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January, 2000

A monthly newsletter dedicated to serving the principles of

physical and spiritual health envisioned in the Baha'i Teachings.

Volume 3, Issue #5




- The Piano

- The Exchange

- 'The Ground I Walk' - Book

- Exploring Our Creativity

- A Response on Detachment From All Save God

- Laughter Room

- Baha'i Health Agency of South Africa Faces a Big Challenge Today

- Announcements

- Health Habits

- Question of the Month

- Purpose of the Newsletter

- Website




Author Unknown

Wishing to encourage her young son's progress on the piano, a mother took her boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked "NO ADMITTANCE." When the houselights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that the child was missing. 

Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy's ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing." Then leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a running obbligato. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. And the audience was mesmerized.

Whatever our situation in life and history--however outrageous, however  desperate, whatever dry spell of the spirit, whatever dark night of the soul--God is whispering deep within our beings, "Don't quit. Keep playing. You are not alone, together we will transform the broken patterns into a masterwork of my creative art. Together, we will mesmerize the world with our song of peace."


"...It is natural for the heart and spirit to take pleasure and enjoyment in all things that show forth symmetry, harmony, and perfection. For instance: a beautiful house, a well designed garden, a symmetrical line, a graceful motion, a well written book, pleasing garments - in fact, all things that have in themselves grace or beauty are pleasing to the heart and spirit - therefore, it is most certain that a true voice causes deep pleasure....Some feelings occur accidentally and some have a foundation. For example: some people are naturally kind, but they may be accidentally upset by a wave of anger. But if they hear music, the true nature will reassert itself. Music really awakens the real, natural nature, the initial essence..." (Abdu'l-Baha's words to Mrs. Mary L.Lucas, as quoted in 'A Brief Account of My Visit to Acca', published by the Baha'i Publishing Society, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A)





How can music, poetry, dance and the arts be used as a healing media? How can these mediums be applied in our everyday lives? How are you affected when being creative?


A little over a year ago I found art as a means of sharing my personal story of abuse and being able to reach others. I had never tried art before but as I did the paintings for my talk I discovered new insights I had missed. I have always written poetry over the years and over the past two years have shared some Baha'i poetry I have written. This newsletter printed a poem I had written called "Baha'u'llah I've got the Blues" (Volume 2, Issue #2). This poem was about the tests I was dealing with while trying to finish the project I was doing for our small Canadian Arctic community of 3500 people in Hay River NWT. Between December 1996 and August 1997 there were 5 deaths by suicide, 3 youths under 17 and 2 adults. During this time there were three other attempts that are known and only God knows the ones that are unreported. I attended and participated in a couple of community forums to try to find solutions and work towards healing our community. I asked God and said a number of prayers for guidance. What  came of this was a sense that I was to share my own story and healing journey. This was not going to be easy or fun. I dug up some of the poetry I had written as a teenager. I painted to explore some of the poems and just painted to explore some of my feelings. I had always been able to verbalize and be clear mentally what had occurred but the release of the pain seemed to elude me. I knew something good had to come of the abuse or I would never be free of it. It was the paintings and art that gave me the courage to share the story and help others face theirs. Legally in a court of law it is stated that I am alive today purely through an act of God. Baha'u'llah through art helped me find a way to change the pain into action and healing. I ended up with 9 paintings in my presentation and so far have given it 4 times with further requests. 
- Lyda Greer, Northwest Territories, Canada


The arts such as music, poetry and dance should bring and influence the True Love. True Love which is a communion of the hearts is the healing. Through the influence of this force everyone's perception  should irresistibly be drawn to the divine bounties, to the common bond of unity which shall undoubtedly conquer the ugly spectacle of malice, discord, hate and war. 
- Dr Fereidoun Abbasi, United Kingdom


"At the age of five, our daughter asked to have a piano with some lessons. However, our budget did not allow for a piano nor our small place could not fit a piano. We asked her to make a second choice and she decided on the flute. I also had to find someone who was willing to teach a young child music. Finally, by her sixth birthday we started to rent a flute on a monthly basis, we made sure that if she changed her mind we wouldn't be tied to payments and that we could return the flute. My husband and I had to make some sacrifices and budget modification to afford a $20 half hour weekly lesson, over and above the cost of the monthly rental and insurance of the flute. We sacrificed our weekly Sunday Brunch outing to the 'cow place' and "Daddy" even offered to make the brunch at home instead. But, we were so happy at being able to offer our daughter the opportunity we never had when we were her age. 

Now, almost three years later, she is playing Mozart's "Eine Klein Natchtmusic" and some of Bach's most cherished pieces such as "Sheep May Safely Graze", etc. She is also talking about going to Julliard's when she grows up, and her dream is to perform on top of Mount Carmel for her beloved Abdu'l-Baha in front of the Shrine of the Bab. Every morning on our way to school we listen to classical music on the radio.

I wanted to share my story to inspire you to think there is always room for change in our lives and room for improvement. All we need is a little creative thinking and a lot of heart." 
- Shekoo Jokic, from "Parenting in the New World Order", Volume 7, Issue #6, February 1998


I recently started to play the trumpet and have noticed something very interesting. The primary role in the instruction process for me is to strengthen the muscles surrounding the mouth (referred to as the embouchure). After four months of practice and lessons, I have learned that if I practice on the mouthpiece (without the trumpet) for about an hour a day, the sound from the trumpet becomes much clearer and sharper. I have learned that a lot of individuals who play the trumpet in bands, etc. practice up to 3 or 4 hours a day. Wow, when I started, I thought playing would be a lot quicker and a lot less work.

Now I am able to see that for everything beautiful in life, training and hard work is needed, and continuous training. I can start to understand the long training necessary for the wonderful singers in order to develop the precision of their voices. We all see the results of extensive training of figure skaters who start at such early ages. Naturally, this same process applies to all of our physical and learning activities.

Imagine the importance of the training of virtues that young children receive from an early age. Perseverance in training by the mother (and father) is so important in this role.

I started to play the trumpet at age sixty, but often wonder what would have happened if I started at age six.
- Anonymous, Canada




By Neda Najibi, Texas, U.S.A

(Editor's Note: The following beautiful poems were submitted by Neda Najibi which were written for her new book titled "The Ground I Walk". Neda was born in Tehran, Iran in 1966 and she moved to Chicago, Illinois with her family in 1969. She began to write at age thirteen and went on to graduate from California State University Northridge in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. She has written many articles and poems for newspapers, Consumer News for KEY-TV and community volunteer programs. To purchase a copy of her new book contact PEACE by Piece Publishing P.O. Box 200064, Austin, TX 78720. Her website is:

Reads from the point of view of love and pain

Beating was the heart
Love answered
and then
Pain entered

Love asked:
"Why have you come?"
Pain replied:
"Love, it is because of me you stand."

Love reluctant to answer, shortly thereafter remarked:
"I don't want to feel you!"

Pain answered:
"I know, but I cannot control that which is."

He embraced love and in return Love accepted him, but only as a visitor.



In the corner of a room
I find myself an empty chair.
My mind is busy, worried
But I don't know what about
It thinks and thinks.

I stare at no one
Because there's no one here
So, I begin to cry
Believe me, I don't know why.
You see, my insides are worried also,
But I don't know what about.
It turns and a sinking feeling occurs every two seconds or so.

I continue to cry...
Now nervous because I'm afraid someone will come in
And I don't like to look weak
So, I try to stop the tears
I take a deep breath and you know
Now I want to cry,
It feels good somehow, so I do
But now I've added sound
It feels better this way, somehow.

A few minutes pass and I kind of want to know what I look like
So I open my compact and I stare at myself
And I cry so I can see myself crying
I like it somehow

Okay I've decided it's enough
And I notice how red my eyes are and how red my nose is
I feel like I've accomplished something and I want to thank myself for a job
well done.

Sounds weird, but it feels good, somehow.
No one ever came in,
So no one saw me.
Honestly, I think maybe I wanted someone to...




By Frances Mezei, Ontario, Canada

In October, 1994, a few friends and I organized a workshop called "The Arts and the Three Year Plan" which was held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We invited speakers to talk on various topics such as Art and Crafts, Storytelling, Poetry/Writing and Music/Drama. We also prepared this exercise for our friends and you may enjoy trying it out as well. 

"We are all creative beings and we can allow our lives to become our work of art. Do you have certain creative longings such as learning to sing, write, paint or act, but feel there are barriers or limitations in the way of achieving your goals? The following questions will help you reflect on your feelings about developing your creative abilities."

1. Do you feel that it is too late for you to develop your creative talents?

2. Are you waiting until you make enough money to do something you'd really love to do creatively?

3. Is fear holding you back from expressing yourself creatively?

4. Are you afraid of what your family and friends would think of your efforts to be creative?

5. Do you feel that you are not good enough to explore your own creativity? Being an artist myself, I will share some tips that I have learned throughout the years when creating different works of art.
- It is very important to listen, trust and follow our dreams of what we desire to create.
- It is important to make art about what we are really interested in, not what we should be interested in. We do best what we love to do.
- When we conceptualize and inhabit on the imagination realm, we can manifest and materialize it into a physical form. There is a saying "Seeing is believing". Therefore, we use our mind's eye to give the imagination shape into a tangible, solid form.
- We need faith that we can create certain works of art. In the book "The Vein of Gold: A Journey To Your Creative Heart" by Julia Cameron, on page 35, the writer shares "Consider the possibility that our dreams and desires are the voice of our soul, the God-voice awake within us, dreaming of expression and expansion through our daring and our faith. We walk into that faith, that daring, a step at a time." 
- Listen and follow our inner voice which has its own unique style of expression. Try to avoid being sidetracked by other people's feelings and opinions. 
- Throughout the day, we all get inspiration and excellent ideas. Write them down in our diaries, set of cards, notepad, etc. Review them from time to time. 
- When we become aware of our creative patterns, we will learn how to take charge, revise and refine them. 
- Set aside time to develop our creative talents daily or weekly and be strongly disciplined with this habit. This habit will serve to keep us focused, motivated and effective. 
- Read books about well known artists and learn from their training and experience. 
- Enjoy the process of being creative with patience which allows us to see, and be encouraged by tiny increments of growth. Be tolerant when we make mistakes which are in reality lessons to be learned. 
- We are not always inspired to create and produce; we need time and balance for reflection, rest and breaks. 
- To develop our talents will bring us hours of sheer pleasure and happiness.


"O people of Baha! The source of crafts, sciences and arts is the power of reflection. Make ye every effort that out of this ideal mine there may gleam forth such pearls of wisdom and utterance as will promote the well-being and harmony of all the kindreds of the earth." (Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 72)


"Although now is only the very beginning of Baha'i art, yet the friends who feel they are gifted in such matters should endeavour to develop and cultivate their gifts and through their works to reflect, however, inadequately, the Divine spirit which Baha'u'llah has breathed into the world." (Shoghi Effendi, letter to an individual believer, Nov. 4, 1937)


"There will be a new art, a new architecture, fused of all the beauty of the world of the past, but new." (Abdu'l-Baha, Star of the West IV, pp. 30-31)




Here is another answer to the question asked in the November, 1999 issue: There are many references in the Baha'i Writings about detachment from all save God. What is your understanding of this? How can we be detached and live a spiritual life in this world? What kind of things do you think can turn us away from God?

Here is the story of one small process toward detachment. In my case, it was detachment from coffee. At 45 years of age, I felt depleted of energy reserves, depleted of memory and alertness. I have sustained a demanding life for many years -- as medical student, doctor, mother, active Bahaíi, etc. Coffee was one way to "keep going, get through the day, feel good again, and think." It also provided hand-warming on cold mornings, comfort, pleasant taste, and sociability.

But it had quit working so well. The energy stores it had drawn out for some 20 years felt depleted, gone. An article by Dr. Christine Northrup, author of "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom", confirmed these thoughts and explained the physiology I had suspected but not seen described before. It also told how to wean oneself from coffee, and minimize the psychological and physical hardships (headaches) of quitting. So I found a coffee substitute (Cafrix and decaffeinated coffee are some choices), started mixing it with coffee at increasing proportions, and began the weaning process. 

The next stage came about a month later, when I decided to enroll as a patient of Dr. Bill Saunders, Georgia, U.S.A., for the second time. I already had received his "General Health Program" by e-mail months before. I had read his list of "Spiritual Health Habits" each month in "Healing Through Unity." After clearing out some doubts and inner conflicts by a preliminary e-mail to him, I was ready to enroll -- a step at a time.

Starting the "Health Program" involved completing a detailed "Patient Information Form," which asked my health history, family history, goals, and commitments. Among the commitments I made was to  "Continue to wean from caffeine." Dr. Saunders affirmed this goal -- as he has affirmed, but never pushed, any goal Iíve set.

Implementing the "Spiritual Health Habits" included these changes: drinking at least eight cups of water daily; finding ways to eat progressively more plant-derived, simple foods and less animal-derived, complex foods; finding ways to rest when tired; and seeking contentment (another of my goals). 

And here are the results in detachment from coffee: Within four weeks of starting the "Health Program," I was off caffeinated coffee. It was great to feel able to NOT drink coffee without suffering headaches. I can enjoy decaffeinated coffee, without the old familiar compulsion - I can take it or leave it. Even earlier, within about 10 days of starting the Program, I had quit feeling the need for the supplements taken all summer (Gingko Biloba, St. Johnís Wort, Ginseng, and B-complex). My energy, mood, and memory became, and have remained markedly improved. Other positive changes have included: less hand joint pain and constipation, and disappearance of an intense, longstanding chocolate craving! Food cravings are minimal, yet a budding inclination toward healthful food needs is emerging. I experience calm and gratefulness frequently.

While this dependence on caffeine was minor compared to the debilitating attachments faced by many of us, the experience of detaching gave me courage, and may assist others. 
- by Hannah Rishel, Arizona, U.S.A.


Here is Abdu'l-Baha's prayer for freedom from addictions:

" O Divine Providence! Bestow Thou in all things purity and cleanliness upon the people of Baha. Grant that they be freed from all defilement, and released from all addictions. Save them from committing any repugnant act, unbind them from the chains of every evil habit, that they may live pure and free, wholesome and cleanly, worthy to serve at Thy Sacred Threshold and fit to be related to their Lord. Deliver them from intoxicating drinks and tobacco, save them, rescue them, from this opium that bringeth on madness, suffer them to enjoy the sweet savours of holiness, that they may drink deep of the mystic cup of heavenly love and know the rapture of being drawn ever closer unto the Realm of the All-Glorious..." (Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, pp 149-50)




Abdu'l-Baha's Laughter Through The Eyes of the Early Believers in America Abdu'l-Baha had a delightful sense of humor and loved to laugh. His laughter was often described by the early believers of the Baha'i Faith in their stories and books that they have written. A few examples are printed below and if you are aware of others, please share them with us so they can be printed in the laughter room.

Howard Colby Ives, a Unitarian minister, seeking long and ardently for spiritual happiness, met Abdu'l-Baha in New York in 1912, and was thrown into a complete turmoil by His dynamic influence. In Mr.Ives' book " Portals to Freedom", pages 193 - 94, he shares: 
"One of these fascinating and provocative characteristics was His ready laughter when alluding to subjects usually approached with extreme gravity. For instance: on the last day in New York I had my final personal interview with Him. I was saying good-bye and my heart was sad. Haltingly, I expressed this sorrow that He was leaving the country and that, in all probability, I  should never see Him again. We were standing. It was actually the last goodbye. Abdu'l-Baha laid His arm across my shoulders and walked with me to the door, saying that I should be with Him in all the worlds of God. And then He laughed - a hearty, ringing laugh - and I: my eyes blinded with tears. - "Why does He laugh?" I thought. Nevertheless, these words, and even more, the tone in which they were uttered, and His joyous laughter, have been an illuminating light upon my path through all these years."

In the "Diary of Juliet Thompson", page 314, Juliet, an artist, wrote "I am going to tell you something funny," He (Abdu'l-Baha) said, adding in English," a joke". "Oh tell it!" we begged; and now I was in sort of hysteria, laughing and crying at the same time. "No, Not now. Paint." But of course I couldn't paint. Later, walking up and down, He laughed again. "I am thinking of My joke," he explained. "Tell it!" we pleaded. "No, I cannot, for every time I try to tell it I laugh so I cannot speak." In another instance on page 254, when May Maxwell, Juliet and Abdu'l-Baha had a delightful visit together, Juliet became concerned and asked "Don't we tire You?" I asked a little later. "Oughtn't we to leave You now?" "No stay. You rest Me. You make me laugh!" He answered."

Ramona Allen Brown in her book "Memories of Abdu'-Baha", page 78, shares "The Master often laughed when He was speaking to the 'Peach Tree' and on other occasions as well. I knew He was not laughing at us but with us. He had a fine sense of humor. Once Abdu'l-Baha laughed so heartily at our questions and observations that His turban became disarranged. As He lifted His hands to straighten it, he smiled as though we had a joke between us."





By Roya Shams, Coordinator of Baha'i Health Agency of South Africa 

In South Africa, the Baha'i Health Agency is facing a very challenging period of time, dealing with the problem of Aids Disease. The Aids problem is unfortunately wiping out our country silently but rapidly. At present time, there is an estimate of six million people of the country affected by HIV. The majority of these people are black, women and between the ages of 20 to 29. The Ministry of Health has announced that about 22.3% of the country is affected by the disease. One out of four women who attends the antenatal clinic is HIV positive. The AZT medication is no longer offered to patients in the hospitals and only the people who have private medical insurance can afford to pay for the medication. The Ministry thinks that by the year 2002, there will be one million orphans in the country.

It is really devastating and terribly sad, to see what is happening here. The Ministry of Health has a lot of hope for the Baha'is to do something for the country. A few weeks ago the Minister invited religious representatives at a national level to a consulting session, held in Johannesburg, discussing what the religious groups can do for the country. Three members of the Baha'i Health Agency were invited to the meeting. It was an interesting session. Repeatedly the law of chastity was claimed to be the only solution for the prevention of this devastating disease. We had a very good opportunity to present the Faith and to emphasize the law of chastity before marriage and faithfulness to the marriage. The Minister has a lot of hope in the Baha'is to have some impact on the solution of this disease.

We, the Baha'is, must work very hard now to help our people in this country. We have to put all our effort in educating the people, organizing seminars on the prevention of the disease as well as training our Baha'i communities to learn how to provide counseling to the affected people. The task is enormous, and what is needed is a willingness and enthusiasm to help, even if the degree of help is minimal compared to the magnitude of the disaster. WE MUST FEEL THE PAIN AND HELP THE PEOPLE HERE.

(Editor's Note: If any of the readers have any thoughts, ideas or experiences in this area to assist with this tragic situation, please write to Roya Shams at: There is a website organized by the Baha'i Network on AIDS, Sexuality, Addictions and Abuse in Canada at:





My husband and I have been pioneering in the Northern Mariana Islands for the past 7 years and will continue to do so, even with all the challenges we face. I have been diagnosed with Breast Cancer, Stage 3, metastasized. I am being treating totally with surgery and alternative, natural ways very successfully during the past year, in spite of pressures from the surgeons. NO chemotherapy or radiation. I feel great.

Now to my request. I would very much like to have a pen pal (support) from anywhere in the world, from someone that is facing the same problem and using natural treatments. Although I have an excellent naturopathic doctor and local support, no one here actually faces my challenges in the same way. It would be helpful to "talk" with another woman facing the same challenges. Please e-mail direct to Anna Crawford at:



Are you intensely interested in health and healing? Have you poured over the Baha'i teachings on health? If you practice a healing discipline, do you long to collaborate with other Baha'i health practitioners? Have you searched the Writings on how to better serve your patients? Have you tried some of the Teachings and observed results? Do you wonder how there can be unity between health disciplines? Do you contemplate how "highly skilled physicians" can gain the skills necessary to assist the world toward the time when "chronic and diversified illnesses will abate, and the general health of all mankind will be much improved." (Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 156)

If any of these questions apply to you, here's your chance to share, learn from, and pray with other friends who have similar goals. You are warmly invited to this conference which is planned for February 11-13, 2000 at Desert Rose Baha'i Institute, Eloy, Arizona. It will start at suppertime Friday and end midday on Sunday. The planning committee needs to have an idea of how many people would like to attend, present, and help with the conference. We ask for your response in one or more of the following ways: 

1. If you are a health practitioner and would like to present at this conference, please contact the planning committee with your topic. Please focus on: What results have you seen, through implementing Baha'i teachings on health and healing? We will request an outline of all confirmed presentations, to include in the conference packet.

2. If you are interested in attending, or have suggestions for the conference, please contact the planning committee. 

For all contacts, please include: your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and fax number if available. Also indicate your health discipline or particular interest, and whether you wish to present a talk or workshop.

Planning Committee for the Baha'i Conference on Health and Healing or BCHH, 1150 North Country Club Drive suite 8, Mesa, AZ 85201. 
By Randall Robinson, NMD; Hannah Rishel, MD; and Candace McConnell, FNP



The Healing Through Unity course materials located in the website is now available in Adobe PDF format for easy downloading and printing in addition to its current form in html.

Adobe Acrobat Reader is free, and freely distributable, software that lets you view and print Portable Document Format (PDF) files. Acrobat Reader also lets you fill in and submit PDF forms online. PDF is an acronym for "Portable Document Format." PDF is a file format created by Adobe that lets you view and print a file exactly as the author designed it, without needing to have the same application or fonts used to create the file. Since its introduction in 1993, PDF has become an Internet standard for electronic distribution that faithfully preserves the look and feel of the original document complete with fonts, colors, images, and layout. 
You can go to this link: and download the Acrobat Reader for free.




Here are some essential elements for our spiritual and physical health provided by a physician who has practiced for more than 35 years under the guidance of the Baha'i teachings.

Trust in God

Consult a skilled physician and follow his instructions

Practice detachment from all save God

Practice moderation

Pray and meditate daily; read the Creative Word morning and evening

Be always happy



Practice patience


Eat simple, natural plant foods

Drink adequate pure water

Evaluate progress daily, summarize weekly




"There are two ways of healing sickness, material means and spiritual means. The first is by the treatment of physicians; the second consisteth in prayers offered by the spiritual ones to God and in turning to Him. Both means should be used and practised." (Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, pp 151-52)

The Baha'i teachings repeatedly emphasis that the best would be to combine material and spiritual healing when treating illnesses. What is your understanding of this? What experiences, results, and stories have you had when using both physical and spiritual treatments or remedies? How can we train health practitioners to bring spirituality into their work which is sorely lacking in today's society?




"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 Holy 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.

Please send your stories, comments, suggestions or "Question for the Month" ideas to Frances Mezei by e-mail: -- .


Many thanks to all of you who sent such wonderful contributions for "Healing Through Unity" Newsletter. The decision to select and edit material submitted for publication is determined by the editor.




You can visit the website, obtain back issues and the Healing Through Unity Course at:

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