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September, 2000

A monthly newsletter dedicated to serving the principles of
physical and spiritual health envisioned in the Baha'i Teachings.

Volume 4, Issue #1





- A Story About Letting Go of Resentments
- Taking Offense
- Our Rights and Needs as an Individual
- Creative Exercises
- Be Who You Are
- Quotations From The Baha'i Writings About Self-Knowledge
- More Responses About Hepatitis C
- Requesting Assistance From Our Readers
- Suggested Reading
- Question of the Month
- Purpose of the Newsletter
- Website




Author Unknown

A story tells of a merchant in a small town who had identical twin sons. The boys worked for their father in the department store he owned and, when he died, they took over the store.

Everything went well until the day a dollar bill disappeared. One of the brothers had left the bill on the cash register and walked outside with a customer. When he returned, the money was gone.

He asked his brother, "Did you see that dollar bill on the cash register?" His brother replied that he had not. But the young man kept probing and questioning. He would not let it alone. "Dollar bills just don't get up and walk away! Surely you must have seen it!" There was a subtle accusation in his voice. Tempers began to rise. Resentment set in. Before long, a deep and bitter chasm divided the young men. They refused to speak. They finally decided they could no longer work together and a dividing wall was built down the center of the store. For twenty years hostility and bitterness grew, spreading to their families and to the community.

Then one day a man in an automobile licensed in another state stopped in front of the store. He walked in and asked the clerk, "How long have you been here?"

The clerk replied that he'd been there all his life. The customer said, "I must share something with you. Twenty years ago I was "riding the rails" and came into this town in a boxcar. I hadn't eaten for three days. I came into this store from the back door and saw a dollar bill on the cash register. I put it in my pocket and walked out. All these years I haven't been able to forget that. I know it wasn't much money, but I had to come back and ask your forgiveness."

The stranger was amazed to see tears well up in the eyes of this middle-aged man. "Would you please go next door and tell that same story to the man in the store?" he said. Then the man was even more amazed to see two middle-aged men, who looked very much alike, embracing each other and weeping together in front of the store.

After twenty years, the brokenness was mended. The wall of resentment that divided them came down.

It is so often the little things that finally divide people -- words spoken in haste; criticisms; accusations; resentments. And once divided, they may never come together again.

The solution, of course, is to let go. There is really nothing particularly profound about learning to let go of little resentments. But for fulfilling and lasting relationships, letting them go is a must. Refuse to carry around bitterness and you may be surprised at how much energy you have left for building bonds with those you love.


Editor's note: This story reminds me of the following two quotes: "He feels that the present inharmony prevailing among very detrimental to the advancement of the Cause, and can only lead to disruption and the chilling of the interest of new believers. You...should forget about your personal grievances and unite for the protection of the Faith which he well knows you are all loyally devoted to and ready to sacrifice for.  Perhaps the greatest test Baha'is are ever subjected to is from each other; but for the sake of the Master they should be ever ready to overlook each other's mistakes, apologize for harsh words they have uttered, forgive and forget. He strongly recommends to you this course of action." (From letter dated December 18, 1945, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, from 'Living The Life', Baha'i Publishing Trust (UK) p. 24)

"We must never dwell too much on the attitudes and feelings of our fellow-believers towards us. What is most important is to foster love and harmony and ignore any rebuffs we may receive; in this way the weaknesses of human nature and the peculiarity or attitude of any particular person is not magnified, but pales into insignificance in comparison with our joint service to the Faith we all love." (From letter dated 19 September 1948 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, from 'The Baha'i Life', p. 16)




Prepared by Elizabeth Rochester for Canadian Baha'i News August 1969, used by permission. This article is taken from the book "Falling Into Grace" by Justice St. Rain, pp. 44 - 46.

"It is deeply disturbing to see the ease with which large numbers of Baha'is appear to get 'hurt' and at the tendency of other believers to 'sympathize' with the one hurt and show their 'love' by hardening their hearts against the one who presumably caused the hurt. 

'Abdu'l-Baha asks us not to offend anyone. True!

He also asks us not to take offense! He requires us to regard our enemies (not just our estranged friends in the Faith) as friends. He doesn't simply ask us to treat them as friends even though we know they are enemies. He asks us to see them as friends. Why? Because these hurts are the tests which require us to grow if we are to be steadfast in the Cause. They are the tests which correct the direction of our growth (like pruning shrubs) and test the sincerity of our desire to love all mankind. 

He requires us to love the people with all their shortcomings. He said, "Do not look at the people for they are full of shortcomings, but love them for the sake of God."

People who are warm and loving are very fortunate. People who are cold and forbidding often hate themselves, are already filled with guilt and fear and only a powerful and genuine love which can thaw their frozen hearts can cure them. What is 'love' if it takes sides against them?

A log may appear to be burning but only when the kindling is consumed can you tell if it has 'caught.' If we only 'love' when we are being 'loved', we haven't 'caught.' To know that is to know a bitter truth about ourselves, but it is one worth knowing. It is a very dangerous condition to be in - a completely dependent one. What is the cure? To completely immerse ourselves in the ocean of the Writings; to pray and beseech God to kindle the fire of love and attraction in our hearts; to take action; to seek reconciliation; to serve the friends no matter what the pain; to teach the Faith and direct the seeker to the source of love and illumination - which is the Revelation. (The friends cannot be this source, for they may or may not have 'caught.')

Many people took offense at 'Abdu'l-Baha Himself. Was the Perfect Exemplar responsible for their being offended? In such a case it is clear that offense can be taken when none was intended nor any cause given.  'Abdu'l-Baha was the object of the most despicable behavior which men are capable of, yet did He ever assume the role of a man offended? It is possible to exercise the spiritual muscles of forbearance, forgiveness, mercy and to refuse to take offense or be hurt. How do we know? We know because 'Abdu'l-Baha did it, and if we are tempted to retort, 'But I am not an 'Abdu'l-Baha, the obvious answer is 'That is evident, but He is still our example.' And the one who 'hurt' us is also not an 'Abdu'l-Baha, but only trying, it is to be hoped, to follow the same example as ourselves. 

Baha'u'llah says that He desires to see us as one soul in many bodies. The one who hurts us is simply stuck on a different hurdle in the spiritual race. And we, in being hurt, are stuck on another. If we truly believe in the oneness of mankind we must love wisely enough and well enough to pray that we will both learn to take our separate hurdles in our strides, and in the meantime, love, love, and love again."




By Frances Mezei, Ontario, Canada

Many of us have been so deprived of nurturing ourselves that we may think that it's silly or selfish. We, especially women, must learn to take care of ourselves first - not to be selfish but to be in good condition, so that we can have a good relationship with ourselves, others and also to serve the Faith well and long. For instance, the airlines tell us to put on our own mask first because without oxygen, we will not be able to help ourselves or anyone else. There are many other things in life that are also essential, and for which each person needs to take individual responsibility. Some things are entirely in one’s own hands (such as prayer) and other things involve the people in our environment (such as a quiet place to pray in). Dealing with others to meet one’s own legitimate needs requires assertiveness.

At first it may seem out of character for us to express our needs, but the initial step is to become more aware of them. It is important to remember that we can take charge of our lives, accept responsibility and make adjustments. We do have a choice to be able to stand true to our heart's desires which requires awareness and courage. We can also choose how we respond to our needs and challenges. Contrary to the belief that we cannot control our emotions, the Baha'i Writings teach us that through the exercise of free will we can choose our responses. We can choose to be patient or frustrated, accepting or angry, loving or rejected. The more we strive to develop our virtues and qualities, the more we develop spiritually.

This topic is very close to my heart because I have had to learn many basic rights due to coping with a profound hearing loss since birth and being integrated in the regular school system. Throughout my life I have had to be constantly aware of the issues of communication and accessibility. For example, I have had to train many people to learn how to communicate with me, to ask people to face me when speaking, to repeat or rephrase when I do not understand and to sit in the front row of the classroom or lecture hall. These skills of asserting my needs have not always been easy to develop and yet this whole process has assisted me to be more aware of my needs and rights in order to function better.

Using the guidance, comfort and hope drawn from the Baha'i Writings, we can re-create and train ourselves new skills, attitudes and approaches to cope with our daily lives. The following quotes may assist us when asking ourselves the affirmations (see below).


..and the first effulgence which hath dawned from the horizon of the Mother Book is that man should know his own self and recognize that which leadeth unto loftiness or lowliness, glory or abasement, wealth or poverty."

(Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 34-35)


The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbour. Ponder this in thy heart; how it behooveth thee to be. Verily justice is My gift to thee and the sign of My loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes." (Baha'u'llah, Hidden Words, Arabic #2)


1. I am able to look after my own needs first. (Women have always been trained to put others first and this is fine in our service and indeed the Faith encourages it. However, it can become unbalanced and, as reminded in the Writings, we must also remember the equality of the sexes.) 

2. I think carefully when I am asked to serve. I look carefully into my heart and decide that this is the best way for me to serve. (We must remember that there are many people to serve the Faith and everyone serves differently. Focusing on the knowledge of becoming our true self will help us understand our capacities and talents and unique area of service rather than following someone else's wants and desires.)

3. I am able to take time for myself daily which includes bringing myself to account each day.

4. I allow myself and others to make mistakes.

5. I ask people questions when I require clarity or understanding of a situation.

6. I follow my instinct or inner voice or conscience, as long it is in line with the teachings of the Faith.

7. I feel okay about disagreeing with what people say or do. And I feel okay about them disagreeing with me.

8 I respect myself and so therefore my friends treat and respect me as an individual.

9. I am able to ask other people for help and to accept assistance.

10. I do not have to explain everything I do and think.

11. I am always learning to recognize, listen, and take care of my emotions when they arise.

12. I ask people to speak kindly to me if I am being criticized or put down. Or I end the conversation and say prayers for them and work towards mutual respect.

13. I rest when I feel tired or overwhelmed.




By Frances Mezei, Ontario, Canada

1) Capsule Collage: Collect a stack of magazines, newspapers, catalogs, cereal boxes, and old photo collections, which you can allow yourself to take apart. Look through the materials, cutting out any images that reflect your life or interests. Think of this collage as a form of pictorial autobiography. Include your past, present, future and your dreams. Keep pulling until you have a good stack of images (at least twenty). Now take a sheet of newspaper or large paper, a stapler, or some tape or glue, and arrange your images in a way that pleases you. Remember that it is not necessary to know why an image speaks to you; just appreciate that there is a connection to your life. Feel free to add words with a magic marker or paints. Try to reflect the talents, skills and qualities that you have learned throughout your life and either write them below the images or on the back of the paper.

2) Relationship Collage: Do the same as above except do a collage of a special and/or difficult relationship. This is a very powerful tool and one that may give you unexpected clarity and relief.

3) Encouragement Letters: This can be done with your family, friends or community members. Each individual can write an encouragement letter describing the strengths and positive qualities of each person in the group involved. This can be simple with a few lines and the letters could be prepared alone at home. I know of one community who did this and it seemed to have had a healing effect on everyone and I hear that some of the people still  look at their letters from time to time to provide them strength and support.

4) Inspiration Cards: Make a list of your strengths, your skills, your past achievements. For example do you cook, swim, play sports or do gardening? Are you creative? Do you draw, paint, write stories; have you decorated your home or landscaped your yard? Are you gentle, considerate, generous? Write your list on small cards and you can either carry them with you, post them on the wall, or keep them in your drawer. Continue adding to your list as you become more aware of your strengths, skills or past achievements. You can read out loud daily the list to yourself. 

(If you have any creative and useful exercises to share with the readers, we would be interested to hear from you. Recently a friend from Poland shared that there are some countries, for example Eastern Europe, that lack resources such as psychology and health books for the friends, therefore it would be very helpful if we could share our materials and resources with each other. I recall that when I visited a family in Ukraine, they asked earnestly for me to mail them some psychology books.)




Taken from "The Language of Letting Go" by Melody Beattie, pp. 64-65 

"When I meet people or get in a new relationship, I start putting all these repressive restrictions on myself. I can't have my feelings. Can't have my wants and needs. Can't have my history. Can't do the things I want, feel the feelings I 'm feeling, or say what I need to say. I turn into this repressed, perfectionistic robot, instead of being who I am: Me." - Anonymous.

"Sometimes, our instinctive reaction to being in a new situation is: Don't be yourself. Who else can we be? Who else would you want to be? We don't need to be anyone else. The greatest gift we can bring to any relationship wherever we go is being who we are. We may think others won't like us. We may be afraid that if we just relax and be ourselves, the other person will go away and shame us. We may worry about what the other person will think.

But, when we relax and accept ourselves, people often feel much better being around us than when we are rigid and repressed. We're fun to be around. If others don't appreciate us, do we really want to be around them? Do we need to let the opinions of others control us and our behavior?

Giving ourselves permission to be who we are can have a healing influence on our relationships. The tone relaxes. We relax. The other person relaxes. Then everyone feels a little less shame, because they have learned the truth. Who we are is all we can be, all we're  meant to be, and it's enough. It's fine. Our opinion of ourselves is truly all that matters. And we can give ourselves all the approval we want and need.

Today, I will relax and be who I am in my relationship. I will do this not in a demeaning or inappropriate way, but in a way that shows I accept myself and value who I am. Help me, God, let go of my fears about being myself."





The following quotes teach us about becoming our true selves.

"Whatever duty Thou hast prescribed unto Thy servants of extolling to the utmost Thy majesty and glory is but a token of Thy grace unto them, that they may be enabled to ascend unto the station conferred upon their own inmost being, the station of the knowledge of their own selves." (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings, pp. 4-5)

"And be ye not like those who forget God, and whom He hath therefore caused to forget their own selves'...'He hath known God who hath known himself." (ibid, p. 178)

"Could ye apprehend with what wonders of My munificence and bounty I have willed to entrust your souls, ye would, of a truth, rid yourselves of attachment to all created things, and would gain a true knowledge of your own selves - a knowledge which is the same as the comprehension of Mine own Being." (ibid, 326-7)

"True loss is for him whose days have been spent in utter ignorance of his true self." (Baha'u'llah, Tablet of Baha'u'llah, 156) 

"Let your thoughts dwell on your own spiritual development, and close your eyes to the deficiencies of other souls." ('Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha, p. 203)




Here are more answers to the question asked in the June, 2000 issue in which a reader requested information about hepatitis C.


When I hear the word "Hepatitis" no remedy comes to mind more readily than the Herb Milk Thistle. I thought that its healing properties concerning the liver would be and are so well known throughout the natural healing world, that its reputation in this area of health would just be a given. But perhaps not. So if that is the case, I think I should enumerate some of Milk Thistle's many benefits to be had at this time. 

In "The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants" Andrew Chevallier says this about Milk thistle:

"Today, milk thistle is the main remedy used in western herbal medicine to protect the liver and its many metabolic activities, and help renew its cells. The herb is used in the treatment of jaundice, as well as in conditions where the liver is under stress--whether from infection, excess alcohol, or from chemotherapy prescribed to treat diseases such as cancer. In this last instance, milk thistle can help to limit damage done to the liver by chemotherapy and speed up recovery from side effects once the treatment is completed." pg. 71 "The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants, Andrew Chevallier, DK Publishing, 1996, ISBN 0-7894-0672

In "The Green Pharmacy" by James A. Duke Ph.D., Dr.Duke states:

"I had hepatitis in Panama 25 years ago, and I did what my doctors told me; I stopped drinking alcohol until I recovered, which was a challenge because in Panama, the rum is cheap and tasty. And I rested. That was it...."

" When my son developed hepatitis a few years ago, his doctor gave him the same advice mine gave me in Panama years ago. But this time around, I knew more about medicinal herbs, so I gave my son two bottles of milk thistle capsules."

"Milk thistle is my top choice for all kinds of liver ailments, including everything from hepatitis to cirrhosis to Amanita mushroom poisoning." pg. 375 "The Green Pharmacy, The Ultimate Compendium of Natural Remedies From The Worlds Foremost Authority on Healing Herbs" James A. Duke, Ph.D. St. Martin's Press, 1997, ISBN: 0-312-96648-2

- Linda E. Nedderman, Rhode Island, U.S.A Learn more about Multiple Chemical Sensitivities at the Chemical Injury Information Network (CIIN)


I would like to share with you some information about powerful herbal medicines that are available to treat Hepatitis B and C successfully. As a former clinical faculty at Bastyr University in Seattle, I saw numerous cases of hepatitis B and C. Many patients were treated with herbs (mainly Ayurvedic herbs and some Western herbs) that are specific to the healing and the regeneration of the liver cells. Medicinal herbs which have anti-viral activity specific to the liver have been used to treat hepatitis. Intravenous injections of vitamin C can also be helpful in some cases. Depending on the constitution of the individual, the disease pattern and progression, and the status of the individual's immunity, some herbs may be used over others to treat. And of course, diet and nutritional therapy is important, as well as prayer and meditation. In many cases, the blood test results improve dramatically within 3-6 months of treatment. Forgive me if I have been vague in terms of the specific treatments, but because Hepatitis C is such a life-threatening condition, any form of treatment, including herbal, needs to been performed under the supervision of a physician. If you have specific questions or would like to know more, you are welcome to contact me via e-mail:

- Dr. Nooshin K. Darvish, Naturopathic Family Physician in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.




"My friend suddenly developed allergies to many foods, including most if not all cooking oils, not long after being stung by a poisonous sea animal. If he eats anything with soy, olives, sesame oil, pumpkin, basil, or black pepper, he develops huge itchy welts, and occasionally has some respiratory distress. It appears that the list of foods may be growing, too. Has anyone had experience with this kind of sudden food allergy? Does anyone have any advice to share?"




"Sacred Moments - Daily Meditations on the Virtues"

This book of meditation and stories by Linda Kavelin Popov, founder of "The  Virtues Project", includes 52 virtues, one for each week of the year. Drawn from the sacred texts of the world's religions, the wisdom of poets, writers, artists, philosophers, celebrities, and regular folks, "Sacred Moments" provides a simple tool for daily reflection and meditation on the different virtues.

"Divine Therapy - Pearls of Wisdom from the Baha'i Writings"

Compiled by AnnaMarie Honnold. This book is a collection of quotations from the Baha'i Writings offering guidance for spiritual and emotional healing. This book is grouped into three main sections, "Coping with Stress", "Orientation to the Divine" and "Developing Helpful Attitudes". 

"Vignettes from the Life of `Abdu'l-Baha" 

Compiled by AnnaMarie Honnald. It is a unique collection of stories, sayings and comments, providing a special insight into the life, character and station of Baha'u'llah's eldest son, 'Abdu'l-Baha. The human virtues which made 'Abdu'l-Baha known as the Perfect Exemplar are illustrated in over two hundred and fifty vignettes of His life. 

These books can be ordered from most Baha'i Distribution Services.




"And now we wish to address a few words to parents who bear the primary responsibility for the upbringing of their children. We appeal to them to give constant attention to the spiritual education of their children. Some parents appear to think that this is the exclusive responsibility of the community; others believe that in order to preserve the independence of children to investigate truth, the Faith should not be taught to them. Still others feel inadequate to take on such a task. None of this is correct. The beloved Master has said that "it is enjoined upon the father and mother, as a duty, to strive with all effort to train the daughter and the son," adding that, "should they neglect this matter, they shall be held responsible and worthy of reproach in the presence of the stern Lord." Independent of the level of their education, parents are in a critical position to shape the spiritual development of their children...." (Ridvan 2000 message from the Universal House of Justice, the supreme administration body of the Baha'i Faith.)

How can communities support parents in the spiritual education of their children and how can community members establish sound relationships with the children and youth in their community? 




"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 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. 




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