Welcome to the Month of Splendour 171
Happy Naw Ruz!
In this issue
‘Abdu’l-Bahá only gave Juliet Thompson 3 half-hour sessions to paint His servitude to God. Here is her reaction:
On 1 June, Juliet Thompson went to the Master to begin painting His portrait. When she arrived He asked, “Can you paint Me in a half hour?” “A half-hour, my Lord?” I stammered, appalled. “I can never finish a head in less than two weeks.” “Well, I will give you 3 half hours. You mustn’t waste My time Juliet.” He told me to come to Him Saturday morning, June 1, at 7:30. I went in a panic. He was waiting for me in the entrance hall, a small space in the English basement where the light – not much of it – comes from the South. In fact, I found myself faced with every kind of handicap. I always paint standing, but now I was obliged to sit, so close to the window (because of the lack of distance between the Master and me), that I couldn’t even lean back. No light. No room. And I had brought a canvas for a life-size head. The Master was seated in a dark corner, His black ‘abá melting into the background; and again, I saw Him as the Face of God, and quailed. How could I paint the Face of God? “I want you”, He said, “to paint my servitude to God.” “Oh my Lord”, I cried, “only the Holy Spirit could paint Your servitude to God. No human hand could do it. Pray for me, or I am lost. I implore you, inspire me.” “I will pray”, He answered, “and as you are doing this only for the sake of God, you will be inspired.” And then, an amazing thing happened. All fear fell away from me and it was as though Someone Else saw through my eyes. Worked through my hand. All the points, all the planes in that matchless face were so clear to me that my hand couldn’t put them down quickly enough, couldn’t keep pace with the clarity of my vision. I painted in ecstasy, free as I had never been before. At the end of the half-hour the foundation of the head was perfect. (Earl Redman, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Their Midst, p. 138-139)
Click here to see the portrait
Here’s my favourite prayer to remove blockages:
Repeat each verse 19 times:
God the Great!
God the Most Great!
God the Most Beauteous!
God the Most Glorious!
God the Most Pure! (Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-breakers, p. 553)
It’s Not Your Fault: How Healing Relationships Change Your Brain and Can Help you Overcome a Painful Past by Dr. Patricia Romano-McGraw, is a book that challenges conventional “wisdom” about healing from emotionally destructive traumas and abuse.
Simply put, you can’t think your way to happiness if you’ve suffered injuries as a child or youth. Yet every day, millions of adult Americans who suffer from emotionally devastating mistreatment at the hands of family members, friends, acquaintances, or strangers receive this dangerous message from a multi-billion dollar self-help industry. As a result, millions try to put advice about “healing yourself” into practice. Yet millions of sincere, intelligent, and highly motivated people who have followed all the popular pathways for self-healing still feel depressed, anxious, unloved, and unlovable.
This engaging and highly readable book, based in the author’s professional experience in treating those who suffer from the devastating effects of emotional trauma, offers hope for those who suffer and those who care about them. Dr. McGraw describes how trauma affects the brain and, therefore, one’s ability to carry out ‘good advice’; explains the subtle and hidden process of attunement and attachment that take place between parents and children, examining their impact on all future relationships; tells what is needed for healing to occur; discusses the profound health benefits of spirituality and a relationship with God in assisting and accelerating the healing process; and suggests how members of the helping professions can begin to tap the deepest, most authentic parts of themselves to touch the hearts of those they seek to help.
Prayer for Peace in the World is Chanted in Farsi by Amir Haghighi, accompanied by Amy Stephen on the harp. Hauntingly beautiful, delivered with passion and warmth, it is a pure pleasure to listen to this Canadian husband and wife duo.
For more from these gifted musicians:
Ajamu Ayinde is a Master Mental Coach. He is a Motivational Speaker who has spoken nationally and internationally on how to help student/athletes reach their health, fitness and performance goals. A veteran of the weight loss industry, he specializes in exercise motivation and diet adherence. He received instruction in Silva Mind Control, martial arts, meditation and self-hypnosis from a very early age. He graduated from Trinity College in 1991 with a degree in Asian Studies specializing in multicultural education and performing arts. He was certified as a Clinical Hypnotherapist in 1996 and later as a Trainer in 1998. Ajamu developed the M.E.N.T.A.L. Games ™ training system based on his sports psychology research, clinical experience and performance background as a professional dancer and martial artist. He was honored with the IACT Therapist of the Year award in 2004. He works with clients remotely via Skype. He’s also looking to connect with holistic doctors and dentists and others who work in this field and seek to live this lifestyle.
Ian Huang, creator of the Ian Artistry brand, is a multi-talented artist whose art encompasses photography, painting, and videography. Whether it’s an emotional film about something he is passionate about or an exquisite photo of the beautiful Bahá’í Gardens, his art is sure to bring inspiration and joy to the viewer.
Ian’s inspiration usually comes from the Bahá’í Faith. After serving at the Bahá’í World Centre and developing many of his talents, he decided to pursue artistic endeavors with the goal of inspiring people with works of art. His paintings, images, and video almost always have a Bahá’í Holy Writing or some sort of inspiration behind it.
When Ian served as a gardener at the Bahá’í World Centre, he was very inspired by the beauty of the gardens and also learned powerful spiritual lessons, so he created a short-length documentary to talk about his recollections and learnings. It is titled, Holy Recollections.
Our readers Write
One of my readers wrote: Thank you for featuring Nancy Watters in your last newsletter. I recommend her highly for the Baha’i Chant Project, where she teaches groups simple, yet profound ways to chant, to draw closer to God. If you aren’t able to have her in your community, you can easily buy her DVD and sing along with her sound track, or create your own chants, using a simple step-by-step process demonstrated in her film.
Another reader wrote:
That story of Abdu’l-Baha breaking the fast was beautiful. Thanks for sharing. I had read it before but it’s been a long while. Great lesson in that service isn’t always pleasing someone and their wishes but rather that which is right and good for them. Standing up for truth and justice without giving up easily.