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HEALING THROUGH UNITY

April 2005

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

Volume 9, Issue No. 4

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Contents

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- Quotes of the Month
- From the Editor
- This Month's Theme: Fitness and Health
- Useful Links for Further Information
- Falan Dafa: High-Level Meditation
- Reduce the Risk of Most Aging-related Diseases
- Want to Lose Weight? Adjust Your Sleep Patterns.
- Whole Foods Recipe Swap
- A Quickening Vitality
- Health in the News
- Book Corner
- Letters
- Questions of the Month
- Purpose of the Newsletter
- Subscription Information
- Web Site

Next Month's Theme: The Importance of Friendship

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QUOTES OF THE MONTH

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"If the health and well-being of the body be expended in the path of the Kingdom, this is very acceptable and praiseworthy; and if it is expended to the benefit of the human world in general even though it be to their material benefit and be a means of doing good that is also acceptable. But if the health and welfare of man be spent in sensual desires, in a life on the animal plane, and in devilish pursuits then disease is better than such health; nay, death itself is preferable to such a life."

('Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith, p. 376)

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Elder's Meditation of the Day: "Everything's so simple, and we make everything so complicated. That's why we're confused."

Vickie Downey, TEWA/Tesuque Pueblo

The Creator designed a very simple set of Laws for us to follow. If we follow these simple things, we'll be happy. If we don't follow these simple things, our lives become complicated. For example:

Respect Mother Earth

Love one another

Be truthful

Give to your brothers and sisters

Be gentle with each other

Be happy

Following these simple Laws will have great rewards.

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FROM THE EDITOR

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Dear Friends,

The United States government has just recently discovered that many of us living in that country are obese. Though born and raised here, I had not really noticed fatness until the early 1990s, after returning from a year on the South Pacific island of Guadalcanal.

While living in a city of about 40,000 people, I rarely saw anyone who might have been called overweight. But I never thought about it until returning to the United States, to a small town in New Mexico, where it seemed that everyone was overweight by comparison to those I had lived with most recently.

While in the tropics, both my husband and I lost about 30 pounds, not because we intended to, but because we walked everywhere, and it was too hot to eat all day. We had little access to Western foods and lived on fish, chicken, cassava, many kinds of sweet potatoes, green coconuts and the tropical vegetables we found at the Chinese market.

How different that lifestyle than the one I'm living now in the Midwestern United States! Finding truly fresh fruits and vegetables during the winter months is difficult, and exercise must be planned for, since simply walking everywhere is often impossible due to the extreme weather. Needless to say, I have gained back that 30 pounds.

Even with the publicity about obesity and health and the new government guidelines on nutrition and physical activity published in "The Nation's Health", the official newspaper of the American Public Health Association, I still wonder how much of my concern is actually about fitness.

I could be more motivated by an attempt to deny or reverse certain facts of aging, alas. My equipment just isn't factory new any more, and there is little I can do to change that. I can, however, be "fit" at any age, and with any size and shape of muscles, wrinkles and all. At least, that is what my favorite books and magazines tell me.

So, how do we define fitness? Who do we ask? What works and what doesn't?

Are men different from women in regard to both fitness and the process of developing fitness? Is fitness a cultural definition? How do we figure out what is a problem we can change for the better and what might be something we can't change, because our bodies eventually and inevitably wear out?

According to author Suzanne Braun Levine in the book, "Inventing the Rest of Our Lives: What Matters, What Works, What's Next," (Viking, 2005) we need to make sure that what is known about the condition is based on research on a physiology like ours.

For instance, if we are Chinese post-menopausal women, was our favorite fitness routine really developed for us, or was it designed and tested on 18-25 year old college males?

We will need to develop our expertise by tapping into (trustworthy) Internet resources, in addition to consulting the old reliable network of informed friends, magazines and books.

Readers of this newsletter span the globe and have varied cultures, ages, languages, educational and career paths. Let us share our experiences, and be wary of both definitions and processes that are being touted as one size fits all.

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WHAT IS FITNESS?

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Enter the word fitness in the Google search engine, and it will bring back 95,300,000 hits in about a tenth of a second.

Popular women's magazines (and some men's periodicals, as well) have diet, weight loss, fitness and energy boosting articles in every issue, often right next to the latest, extreme dessert recipes.

More money is spent on health care of one kind or another in the United States than has been spent on the last several wars put together. Health and fitness are clearly big business in so-called, first-world countries.

Yet, we are being told, daily of late, that our health and fitness are in decline.

What does that mean? How can that be? In many parts of the world, we have more food, more infrastructure to distribute it and more systems in place to maintain basic health care, sanitation and clean water than ever in the history of mankind. And in urbanized centers, we even have an abundance of pills, procedures, plans and equipment purported to make and keep us fit.

Something is missing. Maybe moderation?

"The civilization, so often vaunted by the learned exponents of arts and sciences, will, if allowed to overleap the bounds of moderation, bring great evil upon men. Thus warneth you He Who is the All-Knowing. If carried to excess, civilization will prove as prolific a source of evil as it had been of goodness when kept within the restraints of moderation."

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 342)

"... man hath perversely continued to serve his lustful appetites, and he would not content himself with simple foods. Rather, he prepared for himself food that was compounded of many ingredients, of substances differing one from the other. With this, and with the perpetrating of vile and ignoble acts, his attention was engrossed, and he abandoned the temperance and moderation of a natural way of life. The result was the engendering of diseases both violent and diverse.

('Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 152)

Even if the world achieves equitable distribution of food, clean water, sanitation and health care, will that guarantee good health? It doesn't look like it. Perhaps we need to revisit the idea that health and fitness are a purely physical reality.

The Baha'i Writings tell us that disease is of two kinds: physical and spiritual. Therefore, health and fitness must encompass both those aspects of human life.

"There are two ways of healing sickness, material means and spiritual means.

The first is by the use of remedies, of medicines; the second consists in praying to God and in turning to Him. Both means should be used and practiced."

('Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith, p. 375)

"There is but one power which heals that is God. The state or condition through which the healing takes place is the confidence of the heart. By some this state is reached through pills, powders, and physicians. By others through hygiene, fasting, and prayer. By others through direct perception."

('Abdu'l-Baha, "'Abdu'l-Baha in London," p. 95)

Many fitness and weight-control programs now stress the mental and emotional content of personal goals. Simply starving ourselves thin or training for marathon runs will not guarantee health, if we have not changed the attitudes and met the emotional needs which may have caused our ill health in the first place.

Health is about the whole person. The Baha'i Writings stress that human beings are dual in nature; both physical and spiritual components must be developed and maintained for true health.

This month's Healing Through Unity Newsletter has several articles on fitness, both material and spiritual, including very interesting ideas contributed by our readers.

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LINKS FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

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For more on the new dietary guidelines for the United States:

http://www.hhs.gov

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The American Heart Association Web site has all the latest information and guidelines popular in the United States and includes links to other resources, an exercise diary and a helpful page called My Fitness to help define personal goals. http://www.justmove.org

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TV talk show hostess, Oprah Winfry, has a page devoted to a fairly extreme fitness program developed for her that she offers free to anyone interested.

Oprah's Boot Camp is a strenuous 12-week program, but probably not for anyone who is unready to commit. Besides information on diet and exercise, the site offers good advice on motivating yourself, staying with the program and even help in finding an exercise buddy. Questions and answers are encouraged and Oprah herself gives a weekly pep talk.

One Caveat: The program was designed for women and is focused on female physiology and sociology. That said, some men are using the program with success. http://www.oprah.com/presents/2005/bootcamp/bootcamp_main.jhtml

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A great site for young people is one developed for students with psychiatric disabilities, and includes a comprehensive on-line resource compiled by the Canadian Mental Health Association: http://osca.ca/health.htm

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http://www.wannalearn.com/Fitness_and_Health offers a wide variety of articles, links, products and opinion on the importance and inter-relatedness of emotional and physical health and fitness. For information on just about anything else in the world, go to the Wannalearn home page!

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Public Broadcasting Corporation Teacher Source Web pages offer a whole section on social and mental health lesson plans, many utilizing the Virtues Book, at: http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/health_fitness/3-5_social.shtm

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FALAN DAFA: HIGH-LEVEL MEDITATION

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By LYNN ASCRIZZI

Since the late 1990s, an easy-to-learn, self-cultivation practice with origins in ancient China has been finding enthusiastic adherents in the West.

Called Falun Dafa, its practitioners claim its simple exercises improve physical wellness and deepen spiritual awareness, as well. Falun Dafa means "greatlaw wheel."

At the core of its five-step, physical and meditative exercises are the concepts zhen-shan-ren - which mean truthfulness, compassion and forbearance - universal principles drawn from Buddhist teachings.

But you don't have to be a Buddhist to practice.

"It is a cultivation of body and mind. It cultivates and heals the body and works as high-level meditation," said Falun Dafa practitioner June Kirk of Waterville, Maine USA.

The Kirks first learned of Falun Dafa, also called Falun Gong, when they attended a 1999 holistic health exposition in Manchester, New Hampshire, USA.

For many years, she had studied tai chi, a meditative discipline that uses slow body movements and numerous steps. Kirk was interested in becoming a tai-chi instructor, so as to earn retirement income, she said.

At the expo, they met Falun Dafa teachers Dayong ("David") Liu and his wife Min Ming of Portsmouth, N.H.

"Everything was free of charge. We couldn't believe it. Later, they came to our house in Portland and gave a class every Thursday night to teach Falun Dafa - with no fee," June Kirk said.

Falun Dafa activities are always free of charge, she explained.

"It (Falun Dafa) is easy to learn. It's easier than tai chi," she said.

Kirk now gives informal Falun Dafa evening classes in her home once a week.

She teaches the exercises using a specially prepared cassette tape of Chinese music.

"We do not accept donations of any kind," she said.

In the practice, there are five sets of gentle and slow exercises - four standing and one sitting - each of which takes about six-to-10 minutes.

"Mentally and physically, your whole body changes. Your stress goes down.

You become calmer. You become healthier. There are things I am more able to do, like physical work outside, such as gardening, walking. My legs are stronger," she said.

The practice brings inner changes too, she said.

In a book on Falun Dafa, titled "Zhuan Falun," (The Universe Publishing Co., 1999), author and master teacher Li Hongzhi, writes:

"The human moral standard is declining tremendously and human moral values are deteriorating daily. People only pursue self-interest and will harm others for a tiny bit of personal gain. They compete and struggle against each other by resorting to all means."

The practice of Falun Dafa, he said, will help reverse this trend through the cultivation of zhen-shan-ren, principles which he believes are a characteristic of the universe - not the standard of everyday people.

Originally taught in private, Li Hongzhi first introduced Falun Dafa to the Chinese people in 1992.

"By the late 1990s, Falun Dafa became widely popular among the Chinese people, with 70 to 100 million people practicing in China . . . . It is currently practiced in 50 countries," a brochure on the practice, stated.

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REDUCE THE RISK OF MOST AGING-RELATED DISEASES

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The power of simple lifestyle changes goes a long way in disease prevention.

Here are some tips:

1. Be Active

- Walking and Dementia: A September 2004 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that elderly women who walked at least six hours a week or did similar activities had a 20-percent lower risk of cognitive impairment than their least active peers. Another September JAMA study found that older men who walked less than a quarter-mile per day had almost twice the risk of developing dementia as men who walked at least two miles per day.

- Exercise and Diabetes: The Diabetes Prevention Program clinical trial published in 2002 found that people at high risk for type 2 diabetes cut their risk by almost 60 percent by exercising (about 30 minutes a day) and losing weight (5 to 7 percent of body weight).

- Exercise and Osteoporosis Aerobics: Walking, weight-bearing or resistance exercises, particularly if they're performed for more than two years, can improve osteoporosis and reduce fractures in women after menopause, according to a 2004 review of literature by the Cochrane Library. Endurance exercise programs lasting six months to two years can prevent or reverse bone loss in postmenopausal women by almost 1 percent per year, according to a 1999 analysis of published studies appearing in Osteoporosis International.

- Exercise and Breast Cancer: According to a 2003 JAMA report based on the Women's Health Initiative study, increased physical activity for a few hours per week, regardless of intensity, is associated with lowered risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women.

- Exercise and Colon Cancer: The Surgeon General's 1996 report on physical activity and health, citing more than 30 studies, concluded that physical activity has a protective effect against the risk of colon cancer. While the association is strong, whether it is due to the activity or the resulting weight loss is unclear.

- Exercise and High Blood Pressure: The same Surgeon General's report, based on studies on men and women, estimates that those who exercise least face a 30 percent greater risk of high blood pressure compared to those who exercise regularly.

2. Eat Smart

- Diet and High Blood Pressure: A federal study showed that a reduced-salt diet and the DASH diet - rich in fruits, vegetables, fiber and lowfat dairy, and lower in fats, saturated fats, red meats, sweets and sugared beverages than a typical American diet - both reduced blood pressure substantially in all demographic groups studied. The two diets together were even more powerful.

- Calcium and Colon Cancer: A July 2004 National Cancer Institute analysis of 10 previous studies concluded that people who get about 1,100 milligrams per day of calcium from food and supplements were 21 percent less likely to get colon cancer than those getting 500 milligrams per day. Among foods alone, drinking more than eight ounces of milk every day was associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer, too.

- Diet and Heart Disease: A diet composed of seven types of food - fruit, vegetables, garlic, wine, fish, dark chocolate and almonds - among people 50 and over was linked to a 76 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease, according to a study in the December issue of the British Medical Journal.

The meal plan added an average of 6.6 years to life expectancies.

- Fruit and Heart-Related Death: Men who eat more fruit live longer and have fewer cardiovascular deaths, suggests a 2000 European Journal of Clinical Nutrition study. Researchers found that eating fruit daily seemed to lengthen life independent of such other risk factors as high blood pressure, smoking and high cholesterol.

- Fruit, Vegetables and Bone Loss: Eating alkaline-producing foods - potassium, magnesium and fruit and vegetables - helps protect your bones, says a 1999 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers found that eating more of these foods increased the hip and forearm bone density of elderly participants taking part in a heart study.

- Calcium, Vitamin D and Bone Loss: Taking calcium and vitamin D supplements protected women from bone loss in a study published in the December 2004 issue of Pharmacological Research.

- Diet and Diabetes: The Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study found that a healthy diet plays a major role (along with regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight) in reducing the risk for type 2 diabetes. Participants taking part in the large clinical trial lowered their intake of fat and saturated fat and increased their intake of fiber, according to findings published in 2001 in the New England Journal of Medicine. Those in the lifestyle change group had a 50 percent reduction in the number of new diabetes cases after four years.

3. Control Your Weight

- Obesity and Heart Disease: Framingham Heart Study researchers found that obese men were one-and-a-half times more likely to develop coronary heart disease than lean men; obese women were twice as likely to develop heart disease as lean women, according to findings published in the American Journal of Cardiology in 2002.

- Excess Body Weight and Heart Disease: A December 2004 study in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders found that 47 percent of men's high coronary heart disease risk could be attributed to excess body weight, making it the dominant risk factor for heart disease among men, the authors wrote.

4. Don't Smoke

- Smoking and Cancer, Heart Disease and Death: Tobacco accounts for an estimated 30 percent of U.S. cancer deaths, including the vast majority of lung cancer fatalities. Smoking increases the risk for cancers of the throat, mouth, pancreas, kidney, bladder, cervix and more. Smokers' risk of developing coronary heart disease is two-to-four times that of nonsmokers.

Smokers have twice the risk of sudden cardiac death as nonsmokers.

5. Get Enough Sleep

- Sleep and Heart Disease: Harvard researchers, publishing in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2003, reported that women who got eight hours of sleep per night had the lowest rates of coronary heart disease among studied groups. Those who slept five hours or less per night had a 30 percent greater risk than the eight-hour group; six hours was linked to an 18 percent increased risk.

6. Control Your Stress

- Stress and Heart Disease: A 2002 study of older adults published in Psychosomatic Medicine found that men with the chronic stress of caregiving for an ailing spouse were twice as likely to develop heart disease as other men.

7. Live Well

- Healthy Eating, Regular Exercise, Smoking and Heart Disease: Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School found that a healthy diet, regular exercise and not smoking were associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease among women, according to findings from the Nurses' Health Study, published in 2000 in the New England Journal of Medicine. Eighty-two percent of coronary problems that the participants developed were attributed to not following the prescribed diet and exercise habits.

Source: The Washington Post

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WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT? TRY CATCHING SOME ZZZZS

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Are you struggling to shed some pounds or working hard to maintain your current weight? The answer may be as easy as making some slight adjustments to your sleep patterns. A recent study showed that sleep deprivation may be linked to the hormones responsible for controlling hunger.

Researchers studied 12 healthy men for two consecutive nights in which sleep was limited to four hours and two consecutive nights in which participants were allowed to sleep for 10 hours. Volunteers reported feeling hungrier after sleeping for only four hours compared to sleeping for 10 hours.

Researchers believe the connection is related to leptin and ghrelin, two hormones responsible for regulating appetite. Leptin signals the brain that the body is full, while ghrelin triggers feelings of hunger. Following the four-hour nights, participants showed an 18 percent decrease in leptin and a 28 percent increase in ghrelin. Although the authors acknowledge study limitations, namely the sample size, they do note that "Additional studies should examine the possible role of chronic sleep curtailment as a previously unrecognized risk factor for obesity."

Clearly, a good night's sleep is important whether you're trying to lose weight or simply want to take better care of yourself. Experts suggest no fewer than seven hours a night. For more information on general health visit www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/general.

(From the March Your Health ChiroWeb Newsletter, Reference: Spiegel K, Tasali E, Penev P, Van Cauter E. Sleep duration and levels of hormones that influence hunger. Annals of Internal Medicine 2004; 141:846-50.)

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WHOLE FOODS RECIPE SWAP

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A juice extract that relaxes the muscles and calms the mind, from Helen G. (Tom Price, Western Australia)

In a juicer that separates the fiber from the juice, use a mixture of 1/3 greens, 1/3 celery, 1/3 carrots. This works out to about:

4 spinach leaves (Fordhook giant)

all the outside leaves of a cos lettuce

5 long celery sticks

5 large carrots.

You can add some apples, or just apple juice, to sweeten this slightly bitter drink.

Put the spinach and lettuce in the juicer with the carrot and celery to stop them sticking.

You need to take at least 1 litre to have a good effect.

I would recommend it before going to bed or in times of anxiety or stress. I have found this drink more effective than vitamin tablets and herbal remedies, and makes you feel great.

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- Turnip 'Fries'

from LJ & GV Wilde

Cut a large turnip (rutabaga) into 1/2-inch slices.

Peel off the waxed skin.

Slice the turnip rounds into "fries".

Toss in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil.

Sprinkle on some paprika and garlic powder if you like.

Bake on a cookie sheet at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes. Flip "fries" over and bake till just tender (about another 5 minutes).

Enjoy!

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A QUICKENING VITALITY

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"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is or how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open."

(Martha Graham, quoted in "Inventing the Rest of Our Lives: Women in Second Adulthood: What Matters, What Works, What's Next," p. 106)

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HEALTH IN THE NEWS

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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: United States Department of Agriculture

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BOOK CORNER

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New Book On Diet and Lifestyle

"I'll Have the Fruit and Grains, Please!" by Victoria Leith, the Internet Magazine Little Guru. Illustrated by Charlotte Summer.

This book is an exploration of what the Baha'i writings say about health, food, sleep, simplicity and moderation. Its intent is to inspire people everywhere to make healthier choices in life, as well as set a good example for others. The book also contains several recipes to entice readers further down the path of healthy living.

What will be the food of the future? "Fruit and grains. The time will come when meat will no longer be eaten." ('Abdu'l-Baha, from Pilgrim's notes, "Ten Days in the Light of 'Akka," 1979 ed., pp. 8-9)

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LETTERS

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Thank you, friends, for your continually inspiring words. Unfortunately, as a "PWD" (person with a disability) I have hereditary cerebellar ataxia, which severely affects my balance, my walking, and certain other neuromuscular functions I am unable to practice many of the Krucoffs' 25 WAYS TO ACTIVATE YOUR LIFE (except in my dreams). However, I was able to pat myself on the back (figuratively) when I got to Number 7: "Get rid of your electric can opener and use a manual one."

Faithfully, Bill

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I thought you might like to share the following with your e-mail group:

When I meditated on the word GUIDANCE, I kept seeing "dance" at the end of the word. I remember reading that doing God's will is a lot like dancing.

When two people try to lead, nothing feels right. The movement doesn't flow with the music and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky.

When one person realizes and lets the other lead, both bodies begin to flow with the music. One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back or by pressing lightly in one direction or another. It's as if two become one, moving beautifully. The dance takes surrender, willingness, and attentiveness from one person and gentle guidance and skill from the other.

My eyes drew back to the word GUIDANCE. When I saw "G," I thought of God, followed by "U" and "I". "God, "U" and "I" DANCE." God, you, and I dance.

This statement is what guidance means to me. As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust that I would get guidance about my life. Once again, I became willing to let God lead.

Kamran K., Afghanistan

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I've added a Raw Vegan Recipe Program to His Healing Ways (my Web site). I felt there was a need for a central location for people to add raw-food recipes. You can support this effort by simply starting to add recipes to the recipe book. Please make sure you give people credit for their recipes.

I will start adding my own as I get time.

Some of the functions of the database:

- Users may enter their own recipes

- Users may add a picture to their recipe

- Search for recipe by ingredients

- Users may rate recipes.

- Users may review recipes.

- Display recipe categories by type and ethnic/regional cuisine.

- Function for users to email friends about the recipe book.

You can view it here: http://hishealingways.com/cookbook2/

Let's make this recipe database the one stop place to find all raw-food recipes.

Dale Wing, Utah, USA

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QUESTIONS OF THE MONTH

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I would like to suggest/request that in an upcoming issue the subject of anxiety-related disorders be discussed, including social phobias, OCD etc.

with the view to soliciting input from readers on how they manage these disorders including the effect of faith on treatment, etc. Susan Yazdanmehr

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I was wondering if the newsletter could write about the social scourge of alcoholism. I have been reading some material about this subject, but there isn't many written from Baha'is. There are some materials written such as A-M Ghadirian, M-D "Substance Abuse: A Baha'i Perspective" (from Unity Arts, Toronto, Canada). There is another one by Mitchell, Bahia Deloomy called "Alcohol and Alcoholism: An Overview." Originally published in World Order magazine, 8: 3 ed., 27-47, Wilmette, National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States, 1975. Thought I found this piece of information under this website http://bahai-library.org/uhj/sin-covering.gaze.html.

There is a book called "From the Heart' which is an biography about Angus Cowan and written by Patricia Verge. This book says that Angus was an alcoholic but the book is not about alcoholism.

In her letter addressed to Baha'i youth, Ruhiyyih Khanum said that alcohol, "is the commonest social custom of the age." This letter can be found at this Web site http://bahai-library.org/letters/khanum.letter.1948.html

There is a loving letter written 30, March 1997 by the Universal House of Justice addressed to the African Community about the subject of alcohol. The letter is found at this Web site address http://bahai-library.org/uhj/alcohol.htm which gives general guidance about alcohol With regards to Alcoholics Anonymous, this Web site http://bahai-library.org/uhj/alcoholics.anonymous.html also says: "The Universal House of Justice...has instructed us to say that there is no objection to Baha'is being members of Alcoholics Anonymous, which is an association that does a great deal of good in assisting alcoholics to overcome their lamentable condition. The sharing of experiences which the members undertake does not conflict with the Baha'i prohibition on the confession of sins; it is more in the nature of the therapeutic relationship between a patient and a psychiatrist.

(From a letter to an individual believer dated 26, August 1986)

I once said to a friend, who wanted to see if there was a solid reason for alcohol to be abstained from and asked why should anyone stop drinking if they drink "moderately" (a vague term), that alcohol affects judgment, which I heard from another Baha'i. I am a regular attendant of Alcohol Anonymous and have been going for seven years. Alcoholism is a heavy social scourge in my community. I am personally trying to find more information on this subject from other Baha'is.

- Stan Nochasak

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NEXT MONTH'S THEME

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Next month's theme is on the importance of friendship in building and maintaining good health. Both the above questions deal with aspects of social life that are very important to individual and community health. I hope that many of our readers will share experiences and suggestions of resources and methods that have worked for them.

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PURPOSE OF THE NEWSLETTER

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"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.

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SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION

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

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WEB SITE

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You can visit our Web site, obtain back issues and the Healing Through Unity Course at: http://www.healingthroughunity.org.

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PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

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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 from everyone. The decision to select and edit material submitted for publication is determined by the editor.

Please e-mail your stories, comments, suggestions or "Question for the Month" ideas to the newsletter editor, Cheryll Schuette, at: cheryll@gotypist.com.

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HEALING THROUGH UNITY NEWSLETTER

Founding Editor - Frances Mezei

Editor - Cheryll Schuette

Medical Reviewer - Diane Kent, M.D.

Contributing Editor - Lynn Ascrizzi

Circulation Assistant - Kathy Yonash

Web Master - Russ Novak

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