- What is Detachment?
- How are we Detached?
- Why should we practice the virtue of Detachment?
- When do we practice the virtue of Detachment?
This week we will focus on the virtue of detachment. We will try to understand what detachment is, how we recognize it in others and ourselves, how to practice it, and know when we are successful. Our prayers, quotes, stories, and crafts will all be aids in helping us on this journey. Optional read: Detachment from the Family Virtues Guide
We are Memorizing The Prayer: O Lord! Plant this tender seedling in the garden
O Lord! Plant this tender seedling in the garden of Thy manifold bounties, water it from the fountains of Thy loving-kindness and grant that it may grow into a goodly plant through the outpourings of Thy favor and grace. Thou art the Mighty and the Powerful. ʻAbdu'l-Bahá
On the Wings of Detachment
One day a bird was flying in the sky above
Full of joy and confidence
Soaring in this Paradise, his home
As he flew, his hunger began to grow
So he turned to the water and clay below
He was trapped
By his desire
And his wings got covered in mud
Too heavy to fly,
He could not return to his home
Like that bird I belong to the heavens So I will not cling to the earth below I will not cling to riches
I will not cling to my wishes
I will not cling to anything but God
So I will walk on the feet of detachment
I will soar on the wings of detachment
I will free myself of all attachment
To anything but God (repeat)
The children will memorize a quotation about the quality of detachment, which is the theme of the lesson. You can introduce the theme to them in the following way:
God has created every good thing in this world for us to enjoy – good health, delicious foods, love and friendship, the beauty of nature, and the powers of the mind, which enable us to make discoveries and create inventions to improve the way we live. We should make use of all the bounties of God and be thankful to Him for the joy of living. But we should be careful not to become attached to this world. Our souls must be free at all times; like free and strong birds, they should soar in the heaven of holiness. How sad if a bird remains on the ground, unable to take flight because it is attached to the things around it. Let us memorize the following quotation:
Know that thy true adornment consisteth in the love of God and in thy detachment from all save Him. . .THE SUMMONS OF THE LORD OF HOSTS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH
Meaning Of Words
- Joey has two sausages and some potatoes for his meal. His meal consists of sausages and potatoes.
- An egg consists of three parts: the shell, the white, and the yolk.
- Helgi really wanted to go swimming with his friends. However, he happily stayed home with his younger sister so that his mother could go to the store. Helgi showed detachment from his own plans because he wanted to help his family.
- At the end of the school year, Anjali thought it would be nice to bring flowers to her teacher. Her sister suggested they bake a cake instead. Anjali thinks this is a nice idea. She is detached from her own idea.
- The children all did well on the examination, except one who did not study. All save one student who did well on the test.
- The mother wanted to make a special meal for the family. Then she realized that she could not do so because she did not have one important ingredient. She had all save one ingredient.
Send A Postcard To A Friend
Story About Detachment
One day two men, longtime friends, were discussing spiritual matters over tea. Now, one of these men had accumulated a great many riches during his life and wanted for nothing. The other had much less. “I would like to make a journey to the Holy Land,” said the second to his wealthy friend. The first man replied without hesitation, “This is a wonderful idea! I will join you.” The pair set down their teacups and arose at once, headed in the direction of the Holy Land.
They had been walking for only a short while when night began to fall. The poorer man slowed down and then stopped, saying, “My friend, let us return to our houses to pass the night. It will be more comfortable, and we can start afresh in the morning.” “But why would we turn back?” the other replied. “We are on our way to the Holy Land!” Still, his friend was not satisfied. “The Holy Land is a long distance to travel by foot,” he tried again. “At least let me go back and fetch my donkey, which I am reluctant to leave behind.”
“Then,” the wealthy friend said to the other, “perhaps you are not the one to accompany me on this journey after all. With joy, I have abandoned a great fortune—horses, lands, and fine clothes—but feel no sense of loss. For what greater bounty is there than to spend even a moment in the Holy Land? Are you not able to leave even your donkey behind?” Sadly, he could not let go of his one prized possession. And so he left his friend, who continued on his way to the Holy Land and never looked back once.
Another Story About Detachment
One day King Maḥmúd decided to go on a royal tour of his kingdom. Preparations began immediately and within a few days, the magnificent procession was ready to leave. Ministers, ambassadors, and a great many people of prominence, all wearing their finest clothes, set out with the King, together with his guards and attendants. The King’s faithful servant Ayáz rode by his side, at the very front of the procession.
Each evening the splendid party made camp and the wonderful imperial tent was set up for the King. This tent was the most beautiful tent that anyone had ever seen. Woven from silk of the highest quality, it was decorated with hundreds of jewels and precious stones, which sparkled so brightly in the lamp-light that the light of the moon and stars paled in comparison. Each night the King and his companions feasted and sang. Each morning when the tent was taken down, the jewels were collected and put in a box in the King’s carriage. And so the royal procession went on its way, the King looking contentedly over his peaceful and prosperous kingdom, his companions happily riding and talking during the day, and feasting and singing at night.
One afternoon the King and his entourage were passing through some especially beautiful countryside. So beautiful was it that the King was overcome with a feeling of generosity. He took the jewels from the box and scattered them on the roadside for his companions. As he continued on his way, they all scrambled in great confusion, forgetful of their duties, trying to gather up the precious stones—all that is, except Ayáz. “Look at Ayáz,” they muttered to one another. “He is so proud and arrogant. He cannot even be bothered to pick up any of the jewels that the King has tossed on the roadside.”
“How is it, Ayáz”, the King asked him, “that you do not join the others to gather up my jewels? Are they not precious? Do you not value the things that were mine?”
“Oh, My King,” replied Ayáz. “I have always valued the very least thing that is yours. But to be near you and gaze at your face is more than sufficient for me. Why should I leave your side to scramble for that which you have thrown away?”
And the loyal and steadfast Ayáz rode on by the side of his grateful master, ever vigilant in serving his beloved King.
(I have heard it referred to as “one of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s favorite stories” – but haven’t seen that documented in a reliable source. It’s a little more straightforward and would lend itself well to either a play or puppet-making.
Once there was a king who had many spiritual qualities and whose deeds were based on justice and loving-kindness. He often envied the dervish who had renounced the world and appeared to be free from the cares of this material life, for he roamed the country, slept in any place when night fell, and chanted the praises of his Lord during the day. He lived in poverty, yet thought he owned the whole world. His only possessions were his clothes and a basket in which he carried the food donated by his well-wishers. The king was attracted to this way of life.
Once he invited a well-known dervish to his palace, sat at his feet, and begged him for some lessons about detachment. The dervish was delighted with the invitation. He stayed a few days in the palace and whenever the king was free preached the virtues of a mendicant’s life to him. At last, the king was converted. One day, dressed in the garb of a poor man, he left his palace in the company of the dervish. They had walked together some distance when the dervish realized that he had left his basket behind in the palace. This disturbed him greatly and, informing the king that he could not go without his basket, he begged permission to return for it. But the king admonished him, saying that he himself had left behind his palaces, his wealth, and power, whereas the dervish, who had preached for a lifetime the virtues of detachment, had at last been tested and was found to be attached to this world—his small basket. (From Adib Taherzadeh’s Revelation of Baha’u’llah Volume One)
Ask the children to stand sideways in a circle and extend their left arms inward, joining hands at the center. They should now resemble a wheel, with their arms as its spokes. Next, have the children turn around the center of the circle like a wheel. After they have done so, ask them to move around the space where the class is being held, while turning in a circle and remaining in formation. To add to the challenge, they can try skipping and hopping.
You could make the game even more challenging by having the children sit on the floor in a circle and extend their legs straight out so that their feet touch in the middle. They should then place the palms of their hands on the floor beside their hips. They are now ready to get the wheel moving. To do so, they will all push themselves up with their hands and move one step to the right. They should continue step by step with their hands in this way, keeping their feet in the center of the wheel, until it makes a full rotation.
Give Something Away
Detachment can look like giving something you love away to someone else. Is there something you would like to donate to a charity?
Make Something And Give It To Someone
Make A card
Draw A Picture
Make Any Craft
For ideas check out my Pinterest Board
Make this Photo Holder and put the quote for this lesson or the postcard for this lesson and give to someone.
Color in the bird with the quote