Daily Commute 1/25/2016

Perfection, the Words of Sovereignty
172 BE: Kamál el Kalimát-i-Sulṭán

BeMy-1-560x561Monday, the 7th day of the 17th month in the year 172 BE––the first year of the 10th Váḥid in the first Kull-i-Shay’ or the “Beginning of the Love of All Things”. The day began at sunset on January 24 for the Badi calendar.

O SON OF SPIRIT!
The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. Ponder this in thy heart; how it behooveth thee to be. Verily justice is My gift to thee and the sign of My loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes.

–– Baha’u’llah, Hidden Words Arabic #2

Monday – LAW 2:
The Law of Giving and Receiving

Badi Challenge: Contemplate Perfection (excellence, fullness, consummation, maturity) as the Words (utterance, the word of God) of Sovereignty (king, lord, majesty, sovereign, monarch, authority, potency, the power of sovereignty, the all-possessing, the most potent of rulers).

Whispers

I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee. I testify, at this moment, to my powerlessness and to Thy might, to my poverty and to Thy wealth.
    There is none other God but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.

–– Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations CLXXXI

My Reflections of the Day

Key to the Badi Calendar:
As one would say “Monday, the 25th of January”, so we can say “Perfection, the Words of Sovereignty” or “Kamál el Kalimát-i-Sulṭán.”

weekday: MON. – PERFECTION – Kamál [كمال ]
day: 7 – WORDS – Kalimát [كلمات ]
month: 17 – SOVEREIGNTY – Sulṭán [سلطان ]
The current Bahá’í year is 172 BE (21 March 2015 – 20 March 2016), is year Alif (the 1st, “A”) of the Váḥid Hubb (the 10th, “Love”) in the 1st Kull-i-Shay’ (first 361-year cycle ending in 2205).

The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BahaiTeachings.org or any institution of the Baha’i Faith.

Daily Commute 1/24/2016

Beauty, the Mercy of Sovereignty
172 BE: Jamál el Raḥmat-i-Sulṭán

BeMy-1-560x561Sunday, the 6th day of the 17th month in the year 172 BE––the first year of the 10th Váḥid in the first Kull-i-Shay’ or the “Beginning of the Love of All Things”. The day began at sunset on January 23 for the Badi calendar.

O YE PEOPLE THAT HAVE MINDS TO KNOW AND EARS TO HEAR!
The first call of the Beloved is this: O mystic nightingale! Abide not but in the rose garden of the spirit. O messenger of the Solomon of love! Seek thou no shelter except in the Sheba of the well-beloved, and O immortal phoenix! dwell not save on the mount of faithfulness. Therein is thy habitation, if on the wings of thy soul thou soarest to the realm of the infinite and seekest to attain thy goal.

–– Baha’u’llah, Hidden Words Persian #1

Sunday – LAW 1:
The Law of Pure Potentiality

Badi Challenge: Contemplate Beauty or charm as the Mercy (blessing, grace, favour, loving kindness, providence, compassion) of Sovereignty (king, lord, majesty, sovereign, monarch, authority, potency, the power of sovereignty, the all-possessing, the most potent of rulers).

Whispers

Intone, O My servant, the verses of God that have been received by thee, as intoned by them who have drawn nigh unto Him, that the sweetness of thy melody may kindle thine own soul, and attract the hearts of all men. Whoso reciteth, in the privacy of his chamber, the verses revealed by God, the scattering angels of the Almighty shall scatter abroad the fragrance of the words uttered by his mouth, and shall cause the heart of every righteous man to throb. Though he may, at first, remain unaware of its effect, yet the virtue of the grace vouchsafed unto him must needs sooner or later exercise its influence upon his soul. Thus have the mysteries of the Revelation of God been decreed by virtue of the Will of Him Who is the Source of power and wisdom.
–– Baha’u’llah, Gleanings CXXXVI [para. 2]

My Reflections of the Day

 
 
Key to the Badi Calendar:
As one would say “Saturday, the 24th of January”, so we can say “Beauty, the Mercy of Sovereignty” or “Jamál el Raḥmat-i-Sulṭán.”

weekday: SUN. – BEAUTY – Jamál [جمال ]
day: 6 – MERCY – Raḥmat [رحمة ]
month: 17 – SOVEREIGNTY – Sulṭán [سلطان ]

The current Bahá’í year is 172 BE (21 March 2015 – 20 March 2016), is year Alif (the 1st, “A”) of the Váḥid Hubb (the 10th, “Love”) in the 1st Kull-i-Shay’ (first 361-year cycle ending in 2205).

The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BahaiTeachings.org or any institution of the Baha’i Faith.

Daily Commute 1/23/2016

Glory, the Light of Sovereignty
172 BE: Jalál el Núr-i-Sulṭán

2013-02-14 04.12.05Saturday, the 5th day of the 17th month in the year 172 BE––the first year of the 10th Váḥid in the first Kull-i-Shay’ or the “Beginning of the Love of All Things”. The day began at sunset on January 22 for the Badi calendar.

O SON OF SPIRIT!
My first counsel is this: Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart, that thine may be a sovereignty ancient, imperishable and everlasting.

–– Baha’u’llah, Hidden Words Arabic #1

Saturday – LAW 7:
The Law of Dharma (or purpose in Life)

Badi Challenge: Contemplate Glory or majesty as the Light (radiance, brightness, splendour, effulgence, illumination) of Sovereignty (king, lord, majesty, sovereign, monarch, authority, potency, the power of sovereignty, the all-possessing, the most potent of rulers).

Whispers

Blessed is the spot, and the house, and the place, and the city, and the heart, and the mountain, and the refuge, and the cave, and the valley, and the land, and the sea, and the island, and the meadow where mention of God hath been made, and His praise glorified.
–– Baha’u’llah, quoted in The Advent of Divine Justice by Shoghi Effendi [para., “This is the day in which to speak”]

My Reflections of the Day

I’m reminded that our own bodies can be considered a sanctuary for the Holy Spirit or a dwelling place of God. Perhaps, blessedness can be our individual state as well–by our feelings, thoughts, words, deeds in our soul, mind, heart, and body.

    “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
    1 Corinthians 6:9 [King James Version]

With that in mind, exploring the purpose of human life is inviting. If the FIRST advice given tells us to steward our hearts, then what must be the divine mission entrusted to each of us? Perhaps more importantly, how is each one of us to carry out that mission given the diversity of talents, interests, and capacities we display? Indeed, it seems this has been the question down through the ages. The answers espoused have varied and often no answer is proffered.

Here are some notions to consider:

  • At the macro level: humankind
    All men have been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization. The Almighty beareth Me witness: To act like the beasts of the field is unworthy of man. Those virtues that befit his dignity are forbearance, mercy, compassion and loving-kindness towards all the peoples and kindreds of the earth.
    –– Baha’u’llah, Gleanings CIX
  • At the micro level: individuals
    The Prophets and Messengers of God have been sent down for the sole purpose of guiding mankind to the straight Path of Truth. The purpose underlying Their revelation hath been to educate all men, that they may, at the hour of death, ascend, in the utmost purity and sanctity and with absolute detachment, to the throne of the Most High.
    –– Baha’u’llah, Gleanings LXXXI

[NOTE: Please forgive English, “All men” is inclusive without gender distinction; mankind, humankind.]

Perhaps the answer is more personal . . . how shall a person acquire and apply divine education to attain purity, sanctity and absolute detachment?

Key to the Badi Calendar:
As one would say “Saturday, the 23rd of January”, so we can say “Glory, the Light of Sovereignty” or “Jalál el Núr-i-Sulṭán.”

weekday: SAT. – GLORY – Jalál [جلال ]
day: 5 – LIGHT – Núr [نور ]
month: 17 – SOVEREIGNTY – Sulṭán [سلطان ]

The current Bahá’í year is 172 BE (21 March 2015 – 20 March 2016), is year Alif (the 1st, “A”) of the Váḥid Hubb (the 10th, “Love”) in the 1st Kull-i-Shay’ (first 361-year cycle ending in 2205).

The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BahaiTeachings.org or any institution of the Baha’i Faith.

Bread: Music for the Soul

Mmmm bread!

A photo posted by Gene Marie (@genemariekennedy) on

Songs by Bread


Album – The Best of Bread (1973)
Published on Jun 2, 2014 – sunflower0074 [5,985,312+]

00:00 Make It with You
03:11 Everything I Own
06:20 Diary
09:28 Baby I’m A Want You
11:56 It Don’t Matter To Me
14:45 If
17:20 Mother Freedom
19:55 Down On My Knees
22:39 Too Much Love
25:27 Let Your Love Go
27:50 Look What You’ve Done
31:02 Truckin’
33:34 The Guitar Man
37:20 Aubrey
40:59 The Last Time
45:09 Sweet Surrender
47:45 He’s A Good Lad
50:42 Daughter
54:03 Friends And Lovers
57:57 Lost Without Your Love

Thank you, Sunflower!

All Time Favorite Love Songs 2 (Female Artists)

Chicago – Love Songs (2005)

The Very Best of England Dan and John Ford Coley (1996)

Sparks: Ten Jump-Start Tips

Read: “Action Plan for the New Year” by Dr. Mercola
Mercola-2016-0101--healthy-life Happy New Year! This year, what do you say we all skip the New Year’s resolution? About half of Americans make them, and most start out strong but come February or March, many have already thrown in the towel.

Mercola’s Story At-a-Glance
– Ninety-two percent of Americans fail to achieve the resolutions they commit to on New Year’s Day
– In place of a New Year’s resolution, make a commitment to simply live better this year
– My top 10 steps for living better in 2016 are discussed

This is an ongoing process, a lifestyle change, not an impulsive resolution that you blurted out at midnight and have all but forgotten by morning. It’s also not something you can achieve overnight. Rather, this is a plan you can live by.

10 Steps to Changing Your Life for the Better in 2016

It’s the start of a new year — what better time to start fresh with some positive changes? The 10 that follow are the crème de la crème of lifestyle tricks you can use to live better and be happier — and isn’t that really what virtually all of us are after?
[Read full article]

Lest I steal Dr. Mercola’s thunder and become guilty of plagiarism, below I simply offer my thoughts on his recommendations

Be sure to check out Mercola’s comprehensive nutrition plan.

For starters, the Ten Jump-Start Tips are great to implement at any time; so don’t wait for annual resolution time–you can begin today!

1. Give Up Soda – There are better ways to hydrate the body and still get that dopamine pleasure kick. Want fizzy? Try kefir or kombucha. [Learn more]

2. Eat Two Meals a Day, Within an Eight-Hour Window – Heck many ofus are too busy to eat “three squares” anyway. Eat less, digest more . . . then you can focus on quality intake instead of quantity and ditch calorie counting! One trick is to get to sleep before the late night munchies set in . . .

3. Get Eight Hours of Sleep Each Night – Early to bed…healthy, wealthy, and wise–early is . . . before “munchies” set in (see Tip #2). Sleep time is body-repair time; the rejuvenating sleep cycle allows the body to assimilate the good food and gather waste for elimination–have a good morning poop!

4. Eat More Healthy Fats and Fiber – It’s true, butter is better and enjoy the coconut. Veggie and fruit fiber beats shredded wheat. [Learn more from Mercola.com]

5. Eat Fermented Vegetables – What could be better than fresh garden veggies? Consider fermented goodies with an amazing shelf life and increased nutritional content–let those good little bacteria whip up a potent batch of enzymes, antioxidants, probiotics, and other nutrients for you!

6. Sit Less and Walk More, Work on Your Flexibility – An “active” lifestyle is not necessarily about spending hours in a gym or on the court(s). Here’s an AFoRMation for you: If you move it, you’ll improve it — Agility, Flexibility, Range of Motion.

7. Have Your Vitamin D Level Tested – In school we worked to avoid D’s especially on tests but Dr. Mercola suggests we get tested for vitamin D and pray our levels aren’t low–25(OH)D or 25-hydroxyvitamin D. However, don’t be quick to grab D-fortified drinks and foods because synthetic vitamin D is not what we need. We want the ideal ID, the internal not infernal D!

8. Eat Nutrient-Dense Protein (Quality not Quantity) – Moderation in all things works but one needs ALL things–whatever your source: pastured-based meat, fish, free-range/soy-free eggs, grassfed dairy products, or GMO-free legumes and nuts. You may not need much so seek protein that is PRO-Team: terrestrial (pasture-based), ecological (GMO-free), amicable (humanely cultivated), and manageable (assimilates well with you). Mercola suggests additional protein sources.

9. Meditate for 5 to 10 Minutes a Day – Check out Seduction of Spirit

10. Help Others and Be Active in Your Community – We applaud those who invest themselves in the welfare of others…hands for healing hands! The cycle of giving primes the pump for receiving.

Visiting the Life & Times of Muhammad

Imagine what it would be like to live in the desert-like conditions of sixth century Arabia among traveling merchants stopping in Mecca, the nomads venturing into the city for brief periods each year, and the annual pilgrimage to the Kaabah–“home” of a multitude of revered deities.

Christians rarely venture south into Arabia; they’re mostly concentrated around Constantinople, north Africa, around the Mediterranean and Europe. The Americas have yet to be “discovered” and Asia is humming along mostly with Hindu and Buddhist traditions. The Israelites have long been scattered and Jewish communities can be found in many places. The voice of monotheists is rarely heard among the hubbub of Quraysh-controlled Mecca.

Recognized as descendants of Abraham through Ishmael, the inhabitants of the region were nevertheless deprived of access to biblical accounts of their ancestry. Even copies of “New Testament” scriptures were nearly impossible to acquire. It were as if this corner of the world had been left in the shadows despite the vast dissemination from Palestine of the teachings of Jesus the Christ [i.e., Anointed One] over the past five centuries.

    In the year 610 CE, Muhammad, a forty-year-old businessman known as Al-Amin, “the trustworthy,” marched down from the mountains…looking shattered and frightened….An angel had visited him….ordered him to “recite.”[p. ix]

Reminiscent of a stuttering Moses being told through a burning bush to return to Egypt and “speak” to Pharaoh and persuade him to release the descendants of Jacob, Muhammad is commissioned to return Arabs from polytheism back to monotheism–the one God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Jesus.

Cleverly written in the voices of key characters in the life of Muhammad, Deepak Chopra captures the nuances of the era and provides an opportunity to become acquainted much like an introduction at a party–no long biographical sketches are offered, just the heart-connecting nod of glimpsing into the eyes of another. Such a likable spark compels further conversation and opens the doors to further exploration.

Below are a few of the morsels I gathered in my first read of the book; I look forward to dining with it again. In the meantime, I’ll keep putting hors d’oeuvres on the plate below.

Muhammad: A Story of the Last Prophet

Muhammad_book_Chopra_1New York Times Bestseller! In this riveting novel, beloved international bestselling author Deepak Chopra captures the spellbinding life story of the great and often misunderstood Prophet. Islam was born in a cradle of tribal turmoil, and the arrival of one God who vanquished hundreds of ancient Arabian gods changed the world forever. God reached down into the life of Muhammad, a settled husband and father, and spoke through him. Muhammad’s divine and dangerous task was to convince his people to renounce their ancestral idols and superstitious veneration of multiple gods. [Read More]

Morsels from Muhammad

Chp 1: Restoring the ancestral fountain, Zamzam, “the water that accumulates”
Every family has some remnant of collective wisdom from the past–some a larger stock than most, others perhaps have just a saying or two. If “charity begins at home”, perhaps we reclaiming what we already possess is a wise move.

Think of Dorothy’s trip to Oz only to return cherishing her home. Recall, if you can, the fervor of the followers of Jesus after his death; the Jews who had converted to “the Way” held a greater appreciation and understanding of their heritage in Judaism–the prophesies began to make sense, the holy days were more meaningful, the spirit of the Mosaical law became practicable. Next holiday or family gathering, look past the “skeletons in the closet” and rediscover the gemstones garnered long ago.