our stomachs churn and mouths become dry.
How does faith and prayer play a role in maintaining the mind-body equilibrium? When we place our faith in ourselves or a higher power, our mind is automatically yoked, she said to the virtual audience. This keeps the body at ease during stressful situations.
The subsequent session saw her dive further into this by providing different techniques that can keep stress levels in check. The one single thing, she said, that stays with us from the second we are born to the instant we die is ‘Our Breath’.
What followed were different breathwork exercises and visualisation techniques – tools to help the children regulate their emotions. The latter, she said, was a great method because the brain cannot differentiate between what is imagined and what is real!
The last session for children by Sadhvi Vrinda Om covered a much-requested topic: Meditation.
She told a rapt audience to just devote five minutes to meditation, both in the morning and before going to bed. Meditation, she said, allows the mind to settle into the ‘now’. It leads us to our source of happiness which is a clear, sharp, clutter-free mind, so required by students in today’s digital world. A scattered mind’s biggest crime, she told the children, will stop them from being brilliant because it can rarely focus on any one thing. A silent, focused mind helps us bloom to our full potential and step into the powerful beings we really are. For, as Swamiji says, “All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts.”
The final session of the series by Sadhvi Vrinda Om covered Spiritual Parenting. “As a parent,” she asked, “Are you living in faith and prayer, especially during times of adversity”? In essence, she said that this will be what lights the lamp of the Divine in your child’s heart – not your words, but your actions.
This special session also saw Swamiji in attendance for over 30 minutes. He spoke about many aspects of parenting including laying down non-negotiable principles with one’s child, handling a spouse’s different style of parenting and deciding when to be your child’s friend versus when not to be.
He also recommended two books that a parent could read to enhance their communication with their child(ren) – Magic Words: The Science and Secret Behind Seven Words by Tim David and Non-Violent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall Rosenberg.
He summarised by stating; “A parent is not a child’s owner but a custodian. And ultimately, nothing matters. Each child comes to this world with a preordained destiny, their blueprint already in place. A parent’s job is to guide and nurture, and allow them to find their own way in the world.”
The session and series were brought to a wonderful conclusion with the announcement of the winners for the Prayerful Poetry Competition. From 19 moving, awesome entries on God, parents, and prayer, Arunima Ojha, Shreyank Sharma, and Nihaal Singh Bajwa won the three prizes up for grabs.
Amidst a challenging period in mankind’s history, it is faith, hope, and kindness that keeps our inner light glowing. It is ‘Prayer’ that is our anchor, our guiding force, our redemption.
Zenrich 2021-22 will be here very soon, with a new concept and more transformational sessions to come!