Baha'i Library Online
Back to Healing through Unity newsletters


February 2005

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

Volume 9, Issue No. 2





- Quotes of the month
- From the Editor
- This Month's Theme: Beating Fatigue
- Readers Response to Last Month's Question
- Useful Links on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Useful Links on Fatigue
- Whole Foods Recipe Swap
- Book Corner
- Seeking for Assistance To Prepare a Table of Contents
- Letters
- Web Site
- Purpose of the Newsletter
- Subscription Information
- Next Month's Theme: Setting Goals and Preparing for Success




"Life is short and we do not have too much time to gladden the hearts of those who travel with us, so be swift to love and make haste to be kind."

(Henri-Frederic Amiel, "Balanced Living for Busy Baha'is")

“Let each one of God’s loved ones center his attention on this: to be the Lord’s mercy to man; to be the Lord’s grace. Let him do some good to every

person whose path he crosseth, and be of some benefit to him. (Abdu’l-Baha, "Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha", p.3)




Thank you all for the very warm welcome! I am just so jazzed to be part of this project with you, the readers of this e-newsletter.

The theme for this issue is in response to a reader's question on how to deal with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), but fatigue from many sources is also a daily challenge for all of us. All sorts of things — physical, mental and spiritual — make us tired. In the long run, the wrong moral compass can be just as debilitating as residual neural damage from a viral infection.

Where do we draw the line, for instance, between necessary and excessive activity? How do we say no? Can we say no and still be good people? Is fatigue a healthy response, that in the extreme, is a disease? If so, why should fatigue even be a part of the good life? What can we do about it, and why should we? Should we consider physical, spiritual or psychological intervention — and how do we decide which?

In this issue you will find articles from the readers who have been dealing with CFS, including information on ways to provide treatment for this debilitating disease.


THIS MONTH'S THEME: Dealing with Fatigue


There are as many ways to define fatigue, as there are people. The point at which being tired is considered a disease varies in every culture and there are differences of opinion with medical and scientific sources .

Many physicians do not even consider chronic fatigue to be a specific illness, and those who do, differ on whether it is physical, psychological or a good example of psychosomatic interaction. All of them, however, consider feeling tired to be a common symptom of something amiss in our lives, whether it is lack of sleep, the onset of infection, nutritional imbalance, improper exercise of mind or body, or the result of injury or emotional stress.

Whatever it is, if we aren’t dealing with it, the body gets tired and tells us so!

The Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders (The authors have moved into a new understanding that body and mind are part of one feedback loop) lists the following major sources of chronic fatigue:

- Disease, often the first symptom
- Circulatory or respiratory impairment
- Infection, especially chronic and low-grade
- Nutritional disorders such as bulimia, anorexia, diabetes, deficiencies and starvation
- Dehydration
- Deconditioning, generally resulting from bed rest or lack of exercise
- Pain, especially chronic pain
- Stress, meaning emotional or mental
- Sleep disorders, as well as just plain sleep deprivation
- Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome, which Gale classifies as diseases and gives an entire chapter separate from fatigue as a general symptom of disease
- Psychological disorders, such as generalized anxiety and depression

Some evidence that a tired and run-down feeling has been an age-old human complaint, is that most religious writings have addressed the problem.

Ancient Egyptian, Mediterranean and Chinese civilizations recorded not only advice for dealing with fatigue but also extensive evidence of various forms of rest and recuperation.

Hindus, for example, were exhorted to care for their personal health in this way: "Having eaten there something for the second time (in the day), and having been recreated by the sound of music, let him go to rest and rise at the proper time, free from fatigue." (Laws of Manu)

Even acts of religious piety can be tiring, so tiring in fact, that mendicancy (such as friars, living on alms) was generally restricted to a small subset of believers. Historically, sainthood was not for all, but salvation for the masses could be achieved without those extremes.

The Baha’i faith, the newest of the world’s independent religions, expressly warns its followers against over-doing, exhorting them to moderation in all things spiritual and physical.

“Take heed lest excessive reading and too many acts of piety in the daytime and in the night season make you vainglorious. Should a person recite but a single verse from the Holy Writings in a spirit of joy and radiance, this would be better for him than reciting wearily all the Scriptures of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.

“Recite ye the verses of God in such measure that ye be not overtaken with fatigue or boredom. Burden not your souls so as to cause exhaustion and weigh them down, but rather endeavour to lighten them, that they may soar on the wings of revealed Verses unto the dawning-place of His signs. This is conducive to nearer access unto God, were ye to comprehend.” (Baha’u’llah, The Compilation of Compilations, Vol II, p. 225)

Apart from moderation in mental and physical activities, general treatment for fatigue (as recommended by Gale’s above, and by most of the Healing Through Unity readers’ letters) is as follows:

- Aerobic exercise
- Hydration
- Improving sleep
- Medications
- Psychotherapy
- Physical interventions, such as nutrition, massage, chemotherapy or surgery
- Support groups





"I am suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome for more than 15 years. The main symptom of this illness is debilitating and extreme fatigue with slight exertion of the body. I don't know where to ask for help. My problem is misunderstood everywhere; the isolation and despair is too much. Nobody can feel the pain I am going through. Getting the daily necessity stuffs is hard here and treatment of illness is a distant thing, but I am in desperate need of help. Will you please help me some way to cure my condition?" — Sandeep, Nepal



I developed chronic fatigue syndrome in the early 1980s after a severe bout of flu, and its worst symptoms lasted for nine years. I tried different many things for it, foods, supplements, prayers, meditation, and some things worked better than others.

But gradually I tried to increase regular light exercise (even though I felt often that I had lead boots on!), tried to eat a balanced wholesome diet with as many organic foods as possible, made sure I got adequate sleep. I did daily prayer and meditation and visualization, tried not to get over-fatigued or tired out or overly stressed.

Gradually, things came back to normal for me. But even today, I still have to pace myself and watch my energy and stress levels, as symptoms will come back, if I get too stressed or tired out.

Certain practices helped me, such as massage, Reiki, or following the advice of a good naturopathic doctor. I don't think CFS is a debilitating life sentence but something that can be managed well enough to enjoy most of life's pleasures. An optimistic attitude is essential, and especially daily prayer and meditation.

I hope (Sandeep) can find some things to ameliorate (the) condition.

— Marilyn in Ontario


The following points have been helpful to me in dealing with


1. Praying — especially for assistance from God (asking friends who had been ill while alive to help carry me forward).

2. Walking and using light hand weights or Thera-bands every day to get blood flowing.

3. Making a "to-do" list with priorities and taking advantage of my better days to accomplish what I can. Feeling grateful for any accomplishments.

Repelling guilt.

4. Affirming that horrible days ARE followed by better days.

5. Engaging in teaching and Baha'i service whenever possible.

6. Taking medications that improve my sleep.

7. Each breath in, is Allah (God), and each breath out is Abha (Glory).”

— Joyce


One great helper is The Long Healing Prayer (found in many Baha’i prayer books, such as: Baha’i Prayers," Baha’i Publishing Trust, Wilmette, Illinois USA.

The prayer is no instant cure, but it cures the soul. It helps you understand life better and makes you a little prepared for the eternal life to come.

Something that helped me was "The Journey". It is a special technique, emotional and psychological, to go through emotions and memories and clear out what blocks us. It is simple. You can ask a friend to do it with you, a friend whom you can trust, because it is very emotional. The Journey is written by Brandon Bays, who cured herself from severe cancer and now travels in many countries and give seminars about it. (Brandon’s Journey Web site: )

I was very weak, and this is what helped me.

— Margaretha Garp, Sweden


I'd like to share some info with Sandeep. After a surprise diagnosis, I began to get help with my chronic fatigue and compromised immune system from an herbal doctor. First, we cleaned the digestive tract, and then I took some strong vitamins. Later a homeopath helped to boost my system with different remedies.

GNLD makes excellent vitamins — pharmaceutical grade — but they're a bit expensive. If you can afford it, they're great. I recommend you keep looking, especially from alternative health practitioners — they helped me more than my allopathic (general practitioner) doctor. And remember, you are not alone. If your community doesn't have a chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia support group, I'm sure there are some on the Internet.

Good luck!

— C.R. in Canada


I am a counselor who uses cognitive-based therapies and meridian-based therapies to assist clients to overcome anxiety and depression. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a readily available therapy for practitioners and clients to learn at low or no cost over the Internet via the site:

Emotional, energy and spiritual disruptions can affect the physical. I have been using EFT for three years with remarkable results, especially in the area of treating chronic general anxiety disorder.

I am including some responses here from the EFT Web site that the readers may find interesting. On the Web site, they can order the manual and CD-based training materials and learn the technique for themselves. I would also be available for phone consultation.

— Jim Woodbridge, Stress Reduction Therapist

Editor’s Note: Since this material is too extensive for inclusion in the newsletter, it will be made available and forwarded upon reader request.





CFS-CARE is an Internet discussion group for caregivers of people with chronic-fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses. Topics include emotional support, communication, research, diagnosis and treatment, related illnesses, supports mechanisms, community and humor.

The discussion is conducted by electronic mail, so all you need is an Internet account with e-mail privileges. The discussion is unmediated, the atmosphere is supportive and no topic is off-limits or “incorrect.” There is no charge to participate, and you can join or drop the list at any time.

(Note: In order to encourage free expression on sensitive topics, the discussion is currently limited to caregivers.)

For more information, or to join, write to Greg Ross at Their Web site is:




Current issues/research: Resources for caregivers: A good, Frequently Asked Questions sheet:

Recognition that it is indeed a disease — the U.S. Center for Disease Control site:

And many more Web sites available if you search on CFIDS




Of interest to women, fatigue as a symptom of hormonal imbalances: (They are selling stuff, too, but the info is good.) Current research: Especially good for HIV/AIDS, but includes on line access to experts in various fields,

including treatment of fatigue: "How You Feel Is Up To You: The Power of Emotional Choice", 2nd Edition.

Gary D. McKay, Ph.D. and Don Dinkmeyer, Ph.D. Price: $14.95 (Book has an extended section on dealing with what makes you tired, tired, tired.)




Red palm oil is a rich source for carotenoids (precursors of vitamin A), vitamin E and Coenzyme Q10 – and it’s free of cholesterol and transfats.

The following recipes are from the Web site of one U.S. supplier. Carotino Cooking Oil is a beautiful rosy color with a slightly fruity aroma and very light flavor. It is a blend of red palm and canola oils.

The company claims that one tablespoonful equals the USDA requirements for vitamins A and E, and sites several clinical studies of red palm oil diet supplementation showing remarkable improvement in blood serum levels of vitamin A in women and children from areas of the world where this deficiency is common and leads to blindness and death.

The recipes on the site suggest Carotino oil can be used for baking, sautéing and stir frying, and also in salad dressings.



400 gms (14 ounces) lean chicken meat (cubed)

3 cm (~1 inch) ginger (sliced round thinly)

2 large onions (wedged and separated)

3 pips (cloves) garlic (chopped finely)

1 red capsicum (cubed)

1 green capsicum (cubed)

1 stalk celery (sliced diagonally)

4 to 5 medium size Chinese mushrooms (soaked and sliced)

2 level teaspoons corn flour (cornstarch) mixed with 4 teaspoons of water

1 teaspoon light soya sauce

2 tablespoons Carotino Oil

1/4 cup water

Marinate chicken with soya sauce for 15 minutes. Heat a non-stick wok, add Carotino Oil.

When hot, add garlic, ginger and onions and fry until brown. Add marinated chicken and stir-fry for 3 minutes until lightly brown. Add 1/4 cup water.

Cook till chicken is done.

Add mushrooms, capsicums (bell peppers work), celery and stir-fry over hot fire for 3 minutes.

Add blended corn flour and stir well until sauce in thickened. Garnish and serve hot.

Serves 5.

Recipe courtesy of: Mary Easaw, chief dietician, National Health Institute, Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia



Ingredients for mayonnaise:

125ml (1/2 cup) Carotino Oil

1 egg yolk

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon mustard powder

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 tablespoon vinegar


2 tablespoons chili sauce

3 - 4 tablespoons tomato sauce

1 tablespoon honey

Salt to taste

Salad ingredients:

250g (8-9 ounces) cooked macaroni

1 big onion, sliced

1 green apple, sliced

16 grapes

100g (3.5 ounces) carrot, sliced, par-boiled and refreshed 50g (2 ounces) toasted almonds/walnuts

1 small mango, sliced

1/2 cucumber, sliced

Lettuce for decoration

Put egg yolk and seasonings in a blender and blend for a few seconds until thick.

Pour in Carotino Oil gradually and continue blending until half the oil is used up.

Add vinegar and continue slowly adding oil till all has been used up. Mix mayonnaise with ingredients. Arrange ingredients on a salad bowl or a serving plate Serve with mayonnaise on the side.

Source: Global Palm Products Sdn Bhd.

For more information and recipes:




EDITOR’S NOTE: In the United States, February is Black History Month. The following book story aims to honor this occasion.

Widow of Slain Civil Rights Leader Tells Her Story


"Watch Me Fly: What I Learned On The Way To Becoming The Woman I Was Meant To Be." By Myrlie Evers-Williams and Melinda Blau, Little, Brown & Company, New York, 1999, $23, hardcover.

On the night of June 12, 1963, civil rights leader Medgar Evers lay dying in his driveway in Jackson, Mississippi USA., shot in the back by white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith, his life blood oozing into an armful of white "Jim Crow must go" T-shirts.

"I wanted to die too," writes Myrlie Evers-Williams, 65, in her moving autobiography, "Watch Me Fly."

Left with three children to raise, and at the time, pregnant with a fourth child, later lost through miscarriage, she came dangerously close to suicide, driving recklessly and almost swallowing a handful of sleeping pills carefully hoarded from doctor’s prescriptions.

Ironically, Medgar Evers, whom the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People called their "man in Mississippi," who investigated murders and lynchings, planned voter registration drives, organized boycotts and fought for representation, did not live to see the civil rights advances his death galvanized.

But, looking back over her successful, high-profile career, Evers-Williams knows now that his death was an irrevocable force that brought to her life painful but positive change.

Her book does not begin with her husband’s murder, however. Instead, it opens with the most triumphant chapter in her life, winning the court battle that brought Beckwith to justice, in a retrial held 31 years later in 1994.

It was a fight for justice that took guts, vigilance, careful strategy and facing down death threats, hate letters and mail bombs.

Evers-Williams calls her book an "instructive autobiography." In it, she shares down-home wisdom gleaned from childhood and from life’s deepest lessons.

"It would take Medgar’s death and the experience of many years for me to learn the truth: No one, no matter how much he loves you or you love him, can make you feel confident and secure. You have to feel that way about yourself."

Yet, her book is also two love stories, one about Medgar Evers, the man she married at age 18, and the other, about Walter Williams, a longshoreman and union activist whom Evers married in 1976.

It is difficult to read "Watch Me Fly" without gasping, almost in disbelief.

How did she do it? Not just once but so many times, rise above mountainous obstacles that would daunt any man, much less a black woman born in hard times, in Vicksburg, Miss.

Yet, again and again, she draws strength from the roots of early childhood — from the aunt and paternal grandmother who raised her, two independent women who taught discipline, dignity and how to "pinch pennies until they screamed."

Born in 1933, she grew up during the Depression in a segregated South, where blacks entered side doors of public buildings and sent their children to third-rate schools. Her first 10 years were spent in her grandmother’s one-story, white-washed house on Magnolia Street, with a yard big enough for washing and hanging clothes, for visitors, fruit trees, “cackling laying hens,” and a sizable garden, where they raised corn, tomatoes, string beans, crowder peas and collards.

Here, under the strict tutelage of "Mama" and her Aunt Myrlie, a schoolteacher, she first learned to "make a way out of no way." And, in a lifetime that seemed to embrace three lifetimes, that nitty-gritty lesson came in handy.

Her heartbreaking yet rewarding life is nothing short of a miracle. She rises out the grave of grief and moves to Claremont, Calif. While raising three children, she earns a degree from Pomona College. She becomes a sought-after lecturer and publishes her first book, "For Us, the Living," in which she tells the story of Medgar Evers and the civil rights movement. She becomes a contributing editor at Ladies Home Journal.

Then, she gets a full-time job with the Center for Educational Opportunity at Pomona College. Later, she rises to become an accomplished businesswoman and finds her place in the halls of power as a national civic and political leader. All along the way, she carries with her "Mama’s" down-to-earth life strategies and her invincible faith.

Her work comes full circle, when in 1995, she is named full-time chairman of the NAACP at time it was threatened with extinction, collapsing under the weight of a $4.7 million debt.

"Medgar died for the NAACP," she told reporters. "I will live for the NAACP."

Her second husband, her beloved Walter, died of prostate cancer just three days after she was elected to the post he urged her to take. Yet, drawing upon her expertise, in three years, she wipes out the NAACP’s debt and increases its membership.

"Activism has been one of the defining forces of my life," she says. ". . .

My satisfaction always has come from putting myself out there, laying my values on the line, committing myself to a cause."

Although her book covers a dramatic chapter in American history, it is primarily a woman’s story, dealing with issues of single parenting, sexism, corporate glass ceilings, family, friends and relationships.

Along the way, she learns how to cope with her perfectionism, let go of hatred, and at last, trusts her wings to fly.

"In the end, it’s not what happens to you that matters; it’s how you deal with it," she writes."




"Concerning the prejudice of race; it is an illusion, a superstition pure and simple, for God created us all of one race . . . . In the sight of God there is no difference between the various races. Why should man invent such a prejudice?" (‘Abdu’l-Baha, "Baha’u’llah and the New Era," p. 160.)




I would like to suggest that you invite someone, possibly a youth with the intention of studying medicine, to do a comprehensive Table of Contents for all the issues... I suspect that this might also be an assistance to your editing board to see where the weight of focus has been in the past. — Elizabeth Rochester

EDITOR’S NOTE: For your information, there is a list of table of contents in the Healing Through Unity Website; however it needs to be updated. The last table of contents was prepared 2001. If you are interested in performing this task, please send an email to the editor.




Having goals is good for you! It makes you live longer and healthier, or so says the U.S. National Institutes for Health and the World Health Organization. With the advent of the New Year many of us evaluate our personal progress and make new resolutions for the coming year. Since the Baha’i New Year falls in March of the Gregorian calendar, the theme for the March issue of Healing Through Unity will be goal setting and achieving success, with a little help from our friends. Send your favorite strategies — physical, mental and spiritual – to the editor:




Comments On Breastfeeding Article

(January 2005 issue)

As a former breastfeeding mom and current La Leche Leader and Trainer, I was happy to see the issue on breastfeeding. I have always appreciated the various Baha'i Writings on the subject, some metaphorical but some very specific. — Karen in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

EDITOR’S NOTE: Both Karen in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and Susan in Texas, USA, shared the following favorite quotation:


“Out of the wastes of nothingness, with the clay of My command I made thee to appear, and have ordained for thy training every atom in existence and the essence of all created things. Thus, ere thou didst issue from thy mother's womb, I destined for thee two founts of gleaming milk, eyes to watch over thee, and hearts to love thee. . . .”

(The Hidden Words of Baha'u'llah, Persian, verse 29)




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




"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. There are 10 issues per year; it is not published during July and August. The newsletter is produced in Ann Arbor, Michigan.




Distribution of this newsletter is free by e-mail. Please e-mail requests for all new subscriptions, subscription cancellations and email address changes (please include old address along with new one) to




All of us have had healing experiences, as well as climbed out of low points along life's way -- physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual.

Please share your stories, tips, useful links, and quotes from the Baha'i Writings about staying healthy in a stressful world. Your articles do not have to be long -- even a few paragraphs in length is fine. Baha'u'llah gave us each other as a big part of a healthy lifestyle, and sharing stories and ideas that work for you brings encouragement to others. Asking for information and support from others can bring encouragement to you!

WHERE TO SEND STORIES AND CORRESPONDENCE: Many thanks to all of you who share helpful ideas for "Healing Through Unity Newsletter." We welcome submissions for everyone, and hope you will continue to share with the new editor as generously as you have in the past with founding editor Frances Mezei and former editor Lynn Ascrizzi, who is now contributing editor.

Please email your stories, comments, suggestions or "Question for the Month"

ideas to the newsletter editor, Cheryll Schuette, at:



Founding Editor — Frances Mezei

Editor — Cheryll Schuette

Medical Reviewer —Diane Gable, M.D.

Contributing Editor — Lynn Ascrizzi

Circulation Assistant — Kathy Yonash

Web Master — Russ Novak


Back to Healing through Unity newsletters