Welcome to the Month of Dominion 171
In this issue – Anxiety
Articles – Please click on the title of the article you want to read
On Overcoming Anxiety
Bahá’u’lláh could trust ‘Abdu’l-Bahá with the most difficult of tasks as He knew He would never waver. One such task was that of building a Shrine for the Bab on Mount Carmel, above what was then the small town of Haifa, facing the Mediterranean Sea. One of many obstacles which developed was the owner of the plot, influenced by scheming Covenant-breakers, would not readily consent to sell the land. ‘”Every stone of that building, every stone of the road leading to it,” He, many a time was heard to remark, “I have with infinite tears and at tremendous cost, raised and placed in position.” “One night,” He, according to an eye-witness, once observed, “I was so hemmed in by My anxieties that I had no other recourse than to recite and repeat over and over again a prayer of the Bab which I had in My possession, the recital of which greatly calmed Me. The next morning the owner of the plot himself came to Me, apologized and begged Me to purchase his property.” (Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá)
For Overcoming Anxiety
Pour forth upon all them that are dear to Thee what will preserve them from fear and trembling after me. Powerful art Thou to do whatsoever may please Thee. No God is there except Thee, the All-Glorious, the All-Wise. (Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah, p. 18)
Lauded be Thy name, O Lord my God! I entreat Thee by Thy Name through which the Hour hath struck, and the Resurrection came to pass, and fear and trembling seized all that are in heaven and all that are on earth, to rain down, out of the heaven of Thy mercy and the clouds of Thy tender compassion, what will gladden the hearts of Thy servants, who have turned towards Thee and helped Thy Cause. Keep safe Thy servants and Thy handmaidens, O my Lord, from the darts of idle fancy and vain imaginings, and give them from the hands of Thy grace a draught of the soft-flowing waters of Thy knowledge. Thou, truly, art the Almighty, the Most Exalted, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Generous. (Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah, p. 72)
Turn, then, O my God, their fear into the evidences of Thy peace and Thy security, and their abasement into the sovereignty of Thy glory, and their poverty into Thine all-sufficient riches, and their distress into the wonders of Thy perfect tranquillity. Vouchsafe unto them the fragrances of Thy might and Thy mercy, and send down upon them, out of Thy marvelous loving-kindness, what will enable them to dispense with all except Thee, and will detach them from aught save Thyself, that the sovereignty of Thy oneness may be revealed and the supremacy of Thy grace and Thy bounty demonstrated. (Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah, p. 335)
Falling Into Grace by Justice St. Rain of Special Ideas takes an honest look at the many things in the Bahá’í Community that can test your faith from the fellow Bahá’ís that make you want to scream to the difficult laws that make you want to give up trying the kinds of tests that you are afraid to share with your friends and even those you are afraid to admit to yourself. It shines a bright light on these tests, and in illuminating them, it reduces their power. This book says “you are not alone,” and, even better, “you are not a bad Bahá’í for struggling with these issues.” Struggling with these tests is what ennobles us, and sharing our struggles is what helps us create a real feeling of community. As the title suggests, we must be willing to fall before we can be lifted up through grace.
Here is what some of his readers have said:
- This book has helped over 5,000 Bahá’ís feel “normal” again and reconnect with their communities with more joy and less shame than ever before. It makes a great gift for new Bahá’ís, long-time Bahá’ís, estranged Bahá’ís, and even serious seekers.
- It is one of my favorite Bahá’í books. I read it four times in a row, (which I never do), because finishing it was like a painful separation from a best friend and I wasn’t ready to let go! It was easy to read, made sense, described my experience, reminded me of how much I am loved and drew me closer to God.
- Justice writes straight from the heart in an engaging and approachable style, as he documents the daily tests and trials that many of us go through. I HIGHLY recommend it for any Baha’i who is starting to feel the stress and challenges of life. I can’t say enough good things about this book! I hope you’ll enjoy it too!
Because the Fast is quickly coming up, I also wanted to mention this book which comes highly recommended:
The Supreme Remedy: Applying the Healing Arts to the Baha’i Fast by Deborah Walters
In Deborah’s own words:
When I first started fasting, I wondered why there wasn’t much written on the subject? I longed for guidance, insight and I was so curious about its effects and what I experienced. I found very few people even desired to talk about the subject. The difficulties and questions I had personally led me to hours of research and experimentation, and to obtain a degree as a Doctor of Naturopathy. I thought I would then share with others not only what I learned but the joy I received in fasting and how I now look forward to it with confidence. How can someone enjoy fasting when the body is so sick? How can you hear the spirit when emotionally you are so messy?
I believe that fasting is one of the best remedies for healing. Although it is increasingly used in medical centers, and has been part of treatment in some European and Asian countries for many years, the medical field in the English-speaking world has not used it enough because of lack of understanding and information about fasting. It’s well known that we need breaks during the day to work more efficiently, and vacations to recharge our batteries. Any time we do anything in excess, we eventually need a break from it in order to regain balance. And in Western cultures eating has become excessive and a source of addiction. Fasting has traditionally been a religious practice. It’s a tool of devotion, obedience and love, to gain spiritual power and vision and draw nearer to God. Historically, it’s also been a physical healing tool. Fasting can have various intentions: to regain health, to lose weight, to have clarity of mind. It’s possible for these purposes to work together.
Shadi Toloui-Wallace, a singer-songwriter from Australia, now living in Canada, has toured much of North America, Australia and the Pacific, touching hearts through her honest and reflective music. Her ability to creatively express her devotion and love evokes a sense of reverent joy, unique to her work. Shadi draws inspiration from her beliefs, exploration of self, the environment and human interaction. Her work has always placed unity of faith and family at the core.
In this month’s selection, we hear her sing “When Sorrow Comes” which includes a touching rendition of a verse to be read in times of natural disasters or calamities: “Dominion is God’s The lord of the seen And the unseen, The lord of creation” (known in Persian as Yá Alah-u-al Mustagath)
About this prayer, Baha’u’llah tells us:
In Islam a special prayer was ordained to be said in times of natural phenomena which cause fear, such as earthquakes. This has been annulled, and in its place a Bahá’í may say “Dominion is God’s, the Lord of the seen and the unseen, the Lord of creation”. (Baha’u’llah, Synopsis and Codification of the Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 58)
I can attest to the power of this prayer to remove anxiety! Recently I was feeling incredible anxiety and couldn’t find a way out; and spent a couple of nights repeating this prayer over and over until I finally fell asleep. The issue hasn’t yet resolved; but I’m feeling much more peaceful with the situation, and content with the will of God!
Looking for a Matchmaker?
Dr Mieko Bond is a matchmaker and family lawyer, who hopes to find the perfect match for you based on her extensive network of contacts and genuine passion to help people find love and happiness. She will use her intuition and consider your personalities and criteria for a partner. The service begins with an initial Skype Session after you have filled out an online interview form. She will choose from her portfolio a selection of matches and you can choose which ones you would like to contact. It is a confidential service, you will not be on the website, and your identity won’t be revealed except to those people you are matched with. You can also purchase additional coaching and dating advice sessions over Skype with the Matchmaker.
Our “Featured Author” this month, Deborah Walters is also a homeopathic doctor, who specializes in anxiety, depression, chronic pain, sleep challenges, arthritis, chronic conditions and life transitions. She uses a combination of homeopathy, botanical remedies and naturopathy.
To hear her talk about her practice and what to expect during your first appointment
Our Readers Write:
Congratulations Susan – such a beautiful stack of 17 books! Grateful grateful for your superb service and contributions which benefits us all so much! (Jeannie Ritchie)
Ah Susan! I just LOVE that photo of all of your books!! I’m sending a big enthusiastic cheer for you! You GO girl! With love and joy for your accomplishments! (Heather Acres)
Thank you so much for this beautiful issue. I was really feeling like this and your issues always open my eyes. Lots of love. (Mahtab Yeganegi)