HEALING THROUGH UNITY
A monthly newsletter dedicated to serving the principles of
physical and spiritual health envisioned in the Baha'i Teachings.
Volume 2, Issue #9
- Under His Wings
- The Exchange
- Steps for Healing
- Dynamics of Prayer for Solving Problems
- Hour of Power - Ritual of Joy (Poem)
- Six Types of Healing - Type Three
- Question of the Month
- Purpose of the Newsletter
UNDER HIS WINGS
An article in National Geographic several years ago provided a penetrating picture of God's wings...
After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno's damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother's wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxicsmoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies.
When the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, those under the cover of her wings would live...
"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge;..." (Psalm 91:4)
"Cause me to rest under the shadow of the wings of Thy grace, for the flame of my separation from Thee hath melted my heart within me. Draw me nearer unto the river that is life indeed, for my soul burneth with thirst in its ceaseless search after Thee." ( Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations, p. 22)
"I implore Thee, O Thou Who art the beloved Companion of Baha, by Thy name, the All-Glorious, to keep safe these Thy servants under the shadow of the wings of Thine all-encompassing mercy, that the darts of the evil suggestions of the wicked doers among Thy creatures, who have disbelieved in Thy signs, may be kept back from them." (Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations, p. 11)
"Praised be Thou, O Lord my God! This is Thy servant whom Thou hast in the kingdom of Thy names called by Thine own name, and whom Thou hast reared under the wings of Thy grace and favours." (Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations, p. 47)
"May our beloved and vigilant Master ever keep you under His wings, and inspire you to promote far and wide and in a most effective manner the manifold interests of His Faith and its ever-developing institutions." (Shoghi Effendi, The Light of Divine Guidance Vol. 1, pp. 71-72)
"My fervent and constant prayer is that Baha'u'llah may ever keep them safe and protected under the shadow of His wings and aid them to play a worthy and memorable part in these tragic days of the Formative Period of our beloved Cause." (Shoghi Effendi, Unfolding Destiny, pp. 139-40)
In the April 1999 issue, the question was asked:
"What is the meaning of 'ill-health' when referring to the exemption from fasting and the obligatory prayer?"
As to the question from the brave soul in South Africa, about when am I healthy or ill; I have two chronic problems that prevent me from fasting although they are not debilitating. Therefore, I usually consider myself to be in good health. My related question, which often troubles me since I passed the age of 60, is whether I am sick or just aging. People say I look very young for my years but are stiff joints, back ache and fatigue just signs of aging or of illness? Most of the women of my family, on both sides, live or lived exceptionally long lives and I expect to have another 30 to 40 years. I just resist having to accept physical limitations. Does anyone have any gems to share?
- Myrtle Gordon
I was thinking about the question posed in the newsletter about prayer and fasting when ill and was thinking that as we mature we need the laws less. The laws are a safety net under us, to let us not fall too far back ... but as the spirit permeates and takes hold of our soul we would actually not be able to act in any other way than in accordance with the spirit. We become truly free and not bound by rules ...
Not Able to Fast
At this time of year encouragement for the friends to fast is widespread. Then comes the celebration of how glorious it was to take part.
Do the friends not realise that there are many of us who are forbidden to fast, often as in my case, on medical grounds?
When I first became a Baha'i I was sometimes criticised for not taking part and I have experienced this attitude since. May I suggest that instead of criticising or making people feel low by loudly proclaiming the glories of self-discipline and spiritual development, the friends realise that there are many of us who cannot fast. We envy those who can take part and cry inwardly because we cannot.
It is already difficult enough to celebrate Naw Ruz (which marks the end of the Fast as well as the beginning of the year), without being made to feel inferior or lacking in Baha'i devotion by such remarks as "You didn't fast? Really you should - it's marvellous."
- By Ron Roe - this letter is taken from the Baha'i Journal UK, March/April 1999 issue.
I am unable to Fast because of low blood sugar condition. Each year, however, I try until I become ill, in the hopes my condition has changed in some way. I usually become quite ill the first day. I do however continue to rise at dawn, eat before sunrise and say dawn prayers and readings for the fast to partake in the spiritual renewal the fast provides. I try to snack only as necessary to stay well and functioning and eat dinner after sunset.
My husband who is not a Baha'i joins me for breakfast and dawn prayers. This is a most special time in our marriage. While I do feel sad that I cannot fully participate in the fast, I look forward to and cherish this time in which we receive much bounty and spiritual renewal and an opportunity to focus on our lives. All of us can observe the spiritual aspect of the Fast and gain those divine bounties. I used to work at the Canadian National Baha'i Centre where several members were unable to fast from time to time, and I felt quite comfortable eating my lunch daily. Having the bounty of saying prayers in the presence of the shoes worn by Abdu'l-Baha during his visit to Canada (these shoes are located at the National Baha'i Centre) was a very sacred gift. Only God knows who, in His eyes has observed the Fast.
- Mary Hougham, Ontario, Canada
"Since Thou hast adorned them, O my Lord, with the ornament of the fast prescribed by Thee, do Thou adorn them also with the ornament of Thine acceptance, through Thy grace and bountiful favor. For the doings of men are all dependent upon Thy good-pleasure, and are conditioned by Thy behest. Shouldst Thou regard him who hath broken the fast as one who hath observed it, such a man would be reckoned among them who from eternity had been keeping the fast. And shouldst Thou decree that he who hath observed the fast hath broken it, that person would be numbered with such as have caused the Robe of Thy Revelation to be stained with dust, and been far removed from the crystal waters of this living Fountain." (Baha'u'llah, Baha'i Prayers, U.S. 1985, pp. 262-63)
STEPS FOR HEALING
The following excerpts from "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom" written by Dr. Christiane Northup (obstetrician and gynecologist) outlines 12 practical steps for healing. They are taken from chapter 15, pages 579 - 641. Although it's written for women, men could benefit just as well from it. "These steps have proved helpful to women who want to become more deeply in tune with the inner guidance of their bodies, minds and spirits. By going through the steps mindfully, you will be practicing preventive medicine at its best, whether or not you are currently being treated for anything. I'd recommend that you use a journal to write down your responses to these steps and record whatever material comes up for you." (ibid, 579)
Imagine Your Future: Change Your Consciousness, Change Your Cells
"For years, I had my patients begin their health journeys by exploring their pasts to find clues to how they were creating their present conditions...It is really our vision and hope for the future that heals us and draws us forward. Our cells keep replacing themselves daily, and we create a whole new body every seven years. So it is not really accurate to say that our pasts are locked in our bodies. What is realy going on is that the consciousness that is creating our cells is often locked in the past - and that consciousness keeps re-creating the same old patterns. If, however, we can change the consciousness that creates our cells, then our cells and lives improve automatically. The easiest and fastest way to do this is to imagine your future self in as much detail as you possibly can. You can ask yourself this question: 'If you were in optimal health, what would your life look like?'" (ibid, pp. 579-80)
Step One: Get Your History Straight
"It is helpful for each woman to get her medical, social, and family history straight.." Dr. Northrup has "each patient fill out an extensive questionnaire that covers not only their medical history but their family history and a "daily living profile' in which they check off the effects of their living situation, job, relationships, and other factors on their health. Many of our patients find that taking the time to pull all this information together enables them to see patterns that they had not seen before." (ibid, p. 582)
Step Two: Sort Through Your Beliefs
Dr. Northrup asks us these questions suggesting that we consult them with a friend, and then write down the reponses. "Do you understand how inherited cultural attitudes toward our female physiological processes such as menstruation and menopause have contributed to the illnesses suffered by our female bodies?"
"Do you believe you can be healthy?"
"What challenges were part of your childhood?"
"What purpose does your illness serve? What does it mean to you?"
"Are you willing to be open to any messages that your symptoms or illness may have for you?"
"When faced with an illness, what is your usual reaction?"
"What is preventing you from healing yourself?"
"Do you still take on everyone else's problems and put yourself last? This is the classic dilemma for women. Feeling the need to be the healer and peacemaker for our entire family or place of work is a pattern that many of us learn in childhood. To create health, a woman must face this tendency squarely and commit to changing it."
"Do you fully understand the workings of your female body and how intimately your thoughts and feelings are connected to your physical health?"
"Are you following your life's purpose? Our bodies are designed to function best when we're involved in activities and work that feel exactly right to us." (ibid, pp. 590-601)
Step Three: Respect and Release Your Emotions
"Emotions are a vital part of our inner guidance. Like our illnesses, our dreams, and our lives, our emotions are ours, and we must own them and pay attention to them. We must learn to feel our emotions, release our judgements about them, and be grateful for their guidance. They let us know how we are directing our life-energy. Chronic anger or sadness, by the law of attraction, tends to attract situations to us that are filled with anger or sadness. Daily doses of joy and appreciation of ourselves and others tend to attract joy and appreciation into our lives.
Children automatically know how to feel their emotions and then let go. When they're hurt, they stop and cry. After just a short time, they're back out playing again. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross points out that a child's natural anger and emotional outburst around it lasts about fifteen seconds. Shaming or blaming the child for that anger, however, blocks its natural release. The child's natural emotion may get stuck and become a form of self-pity that remains with the person for years! Kubler-Ross points out that people who weren't allowed a natural expression of anger are often 'marinated in self-pity' as adults and are difficult to be around...It takes a great deal of energy to hold in our natural emotions. In fact, it's exhausting. If we haven't felt our feelings regularly during a period of personal crisis or change, we often have a backlog of sealed-off emotion stored up in our bodies.
Emotional suppression is a pattern that gets passed down from generation to generation. Many women have a natural rage that's been held in check for decades. They hold in oceans of tears that are yet to be shed." (ibid, pp. 601-602)
Step Four: Learn to Listen to Your Body
"Learning to listen to and respect your body is a process that requires patience and compassion.
* Make a note of those things in your life that are difficult, painful,joyful, etc. As these things come up, notice your breathing, your heart rate, and your bodily sensation.
* Pay attention to what your body feels like. Do you feel like crying?
* What is your image of yourself?
* Notice how you routinely talk to your body. What happens when you look in the mirror each morning? Do you criticize your face, your legs, your hair?
* Pay attention to your thoughts and observe how they affect your body.
* Notice what your body needs on a daily basis.
* Notice whether there are parts of your body that you have disowned.
* When you experience a bodily sensation such as back pain, "a gut reaction", a headache, or abdominal pain, pay attention to it and see if you can pinpoint the emotional situation that may have triggered it.
* Stand in front of a mirror regularly, and thank your body for all it has done for you. (ibid, pp. 604-606)
Step Five: Learn to Respect Your Body
"Almost all women in the United States have a body image distortion because of the millions of images of 'perfect' airbrushed women that the media flash at us continually. We begin comparing ourselves with these icons of perfection even before puberty. Thus, we often relate to our bodies via negative comparisons: "My hips are too fat, my knees are ugly, my hair is too thin." (ibid, p. 607)
"Our approach to dressing, makeup, hair, and personal care can be well served by the wisdom of Dolly Parton, who said, 'Find out who you are, then do it on purpose.' If we can find out who we are on the inside, we can then express it on the outside." (ibid, p. 609)
Step Six: Acknowledge a Higher Power or Inner Wisdom
"Our bodies are permeated and nourished by spiritual energy and guidance. Having faith and trust in this reality is an important part of creating health. When a woman has faith in something greater than her intellect or her present circumstances, she is in touch with her inner source of power." (ibid, p. 610)
"When we invite the sacred into our lives by sincerely asking our inner wisdom, or higher power, or God for guidance in our lives, we're invoking great power. This can't be taken lightly. The reason people are cynical about this and make fun of it is that they are afraid. When you sincerely invite in the sacred to assist you with your life, you are granting permission for your life to change." (ibid, p. 611-612)
Editor's comment: Here are quotes from the Baha'i Writings that states, "All true healing comes from God" (Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p.19) and "Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee, mighty, powerful and self-subsisting." (Baha'u'llah, Hidden Words, Arabic #13)
Step Seven: Reclaim the Fullness of Your Mind
"If we are to reclaim the wisdom of our bodies, we must also reclaim our intellects, our minds, and our ability to think. Once we have experienced how intimately our thoughts and bodily symptoms are related and how intelligent we are, our thinking is less distracted by cultural hypnosis and we trust our inner voice.
Journal writing, writing practice, and meditation are methods that many have used to successfullly get in touch with their inner voices and get to know their minds...I learned through my writing that my thoughts have order, direction, and intelligence, and that these are all related to my well being.
To become free of thoughts and beliefs that don't serve you, you must be able to hear them as they arise. Writing practice is a profound tool for learning how to hear ourselves and to appreciate the multi modal nature of our thoughts. Everyone has this ability, but it is devalued and therefore underdeveloped in our culture....For years, the word 'worthy' came up in my writing because on some deep level I didn't feel 'worthy'. I spent hours asking myself what I meant by this word. Images of school, authorities, and tests always arose around this word. Eventually, my meditation on the word 'worthy' led me to a breakthrough understanding of the orginal sin of being female. How could I have felt worthy, given my cultural programming?
If a word or phrase continually comes into your mind, it is important - it has meaning for you. Explore it. Write about it. Meditate on it. It will have meaning for you, no matter what it is.
I often ask patients to carry out a dialogue with their bodily symptoms or with the organ that is giving them problems, through writing, meditation, or drawing. Sitting with your journal open while being receptive to your thoughts, ask your body what it needs or what it is trying to tell you." (ibid, p. 615-618)
Editor's note: Abdu'l-Baha explains the effects of emptying our minds: "I now assure thee...that if thy mind become empty and pure from every mention and thought and thy heart attracted wholly to the Kingdom of God, forget all else besides God and come in communion with the Spirit of God, then the Holy Spirit will assist thee with a power which will enable thee to penetrate all things, and a Dazzling Spark which enlightens all sides, a Brilliant Flame in the zenith of the heaven, will teach thee that which thou dost not know of the facts of the universe and of the divine doctrine." (Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith, p. 369)
Step Eight: Get Help
"Asking for help does not mean that we are weak or incompetent. It usually indicates an advanced level of honesty and intelligence." -Anne Wilson Schaef (ibid, p. 622)
"Setting aside time and money to go and talk with a skilled listener can be invaluable....Many therapists have helped people begin to look at their lives differently and effect change. A good therapist should be like a midwife, standing by while someone gives birth to what's best in themselves." (ibid, p. 622)
"There are many different kinds of therapists. The entire field has been changing in response to evolving knowledge about addiction, recovery and the influence of childhood trauma. Therapy is not something that should go on for years, in my view. When it does, it can become an addictive process in and of itself. All relationships, therapeutic or otherwise, work best when the participants see each other as essentially whole beings with inner resources and strengths, though sometimes in temporary need of assistance.
Though individual therapy is often a first step for many women, group work of some kind can be powerful in that this setting helps us see that our problems are shared by so many others." (ibid, p 624)
"It has been my experience that women with histories of trauma recover most effectively in a type of group therapy known as DBT (Dialective Behavioral Therapy). This form of therapy focuses not exclusively on the past trauma, but on helping people develop the skills necessary to live productive, healthy lives in the present. I have found that it is not generally helpful to these women to spend a great deal of time revisiting the past, where it is too easy to get stuck in pain and immobility. Instead, women with trauma histories need to learn to develop the skills that they never developed in childhood. In DBT training, women learn to answer the following questions and then take effective, balanced action.
* What am I feeling?
* What is the purpose of this feeling?
* What do I need to do for myself to deal effectively with this feeling?
I have seen more improvement in women's lives with this model than with any of the others. These skills are practical and helpful for everyone, not just those with histories of trauma." (ibid, 625)
Step Nine: Work with Your Body
"For some women, talking things out is simply not enough. 'I know all of the things that happened to me as a child and with my husband,' said one woman, 'but talking about it just doesn't change a thing. I seem to be going in circles.' When this happens, we often obsess and seem to spin our wheels. It's easy to get locked into 'thought addiction' - a kind of gerbil wheel in the brain that keeps us going around in circles.
Much of the information we need to heal is locked in our muscles and other body parts. Getting a good massage will often release old energy blockages and help us cry or get rid of chronic pain for 'holding the world on our shoulders'. There are many types of bodywork such as Reiki, acupuncture, therapeutic touch, Rolfing, etc.
Work on and with the body can be an opportunity for understanding and experiencing the unity of our bodymind. These therapies are often deeply relaxing and give our bodies a chance to rest and sleep, a time when much of the body's repair work goes on." (ibid, p. 628)
Step Ten: Gather Information
"Currently, more books of interest to women are available than at any other time in history....I recommend going to your bookstore or library and using your inner guidance to help you make a choice. Acknowledge that you have the wisdom to choose the right book at the right time. Just sit with the books for a while and look over a few titles. See which ones speak to you. Choose the ones that feel right and have appeal. You cannot make a mistake....It is a powerful experience for women to begin to reclaim our forgotten history by reading about our bodies, menstruation and childbirth, all written from a women's point of view." (ibid, p. 629)
Step Eleven: Forgive
"Forgiveness frees us. It heals our bodies and our lives. But it is also the most difficult step we must take in our healing process. It takes a great deal of energy to keep someone out of our hearts...Forgiveness and making amends are completely linked. Holding a grudge and maintaining hatred or resentment hurts us as least as much as the other person.
Forgiveness moves our energy to the heart area. When the body's energy moves there, we don't take our wounds so personally - and we can heal. Forgiveness is the inititiation of the heart, and it is very powerful. Scientific studies have shown, for example, that when we think with our hearts by taking a moment to focus on someone or something that we love unconditionally - like a puppy or a young child - the rhythm of our hearts even out and becomes healthier. When people are taught to think with their hearts regularly, they can even reverse heart disease and other related conditions. The electromagnetic field of the heart is forty times stronger than the electromagnetic field produced by the brain; to me, this means that every cell in our bodies - and in the bodies of those around us - can be positively influenced by the quality of our hearts when they are beating in synchrony with the energy of appreciation." (ibid, p. 630-1)
"To get to forgiveness, we first have to work through the painful experiences that require it. Forgiveness doesn't mean that what happened to us was okay. It simply means that we are no longer willing to allow that experience to adversely affect our lives. Forgiveness is something we do, ultimately, for ourselves." (ibid, p. 631)
Step Twelve: Actively Participate in Your Life
"Watch children for a while and you will begin to see what qualities you need to embody to wake up your soul and your immune system regularly. Most young children know exactly what they want. We are all born with an innate ability to know what we want. We are then socialized to believe that we can't have what we want, and so gradually dismiss our innermost desires, our life's passion, to avoid disappointment.
Get out a piece of paper and write on the top of it, 'I intend to receive...', or 'I choose...' Then write in what you want. For example, "I intend to receive a strong, healthy body'. Notice that the word receive and choose indicates that you don't have to work for this. You just have to allow it to come. Now write down exactly why you want what you want, so that you can literally feel the excitement generated by your enthusiasm. In one example: ' I intend to receive this because I want to feel powerful. I want my body to be an instrument that is highly attuned to my needs. I want a body that is a reflection of the beauty that is inside me. I want a body that is capable of getting me where I want to go.' The positive emotional energy generated by this experience literally begins to draw the experience of health to you." (ibid, p. 638)
"Write down your lifetime goals. Over the past ten years, I've written down my goals for each year. I have written down a five-year plan and a ten-year plan at the same time. When I look back, the amazing thing is that I've accomplished almost every one of my goals - even the ones I later forgot about. The very process of writing them down and thinking about them sets something magical into motion." (ibid, p. 640)
DYNAMICS OF PRAYER FOR SOLVING PROBLEMS
"The five steps were suggested by the beloved Guardian Shoghi Effendi to a believer as a means of finding a solution through the use of prayer. This statement belongs to the category of statements known as "pilgrims notes", and has such as no authority, but since it seems to be particularly helpful and clear it was felt that believers should not be deprived of it.
Pray and meditate about it. Use the prayers of the Manifestations as they have the greatest power. Then remain in the silence of contemplation for a few minutes.
Arrive at a decision and hold this. This decision is usually born during the contemplation. It may seem almost impossible of accomplishment but if it seems to be an answer to a prayer or a way of solving the problem, then immediately take the next step.
Have determination to carry the decision through. Many fail here. The decision, budding into determination, is blighted and instead becomes a wish or a vague longing. When determination is born, immediately take the next step.
Have faith and confidence that the power will flow through you, the right way will appear, the door will open, the right thought, the right message, the right principle, or the right book will be given to you. Have confidence and the right thing will come to your need. Then, as you rise from prayer, take at once the 5th step.
Act as though it had all been answered. Then act with tireless, ceaseless energy. And as you act, you, yourself, will become a magnet, which will attract more power to your being, until you become an unobstructed channel for the Divine power to flow through you. Many pray but do not remain for the last half of the first step. Some who meditate arrive at a decision, but fail to hold it. Few have the determination to carry the decision through, still fewer have the confidence that the right thing will come to their need. But how many remember to act as though it had all been answered? How true are these words "Greater than the prayer is the spirit in which it is uttered" and greater than the way it is uttered is the spirit in which it is carried out."
(Baha'i Prayers, Baha'i Publishing Trust of the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Malaysia, p. 127)
HOUR OF POWER - RITUAL OF JOY
By Angela Minten, B.C., Canada
- From darkness to light
- From fear to tranquility
- From despair to joy
- From a cocoon to a butterfly,
- Cedar, sweetgrass, sage and tobacco
- Permeate the room
- Prayer, spirituality, support and strength
- Transform images of horror
- To images of life and spirit.
- We brought forth bear medicine
- Hawk, bat, skunk, lizard and beaver medicine
- We brought with us trepidation and hope
- We walked the paths of sadness
- Anger, rage, horror and power.
- We brought forth the medicine wheel,
- Victory, innocence, inner child and the ritual of joy
- We brought food for the body and food for the soul
- We walked the paths of compassion
- Heart, joy, relief and exhilaration.
- The essential reality of my life revealed
- In existence - in spirituality
- Bursting forth in joy and excitement
- The essence of being SEEN,
- Acknowledged and honoured.
- Together we came for my healing
- Unaware of the path's direction
- Trust, faith, certainty and prayer
- Brought forth awe, wonderment, peace,
- Power, spirit and transformation.
- The spirit of 'Abdu'l-Baha - majesty and gentleness
- Prayer, prayer and prayer
- Exploding a ball of negativity, abuse and horror
- Into the universe to disperse and end
- Among the angels and the concourse on high.
- 'Abdu'l-Baha's presence within me
- Around me, guiding me, protecting me
- He cradled my inner child
- In radiance, rapture and ecstasy,
- Feeling cherished in every cell of my being.
- I am transformed
- Shedding snake's old skin
- A butterfly with wings
- And I am grateful to everyone who has walked with me
- And to everyone who has travelled the healing path.
SIX TYPES OF HEALING - TYPE THREE
By Orval H. Minney, California, U.S.A.
I have been presenting my views on the six types of healing as mentioned by Abdu'l Baha in Some Answered Questions. Type One, was spiritual healing through contagion of health (March, 1999 issue) and type Two, was by transfer of a magnetic force from the healer to the patient (April, 1999 issue).
Type Three is "..where the means of cure is a spiritual power - one results from the entire concentration of the mind of a strong person upon a sick person, when the latter expects with all his concentrated faith that a cure will be effected from the spiritual power of the strong person, to such an extent that there will be a cordial connection between the strong person and the invalid. The strong person makes every effort to cure the sick patient, and the sick patient is then sure of receiving a cure. From the effect of these mental impressions an excitement of the nerves is produced, and this impression and this excitement of the nerves will become the cause of the recovery of the sick person. So when a sick person has a strong desire and intense hope for something and hears suddenly the tidings of its realization, a nervous excitement is produced which will make the malady entirely disappear. The cause of the sickness will be no material thing, for that person has not eaten anything, and nothing harmful has touched him; the excitement of the nerves is then the only cause of the illness. In the same way the sudden realization of a chief desire will give such joy that the nerves with be excited by it, and this excitement may produce health." ( Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 255)
Last month I spoke of the magnetic force that the 'healer' can generate and transfer to the ill person by touch. The ill person is the passive recipient but his 'innate' or life force receives strength and the bipolarity necessary for the body to heal itself from the magnetic force. In type three of spiritual healing, the ill person must be an active participant since no direct transfer of physical energy occurs. Instead we have a demonstration of several principles of which Faith is the main ingredient. That is, the faith of the ill person in the healer and in his or her own ability to be cured by that faith. The physician exudes his complete faith that a healing will occur; his manner is cheerful, positive and competent. The patient believes and has complete faith in the physician's knowledge, ability and spiritual qualities. This faith on the part of the patient creates 'an excitement of the nerves'.
Psychology and mysticism have both demonstrated that the sub-conscious mind reacts to visualization and how we see ourselves or tell ourselves what we can or can't do. Essentially, our health and well being are controlled by our endocrine system which in turn is controlled by the autonomic nervous system. The body is an integrated system in which health is maintained by its varied elements in a state of dynamic equilibrium or homeostasis. Essentially, this homeostasis is controlled by our thoughts, and especially our subconscious thoughts. In the Sacred Writings, mysticism, psychology, fitness and diet journals we are told to visualize ourselves as happy and healthy. Also, to associate with happy and joyful beings. Turning our hearts and our thoughts to God opens a connection to our true essense, our soul, which is traversing the world of spirit. Your joy and happiness, belief in yourself as a child of God, and faith excites the autonomic system which then balances its two parts, the sympathetic and parasympathetic. These balances the secretions of the endocrine glands and organs, the body chemistry and restores healthful homeostasis.
"To conclude, the complete and perfect connection between the spiritual doctor and the sick person -- that is, a connection of such a kind that the spiritual doctor entirely concentrates himself, and all attention of the sick person is given to the spiritual doctor from whom he expects to realize health -- causes an excitement of the nerves, and health is produced. But all this has effect only to a certain extent, and that not always. For if someone is afflicted with a very violent disease, or is wounded, these means will not remove the disease nor close and heal the wound -- that is to say, these means have no power in severe maladies, unless the constitution helps, because a strong constitution often overcomes disease." (ibid, pp.255-256)
To heal minor maladies especially those that are stress related, develop a cheerful attitude, choose a competent, positive and spiritual physician, and have faith in the doctor and even more so in yourself.
This newsletter is getting better and better! This one (April, 1999) is phenomenal. I have been meditating for about a year and a half now (I have been a Baha'i since 1982) and what a difference it has made in my life. I often receive guidance to complex problems, feel more centered and calm, and my steadfastness has deepened considerably.
Please know that the work you are doing is so important. I was thrilled to see the letter from the National Spiritual Assembly (U.S.A). May God bless you and work through you to keep this work a priority and a success.
Regina Kienzle, Texas, U.S.A.
Your newsletter is that support group that I needed and I have the pile of 'Healing Through Unity' newsletter on a table that I continually read when things get tough...This is my link to the Baha'i world as we are so isolated out here. Each article can be talked about as we teach about health and spirituality....
Anna Crawford, Northern Mariana Islands
Thank you very much for sending me the 'Healing Through Unity" newsletter, it is just wonderful. It is a very important theme and I feel a strong spiritual connection thinking that so many Baha'is are reading this all together.
Ana Maria Pradon, Nerja, Spain
QUESTION OF THE MONTH
It is commonly known that laughter is excellent medicine. What are some of the spiritual, mental and physiological benefits of laughter? You can share your humorous stories, jokes and experiences to be printed in the June issue which is our last issue before the summer break. If you have a question that you would like to share, you can e-mail this to: -- .
PURPOSE OF THE NEWSLETTER
"Healing Through Unity" is published for the purpose of sharing thoughts, comments and experiences on how the teachings of the Baha'i Faith are being applied to our physical and spiritual health. 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 inform me. There are 10 issues per year; it is not published during July and August. The newsletter is produced in Ontario, Canada.
You can visit the website and obtain back issues at:
Please send your stories, comments, suggestions or "Question for the Month" ideas to Frances Mezei by e-mail: -- .