The Christ Child’s Asleep

Have a blessed Christmas –

From our family to yours…

Love in Him,

Mary & Tim

PS. Peter, in the maroon shirt, is our son…

The Christ Child’s Asleep – song by Swami Kriyananda

When Does the Soul Enter the Body?

A lot of people look for this article that I wrote some time ago – so I thought I would post it again here in this scribd format

Young Folks at Ananda

I think you’ll enjoy this short video by college student Rachel Andersen, who grew up here at Ananda Village in Nevada County, California.

And, as you watch you will see many young adult members. Many of them grew up here, and some came to attend Ananda’s Living Wisdom High School. Others moved here right after college, and several attended our very own Ananda College of Living Wisdom.

The video highlights  scenes from Community life, as well as the Living with Spirit program.  That’s a special 2- week program designed for those 18-30 years old to get to know Ananda better in a fun, simple and a little bit rustic manner. Last year the program was such a hit that it is now being offered in three segments highlighting some of the main interests of attendees:

  • Farming and Sustainability, June 23 – July 11
  • The Community Experience, July 11 – 25
  • Deepen Your Spiritual Life, August 1 – 15

And, I want point out that the handsome, well spoken young man in the video (at 2:50) named Peter, is our eldest son. Yes – I am guilty as charged – a proud Mom.  Funny – that reminds me of a comment NayaSwami Kriyananda made to me about Peter, after he did a great job in the play, The Peace Treaty.  Swamiji said, “Didn’t Peter do a great job? Are you proud of him?”  And then he added, laughingly, “Oh – but don’t be too proud!!”

So, without being too proud, I must say I enjoyed seeing how articulate he is  about the spiritual life in general, and his life here at Ananda Village.  He has had many opportunities to dive deep in these teachings, and to see other parts of the world. This combination gives him clarity to choose what is right for him, and to describe it well for others to understand.

God bless you and your family!

Mary Kretzmann

A New Form of Birth?

As we go deeper into the age of Dwapara Yuga (the age of energy) we will see science advance in many ways.  In so doing, mankind may begin to feel “all-powerful.” But, for the perceptive mind, there will always remain the journey of the soul. This will remain essentially the same – though outer circumstances will change – such as technology around birth and death and much more. And the laws of karma always remain, i.e.,  what you put out  – you get back. It may be on time delay – but it will happen.

Anyway – my thoughts ran in this direction after reading this article yesterday:

No men OR women needed: Scientists create sperm and eggs from stem cells

Human eggs and sperm have been grown in the laboratory in research which could change the face of parenthood.

It paves the way for a cure for infertility and could help those left sterile by cancer treatment to have children who are biologically their own.

I was relieved to know that the author thought there might be ethical concerns.   At this point the researchers think they have created preliminary sperm cells and egg cells – which is pretty amazing.  My hat is off to them on a purely scientific level, even if I have misgivings about the direction of the whole deal.

The sperm had heads and short tails and are thought to have been mature enough to fertilise an egg.

The eggs were at a much earlier stage but were still much more developed than any created so far by other scientists…

…The American team used stem cells taken from embryos in the first days of life but
hope to repeat the process with slivers of skin…

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1223617/No-men-OR-women-needed-artificial-sperm-eggs-created-time.html#ixzz0VMRYBHPV

However, there are many ways that the greed aspect of human nature could exploit this science.  At this point, my gut reaction is that some things are better left alone.  However, that is unlikely. Science will continue to evolve. What is needed is for “spiritual  science” to evolve right along with it,  or even more ideally, ahead of it.

In any age – the spiritual truth remains, “Love they neighbor as thyself” and, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This can help in most ethical questions – especially if you also consider the soul nature of all those involved.

In the article “When does the soul enter the body?” I present the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda on the entering at conception.

When the sperm and ovum unite, at the moment of conception, there is a flash of light in the astral world. Souls there that are ready to be reborn, if their vibration matches that of the flash of light, rush to get in…Paramhansa Yogananda

Spiritual Stem Cell Research In his lessons on healing, Yogananda also teaches how a deeply skilled meditator can transform his own stubborn body cells back to the more pliable stem cell state, and then command them to recreate a limb! I have read of a few cases in which this has worked.  I offer it here as an example of “spiritual science” being way ahead of the medical science at this point – not in the normal population certainly – but rather in a few extraordinary human beings.

However, from the teachings of Yogananda, an avatar for this age,  we can at least take some hints toward medical ethics.  For instance, in his above instructions, a person is using his own body cells and spiritually transforming them back to the stem cell state. So, of course – no life is taken in the process. No embryonic cells are needed to create the stems cells.  The material plane corollary is the ever-developing science of converting skin cells into stems cells.

And, of course, in his teachings above, regarding life starting at conception, one can infer compassion for the tiny fetus, and even more especially when that soul has been conceived by spiritual parents.  Even if society becomes more and more jaded regarding the presence of life and the soul in tiny baby – it doesn’t mean that we should all so become hardened in that way.  I mention this because the “norms” of society do have some effect on us, especially to younger people. If something is legal – there is a tendency to think it may also be moral or “okay.”

However, most women do seem to feel, in their heart of hearts, that abortion is wrong – once they have experienced it. They may feel that in the less-than-ideal circumstances it was still their best choice – but they may wish they had done more to avoid the predicament.  Sometimes that is easier said than done.  But – since this is primarily a blog about family life – you can discuss this with your sons and daughters to not take this subject lightly in their own lives.  Again – because something is “legal” – it may feel “okay”  – until they are faced with it.  So – hopefully they will make good choices that lead to a happy outcome.

And – in spite of our best efforts as parents – “life happens.” No matter what challenges you face in your family, lead with love.  Consider all that I have written here simply as helpful commentary for discussions that may arise in a home with teens and ‘tweens.

God bless you all.

Mary Kretzmann

PS – Click below for a wonderfully fun and inspiring Thanksgiving letter written by Yogananda in 1934.

November Healing Newsletter  – printable version:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/21773932/Nov-309-Newsletter

Good Parenting, By Paramhansa Yogananda

I was just leading a friend around my website, and I realized that I did not yet have a direct link to this article by Paramhansa Yoganananda. It is offered here in i-paper format.  It provides some wonderful insights into the balance of helping your child develop free will as well as self-discipline and other good charater traits.

(I also put a link to this at the bottom of my page called “Family Book”)

Do’s and Dont’s of Good Parenting, By Paramhansa Yogananda


Light-keeper for your home:K-9 Web Protection

Updated version of what I wrote in Teens (I’ve since updated that post, too.)

…There are some specifics that will help any family. It is crucial to monitor computer access appropriate to the age level of your child. There are several items available to help you with this.  One is called K-9 Web Protection and it is free.  You can adjust it to fit your concerns. We’ve been happy with it so far, and I find it easy to customize it.

It also does more than simply protect family morals. It probably saved my computer the other day.  My son wanted to download some music – but it was blocked by K-9 because the site had spy-ware on it.  I did a search for a review of the bad website, and the complaints said some people had to have their computers rebuilt.  I’ve since told him to get his music from more reputable websites! But, to his credit, he thought it was okay because McAfee hadn’t warned against it.

There is no way you can keep track of what your kids are doing online just by glancing over their shoulders now and then. K-9 also has a log of internet activity that cannot be erased without the password. (Hint: if you look at history on your computer and it is blank=bad sign. That means some one is covering his or her tracks.) K-9 would also be a big help in any families troubled by online porn. (Unfortunately – good families can be sorely tested by this. Give the wife/mother the password and block porn: very effective.)  I read of one man who asked for this because he was so sick of wasting his time with porn – but he couldn’t break the habit on his own.  So – K-9 can help keep Light in families  on many levels. And as I said – you can customize your settings for your family’s needs…

Teens

Tim and I led a family weekend retreat recently at the Ananda Community in Portland, Oregon.  (I also taught a healing class, as well.)  It was wonderful to see the level of spiritual support and cooperation between the families. This also helps to create a sense of positive peer influence between the kids. Nonetheless, as some children are now entering middle school, they will face situations and temptations that they did not encounter while attending the wonderful Living Wisdom School, a private school that stresses character development along with an excellent, well rounded education.

Tim told some great stories around the campfire on Friday night, including one about a walking fish, which was a great hit, as you can imagine.  He also told a beautiful story at Sunday service. Something that tickled us was that at the end of his story, one little girl,  age 6, whispered something to Tim before leaving with all of the other kids for Sunday school. Tim had just finished his inspiring story about a man feeling God’s profound answer to his prayer… and she got him to lean over, and then whispered to him, “I liked the story about the fish…”

That made us laugh. Oh well – you never know what will sink in… (but  a walking fish is a pretty good bet.)

Teens and tweens

As we parents look at our sweet children approaching the teen years – it is sometimes hard  to fathom the temptations they may face at school, or on the school bus.  Sometimes this leads to a fair amount of wool that can be pulled over the parents eyes! Tim and I are on teen #3, and are thus somewhat prepared, but we can’t let that lull us to go on “auto-pilot.”  We need to stay aware. Each child is individual and brings fresh concerns, so the most important rule of thumb is to stay involved.

However, that being said, there are some specifics that will help any family. One is to monitor computer access appropriate to the age level of your child. There are several items available to help you with this.  One is called K-9 Web Protection and it is free.  You can adjust it to fit your concerns. We’ve been happy with it so far, and I find it easy to customize it.  And, as an added bonus, it probably saved my computer the other day.  My son wanted to download some music – but it was blocked by K-9 because the site had spy-ware on it.  I did a search for a review and the complaints listed said that some people had to have their computers rebuilt… I’ve since told him to get his music from reputable websites!

There is no way you can keep track of what your kids are doing online just by glancing over their shoulders now and then. K-9 also has a log of internet activity that cannot be erased without the password. (Hint: if you look at history on your computer and it is blank=bad sign. That means some one is covering his or her tracks.) K-9 would also be a big help in any families troubled by online porn. (Unfortunately – good families can be sorely tested by this. Give the wife/mother the password and block porn: very effective.  I read of one man who asked for this because he was so sick of wasting his time with porn – but he couldn’t break the habit on his own.  So – I see K-9 as something to help keep Light in families  on many levels. And as I said -you can customize your settings for your family’s needs.

Another very good resource is Parents: The Anti-Drug. Long story short is that they know best what teens are facing right now in this department.  So, it is best to be informed.  And know that your love , clear guidance, and concern is an enormous influence on your child and teen.  Read through the website a little bit each day…

And then – build positive energy in your family. Apply the positive things that you are already inclined to do, and possibly add in some ideas from my free e-book, Finding God in Your Family.  And – pray for your kids…they’ll feel your love and care. Every bit of love and light helps them immensely.

More later…

Take care and God bless…and please feel free to leave helpful comments, or questions…

More on teens can be found here and here.