Welcome to the Month of Will 171!
In this issue we look at the topic of money. Please click on the title of the articles you wish to read.
5 Stories About Living with “Enough”
1. The Master kept little clothing – one coat at a time was ample. He ate little food. He was known to begin His day with tea, goat’s milk cheese and wheat bread. And at the evening meal a cup of milk and a piece of bread might suffice. He considered the latter a healthy meal. Had not Bahá’u’lláh, while at Sullaymaniyyih, subsisted mostly on milk? Sometimes Bahá’u’lláh ate rice and milk cooked together. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s sparse diet also included herbs and olives – it rarely included meat. (Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá)
2. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá told a story about a Persian believer’s journeys and how he could not sleep at night while in the wilderness for fear of someone stealing his new shirt, a new gift from a prominent person. After several sleepless nights he decided to get rid of the shirt so he could relax. (Rafati, Vahid, Sources of Persian Poetry in the Bahá’í Writings, Vol. lll, p. 80)
3. On the occasion of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s first dinner in the home of Lady Bloomfield in London His hostess had prepared course after course in her eagerness to please Him. Afterwards He gently commented: ‘The food was delicious and the fruit and flowers were lovely, but would that we could share some of the courses with those poor and hungry people who have not even one.’ Thereafter the dinners were greatly simplified. Flowers and fruit remained in abundance, for those were often brought to the Master as small love tokens. (Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá)
4. . As we drove up Broadway, glittering with its electric signs, He spoke of them smiling, apparently much amused. Then He told us that Bahá’u’lláh had loved light. “He could never get enough light. He taught us,” the Master said, “to economize in everything else but to use light freely.” (Juliet Thompson’s Diary, April 19, 1912)
5. He does not permit his family to have luxuries. He himself eats but once a day, and then bread, olives, and cheese suffice him. His room is small and bare, with only a matting on the stone floor. His habit is to sleep upon this floor. Not long ago a friend, thinking that this must be hard for a man of advancing years, presented him with a bed fitted with springs and mattress. So these stand in his room also, but are rarely used. “For how,” he says, “can I bear to sleep in luxury when so many of the poor have not even shelter?” So he lies upon the floor and covers himself only with his cloak. (Myron Henry Phelps and Bahiyyih Khanum, Life and Teachings of Abbas Effendi)
Assistance in Financial Difficulties
Bahá’u’lláh said that reading the following Quranic verses everyday will assist those in financial difficulties as well as those having difficulties earning a living:
To him who believes in God and the Last Day, and for those who fear God, He prepares a way out. And He provides for him from sources he never could imagine. And any one who puts his trust in God, sufficient is God for him. For God will surely accomplish His purpose. Verily for all things has God apportioned a due proportion.
(The verse is from Qur‘an 65:2-3, and the accompanying instructions resemble those found in a Tablet of Bahá’u’lláh, which can be viewed at the Bahá’í Reference Library online at reference.bahai.org/fa/t/b/MAS8/mas8-110.html An authorized translation is not available)
O God, my God! Give me to drink from the cup of Thy bestowal and illumine my face with the light of guidance. Make me firm in the path of faithfulness, assist me to be steadfast in Thy mighty Covenant, and suffer me to be numbered with Thy chosen servants. Unlock before my face the doors of abundance, grant me deliverance, and sustain me, through means I cannot reckon, from the treasuries of heaven. Suffer me to turn my face toward the countenance of Thy generosity and to be entirely devoted to Thee, O Thou Who art merciful and compassionate! To those that stand fast and firm in Thy Covenant Thou, verily, art gracious and generous. All praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds! (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Star of the West, Vol. XIV, p. 167)
This month’s book selection is: Materialism: Moral and Social Consequences by Dr. Abdu’l-Missagh Ghadirian, a Canadian Baha’i psychiatrist, who traces how the philosophy of materialism has infected our global culture and led to numerous problems, from environmental degradation to poverty and human trafficking. By ignoring the importance of a spiritual dimension of human existence, humanity will forever be chasing the chimera of unceasing acquisition, unable to find true contentment and well-being. Drawing on Baha’i scripture, Dr. Ghadirian, offers us a road map away from materialism and its excesses.
This month we feature the music of Bahareh Khademi, a singer with a voice like an angel. She is a classically trained soprano and songwriter who has also performed in a wide variety of plays, musicals and operas. Her concerts have benefitted the Australian Children’s Music Foundation and helped the homeless in Australia.
Recently, her Kickstarter project was successfully funded, which will enable her to produce her first CD ‘Immerse Yourselves’; beautiful and uplifting devotional music containing five songs she wrote herself. Although they are based on the Writings of the Baha’i Faith, they transcend religion; and focus on themes we all ask ourselves, that drive us home and lead us to peace. Once the CD is done, she plans to travel around the world to share her spiritual journey with communities. Don’t hesitate to contact her, if you think you’d like to host her in your community!
Let’s listen to her singing the following prayer for trust in God for all things; and asking Him for “enough”:
O Lord! Unto Thee I repair for refuge, and toward all Thy signs I set my heart. O Lord! Whether traveling or at home, and in my occupation or in my work, I place my whole trust in Thee. Grant me then Thy sufficing help so as to make me independent of all things, O Thou Who art unsurpassed in Thy mercy! Bestow upon me my portion, O Lord, as Thou pleasest, and cause me to be satisfied with whatsoever Thou hast ordained for me. Thine is the absolute authority to command. (The Báb, Bahá’í Prayers, p. 55)
Heather Luxion is a career coach and Professional Certified Life Coach whose ideal clients are those who are in transition — especially when it comes to careers. She loves helping people figure out their life calling and how to turn it into a fulfilling, well-paying job. Her ideal clients are those who are:
· moving against the mainstream
· committed to giving back to the world-at-large
· searching for work that has more value than just a pay check
· looking for a lasting sense of real fulfillment from their work.
· committed to following through on their dreams and goals, even if they have absolutely no idea how it’s all going to work out
If this is you, give her a call!
Or Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/heatherluxion
Barry Lewis Green is The Unity Guy™ and the heart and soul of EPIC Engage™. He is a teacher; speaker, facilitator, trainer, educator, coach and consultant. With EPIC, he helps companies, campuses, conferences and all communities to move forward together in thought, will and action. He has spent the last 30 years developing leaders and advancing cultures of energy, excellence and innovation.
Barry is a global voice for character, culture and diversity as strategic advantage. He has delivered on leadership and business management programs to tens of thousands of youth and adults across North America. His expertise is community building and business development with emphasis on strategic leadership, organizational behaviour, and entrepreneurship.
He has a breadth and depth of experience in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. He speaks your language. Barry’s content is rich. His delivery is real. His passion is undeniable and infectious. No matter the diversity of perspectives, he brings groups together, engaging hearts and minds in tandem.
Our Readers Write
1. I am a Baha’i and I’ve been following your e-newsletters, and find them interesting. Thanks for sharing these rich gems. (Kian)
2. I am a Baha’i from Long Island and my friend was ever so generous to share your newsletter with us. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you. I will look forward to receiving it and filling my soul. Again, thank you for your service. (Unknown)
3. What a beautiful work of art these compilations are! Thank you. I indeed found a jewel of inestimable value! (Dawn)
Thanks everyone for your kind words and encouragement! It keeps me going!