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 #3
Chinese medicine? You mean acupuncture, right? Well, yes, but there's more. Its approach is totally different than what we're used to in the West. Here, a doctor cures diseases. But in China, traditionally, a doctor was responsible for health. The two ideas aren't exactly the same. For example, we only go to a doctor when we feel sick. He or she diagnoses our problem, and prescribes a remedy. Whether we get better or not, we pay for the service. But according to what someone told me, in a traditional Chinese village, the doctor was paid only when everyone was in good health. He made regular visits to the villagers to make sure they stayed healthy. If someone fell sick, he wouldn't receive his salary that week.
Believe it or not, there is a doctor in Santiago who seems to follow this method. She is an acupuncturist, and uses other natural healing methods too. But she only accepts payment when her patients get well. Her name is Gisela Salves. When she was young, an Israeli doctor saved her life with Chinese medicine. He used acupuncture to cure her of leukemia. She was so grateful she decided to devote her life to healing. For 20 years she lived in Israel, studying and developing her skills in acupuncture and natural medicine. Recently she decided to return home to Chile, and now works in a small clinic in Providencia. When you walk into her office, the first thing you notice is that there is no receptionist. She handles everything. Five patients at a time follow her into the treatment room. Some sit in chairs, some lie down. During the half hour it takes for the acupuncture needles to work, she educates her patients. She talks about wholeness. She explains how the healing process works, how the right food can keep you healthy. After treatment, she makes small chiropractic adjustments and prescribes herbal and homeopathic remedies. She often recommends particular foods to eat or avoid. Natural healing takes time. It could require weekly visits to the clinic. But no matter how much you insist, she won't accept any payment until the healing process is complete, and you are strong and healthy.
(This article was submitted by Daryoush Yazdani from Japan. He came across it in "Success in English" which is a resource for developing English language skills produced by Robert Mackay Mcllvride.)
"The bounty of good health is the greatest of all gifts."
('Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha, p. 151)
"O thou distinguished physician!... Praise be to God that thou hast two powers: one to undertake physical healing and the other spiritual healing. Matters related to man's spirit have a great effect on his bodily condition. For instance, thou shouldst impart gladness to thy patient, give him comfort and joy, and bring him to ecstasy and exultation. How often hath it occurred that this hath caused early recovery. Therefore, treat thou the sick with both powers. Spiritual feelings have a surprising effect on healing nervous ailments."
(Helen Hornby, Lights of Guidance, pp. 285-286)
It is incumbent upon everyone to seek medical treatment and to follow the doctor's instructions, for this is in compliance with the divine ordinance, but, in reality, He Who giveth healing is God.
(Abdu'l-Baha: Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p.156)
In the October, 1998 issue, the question was asked:
"What methods do the native culture and indigenous populations use to assist with our healing and development?"
I have been blessed to have been able to work with a number of the Native people in British Columbia and Northern Canada. There is an element of non-spoken healing through different cermonies and practises that I have come to rely on and respect as part of my own healing process. I won't get into a lot of details here but I would like to share an experience with a drum dance that took place at the local Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centre here on the reserve. Every Saturday night, when the residents are not on the land there is a AA meeting followed by a drum dance open to everyone in the community. At one of these drum dances there were a number of inmates from the local jail as well as the residents of the Treatment Centre. The atmosphere was heavy and oppressive. When the drummers came and lined up to start the drum dance the change in the mood was so palitable that I awoke the next morning with a painting and poetry of the event in my heart and mind. I spent the day working on it, then had it framed and gave it to the treatment centre. It has flowers in the four corners and a drum and drum stick drawn in the middle of it. Over the drum the following poem is written.
THE POWER OF THE DRUM
Vacant eyes, shuffling feet
downcast faces, reflect defeat.
Weighty worries, sagging shoulders
so much sadness, makes us older.
The drummers come lined in a row;
heads come up, spirits grow
eyes light up, the beat begins.
The soul responds to let the healing in.
Slowly one by one the dance begins;
the steady beat resounds within
connects us to Mother Earth.
The ancient rhythm does its work,
it's the heartbeat of the universe.
Our souls and God converse;
it is the beat that has stood the test of time
to the soul, it is the ultimate wine.
Every atom does proclaim
to the greatness of His Name.
The darkness leaves, the pain subsides;
the drugs, the alcohol, these are alive
but powerless to touch our souls.
As the beat continues to grow,
the drummers drum in a row.
Their healing message freely flows
this is the power of the drum.
Lyda Greer,Hay River, NWT Canada
THE FOUR WORLDS ELDERHEALTH PROGRAM
( This is one of the current programs offered by Four Worlds International Institute for Human and Community Development, Alberta, Canada)
"Elderhealth" was developed in response to a crisis in tribal communities created by the untimely death of many native elders. Not only did these deaths generate great sadness at the loss of dearly loved relatives, but it also meant that greatly needed knowledge and wisdom was rapidly disappearing, just when tribal communities were beginning to seriously address their social and economic challenges.
Through Four Worlds discretionary funds and with the generous support of the Canadian Government (Health Canada), Four Worlds was able to undertake a seven year research and development process in partnership with native elders and communities. The result is a "comprehensive elder wellness and leadership development program" that addresses the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health of elders, but also builds the support systems at the family and community level to sustain the wellness gains made through participation in the program.
The results of this program have seemed almost miraculous: the severity of diabetes (type B - a big killer in tribal communities) was significantly reduced in many cases, physical stamina and strength was greatly improved (from walks around the room to walks of three to five miles). Beyond these benefits, relatively inactive elders became active agents of health promotion in their families and communities. The most exciting aspect of this program is to see the vitality, sense of purpose and energy return to the elders. The program is simple, but comprehensive. It addresses nutrition, exercise, mental health, spiritual well-being and leadership skills. A carefully crafted curriculum guide makes program implementations relatively easy for any community willing to invest modest amounts of money and human energy into preserving a precious living resource: the elders.
Phil Lane Jr., International Co-ordinator, Alberta, Canada
( If you would like further information on Four Worlds, please visit the web site: http://nucleus.com/4worlds )
TRADITIONAL HEALING WAYS OF THE PEOPLE IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA (PNG)
First of all I would like to share that in PNG, the Most Holy Book is not yet translated into the Nalik language, although one day in the future it will surely be so. The Bahai communities everywhere have a great reverence for the Kitab-i-Aqdas, and so they go to great lengths of preparation to receive it in their respective community, building a spirit or sacred house for it.
The people of PNG have over the years taught themselves how to use the curative healing powers of plants and herbs. While "western" medicine is now used widely in health centres and aid posts, they have not forgotten nature and how much their lives depend on it. In this sense, they are especially close to nature and its environment, and therefore, spiritually inclined with the healing powers that are "hidden" in the fruits, flowers, roots and plants that are found in their village gardens and forests. From the frangipani tree, they use the sap extracted from the leaf to cure them of asthma. The leaves of the guava tree, for instance, when minced, give a juice that helps to get rid of a sore throat. The pawpaw, or papaya, leaf is used in brewing a tea to ward off malaria; the pawpaw seeds, crushed and dried, are also used for the same purpose. At night in the village the people burn a certain kind of grass that gives off a smoke that keeps mosquitoes away. The common cold, and flu are also treated in a similar manner, using leaves of a certain bush plant. The leaves are warmed over the fire, and the juice extracted, and you drink it, which alleviates the illness and soon makes it go away! Some leaves are chewed, and you just suck on its juice; it has similar effect of getting rid of your cold. There are special herbs that are crushed into a pulp, and the juice is force-fed through the nose, to cure mouth ulcers, and equally, mouth cancers. A certain plant is known to help cure syphillis and related sexually transmitted diseases, while other plants are used to help mothers have easy natural births. There are other plants, by contrast, that are used for natural birth control!
Mariette & Ho-San Leong, Papua New Guinea
When I was adopted as a Tlingit, in the great Yukon Territory of Canada, my wonderful Indian mother reminded me that both physical and spiritual healing can be heightened through prayer, in the hour before dawn. Having practiced it now for many years, I understand her great wisdom, and will be thankful to her for that advice through all the worlds of God. The next paragraph will perhaps give people an insight into what this adopted son, of Ida Calmegan, now understands about the power of prayer in the hour before dawn.
In the hour before dawn, in that moment of most solitude, the love of God begins to stir within me. In the quiet of that darkest hour, my longing heart sings out its praises. At once I am transported beyond this mortal world and into the arms of The Great Spirit. And it is a feeling beyond belief. In that myriad of time found in the twinkling of an eye, a single wisdom flashes before me. It is but a drop from the bottomless ocean of the Creator's wisdom. And my drowning in its depths, is with pleasure. For a brief eternity, the Oneness that admits to no duplicity, refreshes my spirit, rejuvenates my soul, and re-establishes my fear of Him. For it is fear alone; fear of remoteness from God, that helps me polish the mirror of my heart, and enables the depths of my obedience and submission to grow ever more bottomless. In the span of eternity, the hourglass of time will record our greatest steps forward to have taken place after prayer, in the hour before dawn.
Glenn Darling, Sidney BC, Canada
By Jean-Christophe Casu, Aosta, Italy
Many friends have asked me to write what follows. I finally decided after two years of encouragement and persuasion to talk about this personal matter. I became convinced that my experience could be a comfort to manypeople who were ill and perhaps give a ray of hope to the suffering.
I lost my hearing completely in October 1996. I underwent a surgical operation to remove a chronic ear infection. After a while, I began hearing in my right ear (where I had lost the hearing completely since 1969), apart from the usual noises, music! I was astonished! It had nothing to do with music that I had already heard, where one would think of a phenomenon linked to memory. This music was completely new! I asked my ear specialist how this was possible but he was unable to give any answer except joking about the fact that during the operation the doctors might have forgotten to switch off the radio!
As I concentrated on what I was hearing, I gained an increased awareness that they weren't just noises that gave an illusion of being music because the noises were there in my ears and I was still hearing the music at the same time. Further proof came when the music I began to hear were voices! Voices that were singing to the music, like a choir! The most surprising thing was when a tenor voice began to sing to lead the music and the choir, just as in an opera. Sometimes there are two solo voices doing a duet. These are not reminiscences because I have never heard these pieces before!
I woke up one morning with a piece of music (still in my right ear) that was so celestial, uplifting and exalted that I was moved to tears. Only the word "divine" can render remotely the beauty of this music. The music of Mozart, Beethoven, J.S Bach express a human touch even in their most spiritually uplifting pieces whereas the music I was hearing was completely devoid of any human touch. It belonged to another world, at least that's how it seemed to me.... The following dreams confirm this.
A young man is singing in a square full of people. I realize that these people are Baha'is. The gentleman is singing beautiful classical music. All of a sudden I see my mother among the crowd (My mother passed away two years ago). She beckons to a group of persons with whom I am to come and sit in a certain place where there are seats. The tenor performs wonders with his voice. His song is powerful and so beautiful that at a certain point I wake up and realize that I am hearing the same music and song in my ears!
There is a very large gathering at an important event in an immense park. A well-known singer is asked to sing. He accepts and begins to sing a magnificent song with a Baha'i theme entitled "One Mankind" (This song has nothing to do with any known song composed by Baha'is). The crowd is ecstatic! I wake up with the song permeating my whole being. I was literally vibrating from the energy emanating from the song coming out of my ears!
I am walking along a path on a hillside holding a stick in one hand and a branch adorned with leaves in the other. It is a hot and sunny day. As I approach a little wall overlooking a valley, I hear music of unspeakable beauty as I climb the wall with a wondrous sensation of victory! This stupendous music uplifts me and transmits a great feeling of elation. When I wake up I have exactly the same music in my ear....
The above demonstrates that the music of the dreams and what I am hearing in my ear belong to the same realm. This is indicated in the Baha'i Writings.
"... your eyes have been opened to the light of guidance and your ears attuned to the music of the Company above; and blessed by abounding grace, your hearts and souls have been born into new life." ( Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 35)
"When the song is of the Kingdom, it rejoiceth the soul." (ibid, p. 180)
"The field larks are become the festival's musicians, and lifting wondrous voices they cry and sing to the melodies of the Company on high." (ibid, p. 255)
"Only the perceiving eye beholdeth the rays of the sun, only the listening ear can hear the singing of the Concourse on high." (ibid, p. 22)
The music and the singing are not only limited to classical and religious music. Sometimes I hear African music or Persian music with chanting. Sometimes it is only a piano playing, other times it is jazz music and frequently it is music that I am unable to describe. Music coming from an immense and infinite realm. It is always comforting music, conveying very rich emotional sensations of a very high level. The same pieces of music are heard more than once and each time they have the same effect on me. They take me back to Africa, to Iran, to France.... The strange thing is that because I hear this music continuously, I have the impression that I am not deaf. Therefore, I am surprised that I cannot hear the voices of the people around me! I hope you will get the chance to experience this wondrous celestial music which is available to us all.
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
I recieved the news of your wonderful newsletter and I really enjoyed your first article that was sent to me by e-mail. I am the coordinator of the Baha'i Health Agency of South Africa and would like to subscribe to your newsletter and let the other Baha'i health professionals of South Africa know about your wonderful articles.
Dr Roya Shams, South Africa
I read your newsletter for Sept and Oct and loved them, especially the poems and stories. I believe that these are the best means for helping people make paradigm shifts and thus look upon life through new eyes. I honour your service to our worldwide community in producing this newsletter. Speaking of paradigm shifts I would like to share with you a story from a few months of my life last year.
A friend suggested I read 'Seven Habits of Highly Effective People' by Stephen Covey. Through completing an exercise from this book where I imagined myself at my own funeral and listened to a friend, a family member, and a community member speak of my life. What would I like to hear them say. From this exercise I was able to set my long term life goals. I came to the realisation that without regular prayer and meditation I could not be an effective mother, friend, sister or community member. I now use this book as a teaching tool for, after much paradigm shifting material and exercises Mr. Covey stresses the need for a balance in our lives of intellectual, spiritual and physical health.
Sue Haselhurst, Australia
We have received your e-mail newsletter, "Healing Through Unity" and are very impressed. We are pioneers in the Northern Mariana Islands and are for the most part isolated. There is a large group in Guam, over 100 miles away, and we see them maybe once a year. We have been pioneering for almost 25 years in a number of places and most of that time was also isolated in very primitative situations. (We love it) Our deepening is limited because my husband and I think so much alike and we need outside influences to aid us in deepening. Your newsletter and deepening kit will help. I have some medical friends that are willing to take these deepening courses with us.
Anna Crawford, Northern Mariana Islands, U.S.
I notice the offer from Justice St. Rain to check out "Three Tools for Healing" (see October, 1998 issue). Readers may be interested in knowing that the Northern Ohio Baha'i community recently gave away about 5000 copies of this art print at the Whole Life Expo, an exposition focused on healing, peace, new age types of themes, etc. held in the Cleveland area. Its beauty had a strong impact on people.
A main booth at the entrance to the expo was so impressed with it, they asked to keep a stack of the prints at their booth for people to take. They are beautifully presented for the healing professions.
Susanne Alexander, Freelance Journalist, Ohio, U.S.
WHERE DOES OUR "HEALING THROUGH UNITY" NEWSLETTER GO?
You might be interested to know the newsletter now goes to 53 countries/territories:
Canada, United States, Israel, Poland, Denmark, Italy, Belarus, Papua New Guinea, England, Cyprus, Japan, Belgium, Taiwan, South Africa, Bolivia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Kenya, Ecuador, France, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Australia, Austria, Switzerland, New Zealand, Chile, Solomon Islands, Spain, Malaysia, Germany, South Korea, Ireland, Thailand, Puerto Rico, Belize, The Netherlands, Scotland, Wales, Oman, China, Alaska, Hawaii, Portugal, Turkey, Dominican Republic, Trinidad & Tobago, Mongolia, Iceland, Northern Mariana Islands.
(If we have missed your country/territory, please kindly let us know)
There have been 30 copies of the "Healing Through Unity" Course kits sent out to the readers. We look forward to hearing the results of these courses.
QUESTION OF THE MONTH
The question for this month is:
"What are some of the practical ways to deal with stress?"
Please share all your stories 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.
Warmest greetings and prayers,