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O Son of Man! The temple of being is My throne; cleanse it of all things, that there I may be established and there I may abide.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Hidden Words, Arabic 58)

I was in a woman’s crisis shelter shortly after my book Violence and Abuse:  Reasons and Remedies had been published.  One of the women in the shelter picked it up and randomly read this quote.  I’ll never forget her comment:  “If I could believe that this quote was true, my struggles with eating disorders would end.”  Such is the power of the transformative words of God.

When I read it I think of my home as my temple, and how I feel peaceful when it’s orderly, organized, clean and tidy.  It’s not a stretch to believe that if I want more peace in my life I need to cleanse my heart of all things (anger, jealousy, bitterness, envy, criticism, suspicion, apathy, lethargy, gossip, backbiting etc), so that it’s a welcoming place for God to reside.

Lately I’m thinking a lot about “being” and “doing”.  Note that this quote talks about the temple of “being” not the temple of “doing”.  I think it means that God wants our company and nearness through prayer, meditation and work done in the spirit of service.  He doesn’t want our “doing” through manipulation and control, approval seeking, people pleasing, caretaking or immersion in all the temptations a materialistic lifestyle has to offer.

Knowing God wants to “be” with me, I can create a clean place inside and out for Him to reside and I am grateful!

What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation?  I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!

If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Strengthening Your Relationship with God

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Our True Life

Nearness to Thee is the true life of them who are Thy lovers.   (Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah, p. 77)

I often wondered why “to know and worship God” is why we were created, and therefore it was our sole purpose in life. I always wanted my life purpose to be something bigger and more tangible, such as to become rich and famous, or to save the world, or to marry a tall dark handsome stranger and live happily forever.  It never occurred to me that not everyone can have those things.  God’s plan for us is always better.

With this quote, my question is answered.  I do it because nearness to God is my true life.  The other life is the materialistic trap I”ve bought into, which creates veils between me and God and prevents me from living my true life.

We’re spiritual beings first, having a human experience, not the other way round, so the trick seems to be, as in everything to find the balance and the point of moderation.

I can remember what my true life is today, and I am grateful!

What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation?  I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!

If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Strengthening Your Relationship with God

Help Keep This Site Alive

Knowing Myself

O My servants! Could ye apprehend with what wonders of My munificence and bounty I have willed to entrust your souls, ye would, of a truth, rid yourselves of attachment to all created things, and would gain a true knowledge of your own selves . . .  (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 326-327)

Although I’ve been aware of this quote for most of my Bahá’í life, I’ve always just focused on the last part but re-reading it this morning, I realize that this quote has 3 components:

  • apprehend the wonders of God’s munificence and bounty He has willed to entrust my soul
  • rid myself of attachment to all created things
  • gain a true knowledge of my own self

I looked up the meaning of “apprehend” and “munificence” and the definitions that made sense to me is to “take in”, God’s “generosity and kindness”.  As someone whose default position is disappointment and self-pity, I’ve come to realize that when I’m stuck in this wrong way of thinking, there is no way I can take in any goodness at all.  The tool that has helped me reverse this trend is through gratitude.  Now, every morning before I get out of bed, I think of at least 5 things I can be grateful for, and at night, before falling asleep, I think of 5 more.  I’m on a morning meeting where I also give thanks for all of God’s blessings and bounties, to help keep me in the solution of my life and not in the problem.

Secondly, I am coming to realize how much of my life is driven by fears of losing what I have and resentment at not getting what I want.  The focus is all on “me”.  When I let go, and give my day to God, and remember that He is my employer, and the only one whose approval I need to seek, my life goes better and I’m better able to take in all the gifts He’s got in store for me.

Finally, for many years, I have resisted getting to know my own self.  I kept myself so busy with work and Bahá’í service that there was no time.  Coming into recovery, I have learned that since God is closer than my life vein, taking time to know myself is also giving me the gift of my life’s purpose:  to know and worship God.

Letting go, and trusting God brings me closer to my true self and makes it easier to accept God’s love and I am grateful.

What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation?  I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!

If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Strengthening Your Relationship with God

Help Keep This Site Alive