HEALING THROUGH UNITY NEWSLETTER
A monthly newsletter dedicated to serving the principles of
physical and spiritual health envisioned in the Baha'i Teachings.
Volume 2, Issue #2
"HEALING THROUGH UNITY" COURSE NOW AVAILABLE
By Dale Sims and Frances Mezei
In Puslinch, Ontario, Canada, Dale Sims and Frances Mezei had the bounty of giving a "Healing Through Unity" Course. The course's mandate was on spiritual education, training and application of the Baha'i teachings on health and healing. There were 17 participants and the course was held for four consecutive weeks. Each class was two hours long. We covered topics such as: Dealing with Imbalance, Spiritual and Material Healing, Specific Solutions toward Healing, Causes of Disease and the Effect of Disease on the Soul. We were striving to follow this new path of healing by focusing on the Baha'i Writings rather then on our own personal opinions. We would break the class into two groups and each group would have their own Writings to study as well as to consult how they could develop skills for their health based on the quotes studied. This course also included other creative and enjoyable exercises. We would serve simple refreshments such as fruits, nuts and water or juice to drink. There was a keenness about this subject of health which was very positive and infectious. We were amazed at the wealth of understanding that is in the participants and were happily verified and strengthened with focusing on the quotes. A lot of sharing, insights and practical tips were a great benefit to us all. Here are some comments from the participants at the end of the course.
One person said "I learned about balance and simplicity". Another person shared "This method to study the quotes by asking questions helped me to detach from my own views and get a handle on the words in the Writings. I had to learn discipline". One person said "They had learned to focus on the word "competent" when thinking of a physician."
Due to the success of the course, we came up with the idea to prepare kits so anyone in your community could give the course. A kit costs $15.00 Cdn Funds if mailed to an address in Canada or $15.00 U.S. Funds if mailed outside Canada. It would be a practical and useful way for different communities located in various countries to conduct this course and then perhaps share their findings and insights to the other readers of the "Healing Through Unity" newsletter. This would advance the process in systematic sharing of insights on health. We hope you will consider this exciting possibility.
If you are interested in receiving the "Healing Through Unity" Course kit, please write to Frances Mezei at -- .
( Editor's note: In the September, 1998 issue, people were encouraged to share their insights and experiences on the subject of abuse.)
THE HEALING POWER OF THE LOCAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY AND THE INSTITUTIONS OF THE FAITH
Bringing a problem to a Local Spiritual Assembly, and receiving the prayers and support of that Institution of our Beloved Faith, can be a very healing process for the individual involved. This is a concept I have worked with on all levels of our Baha'i Administration, with astonishingly successful results......I have also come to believe that prayer outreach and support for the friends can be a very important service for an Assembly to perform. The following quotations from our writings seem to back up the idea that we have a wonderful power in our teachings and institutions.
Abdu'l-Baha has stated: "'Abdu'l-Baha is constantly engaged in ideal communication with any Spiritual Assembly which is instituted through divine bounty, and the members of which are in the utmost devotion turning to the divine kingdom and are firm in the Covenant. To them He is heartily attached and with them He is united by everlasting ties." ( The Universal House of Justice, The Local Spiritual Assembly, An Institution of the Baha'i Administrative Order, p. 6)
"These Spiritual Assemblies are aided by the Spirit of God...From them the spirit of life streameth in every direction. They, indeed, are the potent sources of the progress of man, at all times and under all conditions." (ibid, p. 6)
...In the mid 1990's, I had my first encounter with an Assembly which extended an invitation to the friends in its orbit who needed prayer support to meet with that Assembly for prayers. When the invitation to receive support from that Assembly was extended to me, I gladly accepted, as I was dealing with healing from the discovery of a problem of incest in my biological family. It was such a painful process, that it was difficult to find a place where I could cry safely.
When I met with that lovely Assembly, I was showered with prayers and love for at least 45 minutes, and was able to have a needed cry. I did not want to burden that Assembly, as they resided in a different jurisdiction from my own community, but would occasionally meet with them, or send a written prayer request which they acknowledged. Their prayers made me feel loved and cared about, a concept which I tried to introduce to my own Assembly of jurisdiction when I was going through the process of severing ties with my biological relatives. I felt that if I told my story to an Institution of God and received validation, that my wounded heart might receive some sort of healing. My local Assembly gave careful consideration to my comments, however, could not validate my desire to "divorce" my biological family as there were no specific teachings on this subject. This led to my reframing the request to receiving support for obtaining a Waiver of Familial Obligations, and submitting the reframed request to a higher institution, the National Spiritual Assembly....The process of compiling the requested material and submitting it to an Institution of God was astonishingly healing. As a result of telling my life story to an Institution of God (in a 3-1/2 inch 3 ring binder providing a history of my situtation, descriptions of past life events, copies of correspondence between me and several family members, a list of the spiritual principles involved and a list of books I read and seminars I attended to become educated on these issues), I received a profound spiritual healing which included being relieved of a problem of free-floating fear/anxiety in the workplace which I had been plagued with for over 20 years. I also became less afraid to speak my truth and became an advocate for other survivors of abuse. While awaiting for a response from the National Spiritual Assembly, I continued a correspondence on these matters that I had been engaging in with the Universal House of Justice, and asked for prayers from the House regarding my experiences which I felt could help other incest/abuse survivors with similar problems to mine, to heal from their wounds. The prayers of the House sustained me during this period of waiting. Additionally, I remained high functioning in the workplace and my marriage remained intact...The National Spiritual Assembly could not rule specifically on the issue of whether a Waiver of Familial Obligations could be granted, however, the magnitude of the suffering of my family members and myself were acknowledged and validated, and I received wonderful deepening materials on the subject that are hard to find in the current published Baha'i literature. My sense of feeling abandoned and sad over the loss of my biological family was greatly reduced as a result of receiving the written and prayerful support of the National Spiritual Assembly. This is because I felt loved and cared for by an Institution that responded to every care and concern I had....
I would look forward to communicating with any lay or professional people who are interested in the spiritual outlook, about how this subject can be further explored and developed.
(Editor's Note: If you are interested in communicating with the author, please forward your e-mail address to the "Healing Through Unity" newsletter with a brief note and we will forward it to the author's address.)
The Baha'i Network on AIDS, Sexuality, Addictions and Abuse has a website at http://www.globweb.com/bnasaa/. The abuse section contains a number of articles written by the House of Justice, as well as articles on various aspects of abuse, all from the Baha'i Writings. These articles cover the following issues: Types of abuse, Value in Recalling Events which happened long ago, Effects on the individual, Effects on the Abuser, The Recovery Process, Severe Mental tests, Role of Others, and Breaking the Cycle of violence and abuse. This section is wonderful for those dealing with this issue, but is generic enough to cover a broad spectrum of issues relating to spiritual transformation as well.
BAHA'U'LLAH I've Got The Blues
By Lyda Greer, Hay River, Northwest Territories, Canada
Laden with tests. You say are good for me
I know You would never overburden my soul
Your healing message isn't getting through to me
That's my problem I know
I'm stuck here in my humanness
Baha'u'llah I've got the blues
You wish me joy and happiness
You let no harm beset me in times of tests
These promises of Yours I know
And in my heart believe
For now I'm trapped within my humanness
Baha'u'llah I've got the blues
You are my Remover of my difficulties
The Dispeller of my grief
And all You ask of me
Is that I bare witness to my belief
Yet I can't rise above my humanness
Baha'u'llah I've got the blues
You offer me wings of joy
And hold me as I weep
You call me to a higher place
But my feet are planted deep into my humanness
Baha'u'llah I've got the blues
You befriend me in my loneliness
You refresh my drooping soul
You deprive me not of Thy Wonderous Grace
Still I revel in my humanness
Baha'u'llah I've got the blues
My spirit crawls along the ground
My soul cries out in pain
Only now can I put pen and paper to proclaim Your Name
The paint explores my humanness and sets my spirit free
Baha'u'llah Thank-you for the blues.
"WOMEN'S BODIES, WOMEN'S WISDOM
By Dale Sims, Ontario, Canada
I wish to share with you excerpts from "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom" written by Dr. Christian Northrup (obstetrician and gynecologist), 890 pages - revised in March, 1998 which I find extremely helpful and thought that you may too. Despite the focus on women and their bodies, this book would be enjoyed by men as well.
* Feelings are facts. Pay attention to them.
* Once an experience is consciously named and internalized, physically and emotionally, it can no longer influence us unconsciously.
* Many times healing cannot begin until we allow ourselves to feel how bad things are (or were in the past).
* We take responsibility for our own feelings and our own life.
* Part of creating health is allowing others to go through their own learning process.
* Hope, self-esteem and education are the most important factors in creating health daily.
* You don't need to know why your heart is racing or why you feel like crying. Understanding comes after you have allowed yourself to experience what you're feeling.
* The purpose of emotions, regardless of what they are, is to help us feel and participate fully in our own lives. To become aware of our inner guidance system, we must learn to trust our emotions. This isn't always so easy, because many of us have been taught to live our lives as though we were in a constant emergency situation.
* Remember, it is not the emotion itself that causes the problem - it is the inability to express the emotion fully, release it, and respond to the situation in a healthy, adaptive fashion.
* We cannot feel the heights of our joy unless we have felt the depths of our sadness.
OUR MINDS AND BELIEFS
* Though each of us is bombarded by millions of stimuli daily, our central nervous system and sense organs function in such a way as to choose and process only those stimuli that reinforce what we already believe about ourselves.
* The mind is located throughout the body.
* The mind can no longer be thought of as being confined to the brain or the intellect; it exists in every cell of our bodies.
* The intellect works best in service to our intuition, our inner guidance, soul, God, or higher power - whichever term we choose for the spiritual energy that animates life.
* Thoughts are just one part of our body's wisdom. A thought held long enough and repeated enough becomes a belief. The belief then becomes biology. Beliefs are energetic forces that create the physical basis for our individual lives and our health.
* It is important to understand that our beliefs go much deeper than our thoughts, and we cannot simply will them away. Many beliefs are completely unconscious and are not readily available to the intellect.
* It is a leap of faith that acknowledges the fact that all of us have inner guidance available within us and that this guidance has the power to remove our harmful beliefs.
* For a woman to change or improve her reality and her state of health, she first has to change her beliefs about what is possible.
* Curing, which is what doctors are called upon to do, usually consists of an external treatment; medication or surgery is used to mask or eliminate symptoms. This external treatment doesn't necessarily address the factors that contributed to the symptoms in the first place. Healing goes deeper than curing and must always come from within.
* By the "wisdom of the body", I mean that we must learn to trust that the symptoms in the body are often the only way that the soul can get our attention. Covering up our symptoms with external "cures" prevents us from healing the parts of our lives that need attention and change.
* For healing to occur, we must come to see that we are not so much responsible for our illnesses as are responsible to them. The healthiest people I know don't take their diseases or even their lives too personally. They spend very little time beating themselves up about their illnesses, their life circumstances, or anything else.
* Healing can occur in the present only when we allow ourselves to feel, express, and release emotions from the past that we have suppressed or tried to forget. I call this emotional incision and drainage.
* When a woman comes to me because she is having panic attacks or crying spells, I know that some emotional material is ready to come up to be processed. To observers who haven't experienced the deep process, she may appear to be "losing it", "going off the deep end," or "getting out of control". She is not "out of control" however; she is simply allowing a healing process to arise within the body. Only the intellect has lost control - it has taken a back seat to the innate wisdom of the body.
* Our bodies function best when we're doing work that feels exactly right to us. If we want to know God's will for us, all we have to do is look to our gifts and talents - that is where we will find it.
* I learned that when I take care of myself, everything else takes care of itself.
This poem was written by Hand of the Cause of God Adelbert Muhlschlegel, translated into English by his daughter.
Climb on unceasingly
For if you tried to shun the heights
To seek in gardens fair delights
You'd wander restlessly
So, climb unceasingly
Be your own self, be free
Whatever tempts you left or right
Alluring, teasing, twinkling bright
It scatters instantly
So be yourself, be free
Climb on unceasingly
And if it trying, do not moan
It is your path, your path alone
So be yourself, be free
And climb unceasingly.
SPIRITUAL HEALTH HABITS
Here are some essential elements for our spiritual and physical health from an eminent physician.
1) Trust in God
2) Consult a skilled physician and follow his instructions
3) Practice detachment from all save God
4) Practice moderation
5) Pray and meditate daily; read the Creative Word morning and evening
6) Be happy always
9) Practice patience
10) Eat simple, natural plant foods
11) Drink adequate pure water
12) Evaluate progress daily, summarize weekly
Thank you very much for your beautiful newsletter. My sincere love surrounds you.
Our goal should be to enter into the Kingdom of God and have all of our activities centered in that realm. Abdul'Baha tell us that in order to do this we should develop qualities such as: the love of God, truthfulness, steadfastness, faithfulness, holiness and chasity and the sacrifice of life. These virtues are mentioned in page 282 of Some Answered Questions.
Baha'u'llah gives us some quidelines on how to accomplish this by using the power of the Most Great Name. He writes, "Walk thou high above the world of being through the power of the Most Great Name, that thou mayest become aware of the immemorial mysteries and become acquainted with that wherewith no one is acquainted. Verily, thy Lord is the Helper, the All Knowing, the All-Informed. Be thou as a throbbing artery, pulsating in the body of the entire creation, that through the heat generated by this motion there may appear that which will ignite the hearts of those who hesitate." (p.242 Writings of Baha'u'llah, The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of India)
Eugenia Pritchard, Florida, U.S.A.
I would like to thank you for the lastest issue (Volume 2, Issue#1) of "Healing Through Unity". I try to encourage as many of my friends as possible to read this inspirational newsletter and I will use parts of it in a fireside I will be giving in December, 1998.
Mary Tabarsi Tsang, Hong Kong
Just to say a big Thank You for the last 3 issues of your wonderful newsletter. It is full of gems of wisdom and illuminating comments. I hope to print some of the material and share them with my friends.
Venus Alae Carew, Dumfries, Scotland
It really is so good to see the start of another year of healing for our body and soul, and strengthening bonds of unity around the world through this wonderful newsletter.
Mariette and Ho-San Leong, Papua New Guinea
I recently received an e-mail of the "Healing Through Unity" newsletter, May 1998 issue which contained an article that you wrote titled "Listening to our Body". I wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed the e-mail and I am interested in subscribing to the newsletter.
I work as a Doctor of Chiropractic so health issues are a very big part of my life. As a new Baha'i I have been rather excited with the Baha'i writings regarding health. They are very much the principles that chiropractic has been teaching for the last 100 years, mind you not all chiropractors are teaching these principles. The founder of chiropractic, D.D. Palmer, has written in 1910 that the principles of health that he teaches came to him from the spirit world. This occured around 1895. Since becoming a Baha'i this statement carries a much greater meaning to me. When I understand that Baha'u'llah was the source of all the new knowledge that humanity enjoys today, I start to see the big picture and it makes my service as a Doctor of Chiropractic that much more rewarding.
Dan Boyle, Stirling, Ontario, Canada, ( www.intranet.ca/~adio/ )
I thought you might be interested in the new "Three Tools for Healing" art print I recently produced. It is a full-color 8-1/2 x 11" sheet with quotations about Medical Treatment, Prayer and Joy & Laughter interwoven around calligraphy titles. On the back is a short pamphlet about balancing physical, mental and spiritual healing. It is designed to catch the attention of people in the healing professions as well as anyone concerned about their own health.
You can see a picture of it at http://www.special-ideas.com
It is listed with poster-pamphlets.
Justice St Rain, Special Ideas, 1-800-326-1197
QUESTION OF THE MONTH
The question for this month is:
"What methods do the native culture and indigenous populations use to assist with our healing and development?"
Please share all your responses or if you have other comments for the newsletter or "Question for the Month" ideas, please write to: Frances Mezei by e-mail, -- .
Other than the quoted Writings, the material in this newsletter represents the thoughts and opinions of the writers and has no authority. You are free to copy articles, provided you indicate the source of the article. If you have a change of e-mail address or wish to unsubscribe the newsletter, please let me know. There are 10 issues per year; it is not published during July and August.
With most loving greetings,