Excerpt from Finding God in your Family

Early on, we taught our children how to do simple healing prayers for others. Usually it might be for friends in school, relatives, pets, or injured birds, etc. Normally we do the “Divine Mother Prayer,” below:

Divine Mother, Thou art Omnipresent, Thou art in all Thy children. Thou art in (name). Manifest Thy healing presence in his/her body, mind and soul.

Rub the hands together and then lift them up and chant AUM three times, while sending this healing energy to the person.

For very young children, we would rephrase it slightly, such as, “Divine Mother, You are everywhere”…. etc.

It has been very helpful to do “hands-on” healing prayers on the children from time to time. This has been especially helpful for earaches, and belly-aches and “heartaches”. The mother’s touch is very healing for her children. Sometimes, when they had a bad dream, I put them back to bed, placing my hand over the child’s heart. Then I would guide them in a healing, saying, “See Master or Christ sitting in your heat center, full of light… Feel His love filling you and surrounding you… Know that God and the Masters are always with you….”

I would continue in this way, visualizing this light filling the child. Soon the child would let out a deep sigh, letting the tension go.

We also use these healing prayers at special family times, such as birthdays. During the course of the family party, perhaps before presents, we’ll take a few moments to give special appreciation to the person, and then to do a healing prayer, visualizing the person surrounded in light, and then we send three AUMS. The children and the adults all receive this birthday blessing. In fact, at Ananda, this is included in many birthday parties for young and old alike. Children do settle down long enough to give this blessing to their friends, because they know how good it feels to receive it. However, if your child’s friends would find this quite odd, then certainly don’t embarrass the child; save the sacred blessing to do in a quiet moment with the family.  And by the time the kids were teens, this practice was often set aside in the name of being cool.

Over the years, because of my role in the Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry, my children have grown accustomed to the fact that I will receive urgent prayer requests that need immediate attention. Even when they were fairly young, I would ask them to stop playing for a few minutes and to help me pray for the person in need. We would sit on the couch and do the “Divine Mother Prayer”. Their compassion gave them the ability to do this, and to stay focused for a few minutes. When I could feel their concentration waver, I told them it was okay to get up and play quietly, but to please let Mom pray just a little bit longer. I found this worked much better than if I had gone off to my room to pray for a few minutes, because they had been part of the prayer, and it was easier for them to respect what I was doing. They would tend to play quietly while I prayed, and then finally I would get up, thank them, and life went back to normal.

Even as our children entered the teen years, they have asked for healing energy when there is a physical or emotional need. Granted, spiritual healing is an avenue of service in my life anyway, so this is a natural way for me to share with my family, but I offer this here for those who may be able to apply this in their own lives as well. And, of course, any devotee parent can pray for his or her child in the quiet privacy of one’s meditation room.

Praying for the future spouses of the children

Ideally, God’s presence, blessings and guidance should enter into every significant aspect of life and parenthood, and one special application of healing prayers is to occasionally to pray for the future spouses of the children. We have done this long before they would have ever had a chance to have met this special one. It is especially helpful as their interest in the other sex is beginning to awaken, for it gives a deeper and more meaningful direction for this energy flow. Of course, this wasn’t a huge leap for my kids to make because we had done healing prayers together before, so this was simply a new form of it.

I remember one notable occasion in which we did this, but it certainly wasn’t the only time. I first had them hold up the concept of the future husband of Krishnabai, whoever and wherever he might be, but we knew that God does know who and where he is. In this knowledge, we would send the healing energy to bless, guide and protect him through all the questions and temptations of youth. We all felt the energy flow through us to this person, unknown to us then, but known to God. Krishnabai was age 14 at this time of this particular prayer. She first met her husband-to-be when she was age 18 when he came to take a program at Ananda.

We then repeated the process for Peter, who was ten years old, and again we felt the energy flow out of us to his future spouse, unknown to us then. Again we prayed that she be guided and blessed and protected through the teen years.

Interestingly, we then thought we’d try it for David, as well, just to be fair, though he was only two! (He was with us in the living room, also “helping” us pray. Well – at least he was cooperating, and trying to go along with it. We did the same process and felt…nothing. I laughed and said, “She’s probably not even born yet!”

Even though we have only done this a few times as a whole family, Tim and I have done it in our own prayers on behalf of our children, and more importantly, both of my older kids told me that they continued privately to pray this way through the teen years. It has given them a more sacred, respectful perspective for the whole process of falling in love and “looking for the right one.”

More on the Invocation to God, Christ, Guru

Every mother hopes her children will be happy in life, but lasting happiness must flow from something greater than the mother’s heart alone.  As a mother, one of my primary concerns was to give our children every opportunity to develop reverence and devotion to God, and our line of gurus. The gift of this spiritual path is a treasure indeed, and, as I mentioned before, I have long resonated with the scriptural statement, “the greatest gift in all of the three worlds is to have a true Guru.”

A guru can guide his disciples in many ways. Some gurus are silent, some teach through parables. And with any true guru, the deepest help comes from deep within the soul, helping us to let go of harmful tendencies, and to open more fully to God’s grace. We are blessed on this path to have been given so much in written form, in the many books and lessons by Paramhansa Yogananda, a rare form of guidance and a true gift for those ready to apply it in their lives. For this reason, also, I wanted my children to be open to the guru, because from what I could see, his teachings offered the best possible chance for joy and happiness throughout life.