HEALING THROUGH UNITY
A monthly newsletter dedicated to serving the principles of
physical and spiritual health envisioned in the Baha'i Teachings.
Volume 3, Issue #7
- Special Tribute to Ruhiyyih Khanum
- The Exchange
- Some Thoughts on Addiction from "The Seat of the Soul"
- Caffeine: How to Taper or Get Off It
- The Laughter Room
- Health Habits
- Question of the Month
- Spreading the Word
- Purpose of the Newsletter
SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO RUHIYYIH KHANUM
In the February, 2000 issue, the readers were asked to share their stories and memories of Ruhiyyih Khanum and we are blessed to receive these beautiful accounts of her life. These stories assist us to further understand her true station as a Hand of the Cause of God and wife of Shoghi Effendi. In the book 'Lights of Fortitude', p. 182, Barron Harper writes "Amatu'l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum is indeed the embodiment of the words of Shoghi Effendi:...let us arise to teach His Cause with righteousness, conviction, understanding and vigour...Let us make it the dominating passion of our life. Let us scatter to the uttermost corners of the earth; sacrifice our personal interests, comforts, tastes and pleasures; mingle with the divers kindreds and peoples of the world...."
Note: A correction needs to be made in the February 2000 issue. In the article "A letter from May Maxwell to Agnes Alexander", the date should be May 7, 1910 instead of 1909 since Ruhiyyih Khanum was born in 1910.
RUHIYYIH KHANUM'S VISIT IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA
By Mariette & Ho-San Leong, Papua New Guinea
We would like to share a story about Hand of the Cause Ruhiyyih Khanum when she visited Papua New Guinea in 1984, accompanied by Mrs Violette Nakhjavani. She spent 5 glorious weeks in the country, and managed to visit a good number of Baha'i communities in various remote areas of this beautiful land. The friends just poured out their love on her and were most excited that here, in a remote country so far away from the Holy Land, we had a most distinguished visitor who brought such spiritual flavours from the heart of the Baha'i world. And of course they were enchanted that Khanum was the link with the Guardian and the Holy Family, and so it made her visit all the more special, that it would live forever in their memories, and undoubtedly they will even now recount stories of her visit to their villages for generations to come. One particular incident comes to mind when she was in Port Moresby. The driver who had the honour of driving her and Mrs Nakhjavani around to the artefact shops related what he saw and observed when she entered a shop. The sales staff would just stand aside for her in a respectful manner as she walked into the shop, almost instinctively recognizing her high position and rank without knowing why. Aminio Bale, the driver and a member of the National Spiritual Assembly at the time, was just astonished and overwhelmed by this experience, not easily to be forgotten with the passage of time!
Khanum truly loved Papua New Guinea and its people. Whenever there were pilgrims and visitors from this country to Haifa, she would invariably invite them to afternoon tea or dinner. Without fail, she would always say how very much she loved this country and the people, and if she did have her choice there was no doubt that she would want to live here.
That is our little story about Khanum and how much she means to so many, many of us who met her and enjoyed the precious moments in her presence, and just listened to her talking and sharing her wisdom and thoughts on the Baha'i Teachings. She will always live in our hearts in this country.
RUHIYYIH KHANUM ASSISTS A SICK FAMILY IN A LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRY
By Ruth Robin, U.S.A (Robin shares that this story was told to her about 20 years ago by the mother-in-law of the pioneer in the story. She says if there are any errors they come from her own memory.)
Imagine this: you are a young woman, pioneering to a Latin American country with your husband and several small children. Something wonderful is going to happen, Ruhiyyih Khanum is coming to visit your area and your husband leaves for a journey of several days to escort her to your pioneering post. You begin to prepare for the momentous visit, but the next morning your youngest child is quite ill with a fever, vomiting, diarrhea. By late afternoon another child is equally as sick and, exhausted from the care of these sick little ones, as you fall into bed, you realize that you, too, have a fever and all the other aspects of this illness. Your husband is also your doctor but you can only long for his help as you pray and struggle for two more days and nights with comforting, bathing, cleaning, forcing liquids and medicating as best you can yourself and the children. You scarcely realize that he has returned, except that you are put to bed and somehow you know that someone else is taking care of things.
Hours later, you awaken, you have been bathed and dressed in a clean gown, you can smell something cooking - a strengthening broth - your floors have been scrubbed, your children, listless and quiet, but their fever gone, have been bathed and are wearing clean garments. Someone brings you a cup of tea, her sleeves are rolled up, her gentle hands are red from the washing and scrubbing and you think you must be still asleep and dreaming, hallucinating even, because it is Ruhiyyih Khanum who has brought you the tea, who has scrubbed floors, washed dishes, taken care of sick children and given you clean sheets and combed your tangled hair. It is Ruhiyyih Khanum.
I have had the great bounty of seeing Ruhiyyih Khanum several times, speaking at conferences, the World Congress, more intimately during my Pilgrimage and once even, looking very sophisticated and elegant, speaking to a large audience, but I can never forget the woman who scrubbed floors, washed dishes, cooked and cared for a sick family.
RUHIYYIH KHANUM'S STORY ABOUT HER FATHER'S ILLNESS
Submitted by Kamyar Solhjoo, South Wales, U.K
We were asked to write something about this beloved soul. I extract her memory from her book 'The Priceless Pearl' which is relevant to the subject of health and healing as well.
"When my father fell desperately ill in the winter of 1949-50 his condition was despaired of by his doctors. He reached a point where he seemed to have no conscious mind left, could not recognize me, his only and idolized child, at all, and had no more control over himself than if he were six months old. If I had needed any convincing on the subject of whether man has a soul or not I received conclusive proof of its existence at that time. When Shoghi Effendi would come in to see my father, although he could not speak, and gave no conscious sign whatever of the Guardian's nearness, a flutter, a tremor, some reaction wholly ephemeral but nevertheless visible, would pass over him because of the very presence of Shoghi Effendi. It was so extraordinary and so evident that his nurse (the best in Haifa) also noticed it and was greatly puzzled by it. It went against all laws of the mind, which, as it fades, remembers the distant past more vividly than the immediate past. Shoghi Effendi was determined my father should not die. At his insistence, when no one, including me, had the slightest hope, we took him with his nurse to Switzerland, where he rapidly recovered under the care of our own doctor, a recovery so complete that a few weeks later, when his Swiss nurse and I took him for his first drive and he caught sight of a cafe in the midst of a garden, he promptly invited us to go in and have tea with him - an offer I accepted with feelings of wonder and gratitude that are indescribable. It was after this healing had taken place that the Guardian, in a message to America sent in July 1950, reporting progress in the construction of the Shrine of the Bab, was moved to allude to these events:" My gratitude is deepened by miraculous recovery of its gifted architect, Sutherland Maxwell, whose illness was pronounced hopeless by physicians."
'The Priceless Pearl', p. 155-6, by Ruhiyyih Rabbani
Many of us struggle with different forms of addictions such as: shopping, alcohol, narcotics, smoking, food, gambling, work, computers and others. What are your suggestions to assist us to overcome our specific addictions which may cause us pain and frustrations? How were you able to make the decision to deal with it and to make the right choices to change your life? What do the Baha'i Teachings say about addictions?
I continue to be amazed at how many addictions I have. No sooner do I deal with one then I find another underneath it. But I have come to realize somethings in the process;
- each addiction has its purpose in keeping me safe as I travel my spiritual path;
- that God (in His compassion for the frailty of the human condition) will reveal each one to my conscious mind as I am ready to replace my addictive behavior with healthier ones;
- that they can come in all shapes and sizes like mental (in the form of fantasies and trances) as well as physical (in the form of sugar addictions);
- that they are like veils blocking my view to reality;
- that their use serves to lessen my personal power.
I have just read an amazing book written by a Baha'i which describes the powers of the soul and the authority of self which can be gained through obedience to the Covenant. It is a must for anyone who would like to understand their addictions and the part they play in their lives. It is called "Assisting the Traumatized Soul" by Phyllis K. Peterson.
Through reading this book last week I have become aware of the reason why I have struggled with obedience to the Covenant for the last 20 years and can now see, without veils, the next step I need to take in my spiritual journey. Very empowering!
- Sue Haselhurst, Perth, Western Australia.
For 27 years (from age 17) I was addicted to smoking. Almost from the beginning I went through a pack of 20 cigarettes a day, and with stress the consumption gradually increased to as high as 60. After just a couple of years, I developed a chronic smoker's cough, which was always with me, and increased in severity over the years. In my mid-40s I started having severe chest pains, which prompted me to seek my personal physician's help. Blood tests revealed polycythaemia, an abnormal rise in the concentration of red cells to cope with oxygen deprivation (from smoking) and the stress which was also contributing to my dependence on nicotine. This condition predisposes one to stroke, which (having seen my grandmother live on for 12 years with hemiplegia, pain and depression after her catastrophic CVA) was a very powerful motivation to deal with my habit. This episode coincided with a "breakdown" of sorts as a result of the severe, continual stress I was under in many departments of my life. It had also led to overweight bordering on obesity, so I took what many considered a foolish course: to stop smoking and lose weight at the same time. I went onto the then-popular Scarsdale Medical Diet, started walking every day after work, and (against conventional wisdom) chose cutting down on cigarettes gradually rather than quitting "cold turkey." I quite rapidly reduced to 4 cigarettes a day (toward the end, having a couple of puffs of a cigarette, putting it out, relighting it perhaps 4 times over an 8-hour period until it was finished, and so on). Then I hit the wall--I was finding it more and more difficult to maintain this level, and cutting down further seemed like climbing Mt Everest! My eldest son (who is still a smoker!) suggested switching to non-nicotine cigarettes made of cocoa bean husks instead of tobacco. A light bulb went off in my head: Of course! Smoking feeds at least two addictions (chemical and process), and these ersatz cigarettes could help me conquer the chemical one. I made a pact with myself to start at 4 a day of these rather nasty-tasting "cigarettes" and gradually cut down until the nicotine was out of my system. I was down to about 2 a day when I participated in a tree-planting project one morning. Having my feet and hands in mud and having parked about 100 meters away, it wasn't possible to smoke, and when I finally got back to the car, my hands were still too muddy to enjoy a cigarette. By the time I got home, my children were impatient to have lunch, so I put off having my cigarette until after that--and to my surprise didn't feel like having it when the time came. That was the moment of decision to quit for life, and I still celebrate it as a second birthday.
Since I still had the process addiction to some extent and was also trying to lose weight, I was concerned about falling back on eating as a substitute, so for the next several months I carried tiny splinters of cinnamon bark in a pill box in case the desire to light up became overwhelming. Chewing these (they last about as long as a cigarette would) helped me over this final hurdle without adding significantly to my daily caloric consumption. There were many times over the next couple of years that the urge for a cigarette was so strong that I felt panicky, but the greater urge to protect my huge investment in will power saw me through. As for the dieting, I managed to lose 20 pounds within about 4 months, and after another concerted effort a couple of years later, 10 more pounds, bringing me to within 2 or 3 pounds of my pre-motherhood weight. The lost weight has gradually crept back over the years, and after many failed attempts at dieting, exercise and you name it, I have recently discovered that I have reactive hyperinsulinism, leading to a carbohydrate addiction, which I am now addressing through lifestyle modification, including a very strict, though quite comfortable, diet regime which almost immediately reduced food cravings, and after a few days a modest loss of weight. The jury is still out on this one, but I am hopeful that in time this might turn out to be another success story!
These are the insights I gained and which I share with anyone who wants to break an addiction.
1 Addictions of any kind are very powerful, so your desire to overcome them must also be strong. I think this is where a spiritual focus, including prayer and meditation, come in, both to prepare a person to recognise and deal with the causes of their addiction and to help see them through to a successful (and lasting) conclusion.
2. Identifying the physiological, emotional and lifestyle triggers that can sabotage your best efforts is absolutely essential, because if you do not deal with those, you set yourself up for failure, which increases the stresses (including loss of self esteem) that drive the addiction.
3. It is also important to remember that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all program. To borrow some advice from Richard and Rachael Heller (The Carbohydrate Addict's Lifespan Program. New York: Penguin, 1997), any program, to be successful in the long term, must be:
- Simple and easy to put into practice over the long haul;
- Targeted to take into account your own unique needs, preferences, and the cause of your problems;
- Adaptable to take into account all the circumstances of your life, e.g.(especially in the case of a food addiction) work, travel, social occasions, celebrations, stressful situations; and
- Rewarding in that meaningful results come before you lose heart and can be maintained long-term.
You must evolve a program that works for YOU, and with God's help, some well chosen background reading, and your personal physician's advice, you can--maybe not on the first attempt, but eventually.
- Mary Ann Chance, Doctor of Chiropractic, Australia
QUOTES ON ADDICTIONS
"The drinking of wine is according to the text of the Most Holy Book, forbidden, for it is the cause of chronic diseases, weakeneth the nerves, and consumeth the mind." ( Abdu'l-Baha, Advent of Divine Justice, p. 33)
"My meaning is that in the sight of God, smoking tobacco is deprecated, abhorrent, filthy in the extreme; and, albeit by degrees, highly injurious to health. It is also a waste of money and time, and maketh the user a prey to a noxious addiction. To those who stand firm in the Covenant, this habit is therefore censured both by reason and experience, and renouncing it will bring relief and peace of mind to all men. Furthermore, this will make it possible to have a fresh mouth and unstained fingers, and hair that is free of a foul and repellent smell. On receipt of this missive, the friends will surely, by whatever means and even over a period of time, forsake this pernicious habit. Such is my hope." ( Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 148)
"As to opium, it is foul and accursed. God protect us from the punishment He inflicteth on the user. According to the explicit Text of the Most Holy Book, it is forbidden, and its use is utterly condemned. Reason showeth that smoking opium is a kind of insanity, and experience attesteth that the user is completely cut off from the human kingdom...For opium fasteneth on the soul, so that the user's conscience dieth, his mind is blotted away, his perceptions are eroded....." ( Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 148- 9)
"O ye, God's loved ones! Experience hath shown how greatly the renouncing of smoking, of intoxicating drink, and of opium, conduceth to health and vigour, to the expansion and keenness of the mind and to bodily strength. There is today a people who strictly avoid tabacco, intoxicating liquor and opium. This people is far and away superior to the others, for strength and physical courage, for health, beauty and comeliness...." ( Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 150)
SOME THOUGHTS ON ADDICTION FROM
"THE SEAT OF THE SOUL"
Editor's note: Gary Zukav, author of "The Seat of the Soul" has appeared a number of times on daytime television talk show, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" by Oprah Winfrey from Mondays to Fridays, CTV (Canada). I have always been very impressed with Gary Zukav's views so I purchased a copy of his book "The Seat of the Soul" published by Simon and Schuster and wish to share with you excerpts from the chapter on addiction, pp.148-160. Also, if you have access to "The Oprah Winfrey Show", an American TV show, you may wish to view it since Oprah often invites guests and authors who specialize on the many topics on health and healing. Her main attempt is to inspire millions of people to dare to dream and to reach their goals. Very educational, inspiring and powerful!
ACKNOWLEDGING OUR ADDICTIONS
- You cannot begin the work of releasing an addiction until you can acknowledge that you are addicted. Until you realize that you have an addiction, it is not possible to diminish its power. The personality rationalizes its addictions.
- A person who is addicted to alcohol, for example, will say to herself or himself, or to others, that drunkenness is a way of loosening up, of relaxing after a tense day, of having fun, and, therefore, it is constructive.
- Recognition of your own addictions requires inner work. It requires that you look clearly at the places where you lose power in your life, where you are controlled by external circumstances. It requires going through your defenses.
- Why does the personality resist acknowledging its addictions? Acknowledging an addiction, accepting that you have an addiction, is acknowledgement that a part of you is out of control. The personality resists acknowledging its addictions because that forces it to choose to leave a part of itself out of control, or to do something about it. Once an addiction has been acknowledged, it cannot be ignored, and it cannot be released without changing your life, without changing your self-image, without changing your entire perceptual and conceptual framework. We do not want to do that because it is our nature to resist change. Therefore, we resist acknowledging our addictions.
UNDERSTANDING OUR ADDICTIONS
- Enter into your own fear, into your own sense of wanting a drink...Ask yourself to seriously review all of the times in your life that you thought you would gain so much from that, and face what you gained.
- Hold onto the thought that you create your experiences. Your fear comes from the realization that a part of you is creating a reality that it wants, whether you want it or not, and the feeling that you are powerless to prevent it, but that is not so. This is critical to understand: your addiction is not stronger than you. It is not stronger than who you want to be. Though it may feel that way, it can only win if you let it. Like any weakness, it is not stronger than the soul or the force of will. Its strength only indicates the amount of effort that needs to be applied toward the transition, toward making yourself whole in that area of your life.
- Recognize that what you are doing when you fear that you will be tempted, and that you will not be able to resist the temptation, is creating a situation that will give you permission to act irresponsibly. It is possible to create a test that you cannot pass? Yes. The experience of wanting to be tempted in order to test yourself is the act of creating an opportunity to act irresponsibly, to say to yourself , "I knew I couldn't do it, anyway," and give in to your addiction.
MAKING RESPONSIBLE CHOICES
- The greater the desire of your soul to heal your addiction, the greater will be the cost of keeping it. If you - if your soul - have chosen to heal an addiction now, you will find that the decision to maintain your addiction will cost you the things that you hold most dear.
- Try to realize, and truly realize, that what stands between you and a different life are matters of responsible choice. In your moments of fear, what you are obscure about in your thinking is the power and magnitude of your own choice. You are not at the mercy of your inadequacy. The intention that will empower you must come from a place within you that suggests that you are indeed about to make responsible choices and draw power from them, that you can make choices that empower you and not disempower you, that you are capable of acts of wholeness.
WAYS TO WORK WITH OUR ADDICTIONS
- As you work through your weakness, and you feel levels of addictive attraction, ask yourself the critical question of the spirit: If, by following those impulses, do you increase your level of enlightenment? Does it bring you power of the genuine sort? Will it make you more loving? Will it make you most whole? Ask yourself these questions.
- This is the way out of an addiction: Walk yourself through your reality step by step. Make yourself aware of the consequences of your decisions, and choose accordingly. When you feel in yourself the addictive attraction of sex, or alcohol, or drugs, or anything else, remember these words: You stand between the two worlds of your lesser self and your full self. Your lesser self is tempting and powerful because it is not as responsible and not as loving and not as disciplined, so it calls you. This other part of you is whole and more responsible and more caring and more empowered, but it demands of you the way of the enlightened spirit: conscious life.
- If your decision is to become whole, hold that decision. You will not be as tempted or as frightened as you think. Hold it and remind yourself again and again: You stand between your lesser self and your whole self.
- As you choose to empower yourself, the part of you that you challenge, the temptation that you challenge, will surface again and again. Each time you challenge it, you gain power and it loses power. If you challenge an addiction to alcohol, for example, and you are drawn twelve times that very day to have a drink, challenge that energy each time. If you look upon each recurrence of attraction as a setback, or as an indication that your intention is not working, you choose the path of learning through fear and doubt. If you look upon each recurrence as an opportunity that is offered to you, in response to your intention, to release your inadequacy and to acquire power over it, you choose the path of learning through wisdom, for that it what it is.
- Until you fill in the inadequacies within you, you will always have your addiction. In order to release your addiction, it is necessary to enter your inadequacies, to recognize they are real, and to bring them into the light of consciousness to heal.
- When you struggle with an addiction, you deal directly with the healing of your soul. You deal directly with the matter of life. This is the work that is required to be done. As you face your deepest struggles, you reach for your highest goal. As you bring to light, heal, and release the deepest currents of negativity within you, you allow the energy of your soul to move directly into, and to shape, the experiences and events of physical reality, and thereby to accomplish unimpeded its tasks upon the Earth.
CAFFEINE: HOW TO TAPER
OR GET OFF IT
Taken from "Dr. Christine Northrup's Health Wisdom for Women" which is published monthly by Phillips Publishing Inc, 7811 Montrose Road, Potomac MD 20854. Submitted by Hannah Rishel, Arizona, U.S.A as a follow up to her article (Volume 3, Issue #5) describing her attempt to wean from coffee.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU'RE ADDICTED TO CAFFEINE
1) Be Honest. Add up your total caffeine consumption for one day. If it's below 100 mg and you have no problem with sleep, osteoporosis, anxiety or depression, PMS or menopausal symptoms, heart disease or palpitations, then you are probably fine to continue at that level of consumption.
2) Cut your caffeine intake below your "addiction level." If you're not sure whether or not you're addicted to caffeine, try stopping it completely for 24 hours. If you experience any symptoms, such as headaches, drowsiness, fatigue, problems concentrating, muscle pain, or nausea, you're addicted. I can get addicted and then experience withdrawal symptoms if I drink more than two cups of caffeinated coffee per week! It's also important to realize that many over-the-counter pain medications contain caffeine, so you may feel withdrawal symptoms when you stop these. In fact, many people who go to their doctors complaining of headaches are actually going through withdrawal from intermittent caffeine use.
EASE YOUR WAY THROUGH CAFFEINE WITHDRAWAL
To withdraw from caffeine, you have two choices: gradual or cold turkey. I like the gradual method because headaches are milder or absent. (Caffeine causes blood vessel constriction in the brain. The sudden withdrawal results in dilation and pain.) If you're a coffee drinker, start by gradually replacing your caffeinated coffee with decaf. Make each cup 1/3 decaf and 2/3 regular. Then gradually add more and more decaf. But remember that decaf contains about 6-7 mg of caffeine per 6 oz. cup, which may be enough to jolt you, depending upon your sensitivity.
If you drink caffeinated sodas, you may want to try replacing them with seltzer or soda water, juice or water.
Aim for a two-to three-week conversion period. Set a date for your full personal decaffeination.
Be patient and be prepared. Withdrawal takes anywhere from one to four days to be completed. Some people recover their energy right away. For some, it can take their bodies two to three weeks to bounce back in the morning without their regular jolt. But after a while, you won't believe the difference in how you feel. Look for improvements in your sleep, energy, digestion, skin, mood, and energy levels.
SUPPORT YOUR ADRENALS NUTRITIONALLY WHILE TAPERING OFF CAFFEINE
Take Siberian ginseng or Panax ginseng. Both have been shown to help support the body during emotional or physical stress through supporting adrenal function. Use Siberian ginseg for mild to moderate stress and Panax if the stress is longer term or more severe.
Increase your intake of B vitamins. You should especially increase pantothenic acid (100-500 mg day). This supports adrenal function.
Use Ginkgo biloba. This herb can help restore mental clarity while you're getting your adrenal health back and reducing caffeine.
Be sure to drink up to ten 8oz glasses of water per day.
THE LAUGHTER ROOM
The following excerpts are taken from the book "Are You Happy? Some Answers to the Most Important Questions in Your Life" by Dennis Wholey. This book is about people and what makes us happy. It is also about all of us as human beings and where happiness fits into the life process. Dennis says "No one finds happiness after a long search. Happiness comes to us as a direct result of positive self-worth, personal attitudes, specific actions, and the way in which we relate to other people...Freedom to be ourselves, good feelings, satisfaction, contentment, peace of mind, joy, laughter, and happiness are the rewards of life...." p. 3
- "I believe that the happiest people are those who love many things with a passion. The key is loving intensely and loving many, many things." By Leo. F. Buscaglia, p. 21
- "Happiness is having a sense of self - not a feeling of being perfect but of being good enough and knowing that you are in the process of growth, of being, of achieving levels of joy. It's a wonderful contentment and acceptance of who and what you are and a knowledge that the world and the life are full of wondrous adventures and possibilities, and you are part of the center. It's an awareness that no matter what happens you will somehow be able to deal with it, knowing that everything does pass and even your deepest despair will vanish." By Leo. F. Buscaglia, p. 22
- "Happiness is intrinsic, it's an internal thing. When you build it into yourself, no external circumstances can take it away...." Everything else is in transition but the happiness you create within yourself is permanent." By Leo. F. Buscaglia, p. 23
- "Happiness is a choice and as we reinforce that choice, happiness becomes a deeper and deeper part of us until we are Happiness. Then as we move through life being Happiness, we create it everyplace we go. We dissolve conflicts. We come into tense situations and people feel relaxed. People feel very open with a happy person and think, "My goodness, I can be me." By Leo. F. Buscaglia, p. 23
- "To be happy you must have the faith. You must have the hope. You must have the will. Then you must make it happen. Many of us are afraid of happiness." By Leo. F. Buscaglia, p. 24
- "Being playful is being happy." By Eda Leshan, p. 29
- "When people say they're not happy it's because they have lost the child and the playfulness. Playfulness is really the basis of all discovery, and discovering is the adventure of living. If you lose that, you become crippled forever." By Eda Leshan, p. 30.
- " Fred Rogers once said, 'When you have a child, you have another chance at yourself. What he meant is that you have another chance to become a child and play.'" By Eda Leshan, p 33
HAPPINESS IS A GREAT HEALER
"You must be happy always. You must be counted among the people of joy and happiness and must be adorned with divine morals. In a large measure happiness keeps our health while depression of spirit begets disease." (Abdu'l-Baha, 239 Days in Akka, p.1)
The nineteen-day period of daily fasting takes place during the last month of the Baha'i year, the month of Ala (Loftiness), 2nd - 20th March inclusive. It is followed by the Feast of Naw-Ruz (Baha'i New Year). Fasting is enjoined on all believers between ages of 15 and 70. Exempted from the Fast are children under 15, those who are ill, over 70, traveling, pregnant or nursing women, women in their courses or those doing heavy labour.
"These are, O my God, the days whereon Thou didst enjoin Thy servants to observe the fast. With it Thou didst adorn the preamble of the Book of Thy Laws revealed unto Thy creatures, and didst deck forth the Repositories of Thy commandments in the sight of all who are in Thy heaven and all who are
on Thy earth. Thou hast endowed every hour of these days with a special virtue, inscrutable to all except Thee, Whose knowledge embraceth all created things." (Baha'u'llah, Baha'i Prayers, U.S, 1985 Edition, p. 247)
Abdu'l-Baha tells us that "prayer and fasting is the cause of awakening and mindfulness and conducive to protection and preservation from tests." (Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, pp 69-70)
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
Pray and meditate daily; read the Creative Word morning and evening
Be always happy
Eat simple, natural plant foods
Drink adequate pure water
Evaluate progress daily, summarize weekly
QUESTION OF THE MONTH
Some of us are challenged by living with severe physical limitations, illnesses or disabilities. How did you make the adjustment to make your environment and situation more pleasant to deal with your condition? What kind of care and comfort have you discovered to assist you? How does your community assist you? We look forward to hearing and learning from you!
SPREADING THE WORD
We would love to see "Healing Through Unity" grow! We hope you, as subscribers, will continue to make a conscious effort to tell your friends, families, and communities who you think might enjoy and benefit from the publication. If you would like to place a small announcement to put in your local or national newsletters, here is one that has already been prepared:
"HEALING THROUGH UNITY" NEWSLETTER
This newsletter 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. There are 10 issues/year and it is circulated to more than 105 countries and territories. If you are interested, please email: -- or check out the website at: www.healingthroughunity.org
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 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: http://www.healingthroughunity.org