Change is an evolutionary process requiring loving education, patience with oneself and others, and the passage of time as the believers deepen their knowledge of the principles of the Faith, gradually discard long-held traditional attitudes and progressively conform their lives to the unifying Teachings of the Cause. (Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 621)
I’m just learning how harsh I am with myself – I beat myself up so often, especially when I read the Bahá’í Writings. I see how far I am from being the kind of Bahá’í I want to be, and it fills me with contempt and self-hatred. I recognize this well-worn rut for what it is – it’s become my addiction. Putting these negative thoughts on the hamster wheel inside my head and nursing them gives me the adrenaline rush I’ve come to know and depend on, just as an alcoholic depends on the next drink or the drug addict on the next fix. Something needs to change. I’m powerless to do it myself. Along comes this quote, and challenges the voices inside my head.
It’s OK to not be perfect! Change is an evolution. I’m not expected to go from awareness to perfection, without the need for further loving education, patience and the passage of time. Beating myself up is hardly the kind of education that works with anyone. In fact I would never do to others what I do to myself. I can take a deep breath, and breathe in God’s love for me and in doing so, letting it rub off on me. I can cultivate patience. I can keep deepening my knowledge of the principles of the Faith and gradually, one day at a time, discard these long-held idle fancies as I progressively conform my life to the unifying teachings of the Cause.
Knowing I can discard the drug of self-hatred and adrenalizing and cultivate the drug of love, acceptance, peace, patience, faith and trust, 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!
That a sick person showeth signs of weakness is due to the hindrances that interpose themselves between his soul and his body, for the soul itself remaineth unaffected by any bodily ailments. Consider the light of the lamp. Though an external object may interfere with its radiance, the light itself continueth to shine with undiminished power. In like manner, every malady afflicting the body of man is an impediment that preventeth the soul from manifesting its inherent might and power. When it leaveth the body, however, it will evince such ascendancy, and reveal such influence as no force on earth can equal. Every pure, every refined and sanctified soul will be endowed with tremendous power, and shall rejoice with exceeding gladness. (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 154)
If I understand this quote, correctly, I think it’s saying that when we’re physically sick, our souls are healthy, but unable to manifest their inherent might and power. When we recover, though, our souls will have so much influence and power, that no force on earth can equal them and those who are pure, refined and sanctified will rejoice with exceeding gladness.
It’s true that when I’m physically or emotionally sick, I find it hard to pray and even to trust God, which surely creates a veil between the two of us. If I’m sick enough, though, my soul cries out for relief and I’m always grateful when the prayer is answered. I think illness and pain are some of the tests we undergo for the perfection of our souls, to help us develop the virtues we need the most and to draw us closer to God. I often imagine that when we pass these tests, the Concourse on High celebrates with us. The exciting part of this quote for me though is knowing that when we recover from our illness, we have a huge power at our disposal. I wonder what my life would be like if I acted “as if” I believed this? What would I be able to accomplish then?
Knowing there is a purpose for my sicknesses, 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!
The following was written as part of my Step 1 Homework, getting clear about my relationship to God. At the request of several people, I share it here, in hopes that others might find it helpful.
Help Wanted – A Higher Power Who Can Restore Me To Sanity
Desperately powerless workaholic, child of an alcoholic, survivor of incest, debtor and under-earner is seeking a Higher Power who will restore her to sanity.
Must be all-knowing, ever-forgiving (even when she forgets to ask), patient (with the changes that take time) and give unconditional love (even at times she doesn’t deserve it).
Must be able to help her:
feel safe in the knowledge that she’s loved, protected and forgiven no matter what she does or fails to do
let go of a past filled with self-hatred and self-doubt so she can move confidently into whatever comes next
be patient with a life that’s not obviously productive
free herself from all guilt and shame so she can develop more compassion and love towards her own poor self and become her own best friend
accept what is, so she can enjoy every minute of her life and get excited about the time that’s left on this earth
find the courage to be honest and vulnerable as she learns how to let go of fear of abandonment so she can develop healthy relationships with others and find like-minded friends to go on adventures with
transform hopeless, helpless despair into a zest for life
let go of all disappointment and defeatism and wanting to die, so she can be a happy and joyful being
fill her bucket with love and joy so she can bring hope to a troubled world
get back in stride with a pace that’s manageable as she moves towards health and healing in body, mind and spirit
find a creative way to earn money that pays well, uses her skills, talents and abilities without compulsive caretaking and adrenalizing, people pleasing or approval seeking, while allowing for plenty of time for rest, relaxation, relationships and play, so that she can take care of her physical, mental and financial health.
In exchange, she is willing to:
spend time daily in prayer and meditation
abide by the will of God at all times and under all conditions
strive for radiant acquiescence with whatever He ordains
work the 12 Steps of Workaholics Anonymous
Working Hours: Position requires long working hours and on-call availability 24/7.
Salary: Willing to barter for a life of healthy service.
Nabil Moghaddam is a Baha’i musician, a Certified Nutritional Balancing Practitioner; a Detoxification Specialist and a Homeopath. He has a great appreciation for the mind-body-soul connection and believes a healthy body is created through both a healthy mind-set and proper nutrition. He believes that our diet affects our mental state, while our mental and subconscious programming affects our emotions which in turn affects our physical body. By addressing both, he believes a wide number of health concerns can be resolved and a return to healthy vitality achieved.
Nabil Moghaddam is in his final year of a three-year program in Homeopathy, Health Sciences and Nutrition through the Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine who are regulating the homeopathic profession in Ontario, and his thorough training matches the competencies required by the College of Homeopaths of Ontario. He’s combining his knowledge of the Writings, with the learning he is getting in his program. It’s the first time I’ve seen anyone attempt to balance science and religion on this topic.
Here is what the Writings have to say about homeopathy as a scientific discipline:
One of the friends of Persia wrote to Shoghi Effendi and asked this question: “Is it true that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has said that biochemical homeopathy, which is a form of food medicine, is in conformity with the Bahá’í medical concept?” The beloved Guardian’s reply to this question in a letter dated 25th November, 1944 was as follows: “This statement is true, and the truth thereof will be revealed in the future.”
The Universal House of Justice has also asked us to inform you that it does not wish the above statement to be circulated in isolation from the many and varied other texts in the Writings on medicine. However, you may share it with any of your friends who are interested. (Shoghi Effendi and Universal House of Justice, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 485)
‘Abdu’l-Baha stayed, once again, in the Hotel Marquardt. During this second visit to Stuttgart, which also lasted a week, He was mostly unwell. The cold contracted in Budapest had persisted and was now affecting His chest. The Bahá’ís of Stuttgart had arranged and advertised a meeting for the evening of the 25th at the Burger Museum. In the afternoon the condition of His chest worsened, causing great concern.
Physicians told Him that He should not go out, and should use His voice as little as possible. His attendants, whom He had sent on to the meeting, felt that the large and eager assemblage there would be disappointed and dismayed should they be deprived of meeting ‘Abdu’l-Baha. They returned to the hotel with a plan which they thought would both safeguard ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s health and make it possible for the people to meet Him.
A saloon car, well-protected from the elements, would take ‘Abdu’l-Baha to the Museum where, in a room apart from the main hall, people could be allowed into His presence. As soon as they presented this plan to ‘Abdu’l-Baha and told Him of the eagerness and disappointment of the audience, He arose. Physicians had made Him stay indoors, He said; but His health was for the purpose of serving the Faith.
While Wilhelm Herrigel was giving a talk in His stead, He walked into the hall, to the utmost delight and surprise of the audience, and using His full voice delivered a discourse on the need of world peace and the power that can guarantee it.
The talk over, ‘Abdu’l-Baha was about to leave and return quickly to His hotel, when a voice was heard, wailing. He stopped and asked His attendants to make enquiries. It was found that a lady who had tried to reach ‘Abdu’l-Baha, and had been kept back by the press of the crowd, was weeping. ‘Abdu’l-Baha stayed to speak to her words of great kindness. The next day, to questions about His health, He answered that the previous night’s venture, although considered very risky, had proved the right medicine for Him. (H.M. Balyuzi, ‘Abdu’l-Baha – The Centre of the Covenant, p. 389)
Prayer for Spiritual and Physical Health
O my Lord! O my Lord! Verily, I am athirst; do cause me to drink from the fountain of Thy grace. O my Lord! O my Lord! Verily, I am ill; do heal me by the antidote of Thy mercy. O my Lord! O my Lord! Verily, I am sick; do cure me through Thy favor. O my Lord! O my Lord! I am needy; do enrich me through Thy compassion. And I am poor; render me prosperous by the treasury of Thy Kingdom. O my Lord! O my Lord! Increase my hope in the court of Thy holiness, and grant my wishes by Thy favor and grace. Confirm me to deliver Thy Cause, enable me to call in Thy Name, and cause me to show forth the proofs of Thy Manifestation. Strengthen me to promote Thy Word, dilate my breast by serving Thy maid-servants and being humble and submissive before Thy beloved ones. O my Lord! Verily, I am impotent; do strengthen me by Thy power. I am lost in indigence; do confer on me Thy greatest favor. Make me as one of the maid-servants who diffuse Thy fragrances, who worship Thy Kingdom, who bow down in the worshiping-places of Thy unity, who kneel down on every dust which is related to the threshold of Thy beloved ones, and who serve in Thy vineyard, speak Thy praise and are attracted to Thy love. Verily, Thou art the Giver, the Powerful, the Mighty! (‘Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Baha v3, p. 616-617)
Nabil Moghaddam is a Student of Homeopathy at the Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine in Toronto and he loves discussing health!
He was recently interviewed by Baha’i Blog about his music, but in the article we also read more about his philosophy on health. Nabil believes that “poor health can significantly hinder our efforts in fulfilling the purpose of our lives, namely, advancing in our knowledge of God, and contributing to the advancement of Human Civilization.
“He says we must make a special effort, today more than ever, to purify our bodies while developing healthier habits because we live in a world more toxic than ever, and we are being poisoned from every direction (foods, air, water, pharmaceuticals, etc.) It’s worth to mention that even if we have the healthiest diets and exercise routine we can still remain physically ill if we have disregarded our spirituality.
“Traditional Chinese Medicine, Science and Religious Writings for example have, for a long time now, taught that certain emotions (fear, anger, jealousy, grief, anxiety, resentment, etc) affect certain organs and biological processes in the body. If we experience these unpleasant emotions often then over time they will manifest themselves through chronic physical symptoms.
“Where do we get our emotions from? From our thoughts of course which are produced by our minds. What shapes our minds and perception of reality? Either the Word of God, which increases thoughts of peace, tranquility, gratitude, abundance, patience, safety, etc. or perverted media and entertainment in all its shapes and forms which only increase fear, anxiety, desire, and other negative thoughts.
“So, if spiritual health affects mental health which in turn produces healthy emotions and a healthy body, does it also work the other way round? The answer is yes. When our physical body is toxic our mental faculties such as memory, concentration, imagination, understanding, and meditation will suffer. Consequently, a weak mind is not conducive to a strong spirit.
“In the words of Virgil “The greatest wealth is health” and we Baha’is must strive to be as healthy as we can be spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically because the fate of the world depends upon us.”
Nabil has put together a series of 8 short videos, called “Throne of the Inner Temple”, in which he integrating the Writings with his knowledge of alternative medicine. I recommend them all very highly!
Health Was NEVER Meant To Be Lost
Is Your Mind Killing You?
Should Baha’is Be Vegetarians?
Drinking At Night
Top 15 Ways To Detox Your Lymphatic System
Health and Well-Being (A Baha’i Perspective)
Another video I recommend this month is Health and Well-Being (A Baha’i Perspective). In this 52 minute video presentation, Tahirih Baker-Rabbani, MD discusses how our physical and spiritual lives are completely dependent one on the other. It’s a brilliant talk – well worth the time!
Prescription for Health (A Comprehensive Guide On Health Issues)
Dr. Manouchehr Nadimi is is a clinical and nuclear cardiologist who isconcerned that despite great achievements in the diagnosis and treatments of many illnesses, and eradication of some major diseases, such as Polio, a new wave of devastating ailments is endangering the human race. In this book we learn that:
Cardiovascular Diseases are now the leading cause of mortality around the globe. In 2003, it caused more than two million deaths among people aged 45 to 59 years.
HIV and AIDS infection have become major causes of morbidity around the world. An estimated 40 million infected individuals with HIV/AIDS were living in 2005 worldwide. Globally, more than three million people died of AIDS related illnesses in 2005.
Alcohol Abuse and Addiction are among the major social, economical and medical problem around the globe. Each year it causes more than 100,000 deaths and two million physical injuries in the United States.
Tobacco Abuse and Smoking kills 4.9 million persons per year around the world, and is the cause for 60% of all cancers.
Facing these alarming health challenges, many industrialized nations, such as United States, spend up to 15.3% of their GDP on health. In 2005, the total health cost was two trillion dollars in that country, which is 6,700 dollars per person. Despite this enormous spending, global health condition remains alarming.
Therefore, a spiritual solution is necessary to heal the affliction of the world community which must be implemented along with the standard practice of medicine. Prescription for Health is a Baha’i Reference on health issues.
This book is a compilation of Baha’i writings on these subjects. In addition, it is a review of the latest scientific discoveries which have been published by the world renowned authors in their field.
Dr. Gregory T. Lawton is a dynamic, exciting, and experienced, alternative health educator and dynamic seminar presenter on many aspects of medicine, science, holistic and complimentary medicine as well as a prolific health science writer of over a hundred books on the philosophical side of the Asian martial arts and teaching yoga (dao yin), tai chi chuan, kempo, pakua, and hsing yi.
He is a licensed chiropractor and naprapath and is nationally board certified in physiotherapy, radiology, and medical acupuncture. He is an award winning artist and photographer and has trained in Asian martial arts such as Aikido, Jujitsu, Kenpo, Pakua, and Tai Chi. He is an 9th degree black belt in Kosho Ryu Kenpo and a 10th degree black belt in Mizu Odori Ryu, and was awarded the title of Yudansha Taigu. He teaches a masters level program in deep perceptive diagnosis to naturopaths and supervises their work in his clinic.
He is presently working on a project called the Hollow Reed which is an effort to teach writers, artists, dancers, and others involved in creative work how to combine meditation and spirituality with the creative experience. Most of his current creative work is in the areas of poetry, photography and art.
His latest project related to manual medicine is the Academy of Scandinavian Mobilization Therapy (SMT), a new seminar series, and an elearning and video training program based upon SMT technique and treatment protocols. SMT is based upon naprapathy but has come to represent the most advanced medical manual and mobilization techniques and therapy that is available.
Another of his ongoing projects is in the area of drug abuse and he’s put together an anti drug coloring book, currently being used in Philadelphia in a large ongoing youth anti drug program. It’s available as a free download.
As one would expect, he is very actively teaching new generations of students through the Blue Heron Academy (see below) and various trade associations. His focus is on writing and teaching others, so he’s not looking for new patients.
Dr. Gregory T. Lawton (our featured coach) is also the founder and owner of the Blue Heron Academy of Healing Arts and Sciences in the United States. The Academy started in 1980 as a free school for women in transition from domestic abuse, rape and incest and in the 1990’s it became an individual initiative to teach the Baha’i Faith through community outreach and service. It continues to serve the community as a vocational training center.
The Academy has trained over twelve thousand students in
Medical Massage Therapy
Holistic Health Practitioner
Personal – Fitness Trainer
Acupressure & Massage
Home Health Aide
The curriculum at the Academy is founded upon the Baha’i Writings and has been since it began. While many students have become Baha’is through the Academy, very few Baha’is have come to the Academy for training.
Over the last forty plus years Gregory has observed:
very few Baha’is are entering these fields
very few Baha’i medical physicians are using the Writings and guidance in their practice of medicine
very few Baha’is follow the dietary or health guidance found in the writings.
In the last few years, and after attending or presenting at large Baha’i gatherings or summer schools, he has become very concerned about the declining health of aging Baha’is. In spite of the excellent guidance that we Baha’is have on health, healing, and spirituality, many of us have the same addictions and lack of moderation that is seen in the general society. This is a great shame because it contributes to disease, pain, and suffering within the Baha’i communities.
Gregory believes that is quite possible to educate and train existing medical doctors in Baha’is health, healing and spiritual concepts and principles, and to train Baha’is in traditional medicine that is scientifically and evidence based.
When the topic of Baha’i teachings on diet, health and healing comes up at Baha’is gatherings, he often hears that the guidance from Baha’u’llah, the Bab, Abdul-Baha, Shoghi Effendi, and the UHJ is for a future time, but if the Baha’is don’t begin these practices now – the future will either never come, or it will be a very long way off.
Fortunately he has seen and witnessed great changes in awareness relative to the writing’s and health among the Baha’is in the last decade, which he finds very encouraging.
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