reaching for my pen as i
clutch my notebook as i
turn my head to glance
out the window where the
snow falls in fat joyful clumps,
i prop myself up in my chair,
ill-fitting but warm.

peering out into the soft white tapestry
i make a list: of things that
increase the joy of life,
that increase the force of love
that binds the universe together.
i am taking an inventory,
measuring a spiritual space.

as i put bullet after bullet into
these quiet, blank pages
i ponder the dimensions i am discovering
in the silence of a winter day’s reflection,
that are spread upon subtle axes
that elude sight and defy description
in tome or academic treatise.

and yet here they are,
these secrets, laid bare upon the page
for those with eyes to see:
this is the rhythm of the universe,
those treasured symbols
pursued by saints and sages
since the world’s true dawn.

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quotes for the feast of questions

The All-Knowing Physician hath His finger on the pulse of mankind. He perceiveth the disease, and prescribeth, in His unerring wisdom, the remedy.

Every age hath its own problem, and every soul its particular aspiration. The remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require.

Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and center your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements.

Baha’u’llah
Immerse yourselves in the ocean of My words, that ye may unravel its secrets, and discover all the pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths.

Baha’u’llah
It is an axiomatic fact that while you meditate you are speaking with your own spirit. In that state of mind you put certain questions to your spirit and the spirit answers: the light breaks forth and the reality is revealed.

The meditative faculty is akin to the mirror; if you put it before earthly objects it will reflect them. Therefore if the spirit of man is contemplating earthly subjects he will be informed of these. But if you turn the mirror of your spirits heavenwards, the heavenly constellations and the rays of the Sun of Reality will be reflected in your hearts, and the virtues of the Kingdom will be obtained.

Abdu’l-Baha
Take ye counsel together in all matters, inasmuch as consultation is the lamp of guidance which leadeth the way, and is the bestower of understanding.

Baha’u’llah
Consultation bestoweth greater awareness and transmuteth conjecture into certitude. It is a shining light which, in a dark world, leadeth the way and guideth.

Baha’u’llah
In this Cause consultation is of vital importance, but spiritual conference and not the mere voicing of personal views is intended… Parliamentary procedure should have for its object the attainment of the light of truth upon questions presented and not furnish a battleground for opposition and self-opinion. Antagonism and contradiction are unfortunate and always destructive to truth.

Abdu’l-Baha
The essence of all that We have revealed for thee is Justice, is for man to free himself from idle fancy and imitation, discern with the eye of oneness His glorious handiwork, and look into all things with a searching eye.

Baha’u’llah

looking for reflections

Into a brand new
Realm of
Existence we go
As we stand and
Look deeply into the
Light that shines
Yellow from street lamps
As we breathe and
Meditate on the
Space we take at this
Time on this earth
Under the supernal sky
Calmly cultivating our
Knowledge of eternity

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autocorrect

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paras 4-5

para.4:

“How pleased we are to note the many insights the believers are gaining from their endeavours.” The House of Justice is watching over us, following our progress as we build up our capacity to serve humanity.

The unfoldment of the Plan is a “dynamic”, “complex” process that “does not lend itself to ready simplification.” How many times have we been reminded that there are no shortcuts, no pre-planned scripts to follow? This process requires us to transform ourselves, to develop spiritual perception, discernment, patience, wisdom, and constancy.

How does the process move forward? As we increase our ability to (1) raise up human resources, that is, help people to arise to serve; and to (2) coordinate and organize well the actions of those who arise.

New initiatives and features of programs of growth (for example, canvassing neighbourhoods, or home visiting campaigns, or projects to reach out to specific populations) require special attention for a time, and eventually, once we gain experience with them, they become just one part of our toolbox. They don’t become less important or necessary, and we use them when we need them.

Sometimes, the need to invest energy in developing a certain tool in our toolbox means that a lot of people focus on a certain activity for a while. But conditions and goals change from one cycle of growth to the next, and not everyone needs to “be occupied with the same aspect of the Plan”. We should stay alert and learn how to discern when conditions require us to develop new tools, at the same time allowing for the development of a wide variety of paths of service in our community—as individuals contribute to the unfoldment of the Plan using those tools with which they best show mastery.

para.5:

“Furthermore, the friends are conscious that the work of the Cause proceeds at different speeds in different places and for good reason–it is, after all, an organic phenomenon–and they take joy and encouragement from every instance of progress they see.” We must not be dismayed if things proceed more slowly than we would like. Progress will come in time, and we must learn to take joy with what we are given. The measure of some is but a cup, and others, a gallon-measure, and ours is the duty to be filled to the brim.

Each person contributes something valuable to the progress of the whole; “the service rendered by each one, in keeping with the possibilities created by a person’s circumstances, is welcomed by all.”

Reflection meetings become the scene of “earnest and uplifting deliberation” on “the community’s efforts, in their entirety”. Our consultations show sincerity and intense conviction. We “learn what has been accomplished overall”, understand our own personal efforts in that light, and come to understand better the process of growth through the “counsels of the institutions” and the “experience of [our] fellow believers”.

“…progress is most easily achieved in an environment imbued with love–one in which shortcomings are overlooked with forbearance, obstacles are overcome with patience, and tested approaches are embraced with enthusiasm.” The quality of love is key to everything we do. Love begets attraction and unity. People who love each other work together, grow together and overcome difficulties.

“And so it is that, through the wise direction of institutions and agencies of the Faith functioning at every level, the friends’ exertions, however modest individually, coalesce into a collective effort to ensure that receptivity to the call of the Blessed Beauty is identified quickly and nurtured effectively.” Nothing more to say about that for the time being but it’s awesome. Food for further thought.

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