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Newsletter – on Hope

In this issue – Hope

Becoming an Idealist in a Cynical World

Be Ever Hopeful 

Harbingers: Hope,  Unity and Baha’i 

Hope in Darkness – a Personal Reflection

How not to be Disillusioned

“Keep Your Head Up” By Being Hopeful

Reasons to be Happy

Turning Around Hopeless Situations

Featured Story:

Hopes Answered

I think this is the first story I heard from Inez Greeven, at her home in Carmel , California , around 1980. Please feel free to share it in any way you wish to…
Inez’ sister India Haggarty was a pioneer living in a hotel in Paris in 1931. This was 10 years after the passing of the Master, and 20 years after His visit to that city. There was another pioneer in Paris at that time, and I‘ll call her “Mrs. S”.
One night in 1931 India had a vision of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. He appeared to her and told her that He wanted her to go, right then, to her Bahá’í sister Mrs. S. “Bring her flowers, and bring her money,” He said.
India got up out of bed and immediately prepared herself to leave her hotel. As she was fixing her hair in the mirror, her face was still radiant from the vision of the Master. She called down to the hotel clerk to summon a taxi for her.
She gathered up all of her money. She set aside the money she needed for her personal expenses, and put all the rest of her cash into a small purse.
She went downstairs and asked the clerk, “Where is the nearest florist shop?” The clerk answered that there was one quite close by, but as it was just 5 o‘clock in the morning, it was of course closed.

India said thank-you, and waited for the taxi. When it arrived she said to please take her to that florist shop. The driver said all right, but it’s closed. She said, knowing that the Master had a way for her to get flowers, that he should take her there anyway. They arrived, and the windows were all dark. “I told you it was closed,” the driver said. India said to take her to the next florist shop, and it, too, was closed.
As they drove through the city, they came upon the farmer’s market area, where all of the local growers brought in their vegetables and flowers to sell to the local stores. There was a wagon filled with flowers, and India got out of the taxi and went over to the driver. She came back with an armful of red tulips, and got into the taxi.
She handed the driver a slip of paper with the address of Mrs. S. on it, and they drove across Paris in the early morning darkness.
[At this point in the story, Inez said to me, “Now imagine. A conservative American woman is going across Paris at 5 in the morning to bring flowers and money to another conservative American woman.”]
The taxi dropped India off at Mrs. S’s front door, and she stood there, with her arms full of red tulips. She knocked at the door. She heard a rustling, and the door opened. Mrs. S. was standing inside, wearing a heavy black coat, and it was obvious that she had been crying. Her face showed great distress. Mrs. S looked at India, and at the red tulips, and cried out, “OH! ABDU‘L-BAHA!” and burst into tears.
She sobbed and sobbed.

She and India went into her home and sat down, and India tried to comfort her friend. After she was composed, Mrs. S asked India , “Why have you come here?”
India answered that the Master had come to her in a vision, and that He had told her to bring flowers, and money. She handed the purse to Mrs. S. Mrs. S. was astounded. When she could speak, she said, “You think I am rich. Everyone does. And I did have money, but I ran out, and I was ashamed to tell anyone. There isn’t one speck of food in this house. As you can tell, the house is cold; I cannot afford to heat it. I have been suffering, and I could no longer bear it. I decided last night, to end my life. I awoke this morning, and I went and put on my coat. I decided to cast myself into the Seine, and drown myself. I went to the front door, and was just putting my hand on the doorknob to go out, when suddenly, you knocked. I opened the door, and you were standing there. I could not believe my eyes.
Twenty years ago, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá came to my house, in this city. And when I opened the door to receive Him, He was standing on my front porch — with an armful of red tulips. And to see you standing there with these tulips, and bringing this money, I could not believe it.”

Now THAT’s a true story, because I heard it from Inez Greeven, and she showed me the postcard.

Featured Prayer:

Prayer for Hope in the Bounties of God

O God, my God! Thou art my Hope and my Beloved, my highest Aim and Desire! With great humbleness and entire devotion I pray to Thee to make me a minaret of Thy love in Thy land, a lamp of Thy knowledge among Thy creatures, and a banner of divine bounty in Thy dominion.  Number me with such of Thy servants as have detached themselves from everything but Thee, have sanctified themselves from the transitory things of this world, and have freed themselves from the promptings of the voicers of idle fancies.  Let my heart be dilated with joy through the spirit of confirmation from Thy kingdom, and brighten my eyes by beholding the hosts of divine assistance descending successively upon me from the kingdom of Thine omnipotent glory.  Thou art, in truth, the Almighty, the All-Glorious, the All-Powerful.  (‘Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i Prayers, p. 56)

Featured Video:

 Be Hopeful

This month’s selection is a song called “Be Hopeful”, by a group of collaborators of the Ruhi institute.  It was created for Ruhi Book 3, Grade 1, Lesson 18, to make it easier to for children in children’s classes to learn.  It’s a good song for adults too!

Lyrics and chords for this song

More songs with lyrics and chords for book 3 (grades 1 and 2) in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Persian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish 

Featured Books:

Why We Have Hope 

The euphoria of the new millennium has passed, and now the world is desperately seeking a reason to hope for a better future. That’s why Karen and Justice St. Rain have reissued their best-selling Bahá’í Teachings for a New Millennium with a new cover, title and introduction that speaks to our current needs.

This is the booklet for seekers who want to go straight to the source. Here readers will find over one hundred carefully selected quotations that offer an uplifting and hopeful vision of humanity’s potential. The cover is beautiful. The interior text is deep purple. The type is large.  The quotations cover a wide range of topics, organized around the idea of maturity and God’s love. Section headings include

  • Building a New Relationship with God
  • Spiritual Maturity
  • Tools for Social Progress
  • The Role of Religion
  • Envisioning the Future
  • A Selection of Baha’i Prayers.

Hope is what makes it possible to live through difficult times.  While blind hope allows us to hold on for another day, informed hope offers guidance on how to turn our hopes into reality. Members of the Bahá’í Faith are guided by informed hope that is built upon the founding principles of our religion.

In these pages you will be reminded of God’s love for you. You will gain a greater understanding of what it means to be a child of God, and you will be given some visionary guidance as to how humanity will soon learn to live in peace. By the end, I hope that you will not only understand the Bahá’ís’ hope for the future, but that you will share it.

For more information and to buy the book 

 

Featured Coach:

Chocolate for the Soul – Firoozeh Bowden

 

Firoozeh Bowden has a story of hope and transformation.  She was on one of the last planes to leave Iran, before the US Embassy was seized and the US hostages were taken.  She arrived alone in the US to attend college, not knowing a soul, and not speaking much English!  After college, her goal was to get married, have a family, and do her best to bring up children that were spiritual, balanced, strong, and confident in this world. By her early 30’s, she had not found anyone compatible, and not knowing God had other plans for her, she became depressed.

During her pilgrimage in 1999, she had a very long and sincere conversation with God, and asked him to please show her her mate so that she could share the rest of her life with him.  Two nights in a row while there, she dreamt of a specific gentleman.  In one dream he asked to marry her!  Six months later she met him, and they have been together ever since.

Since her 20’s she suffered with headaches with neck and back pain which got progressively worse, until she was bedridden for 10-15 days a month recovering.  She would get tired very quickly after simple tasks, and her hands and body were almost always shaking.  Various doctors, including MDs, naturopaths, nutritionists and allergy specialists, all had different ideas about what was causing the problems, but most agreed that stress was an important factor.  Life did not seem worth living.  Not being able to create her art, enjoy her loved ones and serve her community was killing her.  Once again she had an openhearted conversation with God.

You can read more of her story here  

As a result of her own healing, she decided to become an energy coach, teaching people to open their hearts and improve their own daily lives by strengthening their connection with God.  Through this process, she helps you discover your higher purpose in the universe.

Firoozeh believes that when stress is allowed to build up and store in our bodies, it closes the connection between us and God. Her clients come to her online sessions to rid themselves of daily stress and to reconnect with Divine Energy in order to refresh and rejuvenate the body so it can naturally heal itself. Her 45 minute sessions start with an assessment of your needs, followed by 25 – 30 minutes of relaxation/meditation, and finally a few minutes to get feedback.

To listen to a sample meditation/relaxation portion of one of her sessions

To visit her homepage

To find her on Facebook

To follow her on Google + 

Featured Business:

Firoozeh, Inc

Firoozeh Bowden is also an artist specializing in handcrafted jewelry, accessories, and other works of art.  She has a wonderful selection of prayer beads, as well as meditation necklaces and bracelets.

She has been making jewelry and clothing accessories since she was a small child and as an adult she studied industrial design and metal smithing.  She’s merged these skills to capture and set the latest trends in contemporary fashion. Her vision for each piece comes from the shapes and patterns she sees in nature, and she incorporates semi-precious stones, leather, chainmail and metal to create accessories that convey both beauty and originality.

At her site you can find earrings, bracelets, necklaces, meditation beads, belts, purses, watches, fantasy art shoes and wall art.  All of her pieces are uniquely hand-crafted and one-of-a-kind, but if you’re interested in an item that has sold, she may be able to fashion a similar piece for you.

To visit her site

To see more of her work on Instagram

To find her on Facebook 

 

Thanks to all who write in!  Your encouragement really keeps me going!  

By the way, I accept donations!  If you like the materials in these newsletters and on my website, please consider making a donation. Your help and feedback is GREATLY appreciated, to defray the costs of making these available to you!!!  There’s a PayPal “Donate” Button at the bottom of every page on my website. Thank you!!!

See you next month!  Hope it’s a month filled with might! 

Newsletter – on Work

In this issue – Work 

The New Business Model – Baha’i Style

A Thought on a Profession

Baha’i Principles – Work, Nobility and Worship 

Becoming Truly Customer-Focused—No Matter Where You Work

Eggs, Starving Artists and True Wealth 

Ethical Leadership: Baha’i Principles at Work

Serving Humanity on the Job

On Work as Worship: Finding a Dream Job as a Baha’i

The Law of Work

Working Joyfully in the Spirit of Service

Featured Story:

3 Stories About Work

One day ‘a man passing by the gates of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s house in Haifa, carrying a basket, put it down as soon as he saw Him, saying that he could not find a porter and had to carry the basket himself. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá remarked afterwards that a man should not feel ashamed of doing useful work.’ (Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 166)

_________________________________________________

During ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s last days at Green Acre He met many people, including one girl who said, “I have come to ask for your assistance. Please tell me what I am fitted to do so that I may occupy myself with it.” The Master asked, “Do you have trust in Me? She replied, “Yes”. He then said to her, “Be a perfect Bahá’í. Associate with Bahá’ís. Study the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh. Then you will be assisted in whatever you undertake to do.” She then said, “I am a good Jewess.” The Master then said: “A good Jew can also become a Bahá’í. The truth of the religion of Moses and Bahá’u’lláh is one. Turn toward Bahá’u’lláh and you will acquire peace and tranquility, you will hear the melody of the kingdom, you will stir people souls and you will attain the highest degree of perfection. Be assured of this.” When she heard the Master’s words she was so impressed that she threw herself at his feet and wept.  (Earl Redman, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Their Midst, p. 172-173)

_________________________________________________

A workman who had left his bag of tools in the hall was welcomed with smiling kindness by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. With a look of sadness the man said: “I don’t know much about religious things, as I have no time for anything but my work.” “That is well. Very well. A day’s work done in the spirit of service is in itself an act of worship. Such work is a prayer unto God.” The man’s face cleared from its shadow of doubt and hesitation, and he went out from the Master’s presence happy and strengthened, as though a weighty burden had been taken away.  (Lady Bloomfield, The Chosen Highway)

Featured Prayer:

Prayer for a Job

We ask God to … raise them unto a station where the world and the lordship thereof shall not turn them aside from looking toward the Supreme Horizon, and where anxiety for gaining a livelihood and providing household goods shall not divert them from the thought of that day whereon the mountains shall be made like carpets … By my Lord, were I given the choice between the glory and opulence, the wealth and dignity, the ease and luxury wherein they are, and the distress and affliction wherein I am, I would certainly choose that wherein I am today, and I would not now exchange one atom of these afflictions for all that hath been created in the kingdom of production! Were it not for affliction in the way of God my continuance would have no sweetness for me, nor would my life profit me … And in all this we give thanks to God, the Lord of the worlds, and we praise Him under all circumstances,—verily He is a witness unto all things.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 79-80)

Featured Video:

For Baha’is, work done in the spirit of service to others is, as Abdu’l-Baha puts it, “the highest form of worship.” In this new series of 3 video essays from Baha’i Teachings,   journalist Temily Tianmay explores the professions, occupations and crafts of various Baha’is, to see how they express the powerful injunction of Baha’u’llah that work equals worship

Work as Worship: Interview with Meena Datwani

Every individual, no matter how handicapped and limited he may be, is under the obligation of engaging in some work or profession, for work, especially when performed in the spirit of service, is according to Bahá’u’lláh a form of worship. It has not only a utilitarian purpose, but has a value in itself, because it draws us nearer to God, and enables us to better grasp His purpose for us in this world. It is obvious, therefore, that the inheritance of wealth cannot make anyone immune from daily work.  (Baha’u’llahThe Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 192)

Work as Worship: Interview with Investment Counselor Peter Oldziey

Man’s merit lieth in service and virtue and not in the pageantry of wealth and riches.  (Baha’u’llah: Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 138)

Work as Worship: Interview with Layli Miller-Muro of the Tahireh Justice Centre

It is enjoined upon every one of you to engage in some form of occupation, such as crafts, trades and the like. We have graciously exalted your engagement in such work to the rank of worship unto God, the True One. Ponder ye in your hearts the grace and the blessings of God and render thanks unto Him at eventide and at dawn. Waste not your time in idleness and sloth. Occupy yourselves with that which profiteth yourselves and others. Thus hath it been decreed in this Tablet from whose horizon the day-star of wisdom and utterance shineth resplendent…. Hold ye fast unto the cord of material means, placing your whole trust in God, the Provider of all means. When anyone occupieth himself in a craft or trade, such occupation itself is regarded in the estimation of God as an act of worship; and this is naught but a token of His infinite and all-pervasive bounty. (Baha’u’llahTablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 26)

Education holds an important place in the new order of things. The education of each child is compulsory. If there is not money enough in a family to educate both the girl and the boy the money must be dedicated to the girl’s education, for she is the potential mother. If there are no parents the community must educate the child. In addition to this widespread education each child must be taught a profession, art, or trade, so that every member of the community will be enabled to earn his own livelihood. Work done in the spirit of service is the highest form of worship. (Abdu’l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 83)

 

Featured Books:      

 

 The Calling: Master Getting and Giving in the World of Work

by Alice Bing

 

What is a career if there is no passion or fulfillment in what you do for others? Considering that the average person spends one third of their day working, the need for job satisfaction and reward is more pressing than ever before. No matter where you are in your professional life, The Calling will inspire you in your search for a meaningful and purpose-driven career. Whether you’re just entering the business world or you’ve found yourself mid-career looking to change paths, you’re sure to find inspiration on every page of The Calling.

For more information and to buy the book 

Featured Coach: 

 

Alice Bing

Our Featured Author, Alice Bing, is also a consultant who makes finding joy at work easier.  She helps you find the career that matches your unique profile, and helps you stay energized and effective in your professional life.  She sees working as an opportunity to make something awesome happen.  She believes we can gain self-fulfilment and make a difference by giving to others.  She will help you reframe and re-imagine everyday subjects about work, to find the profound in the mundane, the significant in the trivial, and the unifying in the controversial.

To visit her homepage

To read her blog

To find her on Facebook

To find her on Linkedin  

Featured Business:

 

 

Canadian entrepreneurs Zack Cooper-Black, Foster Rae, Danjuma Mba, Mia Ohki, Shane Green, Theo Tahririha and Autumn Rae have big dreams to help change the world by helping those who want a brighter future for others build the life of their dreams.

Lots of us want to help the world in many ways, like eliminating poverty or protecting an endangered species, but sometimes the funds to do so aren’t available, and big ideas die. These youth want to eliminate this financial barrier, so that the inventors, creatives, and dreamers can set their ideas loose, with nothing to stop them. They want the ambitious, motivated people in our society to get the support they need to make the world a better place.

Everything Proper Clothing and Apparel sells is unisex, and includes items such as ball caps, baseball jerseys, t-shirts and tank tops.  They sell primarily through farmers markets and will soon have an online store.

By buying their clothes, you’ll be helping fund scholarships that targets people with goals bigger than themselves.  When you wear their clothes, they want you to feel a connection to everyone that supports this idea.

To see their full range of products

To visit their website 

To read an article about them

To find them on Facebook 

Our Readers Write:

Thanks for sharing this dear Susan . I truly enjoyed Tom Price’s talk . It was only half an hour. Is that right?  (Nooshi Samimi Saberi)

I replied:

As far as I know it should be 1:47 hours.  Hope you’re able to hear it all!  It’s definitely worth it!

Thanks to all who write in!  Your encouragement really keeps me going!  

By the way, I accept donations!  If you like the materials in these newsletters and on my website, please consider making a donation. Your help and feedback is GREATLY appreciated, to defray the costs of making these available to you!!!  There’s a PayPal “Donate” Button at the bottom of every page on my website. Thank you!!!

See you next month!  Hope it’s a month filled with all the names of God! 

 

 

Newsletter – on Homosexuality

In this issue – Homosexuality

This is a very sensitive and much misunderstood topic in the Baha’i Faith and it’s one of the areas where we’re under attack.  Sincere Baha’is want to know how to answer questions knowledgeably when they arise in teaching situations.  There are so many negative articles on the internet that it’s hard to wade through them all to find a true and compassionate look at this topic.

Let’s look first at what the House of Justice has recently had to say on this topic:

Universal House of Justice on Homosexuality 19 April 2013

Universal House of Justice on Homosexuality 23 April 2013

Universal House of Justice on Homosexuality 9 May 2014 

Universal House of Justice on Transsexuality 

Universal House of Justice on Homosexuality and Civil Rights

Universal House of Justice on Homosexuality: Biological, or a Learned Behavior?

I believe the following authors have done a good job in tackling this topic and recommend these articles to you.

Question Time

Homosexuality and Civil Rights

The Gay Marriage Issue

Homosexuality again, thanks to Obama

Tom Price Talk on Homosexuality

Being Baha’i and Gay

My BNASAA Story

Featured Story:

Talk to them of the Love of God

Just before Mrs C left the household of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in ‘Akka, ‘He came into her room to say farewell, and seating Himself by the window looked off upon the sea in silence for so long a time that His guest began to wonder if He had forgotten her presence. ‘Then at length He turned to her and said, with that eager speech that is one of His peculiarities: “Mrs C when you go back to New York talk to people about the love of God. People in the world do not talk enough about God. Their conversation is filled with trivialities, and they forget the most momentous subjects. Yet is you speak to them of God they are happy, and presently they open their hearts to you. Often you can not mention this glorious Revelation, for their prejudice would interfere, and they would not listen. But you will find that you can always talk to them about the love of God.”’ ‘Then He went away, and Mrs C sat a long time in the gathering darkness, while the glory of the sun descended upon the glittering waters of the Mediterranean. The fragrant shadows seemed to echo softly with the last words of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: “You will find that you can always talk to them about the love of God.”’ (Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 163)

Featured Prayer:

Prayer for Distress and Anguish

O Lord, my God and my Haven in my distress! My Shield and my Shelter in my woes! My Asylum and Refuge in time of need and in my loneliness my Companion! In my anguish my Solace, and in my solitude a loving Friend! The Remover of the pangs of my sorrows and the Pardoner of my sins! Wholly unto Thee do I turn, fervently imploring Thee with all my heart, my mind and my tongue, to shield me from all that runs counter to Thy will in this, the cycle of Thy divine unity, and to cleanse me of all defilement that will hinder me from seeking, stainless and unsullied, the shade of the tree of Thy grace. Have mercy, O Lord, on the feeble, make whole the sick, and quench the burning thirst. Gladden the bosom wherein the fire of Thy love doth smolder, and set it aglow with the flame of Thy celestial love and spirit. Robe the tabernacles of divine unity with the vesture of holiness, and set upon my head the crown of Thy favor. Illumine my face with the radiance of the orb of Thy bounty, and graciously aid me in ministering at Thy holy threshold. Make my heart overflow with love for Thy creatures and grant that I may become the sign of Thy mercy, the token of Thy grace, the promoter of concord amongst Thy loved ones, devoted unto Thee, uttering Thy commemoration and forgetful of self but ever mindful of what is Thine. O God, my God! Stay not from me the gentle gales of Thy pardon and grace, and deprive me not of the wellsprings of Thine aid and favor. Neath the shade of Thy protecting wings let me nestle, and cast upon me the glance of Thine all-protecting eye. Loose my tongue to laud Thy name amidst Thy people, that my voice may be raised in great assemblies and from my lips may stream the flood of Thy praise. Thou art, in all truth, the Gracious, the Glorified, the Mighty, the Omnipotent.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Prayers, p. 29-30)

Featured Video:

Tony Valadez

This month, we’re featuring the music of Tony Valadez.

To listen to a prayer he created for the Feast of Perfection

Here are the words for those who want to sing along!

O army of God! The time hath come for the effects and perfections of the Most Great Name to be made manifest in this excellent age, so as to establish, beyond any doubt, that this era is the era of Bahá’u’lláh, and this age is distinguished above all other ages.   (Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 71)

To listen to his other songs, visit his YouTube channel

Featured Book:

 

I don’t want to be Tahirih: Homosexuality in the Bahá’í Religion in Theology and Practice

This book by Hanna A. Langer was originally written as a Master’s Degree thesis at the Interfaculty Programme for the Study of Religion at Munich University.  In it she asks 4 questions:

  1. How do homosexuals themselves interpret and understand the core writings?
  2. How do they apply this understanding to their personal lives?
  3. How do they experience community life within the Baha’i Faith?
  4. What is the Institutions’ and believers’ approach towards them?

The book takes a look at different narratives which show that “the homosexuals” are not a homogenous group of people who share common goals or a common understanding of the writings but instead are as diverse as the broader community is. Therefore some people tell about their efforts to live in accordance with the religious law and abstain from sexual relationships, others are welcomed with their same-sex partners and others are shunned. Not everyone experienced a welcoming atmosphere within his or her community, but the book does neither try to sugar coat nor to dramatize.  The author believes the story of homophobia in the Baha’i Faith needs to be shared worldwide, and Hannah’s book is helpful to those who feel they are still being treated as second class citizens.

For more information and to buy the book

Questions and Answers on Homosexuality

By Susan Gammage

I’ve written a book on homosexuality, of which the House of Justice has said:

The House of Justice has indicated in the past its preference that a compilation of materials on the subject of homosexuality not be published.  The House of Justice reaffirms this previous policy and asks you not to publish this booklet.  However, you are entirely free to reproduce and use the material in courses and deepenings facilitated by you.  (Universal House of Justice to the author, 17 February 2005).

If you are interested in reading the book, write and tell me how you will use it and if I feel you meet this criteria, I will be happy to send you a copy.

Featured Coach:

Mary K. Radpour

Mary K. Radpour is a psychotherapist with more than 30 years’ experience and extensive training in a variety of therapeutic modalities. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, teaching in the areas of psychology, social work and women’s studies; is a founding member of the Baha’i Association of Mental Health Professionals and a board member of the Baha’i Network on AIDS, Sexuality, Addictions, and Abuse. www.bnasaa.org She has served as an Auxiliary Board Member and is a Faculty Member of the Wilmette Institute.

She is a frequent speaker at Bahá’í schools and conferences, on the topics of spirituality, sexuality, and mental health and has worked with individuals, families and groups, focusing on these and the following issues:

  • Post-trauma symptoms, resulting from physical, emotional and sexual abuse
  • Phobias
  • Depression and dysthymia
  • Anxiety
  • Family and Relationship conflicts
  • Gay and lesbian relationships
  • Sexual issues, such as gender confusion, sexual addiction, and sexual confusion resulting from rape or abuse
  • Grief Counseling
  • Adolescent issues

In addition to being a Certified Mediator, Mrs. Radpour has trained in the following therapeutic modalities:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Family systems and strategic family systems therapy
  • Hypnosis and hypnotherapy
  • Transactional Analysis
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Rapid Trauma Resolution
  • Mindfulness Focus therapy

She prefers to work in person, but does offer telephone consultations which focus on problem-solving, with individuals who are feeling distressed related to situations or circumstances in their current lives.

To view her PowerPoint on Sexuality and the Baha’i Teachings

To read about her talk at the Sexuality and Homosexuality Conference 

To learn more about the books she’s written

To visit her home page

Featured Business:

Jeffrey Reddick

Jeffrey Reddick is a Baha’i filmmaker best known for creating the Final Destination horror film franchise, which spawned four successful sequels as well as comic books and novels. Final Destination centers on a character who has a premonition of a terrible accident that will kill numerous people. While they escape from the scene of the accident before it happens, they are later killed in a series of complex, bizarre accidents.  The series is noteworthy amongst others in the horror genre in that the “villain” of the movies is not the stereotypical slasher, but Death itself whose intent is to claim the lives of those who manage to escape their fates.

Jeffrey is also known for a thriller called Tamara;  the story of an unattractive girl, who is picked on by her peers and returns after her death as a sexy seductress to exact revenge; and the remake of George Romero’s classic, Day of the Dead, where a small Colorado town is overrun by the flesh hungry dead and a small group of survivors try to escape in a last ditch effort to stay alive.

Recently he produced his first 10 minute short, directed with Rainn Wilson, called Good Samaritan which deals with the consequences of not helping someone in need and overcoming your fears to do the right thing. It’s an intense horror short about a man who gets brutally assaulted while witnesses stand by and do nothing. There is some is some scary and intense imagery that may not be appropriate for everyone. But if you want to see a creepy morality tale you can see it here:

 

To see other movies on his YouTube Channel

To read more about him

To read the Slice And Dice Interview: Final Destination Creator Jeffrey Reddick

To read The Gay Mind Behind Final Destination

To read his advice to screenwriters on creating a film franchise

To find his books on Amazon

To find him on Facebook 

To follow him on Twitter

Our Readers Write:

  1. I liked your story and compilation on divorce. What struck me personally as being a little unusual was the following description after the compilation:   “Zia Holte:  This month, we look at the music of Zia Holte – a singer songwriter with a clear, versatile, vocal range from sex kitten to mother next-door. Her voice can be heard on audiobooks, documentaries, jingles, movie trailers, radio, television and videogames.”  I was wondering why Zia’s range needed to include sex kitten. You wrote the book, “The Courage to be Chaste in a Sexual World”. Doesn’t the description “sex kitten” belong in the sexual world? Is it an apt description for a human being?  Just curious.  It did occur to me, of course, that the description wasn’t written by you, and that you had just copied it off somewhere.  (Sarmad Garmroud)

I replied:

Good catch Sarmad!  I’m embarrassed I didn’t catch that myself – was hurrying to get it done, with my mind in several places.  I’ve deleted that whole phrase.  Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

Other comments:

Thx it is beautiful  (Sophie Tekie)

Thank you dear Susan for all you do. The angels of the Abha kingdom so graciously assist us all.  (Loren Ritacca)

Susan, Definitely worth the wait. Thank you.  (Robert Moshrefzadeh)

This is the first time I’ve received your newsletter.  Thank you so much for your service!  (Ladjamaya Green)

Dearest Susan.  Good Grief! I can’t believe just how much you do for us, your readers. I am so thankful for the nature and quality of your work, and that you want to and are able to get it to us.   You are a wonder!  (Patrice Henderson)

 

Thanks to all who write in!  Your encouragement really keeps me going!  

By the way, I accept donations!  If you like the materials in these newsletters and on my website, please consider making a donation. Your help and feedback is GREATLY appreciated, to defray the costs of making these available to you!!!  There’s a PayPal “Donate” Button at the bottom of every page on my website. Thank you!!!

See you next month!  Hope it’s a month filled with perfection on many levels! 

 

Newsletter – on the Hidden Words

 In this issue – The Hidden Words

9 Songs to Help You Memorize The Hidden Words

Baha’i Hidden Words in Images

Baha’i Song Project – Hidden Words

Baha’i Video – Hidden Words

Discovering the Hidden Words

Persian Hidden Words, Number 71

The Hidden Words of Baha’u’llah — a talk by Hand of the Cause Abu’l-Qasim Faizi

Transcript of a talk by Hand of the Cause of God A. Q. Faizí

The Hidden Words of Baha’u’llah (Persian and Arabic)

Apps

The Hidden Words: Baha’i Reading Plan for iPhone and iPad

The Hidden Words for Android

Download Android App Baha’i: The Hidden Words for Samsung

Featured Stories:

3 Stories About How ‘Abdu’l-Baha Showed Mercy

1. He had left orders that none were to be turned away, but one who had twice vainly sought his presence, and was, through some oversight, prevented from seeing him, wrote a heartbreaking letter showing that he thought himself rebuffed. It was translated by the Persian interpreter. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá at once put on his coat, and, turning towards the door, said, with an expression of unspeakable sadness, “A friend of mine has been martyred, and I am very grieved. I go out alone.” and he swept down the steps. One could then see how well the title of “Master” became him.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 109)

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The demands on ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s time were constant. The English Bahá’ís tried to organize the flow of those seeking interviews and instituted a system of official appointments. One day, a woman appeared at the door and asked if she could see ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. When asked if she had an appointment, she admitted that she had not and was promptly told, “I am sorry but He is occupied now with most important people, and cannot be disturbed.” Sadly, the woman slowly turned away, but before she could reach the bottom of the steps, a messenger from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá rushed out and breathlessly said, “He wishes to see you, come back!” From the house came the powerful voice of the Master: “A heart has been hurt, hasten, hasten, bring her to Me.”  (Earl Redman, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Their Midst, p.36)

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Two days earlier, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had granted a final interview to Harriet Cline and Henrietta Wagner, who were to leave for California, the following day. They waited for their interview with many others until someone announced, “there will be no more interviews this morning.” The two women were crushed and sat there in shock at the thought of going home without seeing the Master one last time. But then came the Master’s melodious voice calling, “Mrs. Klein then Mrs. Wagner.” When Mrs. Klein entered ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s presence, He put an arm around her and said, “You are my daughter, you are my daughter. I have prayed for you many, many times.” Her tears poured out uncontrollably until she looked up into ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s eyes. His smile and happiness suddenly filled her and, she said, “a sense of great inner calmness took possession of my soul.”  (Earl Redman, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Their Midst, p. 118)

Featured Prayers:

Prayers for God’s Mercy

Thou seest Thy handmaiden, O my God, standing before the habitation of Thy mercy, and calling upon Thee by Thy name which Thou hast chosen above all other names and set up over all that are in heaven and on earth. Send down upon her the breaths of Thy mercy, that she may be carried away wholly from herself, and be drawn entirely towards the seat which, resplendent with the glory of Thy face, sheddeth afar the radiance of Thy sovereignty, and is established as Thy throne. Potent art Thou to do what Thou willest. No God is there beside Thee, the All-Glorious, the Most Bountiful.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 148)

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I beseech Thee, by Thy mercy that hath surpassed all created things, and Thy grace that hath embraced the entire creation, to accept from Thy servants what they are capable of showing forth in Thy path. Aid them, then, by Thy strengthening grace, to exalt Thy word and to blazon Thy praise. Powerful art Thou to do what pleaseth Thee. Thou, truly, art the All-Glorious, the All-Wise.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 149-150)

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I beg of Thee to assist them! Do refresh these faded souls with the drops of the cloud of Thy gifts, and do illumine these lowly beings through the effulgences of the sun of Thy Singleness! I pray Thee to cast these thirsty fishes into the sea of Thy mercy; guide their lost caravan unto the asylum of Thy unity; direct these bewildered souls unto the fountain of Thy guidance, and cause these wanderers to abide in the shelter of Thy might. Suffer the thirst ones to drink from the Sweet Water of Thy gifts, and quicken the dead by eternal life. Endow the blind with light, the deaf with hearing, the dumb with speech, the lukewarm with energy, the heedless with mindfulness, the sleepers with wakefulness, and the proud with humility. Verily, Thou art the Powerful, Thou art the Forgiver! Thou art the Loving! Verily, Thou art the Generous, the Most High!
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 369-370)

 Featured Video:

This month’s featured video shows two of Bahá’u’ll’áh’s Hidden Words beautifully sung in Acappella style.

O SON OF SPIRIT! My first counsel is this: Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart, that thine may be a sovereignty ancient, imperishable and everlasting.  (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 1)

O SON OF BEING!  Thy heart is My home; sanctify it for My descent. Thy spirit is My place of revelation; cleanse it for My manifestation.  (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 59)

 

For those who are struggling with self-worth, Nabil Moghaddam talks about how we can use this hidden word to help:

O SON OF SPIRIT!

My claim on thee is great, it cannot be forgotten. My grace to thee is plenteous, it cannot be veiled. My love has made in thee its home, it cannot be concealed. My light is manifest to thee, it cannot be obscured.  (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 20)

Featured Book:

The Hidden Words of Baha’u’llah

The Hidden Words of Baha’u’llah consists of about 153 short paragraphs in two parts – Persian and Arabic. It’s a collection of lyrical, gem-like verses of scripture that convey timeless spiritual wisdom clothed in the garment of brevity. The Hidden Words is one of the most important and cherished scriptural works of the Baha’i Faith. The verses are a perfect guidebook to walking a spiritual path and drawing closer to God. They address themes such as turning to God, humility, detachment and love, to name but a few. These verses are among Baha’u’llah’s earliest and best known works.  They have been translated into more than seventy languages and read by millions worldwide.  You’ll want to get your copy, if you don’t own it already!

Featured Coach:

Shannon Beck

Shannon Beck is a certified professional life coach who provides you the opportunity to transform your weakness into strengths, your fears into action and your pain into your greatest triumph. She specializes in helping older men (45 and up) work on communication, stress, relationships, professional and personal development; and finding more meaning and joy in those later years.  She also works with young women (18-35) on personal/career development, finding their own voice, strength and balance as they come into their own.

With the help of Endless Ocean Coaching, you’ll receive the personalized guidance you need to release your inner radiance. Whether you’re looking for general life direction or want to advance your career, Shannon can give you the tools that will enable you to achieve your goals.

Through Shannon’s energizing coaching sessions, you’ll quickly realize that your life contains an ocean of possibilities. Reaching that ocean may only be a matter of recognizing the obstacles in your way, so she’s here to empower you to keep moving forward. When you choose to enroll in her services, you’re not only making the choice to grow, you’re learning how to change your reality.

Looking for better communication, less stress, more productivity, better work and personal relationships, gained emotional intelligence and an overall better quality of life?  Give Shannon a try!

 

To hear her talk about her coaching practice

To visit her home page

To read her blog

To follow her on Facebook

To find her on Linkedin

 

Featured Business:

 

Dr. O’Mead Rahmanian

This month I’d like to feature the work of Dr. O’Mead Rahmanian, a chiropractor in Alaska, a reader of this newsletter; and a member of the NSA of Alaska.  When he read that 5 months after breaking my ankle, I was still in a lot of pain, couldn’t walk or drive and was at my whit’s end, he gave me a call, quickly diagnosed the problem, and immediately gave me LOTS of easily do-able exercises and nutritional supplements to break down the scar tissue.  Best of all, he gave me the “attitude adjustment” I needed to overcome my challenges.  Because it was grounded in the Writings, it was easy to swallow!  In less than a week, I was able to walk without pain! His follow up calls really kept me motivated, propelled my recovery forward and enabled me to increase the range of motion so I could walk again!

Omid is well-known for his ability to locate the source of pain in his patients, which has won him county-wide recognition from his peers, as well as from traditional and holistic health practitioners alike.  I wasn’t at all surprised to learn that prior to pioneering to Alaska, he was voted Doctor of Choice for North County San Diego and was featured on Channel 6 Health Living in San Diego.

Omid sincerely wants to help people live a pain-free and healthy lifestyle; a life without limits.  With you, he designs a personalized wellness plan that combines nutritional, rehabilitation and ergonomic suggestions along with non-invasive and highly-effective chiropractic services.  He also throws in a smattering of absolutely timely and well-presented quotes from the Writings that I appreciated very much.  It was like having my very own Baha’i-Inspired Life Coach!

To learn more about his practice

 

To watch a patient give a testimonial

 

To visit his webpage

To find him on Facebook 

To follow him on Twitter

Thanks to all who write in!  Your encouragement really keeps me going!  

By the way, I accept donations!  If you like the materials in these newsletters and on my website, please consider making a donation. Your help and feedback is GREATLY appreciated, to defray the costs of making these available to you!!!  There’s a PayPal “Donate” Button at the bottom of every page on my website. Thank you!!!

See you next month!  Hope it’s a month filled with mercy! 

Newsletter – on Divorce

 In this issue – Divorce

Compilation on Divorce

Considering Divorce?  Read this First 

Divorce  

Divorce  

Divorce Quotes from Lights of Guidance

Divorce Resistance

Finding Love Again

How do I know when it’s time to Divorce?

Life After Divorce

Featured Story:

Would You Rather Be A Flower Or A Ray Of Sunshine?

I was asked to say a few words to the dear South African believers who are here today. I thought I could tell you about a tablet, a very short tablet, revealed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. The contents of this Tablet are as follows: the Master says the relationships of the believers to the Cause of God are of two kinds. One kind is like the relationship of the flower to the garden. The other relationship is that of the ray of the sun to the sun. “I hope”, Master says, “that your relationship will be of the second kind”. And that is the end of the Tablet!

Now, I have been thinking about this Tablet, and I have been wondering why ‘Abdu’l-Bahá says that he prefers the second kind to the first kind. There is nothing wrong in being a flower in the garden of Bahá’u’lláh. In fact, we have prayers, “O God, make me a flower in Thy garden”. Why is it that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá prefers the other type, which is the ray of the sun?

The sun is the Cause of God, and the ray emanates from it. So I am offering my views, my humble views, about this beautiful, simple tablet of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

I thought like this, I said, OK, we have a flower in a garden, the flower says, “I like this garden”, in other words, we say, we like the Cause. “I like this garden, I grow in this garden, I am proud of my garden, I am named after this garden”.  (I am a Bahá’í) OK, this is all good.

We take the ray of the sun. The ray says exactly all these things, he says, “I am from the sun, I am proud of the sun, I depend everything, all my life on the sun,” etc, etc, exactly the same thing.

But, if you bring one ray and you bring a second ray, what happens? The two rays become one. But if you bring one flower and you bring another flower, they remain two flowers. If on an Assembly or a Bahá’í committee, you bring nine rays and bring them together, they become one strong united ray. But if you bring nine flowers and bring them together, they are a beautiful bouquet, a beautiful flower arrangement, but they are nine different flowers.

If we credit the flower with some thinking, some intelligence and some ego, the flower will say, “Really, I don’t want to say, but I think I‘m better than the others. I think I‘m more beautiful, I think I have a more beautiful scent. I don’t want to talk about it, but… never mind…” This is what the flower will do. Why, because of the ego. The ego is inside. And believe me, this animal ego is in all of us. If we have 20 people in this room, there are 20 egos, no exception. And this ego will be with us till the very last breath. When we go to the next world, we separate, we say goodbye. But until that day, it is with us, it suggests things to us, it deviates us from the right path, because that is the animal in us, it wants everything for itself.

OK, let’s go to the ray now. The ray says, “I have no name, it doesn’t matter. I don’t have colour, it doesn’t matter. I am from the sun. My job is to be faithful and to carry the light of the sun, the heat of the sun. That is my duty. And I am doing it.” It is so pure that if you take a chair, and you go outside where there is the sun, you say, “I am sitting in the sun.” Ha! You are not sitting in the sun. The sun is up there! But the ray is so faithful, so pure, that it carries all the qualities of the sun, in a pure way, so much so that you say I am sitting in the sun.

Now, another difference is that the flower is on the receiving end.” Soil, give me good soil, water, give me good water, light and sun, I want more light.” It’s all the time receiving. “Give me.”

What does the ray do? It doesn’t want anything, the ray gives, it helps the flowers to grow. Big difference between the two!!

So, that is why I think ‘Abdu’l-Bahá says, “It’s good to be a flower in the garden, but better still is to be a ray of the sun. This is my first choice for you, this is what I prefer you to be. To be a ray from the sun, so that you give to others, you are a way of helping others. You are not thinking of yourself. You are thinking of others, to assist others all the time, to give the light, to give the heat, the warmth.  (Ali Nakhjavani, Pilgrim’s Notes)

Featured Prayer:

Prayer for Unity

 Bring them together again, O Lord, by the Power of Thy Covenant, and gather their dispersion by the Might of Thy Promise, and unite their hearts by the dominion of Thy Love! Cause them to love one another so as to sacrifice their spirits, expend their money and give up their desires for each other’s sake! O Lord, make to descend upon them quietness and tranquillity! Shower upon them the clouds of Thy Mercy in full abundance, and make them to characterize themselves with the characteristics of the spiritual! O Lord, hold us firm in Thy noble command, and bestow upon us Thy Gifts through Thy bounty, grace and beneficence! Verily, Thou art the Generous, the Merciful, and the Benevolent.  (‘Abdu’l-Baha, Star of the West, Volume 5 – Issue 15)

Featured Video:

 Zia Holte

This month, we look at the music of Zia Holte – a singer songwriter with a clear, versatile, vocal range.  To listen to her version of this love song called “I will Love You” by Fisher

Check out her original songs

Find her devotional music

To find her on YouTube

Featured Book:

 Letters From Your Angels

 If you had a direct connection to angels, what would you want, or even need them to say?

This month’s book selection, “Letters From Your Angels” by Zia Holte, is a collection of stunning, non-denominational images, carefully combined with heart-warming words of love, comfort and hope… Words we all need to hear from time to time, but especially during the many challenges life can confront us with.

Read it from beginning to end for a guided journey through the wisdom your angels want to share. Or open to any page to receive the message your angels want you to hear most, at this moment. This book is a gift of love and joy for yourself, loved ones, and anyone who needs an infusion of angelic light—no matter your background or faith.

Zia describes how this book came into being:

In February 2013 my step-father, Roger Harvey, the only Dad I had ever truly known, was murdered. As horrific as this was, the event was all the more traumatic for the fact that he was killed by my very ill brother. In the grief that ensued, I had to turn to my angels like never before… and I could feel them close, comforting me. While the pain and sadness was debilatating, I had a strong sense that somewhere in the mire there would be meaning. I had that hope and clung to it, looking for every gift, every tiny moment of joy, I could.  Somewhere along the way I was inspired to start writing a series of “letters”. As I drove up and down Vancouver Island for the funeral arrangements, court procedures and more… I found myself recording more and more letters on my iPhone’s voice memo app. That was the start of “Letters From Your Angels.”

To buy the book

Featured Business:

Reza Mostmand Calligraphy

Reza Mostmand is a Persian-Canadian whose calligraphy is an art of discipline and grace.   As you can see, his work is a mix of drawing/painting and writing, which allows him to  transcend cultural traditions and expectations about the interplay of words and images on the canvas. Many of his pieces are inspired by words from the Baha’i writings, which explore the mysteries of spiritual and material realms of existence.  In this digital age, everything he does, is still done by hand.

In the piece above, called ‘Valiant Horseman II’, the calligraphy and picture are based on this quote:

O ye servants of the Sacred Threshold! The triumphant hosts of the Celestial Concourse, arrayed and marshalled in the Realms above, stand ready and expectant to assist and assure victory to that valiant horseman who with confidence spurs on his charger into the arena of service. Well is it with that fearless warrior, who armed with the power of true Knowledge, hastens unto the field, disperses the armies of ignorance, and scatters the hosts of error, who holds aloft the Standard of Divine Guidance, and sounds the Clarion of Victory. By the righteousness of the Lord! He hath achieved a glorious triumph and obtained the true victory.  (Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 264)

In an interview with Baha’i Blog,  he describes the process he uses:

Often I start with a verse that I like and resonates with me, and depending on the length of the verse I sketch different layout options on paper, and choose the best. Then I determine the steps that are required to create the piece. I usually start by making a light sketch of the design on the final paper and decide where the writings and the visual elements go, the size of the pen I should use and the colours that would suit best. Once the Verse is written and drawings are done, I erase the pencil marks, add colours if necessary and look at the piece from far away to see how well it balance and if it needs any more elements. When the work is done I spray a matte coating over the piece which protects the ink and the paper and makes the piece last longer, and then worry about a complementary matte and frame.

To see his home page

To scroll through his gallery

To read an article about him

To find him on Facebook

To find him on Linkedin

 

Thanks to all who write in!  Your encouragement really keeps me going!  

By the way, I accept donations!  If you like the materials in these newsletters and on my website, please consider making a donation. Your help and feedback is GREATLY appreciated, to defray the costs of making these available to you!!!  There’s a PayPal “Donate” Button at the bottom of every page on my website. Thank you!!!

See you next month!  Hope it’s a month filled with light! 

Newsletter – on Strengthening Marriage

In this issue – Strengthening Marriage

10 Ideas for Consulting Effectively in Your Marriage

Checklist for Effective Consultation

Dealing with Anger in Marriage 

Handling Disagreements

Having a Baby will Fix Everything

Learning to Transform a Loveless Marriage

My Will vs God’s Will in Getting Pregnant

Preserving Bahá’í Marriages

Preventing and Responding to Infidelity

Resources for Troubled Marriages/Marriages in Difficulty

Using the Marriage Tablet as a Prescription for Preventing and Healing Troubled Marriages 

When Marriage Becomes Abusive

Why Do Good Relationships Go Bad and What Can We Do to Get them Back?

Featured Story:

Two Stories about ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s Wedding

1.    Before His wedding day, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá made the necessary arrangements for the few guests. His mother and sister made a delicate bridal dress of white batiste. A white head-dress adorned Munirih Khanum’s hair, worn, as usual, in two braids. At nine in the evening she went with the Greatest Holy Leaf into the presence of Bahá’u’lláh, Who gave her His blessing. She then went to the bridal room and awaited the coming of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. The service was very simple. At about ten o‘clock ‘Abdu’l-Bahá came, accompanied by the guests, and Munirih Khanum chanted a tablet revealed by Bahá’u’lláh. ‘Later, the wife of ‘Abbud recalled the sweetness of that chanting still ringing in her ears.’ There were no choir, decorations or cake – just cups of tea. Above all, a glory and a love there were more than sufficient to bless the happy event.
(Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá)

_________________________________________

2.    The occasion of the wedding had one peculiar feature so characteristic of my brother that I will mention it. Our marriage service is very simple, consisting of the reading of a tablet and the exchange of promises by the contracting parties. It is usually followed by feasting and the entertainment of friends until late at night.
Our Master had made, personally and with great care, all the preparations for receiving and entertaining the guests. The ceremony was performed by the Blessed Perfection about two P.M. My brother then quietly withdrew without speaking to any one, and did not return until after the guests had dispersed.
It was not from want of consideration for the solemnity of the occasion or for his bride that he did this, for the tender affection which he has always shown for her disproves this; or for his guests, for his minute attention to the arrangements for their pleasure disproves this also. But it was his habit to spend this part of the day and the evening in visiting the poor and sick and explaining the Koran, he being frequently thus occupied until a late hour. He never permitted his own affairs to interfere with the discharge of these duties, and was unwilling to neglect them even on this occasion.  (Myron Henry Phelps and Bahiyyih Khanum, Life and Teachings of Abbas Effendi, p. 91-92)

Featured Prayer:

Prayer for Unity

Featured Video:

 

Nedi Safa

Nedi Safa is a Singer, Songwriter, Composer, Activist and Yogi.  Her CDs and recordings have sold in all continents of the world, and her last web concert was viewed in 16 countries.  NEDI created all the music and lyrics on her “Mystery & Mischief” album; is the author of the Autism Anthem “Not a One of Us” and has appeared on Radio and Television in her native California, in the Far East, and in Europe.

This month I’d like to feature her original song In Love with You

 

To read her story

To watch more of her videos

To visit her homepage

To see her live in concert 

To find her on Facebook

To follow her on Google+

To buy her music

Featured Book:

 

Mindful Matrimony

Mindful Matrimony by Raymond and Furugh Switzer looks at the new reality of marriage in this time of transition.

They believe that all of our essential relationships are in turmoil and humanity is scrambling to find its new ground. While many people are experiencing these massive shifts as painful and confusing, the Bahá’í Writings, which have anticipated this dislocation in human affairs, make it clear that these changes are necessary and are the birthing pains for the establishment of a new reality. We are making the great shift from our collective adolescence into the coming of age of the human race.

The Switzer’s worry that if we fail to recognize that the requirements of marriage have also expanded, we will fall into the marital malaise that has seized most couples on the planet.

Marriage can be either a nightmare or a source of joy and enrichment – the former if we continue our old patterns; the latter if we can awaken to, and move beyond, the unconscious patterns most of us fall into all too easily.
The authors believe that marriage can now fulfil its highest potential and become an unprecedented source of well-being. We are now in a position to access a new level of consciousness and integrate the new principles which are the very ‘spirit of this age’.

This book answers the question: what does a ‘mindful marriage’ look like?

For more information and to buy the book

Featured Coach:

 

Raymond and Furugh Switzer

Raymond and Furugh Switzer are trained in Imago Couples Therapy and often work together in couples counselling. They have given numerous seminars and workshops on courtship, marriage and parenting across Europe.  Raymond is a psychologist from Canada; Furugh a sociologist from Iran. They have been married for twenty-two years, and currently live in Hungary.

They believe that every couple is capable and deserving of a fulfilling, loving and enduring marriage and offer therapy for struggling couples and coaching programs for couples wanting to enrich their relationship.

Raymond specializes in:

  • Addictions, codependency
  • Grief, loss
  • Cross-cultural issues and concerns
  • Self-esteem
  • Panic, Anxiety and Depression
  • Separation and divorce
  • Managing Conflict and Anger
  • Managing and Reducing Stress
  • Recovery from Domestic and Sexual Abuse
  • Dealing With Life Transitions
  • Normal Problems of Everyday Life
  • Everyday life skills
  • Job Burnout and Career Shifts

For more information on Raymond

For more information on their counselling program

To visit their home page

Featured Business:

 

The Story Telling Mothers Project

MESÉD (The Story Telling Mothers project) was originally conceived by Furugh and Raymond Switzer in 2003. Furugh then piloted it as a personal initiative with funds for materials provided by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Hungary. Since 2006 it been operating in many different localities in Hungary in cooperation with local governmental agencies and receiving further support from the Open Society Institute as well as the Roma Education Fund.

This project aims to reach mothers, mostly from Roma background, who dropped out of school at an early age due to feelings of failure and lack of competency, which left them with an aversion towards reading and books. This negative association with book learning, when left unchecked, is passed onto their children and the pattern of educational failure continues.

Through use of attractive children story books, Meséd attempts to change this cycle by creating a positive experience in relation to books and reading which can immediately be put into practice with their children.

Through weekly sessions, and with the help of trained facilitators, mothers are introduced to simple children’s story books. They regain and improve their skills of reading and are encouraged to discuss and use the stories in a meaningful manner. In an atmosphere of support and acceptance, mothers begin to enjoy reading and talking about the stories. This also leads to sharing of real life stories and talking about issues that concern them.

Every week the mothers are given the book as a gift and their task is to read the story to their children every night using the skills they have learned in discussing the stories with their children..

The story telling project has three phases.

  • The first phase concentrates on developing reading skills.
  • In the second phase the element of writing is added and the use of arts including drawing and painting is encouraged. With greater proficiency in reading and writing mothers engage in writing stories of their own.
  • In the third phase through the use of drama the participants develop skills in handling the challenging situations facing them in their daily life such as relating to kindergarten teachers, doctors, employers, etc. In this part of the project mothers also take on service projects to help with the development of community and society around them.

One of the goals of Meséd is to eventually motivate and equip mothers to further their own further education.

Meséd is transforming the lives of Roma women and their children in Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Macedonia, Albania, and Kosovo.

To read more about Furugh and the Storytelling Mothers

To visit their website

To see videos on the project 

To find them on Facebook

Our Readers Write:

Thanks for sharing Susan your articles are amazing!  (Niamh Fitzsimons)

I am truly glad that you have recovered from your fall and can now drive and
move about without much difficulty.  Enjoying your newsletter and sharing with many.
(Kantha Kumar in Malaysia)

 

Thanks to all who write in!  Your encouragement really keeps me going!  

By the way, I accept donations!  If you like the materials in these newsletters and on my website, please consider making a donation. Your help and feedback is GREATLY appreciated, to defray the costs of making these available to you!!!  There’s a PayPal “Donate” Button at the bottom of every page on my website. Thank you!!!

See you next month!  Hope it’s a month filled with grandeur!