Tapestry of Faith: Building Bridges: A World Religions Program for 8th-9th Grades

Spiritual Preparation

Consider your own feelings about gender equality, war, and the Muslim faith. How will you manage feelings of judgment you might have about the intersection of these three? Though your opinions may be based on facts, be careful not to influence youth's feelings. Let them discover their own opinions.

Several days before the workshop, begin and end each day by nurturing active, peaceful balance. Use the meditation below or imagery of your own choosing to create a sense of engaged, aware balance. A serene mindset will provide a foundation for this workshop.

Prepare with a meditation. You may wish to hear these words read to you:

Lie on the floor or on your bed with your body in a symmetrical position, arms and legs supported by the strong, welcoming, even surface under you. Close your eyes. Release every tension, release to the steady embrace of the earth, and feel yourself in perfect balance.

Feel your body, open, at rest, at peace. Feel your mind, open, still, at peace. Feel your heart, open, serene, at peace. Feel your spirit, open, ready, at peace. Body, mind, heart, and spirit—feel them as one, you, balanced and perfect in this moment.

Allow yourself to become aware of some of the pressures of the world—feel the sensation—physical pressure pushing on your body, your heart, your mind, your spirit—and maintain your balance, without effort or strain, simply balanced and perfect in this moment. Release to the embrace of the earth and feel that there is no work to be done here, no strain, effortless: The world may push, but you carry your balance within yourself, inviolate, unreachable, serene.

The balance of the universe, the balance of all things, begins here. Balanced and perfect, this moment makes all things possible. This balance is here, now, yours and part of you, indivisible, balanced and perfect, ready within you with any blink of an eye.