Tag Archives: Abdu’l-Bahá

FAITHfully Yours – Anne Frank & Reflection

 “One hour’s reflection is preferable to seventy years of pious worship

Baha’u’llah

“How noble and good everyone could be, if every evening before falling asleep, they were to recall to their minds the events of the while day and consider exactly what has been good and bad. Then, without realising it, you try to improve yourself at the start of each new day; of course, you achieve quite a lot in the course of time. Anyone can do this, it costs nothing and is certainly very helpful. Whoever doesn’t know it must learn and find by experience that: “A quiet conscience makes one strong!”

Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank: The Revised Critical Edition

Cat ‘n Mouse journaling by Peggy

“Prayer is like the spirit and material means are like the human hand. The spirit operateth through the instrumentality of the hand. 

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Baha’i World Faith

___________________

One Human Family 

The conviction that we belong to one human family is at the heart of the Bahá’í Faith. The principle of the oneness of humankind is “the pivot round which the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh revolve…”

http://bahaiteachings.org/

bahai-faithwww.bahai.org/

During the month of November, Baha’i Blogging is hosting a post-a-day-or-so something related to or inspired by Faith.  Because so many of you follow both this blog and CATNIPblog Peggy & I will post our “dailies” here and Sunday “retrospectives” on CATNIPblog.com

The hashtag is #bahaiblogging.

FAITHfully Yours – Patience

“We must not only be patient with others, infinitely patient, but also with our own poor selves.”

‘Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith

Judgement by Peggy, originally published on Pawsitively Tuesday

A Tidbit 

The “Founder”, Bahá’u’lláh

(1817-1892)

Bahá’u’lláh—the “Glory of God”—is the Promised One foretold by . . . all of the Divine Messengers of the past. Bahá’u’lláh delivered a new Revelation from God to humanity. Thousands of verses, letters and books flowed from His pen. In His Writings, He outlined a framework for the development of a global civilization which takes into account both the spiritual and material dimensions of human life. For this, He endured 40 years of imprisonment, torture and exile.

http://bahaiteachings.org/

bahai-faithwww.bahai.org/

During the month of November, Baha’i Blogging is hosting a post-a-day-or-so something related to or inspired by Faith.  Because so many of you follow both this blog and CATNIPblog Peggy & I will post our “dailies” here and Sunday “retrospectives” on CATNIPblog.com

The hashtag is #bahaiblogging.

FAITHfully Yours – More than one way to pray

“Prayer need not be in words, but rather in thought and attitude… words without love mean nothing.”

Abdu’l-Bahá

Loving Touch by Peggy

Baha’i Tidbit

The Baha’i Faith, the world’s newest independent global belief system, teaches the oneness of God, the unity of humanity and the essential harmony of all religions.

http://bahaiteachings.org/

bahai-faithwww.bahai.org/

During the month of November, Baha’i Blogging is hosting a post-a-day-or-so something related to or inspired by Faith.  Because so many of you follow both this blog and CATNIPblog Peggy & I will post our “dailies” here and Sunday “retrospectives” on CATNIPblog.com

The hashtag is #bahaiblogging.

FAITHfully Yours – The Heart of it All

“God does not look at colours; He looks at the hearts.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, (Baha’i World Faith)

Soul Mates by Peggy & Judy

We think it fitting to start our November blogging challenge*  with”Heart”.

A Bit of Baha’i 

“Every human being possesses an immortal, rational soul that passes through this world for a brief time and continues for eternity to advance towards God. Our life’s purpose is to progress spiritually by serving our fellow human beings. In doing so, we acquire the divine qualities we will need in the life to come.

http://bahaiteachings.org/bahai-faith

www.bahai.org

*During the remaining month of November, Baha’i Blogging is hosting a post-a-day (or so) something related to or inspired by Faith.  Because so many of you follow both this blog and CATNIPblog Peggy & I will post our “dailies” here and Sunday “retrospectives” on CATNIPblog.com

 The hashtag is #bahaiblogging.

The HeART of Spirituality – Virtues – Take 2

In case you need a refresher on what a virtue is here are a few:  Patience, Responsibility, Joy, Love, Compassion, Justice, Generosity.

 Can you guess the virtue* I need to work on?

Take a look at the second group of fabulous prayer/contemplation cards!  Here’s the first group – Take 1

DSCN6386

DSCN6388

DSCN6389

DSCN6390

“Consider the virtues of the human world and realize that the oneness of humanity is the primary foundation of them all. 

Read the Gospel and the other Holy Books. You will find their fundamentals are one and the same. Therefore, unity is the essential truth of religion and, when so understood, embraces all the virtues of the human world.”

DSCN6391

DSCN6392

DSCN6393

DSCN6394

” . . . we must endeavor to promulgate and practice the religion of God which has been founded by all the Prophets. And the religion of God is absolute love and unity.” – Abdu’l-BahaThe Promulgation of Universal Peace. p. 32.

DSCN6395

Another Spontaneously posed picture of those who were able to stay till the END.
Another SPONTANEOUSLY POSED picture of those who were able to stay till the END.

(Try out the exercise we did after making the cards.  Click here for the entire list of virtues and the worksheet on the TUTORIAL PAGE)

*The Virtue of Moderation 

10 packages, possible trans fats

Another Spontaneously posed picture of those who were able to stay till the END.
Another SPONTANEOUSLY POSED picture of those who were able to stay till  the END.

Turn the World Blue

“This small planet is not worthy of division. Is it not one home, one native land? Is not all humanity one race?”

“To mark this anniversary, monuments and buildings across the world are being illuminated in UN blue. As we shine a light on this milestone anniversary, let us reaffirm our commitment to a better and brighter future for all.” – Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations

Un Headquarters New York
Un Headquarters New York

Every year the U.N. and its member nations observe October 24th as United Nations Day around the world. This year, as the U.N. marks its seventh decade,

“Consider the creation of the infinite universe. This globe of ours is one of the smallest planets. Those stupendous bodies revolving in yonder immeasurable space, the infinite blue canopy of God, are many times greater than our small earth. To our eyes this globe appears spacious; yet when we look upon it with divine eyes, it is reduced to the tiniest atom. This small planet is not worthy of division. Is it not one home, one native land? Is not all humanity one race?” – Abdu’l-Baha, Divine Philosophy

FIGHTING for Peace – an Oxymoron

 “God has created the world as one—the boundaries are marked out by man.”

‘Abdu’l-Baha

Earth’s soil fertilized

artificial poppies grow

in human blood, bones

*     *     *

Fallen in battle 

 It’s time for falling in love

Soul’s soil fertilized

SEa of Poppies
Sea of Ceramic Poppies, Tower of London, England
IMGP3134
The exhibition entitled Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red, is the work of Derbyshire-based ceramic artist Paul Cummins, and was set up to Commemorate the 100 years since the beginning of the First World War Each poppy representing each British and Commonwealth death during the conflict.

See view from drone http://bcove.me/qgvfevz2

poppy installation London Tower 6

One of the reasons I follow the Baha’i World Faith:

“To be a Bahá’í simply means to love all the world; to love humanity and try to serve it; to work for universal peace and universal brotherhood.” 

Abdu’l-Bahá

Haiku Horizons - prompt FULL
Haiku Horizons – prompt FULL

Kindness to Animals

” . . . And indeed ye do worse to harm an animal, for man hath a language, he can lodge a complaint, he can cry out and moan; if injured he can have recourse to the authorities and these will protect him from his aggressor. But the hapless beast is mute, able neither to express its hurt nor take its case to the authorities … Therefore it is essential that ye show forth the utmost consideration to the animal, and that ye be even kinder to him than to your fellow man. Train your children from their earliest days to be infinitely tender and loving to animals. If an animal be sick, let them try to heal it, if it be hungry, let them feed it, if thirsty, let them quench its thirst, if weary, let them see that it rests.” ‘Abdu’l-Baha

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated.” Mahatma Gandhi

Thanks Carolyn!

42,500 Acts of Kindness Needed

“. . . do not look at the shortcomings of anybody; see with the sight of forgiveness. The imperfect eye beholds imperfections.”*

Sense the breeze of love

soothing every beating heart 

Connected as one

Haiku-Heights prompt - BREEZE
prompt – BREEZE

My father, the oldest of 5 children, was born in England where his father and pregnant mother fled to from Poland.  The story of why and how has died with all my relatives.

No room in my heart for prejudice, Baha'i faith
No room in my heart for prejudice, Baha’i faith

The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking

“THIRTEEN years ago, researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum began the grim task of documenting all the ghettos, slave labor sites, concentration camps and killing factories that the Nazis set up throughout Europe.””What they have found so far has shocked even scholars steeped in the history of the Holocaust.””The researchers have cataloged some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning German-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany itself, during Hitler’s reign of brutality from 1933 to 1945.”

“. . . Dr. Megargee said he expected to find perhaps 7,000 Nazi camps and ghettos, based on postwar estimates. But the numbers kept climbing — first to 11,500, then 20,000, then 30,000, and now 42,500.

“The numbers astound: 30,000 slave labor camps; 1,150 Jewish ghettos; 980 concentration camps; 1,000 prisoner-of-war camps; 500 brothels filled with sex slaves; and thousands of other camps used for euthanizing the elderly and infirm, performing forced abortions, “Germanizing” prisoners or transporting victims to killing centers.”

“As Germany invaded and began occupying European neighbors, the use of camps and ghettos was expanded to confine and sometimes kill not only Jews but also homosexuals, Gypsies, Poles, Russians and many other ethnic groups in Eastern Europe. The camps and ghettos varied enormously in their mission, organization and size, depending on the Nazis’ needs, the researchers have found.”

No room in my heart for prejudice, Baha'i faith
No room in my heart for prejudice, Baha’i faith

42,500 acts of kindness is a start – a tiny, symbolic start,

so that hatred and bigotry may end.

*“Love the creatures for the sake of God and not for themselves. You will never become angry or impatient if you love them for the sake of God. Humanity is not perfect. There are imperfections in every human being, and you will always become unhappy if you look toward the people themselves. But if you look toward God, you will love them and be kind to them, for the world of God is the world of perfection and complete mercy.”
“Therefore, do not look at the shortcomings of anybody; see with the sight of forgiveness. The imperfect eye beholds imperfections. The eye that covers faults looks toward the Creator of souls. He created them, trains and provides for them, endows them with capacity and life, sight and hearing; therefore, they are the signs of His grandeur. You must love and be kind to everybody, care for the poor, protect the weak, heal the sick, teach and educate the ignorant.” 
― Abdu’l-Bahá
To read the entire article click on the title or here: www.nytimes.com
 

Spirituality According to Max, A work in progress

“Therefore I say that man must travel in the way of God. Day by day he must endeavor to become better . . .”*

When I drive my car into the garage to park I align my right headlight on Max’s right paw.  That leaves just enough room for me to get out on the right side and my husband’s car to get in on the left side. But  I’m ahead of myself . . .

We live in a small 3 bedroom home – The bedroom I use for my home office  has glass french doors that open to the hall way.

I looked everywhere for a screen to put up blocking the view into the room for when guests stayed.  It had to be 4 panels wide and extra high for privacy.  My father would tackle anything.  So years before we adopted Max, Dad made the screen to my specifications (with the exception of  the frame’s legs not being quite the same height and needing a bit of propping.

The screen’s frame stayed folded up in the garage for many years until I decided to cover it with canvas.  It stayed folded up in the garage for several more  years until I decided to paint Max’s picture on it.

It stayed folded up in the garage for several more years until I lightly penciled in (which you can’t see in the pictures) some corrections to his anatomy, his fluffy facial hair, and planned to create some interest around the outside edge.  There it stayed folded up in the garage.

A few months ago I drive in to find the unfinished screen blocking the view of  garage “stuff”.  My husband had been decorating.  At first, I’m disturbed. Max lost all his fluffy facial & body hair before he passed.  The picture I’d not finished was a reminder of the last painful month of Max’s life.

Now it turns out my husband is a great decorator, who knew.  When I drive in or drive out I can smile at the silly picture I started years ago.

I’ve decided not to “finish” the screen painting – It will remain a work in progress, just like Max, to remind me every time I travel, driving in and driving out, we are all eternal works in progress.

*The full Baha’i quote:

“Therefore I say that man must travel in the way of God. Day by day he must endeavor to become better, his belief must increase and become firmer, his good qualities and his turning to God must be greater, the fire of his love must flame more brightly; then day by day he will make progress, for to stop advancing is the means of going back. The bird when he flies soars ever higher and higher, for as soon as he stops flying he will come down. Every day, in the morning”. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá on the Journey of the Soul

If you missed the chapters I’ve written to date about Max here are the links (they need to be read in order):

Prologue & Epilogue
Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule
Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick
Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven
Chapter 4 – Unleashed
Chapter 5 – Our Little Angel
Chapter 6 – Favorite Flavors, Patience & Self Control
Chapter 7 – Love has No Bounds
 

A Child’s Prayer

“O Thou Kind Lord! I am a little child, exalt me by admitting me to the kingdom.  I am earthly, make me heavenly; I am of the world below, let me belong to the realm above; gloomy, suffer me to become radiant; material, make me spiritual, and grant that I may manifest Thine infinite bounties.  Thou art the Powerful, the All-Loving.”

Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i

Moving Art – Great Video! You’ll be glad you watched

Watch!

“Rejoice and be glad that this day has dawned, try to realize its power, for it is indeed wonderful!”

(Baha’i, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks)

Thank you Nancy for sending this to me – It IS wonderful, and so are you.

Spirituality According to Max – Prologue & Epilogue and a haiku

Max stormed into life!

Then silently passing on

leaf drifting in air

prompt, storm

 *     *     *

To all my haiku friends who may not know of Max’s passing

at the bottom are the posts of Max’s story.

*   *   *

Max, Prologue & Epilogue

” . . . it is essential that ye show forth the utmost consideration to the animal, and that ye be even kinder to him than to your fellow man. “ Bahá’í World Faith—Selected Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá 

Max, 1968 – 2012

I mourn the passing from my life of this incredible lively, quirky and wonderful spirit.  Max was a love – stubborn, incredibly stubborn, but a love.

This December 2012,  he would have been 14 years old.  He was about 10 months old when he adopted us 1998. In his last week in both appearance and behaviour he wasn’t “Max”.

Before our eyes Max lost his hair, his pep, energy, stubbornness and his bearings.  He stopped greeting us at the door, giving hundreds of loving licks, he became completely disoriented, standing in space, staring at some unknowable sight, unable to move forward, backward or lie down.  Max’s body was here, his spirit was lost.

We knew without question it was time,  on November 26, 2012,  to release him

I have turned even more to the Baha’i spiritual teachings and prayer to stay as graceful and loving as possible through my tears  and  rely on Max’s loving, quirky spirit to help me keep perspective.

I began writing a series of remembrances days before we euthanized him, unconsciously knowing he had not many days to live here on earth.   I want to share a bit of Max and my journey  together.  If you choose to accompany us on this spiritual path Max & I will be honored.

Here are the links to the chapters I have posted to date.  They are a bit wacky,  just like Max!  Stay tuned for more . . .

Links (they do need to be read in order to follow the story thread):
Prologue & Epilogue
Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule
Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick
Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven
Chapter 4 – Unleashed
Chapter 5 – Our Little Angel
Chapter 6 – Favorite Flavors, Patience & Self Control
Chapter 7 – Love has no Bounds
 

 

 

Max, Prologue & Epilogue

” . . . it is essential that ye show forth the utmost consideration to the animal, and that ye be even kinder to him than to your fellow man. 

Max, 1968 – 2012

I mourn the passing from my life of this incredible lively, quirky and wonderful spirit.  Max was a love – stubborn, incredibly stubborn, but a love.

December 2012,  he would have been 14 years old.  He was about 10 months old when he adopted us 1998. In his last week in both appearance and behaviour he wasn’t “Max”.

Before our eyes Max lost his hair, his pep, energy, stubbornness and his bearings.  He stopped greeting us at the door, giving hundreds of loving licks, he became completely disoriented, standing in space, starring at some unknowable sight, unable to move forward, backward or lie down.  Max’s body was here, his spirit was lost.  

We knew without question it was time,  on November 26, 2012,  to release him

I have turned even more to the Baha’i spiritual teachings and prayer to stay as graceful and loving as possible through my tears  and  rely on Max’s spirit to help me keep perspective.

I began writing this series of remembrances days before we euthanized him, unconsciously knowing he had not many days to live here on earth.   I want to share a bit of Max and my journey  together.  If you choose to accompany us on this spiritual path Max & I will be honored.

MAN’S RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANIMALS

 

“It is not only their fellow human beings that the beloved of God must treat with mercy and compassion, rather must they show forth the utmost loving-kindness to every living creature. For in all physical respects, and where the animal spirit is concerned, the selfsame feelings are shared by animal and man The feelings are one and the same, whether ye inflict pain on man or on beast. There is no difference here whatever. And indeed ye do worse to harm an animal, for man hath a language, he can lodge a complaint, he can cry out and moan; if injured he can have recourse to the authorities and these will protect him from his aggressor. But the hapless beast is mute, able neither to express its hurt nor take its case to the authorities … Therefore it is essential that ye show forth the utmost consideration to the animal, and that ye be even kinder to him than to your fellow man. Train your children from their earliest days to be infinitely tender and loving to animals. If an animal be sick, let them try to heal it, if it be hungry, let them feed it, if thirsty, let them quench its thirst, if weary, let them see that it rests.” 

Bahá’í World Faith—Selected Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá 

Next, Chapter 1 – 

How Max picked me for adoption

 

Ya Gotta Love a Baby Boomer

Boomer on a paper towel roll

I’ve moved from the sea to the air  after my post Falling Out of the Nest.  We’ll see if birds get as many blog hits as fish . . .

I received this real life, love (bird) story about Boomer*.

Boomer’s birth mother “Yellow bird” died from a tumor about 6 years ago.  Her birth dad “Linus” is still alive at 17 years old.  Boomer, now 13,  has received his genes.  They look alike.

Boomer is a love bird.  She was rescued from attempted murder at the beaks of her parents who bit and would not feed her  because she was unable to stand at that time due to hip dysplasia.

Here’s Boomer’s story straight from her human “husband’s” beak,  or mouth:

“We gallantly rose and said that there will be no murdering under our roof! The thought!!!!! ”  So we raised her with an eyedropper.”

“Attempted murder makes Linus” a “murderer”.  He has served his sentence and we made a  “Love Birds Bill of Rights and Constitution” so that he behaves himself.  So far so good.  His excuse at trial was “survival of the fittest” citing  “The Origin of Species” by Darwin.  We told him that may work in the wild but not here.”

“Actually, when we  originally got him, he was very happy with his new home.  But you know earth-bound birds, always concerned about pecking order.  Boomer never worried about this and use to fly over to her dad’s cage and straighten him out.  She still does but not as frequently.”

“She thinks and acts like a human, as we raised her that way.  Very advanced Darwinianism (new word).  She thinks that we are her mother and husband.”

Boomer as a ballerina

“Boomer  is  a paraplegic —-legs or hip dysplasia –(hence, the ballerina stance).   She use to walk but can just barely do so now.

Boomers condo complex

“Most of the time, she will call us to play with one of her toys.   We bathe her and she always wants to be with us even when we take her outside.    If she is not already with us, she will fly to wherever we are in the house.”

“She nibbles and cleans our ears–like in Africa where they sit on giant hippos and eat bugs off of them–we are not quite that large. She also enjoys biting paper towels and using the bits of the white towels for nesting.  She is always waiting to have sex, so that she can lay egg”  but we tell her “no egging” . She understands and just wants to cuddle.

*”Boomer is short for Boomerang because whenever we let her fly back to her home,

she always flew back to us.”  

“In the time of sleep this body is as though dead; it does not see nor hear; it does not feel; it has no consciousness, no perception—that is to say, the powers of man have become inactive, but the spirit lives and subsists. Nay, its penetration is increased, its flight is higher, and its intelligence is greater. To consider that after the death of the body the spirit perishes is like imagining that a bird in a cage will be destroyed if the cage is broken, though the bird has nothing to fear from the destruction of the cage. Our body is like the cage, and the spirit is like the bird. We see that without the cage this bird flies in the world of sleep; therefore, if the cage becomes broken, the bird will continue and exist. Its feelings will be even more powerful, its perceptions greater, and its happiness increased.”

‘Abdu’l-Baha, The Reality of Man

Is Spirituality Connected to Pain and Suffering for You?

Walking with Max we passed a house decorated with hundreds of lights, candy canes and Charlie Brown Characters with huge stacks of gifts.  On the gate was a tiny sign that read “Happy Birthday Jesus”.

How and what, I wondered, did this family celebrate.  Many of my clients experience more pain, much suffering, emotional and physical, during the holidays than almost any other time of year.

The spiritual is lost in the longing for what they perceive is missing in their lives – that elusive dream or fantasy of how it should be.

I am NOT minimizing the loss experienced, remembering those who have died or left.  I have experienced the emotional “anniversary” “pain” of the death of loved ones. I am referring to the yearning for the picture in our mind of how we think it should be and the belief that “everyone else” is having that “Hallmark experience”.

Then I read a timely post from Carol D. Marsh at Chronic Pain and Spirituality Her blog is about spirituality, not religion.  As she says, “. . .pain and suffering are universal and so I take a universal approach”.  

I also believe that physical and emotional are so interrelated that whatever the origin of the pain, of the suffering Carol’s post applies.

Here’s an excerpt.   Tell me what YOU think:

“. . .  It’s a simple as this: when I am in pain, I do not care for theological arguments or doctrinal matters, I care about relieving, managing and living with the pain.
 
“. . . Here is how I see it: pain is the migraine – stabbing, pounding – and is physical; suffering is the contortions – worry, fear, despair – and is mental.
 
I have little or no control over migraine pain (behind that statement, there is a long saga of therapies tried, drugs taken, and alternative medicine explored), and that can lead to a sense of helplessness that is truly depressing. So there is something hopeful, something liberating in the knowledge that there is one area in which I have control: how I relate to the pain, or, how my mind thinks about it.
 
It’s the ancient Buddhist saying, pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. For those of us with chronic pain, the physical discomfort is inevitable. We are trying everything we can to alleviate it, and until something works for us, the hopeful news is we do not have to resign ourselves to being victims of it.
 
It is in our ability to choose to leave the egoic mind and turn toward Being that we become most fully and wonderfully human. Here we find what Jesus called, “the peace that passes all understanding.” (Philippians 4:7) And here is where I have found my most effective and healing pain management practice, in a calm of body and tranquility of mind that somehow miraculously reduces in significance the pain of my body, while eliminating the suffering of my mind.
 
” . . . Relieving the mind of thinking and emoting is about connecting to one’s essential Being. This is the journey to Wholeness that must take into account and include our body with its pain and our mind with its suffering. Perhaps that is the hidden blessing in chronic pain: it makes impossible the human tendency to split body and mind, thereby opening the door to our spirituality.”   Carol D. Marsh 
 

To read Carol’s post in it’s entirety click here: 

Chronic Pain and Spirituality 

“Men who suffer not, attain no perfection. The plant most pruned by the gardeners is that one which, when the summer comes, will have the most beautiful blossoms and the most abundant fruit…”
(Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 50)