One of my readers asked:
I am interested in perspectives on the healing of the mental and spiritual stresses placed on so many by the forced isolation caused by the pandemic.
It’s absolutely true, that isolation is not our normal state, and as we go into the 4th wave of the COVID pandemic, with all of the increase in variants, it’s easy to be discouraged with no end in sight.
Baha’is are lucky because the House of Justice has kept us informed every step of the way. Studying their letters over the past year we see their suggestions. I especially thought the Naw Ruz letter to the Baha’is of the World a year ago gave us lots of ideas:
. . . ye must rise above the horizon of firmness and steadfastness with illumined faces and radiant brows in such wise that, God willing, the gloom of fear and consternation may be entirely obliterated, and the light of assurance may dawn above the manifest horizon and shine resplendently. (paragraph 3)
- What helps you rise above your problems?
- What helps you have illumined faces and radiant brows that people can hear in your voices and see above your masks?
- How can you provide the light of assurance to your friends, family and neighbors?
Though having to adapt to new circumstances, the believers have used creative means to strengthen bonds of friendship, and to foster among themselves and those known to them spiritual consciousness and qualities of tranquility, confidence , and reliance on God. (paragraph 3)
- How can I continue to strengthen bonds of friendship?
- How can I foster spiritual consciousness and qualities of tranquillity, confidence and reliance on God in myself, so I can pass these on to someone else?
The elevated conversations that have occurred as a result, whether remotely or in person, have been a source of comfort and inspiration to many. (paragraph 3)
- Who can I have an elevated conversation with today? Tomorrow? Next week? Make a list and work through it systematically and then repeat.
May your minds be ever bent upon the needs of the communities to which you belong, the condition of the society in which you live and the welfare of the entire family of humanity, to whom you are all brothers and sisters. (paragraph 5)
- To which communities do I belong (religious, social, recreational, work, school etc)?
- What are the needs of each community?
- What can I do to help?
And in your quiet moments, when no course of action other than prayer seems possible, then we invite you to add your supplications to our won and ardently pray for the relief of suffering. (paragraph 5)
- Which prayers can I say?
- Who can I pray with?
- Who can I study a prayer with?
I think carefully studying this letter and answering the questions above and acting on them will be the best possible healing of the mental and spiritual stresses placed on so many by the forced isolation caused by the pandemic.
Knowing there are practical things the House of Justice is asking us to do during the pandemic, 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 Fear into Faith: Overcoming Anxiety