“What do you do, how do you help marriages?” I was asked recently by an interviewer for a website about Bhakti (devotee) women. As a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE), a mother of 10, a Senior Minister in the Hare Krsna movement, and a wife to a very kind Muslim gentleman, I reflected on how I am grateful to be a part of the Grihastha Vision Team.
I grew up in a strong Christian family and was always attracted to teaching. My siblings and I laugh today about how I would “pay” them my allowance if they would play school and let me be the teacher. Coming in contact with the Bhagavad gita As It Is when I was a student at the University of Chicago, I fell in love with the life-giving teachings of His Divine Grace, at the ripe old age of 19 years old. Thus, in 1971, I began my long and interesting journey in the Hare Krsna movement. When Srila Prabupada departed, I was impelled to connect with our beloved guru in my heart and through a vision, I was instructed by him to “show people how to have a real Krsna conscious marriage”! Stunned, I scrambled to understand how to do this and what it actually meant. This entailed a surrendering process and when I just submitted to the instruction, Providence provided the training, the husband, the clients and groups of wonderful souls, such as the Greater Cleveland Coalition for Strengthening Marriage, the Grihastha Vison Team, who helped to accomplish the mission.
The providential husband was Tariq and together we co-founded the Dasi-Ziyad Family Institute, facilitating workshops, writing healthy relationship articles and books, designing and implementing marriage and family curricula, teach-out-of the box courses like our 16 hour Parenting for the 21st century, the SELF Healthy Relationship course, and others. Today we’ve provided marriage and family education to hundreds of couples in person, on Skype and by phone. We are committed to seeing healthy, happy children, couples and families in Krsna consciousness.
I first met Tariq Saleem Ziyad when I was 9; he was a young man of 21 who was traveling with a Muslim minister to deliver a care package to a young single mother, my mother. Although, I do not recall that first meeting, he does very well. Later, we met again through divine arrangement, married each other and gradually became married to the mission, and he, in a strong way, is still delivering care.