You should not neglect your health, but consider it the means which enables you to serve. It — the body — is like a horse which carries the personality and spirit, and as such should be well cared for so it can do its work! You should certainly safeguard your nerves, and force yourself to take time, and not only for prayer meditation, but for real rest and relaxation. (Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 296
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.
There are lots of great articles on the internet about the importance of balancing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs for optimal health at this time. Things we can do in each area include:
Prayer and Meditation (Reading the Bahá’í Writings morning and night with care and attention)
Make God your Best Friend: when we’re missing our loved one, God is always available to us, 24/7, and deepening our relationship with Him helps us achieve our purpose in life
Spend time finding God in nature each day
Immerse yourself in the Writings (perhaps by attending a Study Circle)
Set goals, preferably in alignment with the direction given by Bahá’í Institutions
Stay positive. There’s lots that we can’t control; and lots that we can’t know, but we can watch our thoughts and focus our attention on the positive, perhaps by finding things to be grateful for several times every day
Pay attention to your fears and give them to God instead of making them bigger
Journal your stressors every day – I do it in the form of a “Dear God” letter
Make phone calls – hearing other people’s problems can give us a relief from our own
Pray with people – reciting the prayers out loud has an effect on our souls and the souls of everyone around us
Lots of water
Lots of exercise
Lots of good quality sleep
Rest and relaxation
All of these things work together synergistically.
Knowing there are lots of practical ways I can care for my body and safeguard my nerves at this time, 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!
But man hath perversely continued to serve his lustful appetites, and he would not content himself with simple foods. Rather, he prepared for himself food that was compounded of many ingredients, of substances differing one from the other. With this, and with the perpetrating of vile and ignoble acts, his attention was engrossed, and he abandoned the temperance and moderation of a natural way of life. The result was the engendering of diseases both violent and diverse. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pp. 152-153)
This is a scary quote for me because it means that if I want to have good health, I have to change the way I think about a lot of things: I need to stop serving my lustful appetites (comfort eating, getting lost in social media, every addiction etc).
I need to be content with simple foods with simple ingredients (no packaged food, casseroles, most recipes). I wonder what this means for Bahá’í pot lucks in the future!
And I need to stop perpetrating vile and ignoble acts (shameful, depraved, base, despicable, ugly, unworthy, worthless, wretched, evil, morally bad or wrong, immoral, unethical or perverted).
In addition to the more obvious breaking of Bahá’í law, this means I also need to give up things like telling or listening to tasteless jokes, taking advantage of others, selling shoddy goods, being in a bad mood, having a bad attitude, swearing, lying and backbiting. “Ignoble” also means “common” and “completely lacking nobility in character or quality or purpose”, so in this age of the decline of the old world order, pretty much everything everyone around us is doing, will endanger our health if we don’t align our behavior with the Bahá’í Writings.
To protect myself from violent and diverse diseases, I need to focus on temperance and moderation as a way of life, and I am grateful to know these steps I can take.
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!
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.
Susan I want to let you know that I enjoy your newsletter they are filled with great information. But my respect for you is your generosity! You always have free eBooks available to download. This is the reason that I see you as a mentor and would love to work with you. (Cherida Creebsburg)
Thanks immensely for your monthly mailing. Your input is essential in this unique time in history. We really appreciate all you do for His Cause, dear Susan. (Marco Kappenberger)
I wanted to make a donation to your site to give back to something that’s of value to me. Thank You. (Rebecca)
Thanks to all who write in and to those who have sent donations! 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!