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March 2005

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

Volume 9, Issue No. 3




- Quote of the month
- From the Editor
- This Month's Theme: Setting Goals and Preparing for Success
- Useful Links
- 'Abdu'l-Baha's prayer for Removal of addictions
- 25 Ways to Activate Your Life
- Walking Meditation
- Whole Foods recipe Swap
- Health in the News
- Question of the Month
- Letters
- Web Site
- Purpose of the Newsletter
- Subscription Information
- Next Moth's Theme: Fitness: Defining and Achieving It




"They have not properly understood that man's supreme honor and real happiness lie in self-respect, in high resolves and noble purposes, in integrity and moral quality, in immaculacy of mind. They have, rather, imagined that their greatness consists in the accumulation, by whatever means may offer, of worldly goods.

(Abdu'l-Baha, "The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 18)




Dear Friends,

The last month of the Baha'i year, which occurs in March of the Gregorian calendar, is set aside for fasting and preparation for the New Year (March 21). It is a time of prayer and meditation, of spiritual cleansing, of personal reflection, evaluation of goals and often the setting of new goals.

The theme for the March issue of Healing Through Unity Newsletter is therefore devoted to setting goals and making plans that will assure success in achieving those goals.

One key requirement of success is having a support group, people who know what you want to achieve and who care about you. Having someone else to talk to, to share concerns, to provide information and empathy can be absolutely critical for many health related goals. Healing Through Unity is about building those bridges.

I wish you all success is defining, setting and achieving your goals for the new year!




First: define who you want to be.

Make a "To Be List." You can divide goals into specific areas, such as spiritual, material, physical, career, etc., but be sure that the goal is concrete and measurable, not vague or philosophical.

New York University researchers report in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that when you contrast your fantasies about the future to your present reality, it leads you to act and achieve the future expectations. They found this not only helps you set goals but makes them stronger and more binding, since your commitment arises from the promise of favorable expectations.

Why we are doing stuff is more important than what the tasks are, or at least comes first. So, who do you want to be? What do you want to do in life? What passionate longing drives you?

Second: develop an action plan.

This involves dividing your goals into manageable steps and devising methods to measure progress. So, where do you want to be, how many steps to get there, how will you tell if you made it?

Third: decide where to put your resources.

Resolve to recognize that you can't do everything, so what you can do counts. Saying no is part of your action plan.

Make a To Do List: Divide it as most convenient for you. Planning calendars often divide tasks daily, weekly, monthly, and larger segments.

From all the directions provided by family, career, religion, play, etc., choose only those activities that will best assist you in achieving your "To Be list". (It is okay to divide them into phases over time, if you just can't face giving up something forever.)

One important tool in building an action plan -- and in deciding which activities you will pass over -- is to assess your energy sources and drains. What activities (people, places, attitudes) bring you joy? How can you maximize the effect? Be specific so you can repeat the experience.

Do the same analysis on what drains you. How can you minimize this loss?

Again, be specific, so you can build the strategies into your "To Do" lists

Fourth: Plug into the Power:

You can't do it alone. Ask for help from the Holy Spirit:

"Know thou of a certainty that thy Lord will come to thine aid with a company of the Concourse on high and hosts of the Abhá Kingdom." ("Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá," sec. 19, p. 43)

Ask for help from those around you: mentors, friends, relatives and others who share your goals.

Practice balance in living: mood, forgiveness, service, physical needs (rest, food, exercise).

No matter what your goals, this last requirement to stay balanced is important. Driving yourself into ill health to make some pinnacle is not succeeding. Success comes not from rigid perfection or wonderfully high goals. It arrives in snips and pinches, flashes of light and insight, small victories that don't have a brass band trumpeting your achievement. Over time, all these little bits of progress add up.

As 'Abdu'l-Baha often said: "Kam, kam; Ruz be Ruz. Little by little; day by day."

"You should not neglect your health, but consider it the means which enables you to serve. It - the body - is like a horse which carries the personality and spirit, and as such should be well cared for so it can do its work! You should certainly safeguard your nerves, and force yourself to take time, and not only for prayer and meditation, but for real rest and relaxation." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, November 23, 1947, Lights of Guidance, p. 297)





Personal Goal Setting - Planning to Live Your Life Your Way

Mind Tools on the Web has a very nice outline, very similar to the one presented here, in that first you set who you want to be, and then make your "To Do" list. They also offer a free newsletter, and career coaching services which are not free.


For much more detailed assistance, where you do not have to design your plan from the ground up, you can sign up on walks you through a simple, step-by-step goal-setting process for any goal, whether it's short-term or long-term, easy or difficult, practical or lofty. They also provide pre-made GoalPlans(r) for popular goals, to get you started even faster.

Once you've set a goal, they will send email reminders that arrive precisely when needed for each task. keeps you focused and on track until you accomplish your goal.

The drawback is that you have to fit one of the plans they provide, but given the wide variety, might be just right. Samples include:

Health & Fitness Goals: Exercise, Nutrition, Weight-Loss, Peak Performance, Cosmetic Surgery...

Family & Relationship Goals: Friends, Romance & Marriage, Family, People Skills, Family Goals...

Personal Finance Goals: Investing, Paying Off Debt, Cutting Expenses, Charity & Philanthropy...

Career Goals: Job Seeking, Education & Skills, Entrepreneurship, Promotions...

And a great many more than can be listed here.






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. For it is even as Thou hast said: `All that thou hast in thy cellar will not appease the thirst of my love--bring me, O cup-bearer, of the wine of the spirit a cup full as the sea!'

("Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha," pp.149-50)




From "Healing Moves, How to Cure, relieve, and Prevent Common Ailments with Exercise" by Carol Krucoff & Mitchell Krucoff, M.D., Harmony Books 2000. pp. 46-47

1. Don't use the nearest bathroom. Use one that requires you to walk a bit, preferably up or down a flight or two of stairs.

2. Balance on one foot while you're brushing your teeth. Balance on the other foot while you're combing your hair.

3. Park in the farthest space.

4. Play actively with your kids. Strap on a pair of in-line skates, join in their karate class, get off your bench and swing, climb, hang, slide.

5. Hide your TV remote. Get up and walk across the room when you want to change the channel, increase the volume, or turn the TV on or off.

6. Never take the elevator when you're going fewer than three flights; take the stairs.

7. Get rid of your electric can opener and use a manual one.

8. Turn your coffee break into a walk break. Walk to a distant vending machine, cafeteria, or coffee shop to get your snack instead of using the closest one.

9. Stretch or walk while you're talking on the (cordless) phone.

10. Set an "activity" timer or program your computer to remind you to take brief walking and/or stretching breaks periodically.

11. Wait actively. If you're forced to wait for an airplane, hairdresser, dentist, doctor, or restaurant table, take a walk.

12. Walk or bike to do errands instead of driving.

13. Take a minute to stretch your arms, legs, back shoulders, and neck whenever you get up from sitting or lying down.

14. Sweep your floors, patio, and/or front walk every day.

15. During TV commercials, get up and walk or get down and stretch.

16. Socialize actively. Instead of sitting and talking with friends and/or family, try walking and talking. Go bowling or line dancing, or play Ping-Pong, basketball, or boccie ball.

17. Put your favorite mug on a very low shelf, so you'll have to squat down to get it out and put it back.

18. Take your dog for a walk every day. If you don't have a dog, borrow your neighbor's, or just walk you "inner dog."

19. Practice "aerobic shopping" by talking a lap around the mall or grocery store before you go into a shop or put an item in your cart.

20. Avoid "drive-through." Park your car and walk in.

21. Practice good posture when you're forced to wait in line. Stand firmly on both feet and try to raise the top of your head to touch an imaginary hand held a quarter inch above you. Let your spine extend, shoulder relax, and arms fall at your sides.

22. Don't automatically drive. If the dry cleaner is across the parking lot from the bank, walk there. (Wear decent walking shoes or keep a good pair in your car.) 23. Install a chin-up bar in a convenient doorway, then use it often to do chin-ups, pull-ups, or simply hang.

24. Try musical housework. Put on dancing music and sweep, vacuum, or wash windows to the beat.

25. Every time you hear a bell ring (for example, a phone bell, doorbell, or church bell) take a deep breath and smile. Think of it as "mouth yoga" that relaxes hundreds of muscles in your face. And it's contagious, so pass it on.




In our hurried world, it seems no matter how much we rush about armed with our long to-do lists and anxiously clock-watch, there are just too many things to do and not enough time to do them all. Especially those things on our goals list which are purely personal -- such as meditation, or exercise.

Well, how about combining the two?

"The purpose of walking meditation is to enjoy each step," writes Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hahn in his classic guide to mindful meditation, "Peace Is Every Step."

In his pocket guide to walking meditation, "The Long Road Turns to Joy," he tells us that, "walking meditation is like eating. With each step, we nourish our body and our spirit. When we walk with anxiety and sorrow, it is a kind of junk food. The food of walking meditation should be of a higher quality. Just walk slowly and enjoy a banquet of peace."

The co-authors Krucoff, offer some useful suggestions to enhance your walking meditation in their book, "Healing Moves," under the heading of ways to heal the mind-body-spirit:

1. Smile. Although it sounds simple, or even silly, mindfully adding a smile to the end of a breath has profound effects.

2. Keep your mind in the present. If past anxieties or future worries pop into your head, gently dismiss them and return your mind to the present moment.

3. Feel free to stop to look at something beautiful -- leaves changing color, a bird flying, children playing.

4. Imagine that in every one of your footsteps a flower blooms. Remember, each step is a miracle.

5. Carry yourself with dignity, an upright posture, and an expression of calm joy -- as if you were royalty -- because you are.

6. Don't worry about whether you are doing your walking meditation "right."




[The following links are for our reader's information only, and are not an endorsement of the web sites or the particular raw food diet regimen. That said, many people have found relief from chronic illnesses when they switched to such a diet.]

For info and great tips on utilizing raw foods, check out Dale Wing's "His Healing Ways" web site. He posts instructions to the VitaMix list to help people using that particular machine, but most of his tips pages deal with very basic methods of producing live whole foods.

Another page of links to information on the raw food diets:




O handmaid of God! The prayers which were revealed to ask for healing apply both to physical and spiritual healing. Recite them, then, to heal both the soul and the body. If healing is right for the patient, it will certainly be granted (Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha, Pages: 161-162)




Drinking and Strokes Linked

A recent study funded by the National Institutes of Health (USA) suggests that heavy drinkers may have a higher risk of stroke than those who drink moderately or not at all.

Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Harvard School of Public Health found that middle-aged and older men who consume more than two alcoholic drinks a day over several years are more likely than non drinkers to have an ischemic stroke.

People who drink moderately have the same or a slightly lower risk than teetotalers. The findings were taken from a large pool of men.

The report follows findings from the same large group, that those who drink moderately or not at all had a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes, said lead researcher Dr. Kenneth Mukamal, a Beth Israel internist and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.

About 412 - or 1 percent - of the 38,156 male health professionals who returned questionnaires biennially over 14 years of the study reported having strokes (family members reported fatalities). The heavier drinkers had a relative stroke risk that was 20 percent to 40 percent higher than those who abstained.

Researchers are not sure why excessive drinking may raise the risk of stroke. Alcohol may be a factor because it tends to raise blood pressure and adds to atrial fibrillation, in which blood isn't properly pumped through the heart's upper chambers, Mukami said.

(Source: Jan. 4, 2005 issue of "Annals of Internal Medicine")


Keep Active; Stay Healthier

- Adults who want to reduce the risk of chronic disease should engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, above usual amounts, on most days of the week. Most people will see greater health benefits by working out harder or longer than the minimum.

- To help manage weight and prevent gradual, unhealthy weight gain, get about 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity on most days of the week while not exceeding calorie intake limits.

- To sustain weight loss in adulthood: Get at least 60 to 90 minutes of daily moderate-intensity physical activity while not exceeding calorie limits. Some people may need to consult with a health-care provider first.

- For physical fitness, include cardiovascular conditioning, resistance exercises or calisthenics, and stretching.

(Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture)


Red Meat Consumption Raises Risk of Colon Cancer

A long-term study involving 148,610 adults who provided information on the foods they ate over a 10-year period, found that eating too much red meat may raise a person's risk of disease and may affect the risk of colorectal cancer.

Colon cancer occurred in 1,197 participants and rectal cancer in 470. Those who reported having eaten the most red meat were 43 percent more likely to develop rectal cancer than those who ate the least (89 cases versus. 65).

People who ate the most processed meat (salted, smoked or preserved with nitrites or nitrates) had a 50 percent higher risk of developing colon cancer than those who ate the least (79 cases versus 56).

The study defined prolonged high consumption as at least three ounces daily for men, two ounces for women, for 10 years.

The study suggests that people who eat a lot of meat may want to focus more on plant-based foods. To learn more about colorectal cancer, go to: and

(Source: Jan. 12, 2005 issue, Journal of the American Medical Association; abstract available at



Curry and Cancer

Can Curry Combat Cancer? Well not exactly. Several components of curry spice do, however, have discrete effects on tumor growth. For the full story:



Benefits of Licorice Root

Licorice root can be helpful in treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:







What is fitness, really? With all the news lately about obesity and general lack of physical fitness, not to mention the multi-billion dollar industry built around personal change and improvement, how does one sort through it all and decide what to do? And having picked a plan, set some goals and stiffened our resolve, how do we keep going in the face of all obstacles?

What has worked for you, our readers? Please share your insights and advice for April's issue of Healing Through Unity Newsletter.





On promoting health with food combining


Dear Friends:

My name is Victoria Leith and I am a Bahá'í living and working in Northampton, England. I am writing to let you know of a new initiative called 'Little Guru'. It's an online magazine which promotes food combining for health and a healthy lifestyle, mind, body and soul.

All of our team are either Baha'is (five of us) or good friends of Baha'is (two of us!) Our aim is to bring health, inspiration and positivity to everyone - there is no celebrity gossip or ill-informed news - just great articles and interviews, reviews and ways to improve your lifestyle.

Our address is Victoria Leith (Editor)




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!





Many thanks to all of you who share helpful ideas for "Healing Through Unity Newsletter." We welcome submissions for everyone. The decision to select and edit material submitted for publication is determined by the editor.

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

ideas to the newsletter editor, Cheryll Schuette, at:





You can visit our 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 email. Please email requests for all new subscriptions, subscription cancellations and email address changes (please include old address along with new one) to




Founding Editor - Frances Mezei

Editor - Cheryll Schuette

Medical Reviewer - Dr. Diane Kent

Contributing Editor - Lynn Ascrizzi

Circulation Assistant - Kathy Yonash

Web Master - Russ Novak


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