Welcome to the Month of Names 172!
In this issue – Agriculture
‘Abdu’l-Baha on Agriculture
There was a large agricultural convention and State Fair in town when they arrived which interested the Master. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá visited the agricultural exhibition and spent some time exploring it. He visited a display of agricultural machines, asking about their cost and use, then went to the area where fruits and vegetables were displayed. As He examined the grapes, apples, pears, pomegranates, cabbages and very large pumpkins, He praised American agricultural progress. When the section manager saw his exotic visitor he rushed over to be introduced, then accompanied ‘Abdu’l-Bahá through the area, offering him samples of fruit (though sale and consumption were prohibited). Afterwards, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá directed his attendants to buy seeds of some of the fruits and flowers to be sent to the Holy Land to be planted at the shrine of Bahá’u’lláh. (Earl Redman, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Their Midst, p. 208-209)
Prayer of Gratitude
He is God, exalted is He, the Lord of might and grandeur! O God, my God! I yield Thee thanks at all times and render Thee praise under all conditions.
In prosperity, all praise is Thine, O Lord of the Worlds, and in its absence, all gratitude is Thine, O Desire of them that have recognized Thee!
In adversity, all honour is Thine, O Adored One of all who are in heaven and on earth, and in affliction, all glory is Thine, O Enchanter of the hearts of those who yearn after Thee!
In hardship, all praise is Thine, O Thou the Goal of them that seek after Thee, and in comfort, all thanksgiving is Thine, O Thou whose remembrance is treasured in the hearts of those who are nigh unto Thee!
In wealth, all splendour is Thine, O Lord of them that are devoted to Thee, and in poverty, all command is Thine, O Thou the Hope of them that acknowledge Thy unity!
In joy, all glory is Thine, O Thou besides Whom there is none other God, and in sorrow, all beauty is Thine, O Thou besides Whom there is none other God!
In hunger, all justice is Thine, O Thou besides Whom there is none other God, and in satiety, all grace is Thine, O Thou besides Whom there is none other God!
In my homeland, all bounty is Thine, O Thou besides Whom there is none other God, and in exile, all decree is Thine, O Thou besides Whom there is none other God!
Under the sword, all munificence is Thine, O Thou besides Whom there is none other God, and in the safety of home, all perfection is Thine, O Thou besides Whom there is none other God!
In the lofty mansion, all generosity is Thine, O Thou besides Whom there is none other God, and upon the lowly dust, all favour is Thine, O Thou besides Whom there is none other God!
In prison, all fidelity is Thine, O Thou the Bestower of gifts, and in confinement, all eternity is Thine, O Thou Who art the ever-abiding King!
All bounty is Thine, O Thou Who art the Lord of bounty, and the Sovereign of bounty, and the King of bounty! I bear witness that Thou art to be praised in Thy doings, O Thou Source of bounty, and to be obeyed in Thy behests, O Thou Ocean of bounty, He from Whom all bounty doth proceed, He to Whom all bounty doth return!
(Bahá’u’lláh, Translated from the Arabic at the Bahá’í World Centre, 5 May 2014)
In this month’s video, we’re introduced to Simon Arana, a Baha’i in Belize, who talks about his farm, which has become a sustainable development project. Using primarily just a machete and lots of hard work, Simon has carved this food producing farm out of the bush. It is an example of the Baha’i goal to foster ongoing, sustainable work projects and, in doing so, to provide a positive role model to others.
Sometimes farmers (and others!) experience severe hardship through natural disasters. In those times, we can all say:
Dominion is God’s the Lord of the seen and the unseen, the Lord of creation (known in Persian as Yá Ilaha‘l-Mustaghath)
The House of Justice has told us:
With regard to the number of times these words are to be repeated, the repetition of this invocation is not definitely fixed, and there is a great deal of flexibility concerning the repetition of this and other prayers. While the invocation is prescribed in the Writings of the Báb to be repeated 2098 times during occasions of great need, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in one Tablet states that this verse is to be repeated 95 times and, in another Tablet, 81 times. Letters from the Guardian concerning this invocation , as well as other prayers, indicate that repetition is a matter of individual choice. In a postscript added in his own handwriting to a letter to an individual he stated: “There is no objection to saying “Yá Ilaha‘l-Mustaghath” any time you like and as often as you like.” (Universal House of Justice, 25 Nov 1999)
For our second video, I’d like to present Shadi Toloui-Wallace singing her version of this prayer, which she calls “When Sorrow Comes”
The Spirit of Agriculture: Agriculture and Religion: A Necessary Unity is a series of essays edited by Paul Hanley, containing such diverse topics as:
· Agriculture and Religion: A Necessary Unity
· Agriculture in the World s Religions
· A Survey of the Bahá í Writings on Agriculture
· The Involvement of the Central Figures of the Bahá í Faith in Agriculture
· A Perspective on Food in the Bahá í Faith
· Rethinking the Management of Small Rural Businesses
· Reinventing the Village
· The Genetic Modification of Crops: A Bahá í s Perspective
· Igi Oko: The Tree Farms in Nigeria circa 1927 by Richard St Barbe Baker
· Strengthening Local Economies and Community Identity: FUNDAEC s Experience
· Balancing Science with Inspiration: A Bahá í Scientist s Struggle to Discover the Hidden Secrets of Restoring Corals and Fish to Degraded Coral Reefs
· Gardens for Mongolia: Growing the Capacity of Mongolia s Families
It also looks at 6 projects:
· An Investment for Well-being: Restoring the Agricultural Environment on Bolivia s Altiplano
· A Tanzanian School Promotes Self-reliance
· Rural Education in Northern Honduras
· Felin Gelli Rural Training Farm
· EcoAg Service: Farm Apprenticeships For Youth
· The Garden Terraces of the Shrine of the Báb – An Interview with the Architect, Fariborz Sahba
This month’s coach has a link to agriculture, in that she is a Raw Foods Chef and Wellness Coach who inspires others to integrate living food and joyful living into daily choices. She guides clients to an eating plan that resonates while facilitating a healthy relationship with food and oneself. Laurel increases awareness about more food choices, she teaches how to use food to support mental and physical health and how to resolve eating disorders. She has 36 years of research and training in food-based wellness, served as a speaker for Eating Disorders Northwest, and taught raw foods classes. Guidance is also available on how to deepen the body’s ability to take in all forms of nourishment, shopping for nutrient rich food, preparation and how to determine what food provides you with the best nourishment. Education is catered to each individual situation with plenty of raw and cooked options and loads gluten-free creativity.
Laurel Anderson-Rostami is also a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who works with individuals, couples, families and corporations. She specializes in generational trauma, chronic pain, injuries and physical illness, trauma and shock, joyful living, nutritional, life, career and corporate coaching. She believes that healing is the cultivation of our spirit regardless of what the journey may be and she loves to witness her clients as they uncover more of their innate capacity for healing.
This month I’m happy to introduce you to Breezy Ridge Farm, owned by my spiritual parents Phil and Liz Smith. It’s truly a family farm, as their two sons, David and Nicolas are also in the family business.
The farm consists of 45 Hectares (100 acres) in Southern Ontario (Canada); and is dedicated to raising about 300 purebred Rideau sheep. The flock has twice won awards:
- “Consistency Of Carcasses” from the Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency (OSMA)
- “Excellence in Commercial Wool Production” from the Canadian Cooperative Wool Growers Ltd
Their lambs are born 3 times a year, in late winter, late spring, and early November.
Since 1984 they have grazed their mature sheep out on pasture 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during the grazing season, which runs from mid-April to mid-December. To protect the sheep from coyotes, black bears, timber wolves and cougars, they use Great Pyrenees guard dogs and even a llama that lives with the main ewe flock.
To read more about the farm in an article titled “Experience, Efficiency and Success: One Farm Family’s Story”
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See you next month! Hope it’s a month filled with the right kinds of words!