Patience

Patience, is something that needs to be learnt and practiced. Not always so easy, and sometimes you have to stop yourself and seriously think about it and then reaffirm it and make yourself analyze the situation and then rethink and remind. Some of things I am trying to make myself do more of. I came to the realization that you need to be patient for various things, we cannot have everything right now. It just is not possible nor is it practicable. 

Things will come as they are needed. Sometimes you need that belief that it will come when it is ready and not until then. Maybe I am just not capable or equipped to handle something if it comes at the wrong time. We are part of a bigger picture and living in a world of energy. We have to interact with that energy and become in phase with it. Things will begin to happen then. 

Being patient is one of those, know when to pick your moments and when to take advantage of them. They will come and they will present themselves to you. You just have to be in tune and recognize them. That is being in that energy groove and watching for it to come. Somethings you cannot control and you will have to put it out there in the energy field and see what happens. Analyze your results and make changes to see what occurs next.

Patience, ahh what a virtue to have. When things are not going your way, you are failing at what you are trying to achieve, but you have to keep going, don't give up, don't walk away from it. Persevere, be PATIENT! It will come, just keep working on different approaches. Different tactics or however you would like to call it. But keep calm and stay in control. It really helps to write it down and to anaylze it. Patience teaches you control, knowing your own tendencies and how to handle these better.

He, verily, shall increase the reward of them that endure with patience. - Baha'u'llah

Tell me what your techniques are for handling patience. What do you do to stay focused?


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The Day of the Covenant

The Day of the Covenant.

November 26th, is the day that Bahai's the world over celebrate the Day of the Covenant and the appointment of Abdu'l-Baha as the center of that Covenant.

What is a Covenant you ask? A covenant is an agreement between two or more persons to do something specific. In the context of what we are talking about it is an agreement between God and humanity. This agreement says in exchange for us as individuals following the teachings of God as shared by the Manifestations of this time we will in exchange by God, be shared various bounties and not be left alone without guidance.

The really important point for this current dispensation is that never before has mankind had such a Covenant given to it. In previous times mankind was unable to grasp this important concept and it was not ready for what has been shared now. This is so exciting as it shows that we really are living in an amazing time where there is so much occurring and there is so much that we can achieve in the advancement of humankind, peace and unity. 

The following has been written by the Universal House of Justice:

A Covenant in the religious sense is a binding agreement between God and man, whereby God requires of man certain behavior in return for which He guarantees certain blessings, or whereby He gives man certain bounties in return for which He takes from those who accept them an undertaking to behave in a certain way. There is, for example, the Greater Covenant which every Manifestation of God makes with His followers, promising that in the fulness of time a new Manifestation will be sent, and taking from them the undertaking to accept Him when this occurs. There is also the Lesser Covenant that a Manifestation of God makes with His followers that they will accept His appointed successor after Him. If they do so, the Faith can remain united and pure. If not, the Faith becomes divided and its force spent. It is a Covenant of this kind that Baha’u’llah made with His followers regarding ‘‘Abdu’l-Bahá and that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá perpetuated through the Administrative Order…   From a letter written by The Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 23 March 1975

The Covenant in the Bahai Faith is so strong it was designed to prevent it breaking into sects and factions. And to this end it has resisted all these attempts to date. This is an important factor that was not available in previous Dispensations where other religions have separated in to other sects and given different interpretations to the original teachings of the Manifestation. The Bahai Faith has this Covenant which is designed to prevent this from happening and so forth give unity and universal acceptance to its teachings and only through this way will mankind be able to progress to a society where we will see everyone working together in fellowship and true friendship.

Abdu'l-Baha is pure the exemplar of the Bahai way of life and is the only person who is the sole interpreter of Baha'u'llahs writings. He is referred to as the Most Mighty Branch and the one to "turn your faces toward Him Whom God hath purposed, Who hath branched from this Ancient Root." This is what Baha'u'llah has stated and is another way in which the writings cannot be changed or the Covenant modified. 

I would love your thoughts and any questions regarding this momentous Covenant. It is something that requires reviewing all the time and reminding ourselves of.


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Life Purpose

A life purpose. What does it mean to you? Do we all have this "life purpose" and what is it? Is it something that we were meant to do or something to be. Well I am going to attempt to answer a little bit of what I think what it might be in my estimation. And this pertains to myself as these sort of things are totally personal and different for every human being. 

The meaning of life is a philosophical question and one that can be something different for each person. From a Bahai perspective it breaks down to one concept. That is that we humans are put here to know and love God and to become closer to God. It is a never-ending journey and one which will lead through many worlds and experiences. This physical plane that we are now on is one of them. 

This quote by Baha'u'llah explains what that meaning is:

"The purpose of God in creating man hath been, and will ever be, to enable him to know his Creator and to attain His Presence. To this most excellent aim, this supreme objective, all the heavenly Books and the divinely-revealed and weighty Scriptures unequivocally bear witness."

Does this seem to simple? In my life, it is the most important purpose that I am here for. We are also here to do many other things but for life purpose as the underlying item. This is it for me. 

God has created us in his image and we are here to reflect those attributes in all things that we do and in how we deal with people. By growing spiritually is the way that we can fulfill this destiny and become who we should really be. The other part is service to humanity. The progress of humanity and unity of the human race is of paramount importance. As we can see in all that goes on in the world today, it so vital that tolerance and co-operation with one another is the way that we will advance.

Now, does everyday life get in the way? You bet! I am not perfect and lots of things these days pull you this way and that and try to gain your attention, how you filter this out and deal with these things is how your character will grow, and you will progress. Life's purpose, boy this has become a heavy subject has it not? Well like anything you do, just take it one step at a time and study and investigate for yourself and you will find the answers. 

Life can be beautiful and man's station in this journey is so incredible. Live it and work your spiritual self! 

Tell me what your life purpose is....
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Faith

Faith. Our faith gets tested frequently. Faith in all sorts of things. Can I make it through this day? What am I going to do with this, or that?? Sometimes the questions flow quickly. And, sometimes the answers don't.

Well, my thoughts are, to first relax, trying to make any sort of rational decisions when emotions are involved is not a good choice. This also helps to pull away from the situation and see what other thoughts come up. Ideas can come from all sorts of places.

I had this exact thing happen to me just recently, I started thinking how am I going to meet my obligations on this and that. I was in a funk for a good part of the day, and I had to work to get myself out of it. Once out of it, some ideas started to come to me and I stopped trying to feel sorry for myself or angry as that just was not going to help the situation.

But its amazing once you relax, pull back, put your faith in a higher power, say a few prayers and things can start to happen for you. Opportunities will pop up and show themselves to you. Now you can start to experience change and grow as a person.

Anyhow a bit of positive thought, keep working your plan and it will come. Faith, I think there you have it. What do you think?

By the way, here is a Bahai prayer that can be used when you need assistance with tests. This is one of my favorites and it is easy to remember.

Is there any Remover of difficulties save God? Say: Praised be God! He is God! All are His servants, and all abide by His bidding! - The Bab.



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Permission

Over the weekend I got to thinking after talking to some people and also just from personal reflection, that maybe we try to jam to much stuff in a day or month or what have you.

Why is that? I know that there can be a drive to achieve things but there is no point in driving ourselves ragged over it and then beating ourselves up over it later. I find myself doing that as well. And right now when I don't have as much direction as I would like, I find I need to tell myself to relax and don't sweat it. Its all small stuff! I think Tony Robbins may have said that one.

Our purpose is to serve humanity and to gain celestial perfection, not to accumulate possessions or gain fame. These are exterior manners only. Sometimes we need to pay attention to the inner being or reason for being here and our spiritual side. This is where true everlasting life lives. Not in this fleeting life. Now, not that there are things that we do here which are in consequential but just that there is a bigger purpose for each one of us. 

So for myself I kind of came to the realization that I don't need to go gung-ho on everything everyday, if I want to slack off a bit, that is ok. Its about giving yourself some permission to do those things and ahh that it is maybe the word of the day??? Permission. Permission to be ok with not having everything done on your to-do list and maybe being ok spending some time with your kids just doing their stuff. 

Permission, ahh yes, that is the word that I have been looking for. I find myself maybe in that mid life crisis where I am not sure what direction to take on certain things but the one constant is my Faith that one does not change and that is the anchor, all else is stuff. 

Don't worry be happy! Don't sweat the small stuff, oh yeah its all small stuff! As I work on these things it brings clarity and it tells me do what you like and not want you don't. I know these are cliche but it helps to solidify it in your own mind and writing it down like this really does that. 

How does it work for you?

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How do you say what you do? (Give your self credit)

Its been a while since I have blogged and I decided to answer the burning question by Danielle LaPorte.

Now I started thinking about this one the other day, and I was also giving it some thought on my walk to my local Starbucks, which is my regular blogging spot and writing place. Don't ask me why I like to write there, you’d think it would be somewhere quiet but it feels good to be here listening to some music and enjoying a coffee.

Back to the question. So thinking about this one, on the surface we are talking about our job, profession, business or what have you. But I wanted to look deeper than that. Maybe thats just the way I am or I am looking for more? Your job/business is what you do, but does it fully define you? At the end of the day it is a means to make money and survive and live. Now yes I know that lots of people are going to say that it is much more than that. But maybe bear with me a bit longer.

Well is it? Is it the be all and end all? Lets look more at our purpose to be here and maybe this is where the answer really lies. We were not put here to work in an office tower or dig ditches, but just maybe we were put here on earth for a purpose. And yes that comes back to this God thing, creator or whatever you may choose to call it. This I think is the key, the work, creating wealth and working is part of serving and it needs to be looked at in that way, it needs to be considered a source of service. Service to mankind and helping to advance a forever advancing civilization. I believe we are here to grow closer to God and to serve mankind. Doing our work is a form of worship and is aiding that cause. Work is worship and a service to humanity.

So here is the statement - "I am here on a journey to serve humankind and to grow ever closer to our Creator and bring value and light to all the people I come in contact, whether through my business or personal dealings. I do this through kindness, sharing, consultation and collaboration."

What do you think, tell me your thoughts.

Bahai's and Worship.
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Observations of the Fast

The Bahai Fast is always done in March of each year. The Bahai calendar is made up of nineteen months with nineteen days. The last month of the Bahai calendar year is always reserved for fasting. This is the month of Ala, or Loftiness in english. It is the month before the new year and also just before the start of spring in the northern hemisphere. So from March 2nd to March 20th I am abstaining from food and drink between sunrise and sunset. 

‘Abdu’l-Baha said:

"This material fast is an outer token of the spiritual fast; it is a symbol of self-restraint, the withholding of oneself from all appetites of the self, taking on the characteristics of the spirit, being carried away by the breathings of heaven and catching fire from the love of God."

I must admit that it has been hard and not so hard, I am not finished as yet but we are past the half way point. It may seem to some people to be strange to do such a thing but it is something that all Bahai's should do and have an obligation to do. If it is something that will improve your spirituality and heighten your closeness to God it has to be good. So it is that I embarked on this journey. Now this is not to say that not eating is easy, it isn't it, especially when you see everyone else eating away and offering you food. Especially since I can't go to the coffee shop during the day as well. But it is, good, to feel that you are doing something with a purpose and it also provides a good talking point which can get the ball rolling with some great conversations. 

So far it has really been great, I have not been too hungry but it is the spiritual part of the fast that has been the best, also a sense of accomplishment that I can do this and I will finish it to the end. I am fulfilling my obligation as a member of the Bahai community and as a spiritual being. It truly is moving me closer to God. It is fasting and obligatory prayer which are exalted in the sight of God. Therefore I am excited to share with you this fast and to extend an offer for you to investigate its reasoning.  

Update:

This is the last two days of the Fast and I must say that this has been a wonderful time for me, it has drawn me much closer to God and it has allowed me to become closer to a lot of people I would not normally know. Sharing experiences and thoughts is a great thing at a time like this. Not only that but health wise I feel better too. In terms of your health this something to be said for fasting. So there is a material purpose as well.
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What do you want to revolutionize?

A blog post that is inspired by Danielle LaPorte, you can check out her website here. She has a great website with lots of great ideas and content.

So, you would think this would be a long list, right? Well I guess it should be because I am sure you could go on for hours on things to revolutionize but I think I need to pick just one. But what one could be really important and what is important to me and perhaps humanity? How about
spirituality

Spirituality and the importance of a belief in something other than yourself. The importance of this journey that we are all on. If we could all possibly grasp the idea that at heart we are all spiritual beings and that this life is just a part of the journey,  and boy is there a lot of stuff to see and do. And lots of peoples lives we will touch and maybe affect with our attitudes and actions.

So to revolutionize this, what attitudes do we need to change and what do we need to seek? Here I go again, always asking lots of questions, I guess that is my nature I suppose. But sometimes these things require us to look at ourselves and make our own decisions and our own independent investigations. Independently investigating spirituality or God is the starting point of revolutionizing spirituality. An article on this investigation of truth can be read
here. It will bring such richness to mankind and to the whole world. It is the promise of many religions. So do your own research and make your own opinions, don't take mine or someone else's word for it. You need to do it yourself. That is what is really important. 

If we revolutionize spirituality, what are the benefits to us? Well, it will bring about better consultation among us, social change and advancement for all humanity, as well as for ourselves personally. Wow, now maybe this is where we need to be! 

“Being one, truth cannot be divided, and the differences that appear to exist among the many nations only result from their attachment to prejudice. If only men would search out truth, they would find themselves united.” - 'Abdu'l-Baha.

What are your thoughts?

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Listening to the Soul

This post is inspired by a tweet from Sandi Amorim and then after reading her own blog post which can be read here. She is a wise woman with some great words to make you think. And, it got me to thinking, which I think was her purpose.

We should listen to our souls, take the time to perhaps meditate and let it speak to us and tell us what is true to us. Somehow life seems to get in the way and we let so many things take us this way and that. Our own thoughts turn off the voice in the soul and stifle it. Learning to open that channel maybe one of the most important things in learning to live life. 

Life should be lived, enjoyed, learnt, progressed and humanity served in one way or the other. The soul is where it is all at!

The Bahá'í writings affirm that "the soul is a sign of God, a heavenly gem whose reality the most learned of men hath failed to grasp, and whose mystery no mind, however acute, can ever hope to unravel." Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah.

The soul is the one part that continues after we leave this physical world. It is independent of the body and eternal. Henceforth we need to take it pretty seriously I would say. The soul is where the faculties such as the mind, will and the heart reside. If we are not listening to our souls we are closing out our spiritual selves and slowing our progress. 

Sandi's comments got me thinking again, sometimes I want to do certain things, is it appropriate that I consult the soul? Is it being true to myself? Does it spiritually enrich my life or others? Perhaps following the wrong things will not get me where ultimately I want to go. So I think I better start listening. Lots of questions, sometimes the answers don't seem to come freely, but learning to listen to your soul takes practice, and that time is available to us now. Perhaps I better start. 

Tell me what your soul says. Lets continue the conversation.
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The Promise to Humankind

What a wonderful and fantastic future mankind has in store for it! Never before in human history is there a better time to be alive in! The promise to humankind is that of peace, justice and prosperity that will be available to all people.

The real turning point for humanity was the appearance of a man called Baha'u'llah, in the 19th century. Baha'u'llah, as Bahai's believe is the Messenger of God for the current time. All other Messengers have pointed to the coming of the One unto all will turn. For me, as a Bahai I believe that time has now come. 

The coming of Baha'u'llah has unleashed such spiritual forces that are unstoppable and that will bring about the Most Great Peace as foretold by Baha'u'llah. In the world today we see so many things occurring, from unrest in society to the breakdown of communism, the realization of global awareness and fairness. Old ideas are being thrown away in place of new ideas and we have never seen such advancement in such a short time as this. Not ever in the evolution of humankind. It is nothing short of amazing, but also, how did this come about? Is it this release of spiritual energy that I have spoken about? So powerful that even if you are unaware of it you are being shaped by this unsee-able force? I say yes! 

It is most exciting and it applies a reason to what is happening and it also gives hope to what will occur as well. Hope in that all the injustices that you currently see, will pass away and peace will come. It is a hope that can keep you going and not let you stray from this wonderful path that we are on.

We need to continue this view of oneness of humanity and bring about this collectiveness of thought that is so necessary for a global community life. The oneness of humanity is one of the driving principles of the Bahai Faith. Those principles can be read
here. Justice is one of the powers that can translate into this dawning of the consciousness needed to bring about the changes that we require. 

"At the individual level, justice is that faculty of the human soul that enables each person to distinguish truth from falsehood. In the sight of God, Baha'u'llah avers, Justice is "the best beloved of all things" since it permits each individual to see with his own eyes rather than the eyes of others., to know through his own knowledge rather than the knowledge of his neighbor or his group. It calls for fair-mindedness in one's judgments, for equity in one's treatment of others, and is thus  a constant if demanding companion in the daily occasions of life." Excerpt taken from The Prosperity of Humankind.

So I ask you to comment and leave your thoughts and challenge you to look at justice at your own individual level and to make your own choices and conclusions on what you see and what you can understand. And remember if you don't know the answer it is always ok to ask no matter how silly it may seem. By bringing ideas and concepts to the forefront it opens frank and open discussion and new understanding.

What’s the world with no soul?



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Education as a basic right.

Education and learning is something that we all need and all should participate in, no matter what our age, race, color, creed, nationality or religious affiliation. So why is that so many people are not afforded this basic right. A right that that should be given to anyone. Sitting in our comfortable homes and abodes in North America where these rights are generally available to everyone it is easy to put this to the back of your mind. But for some people and that goes for even people in our own continent this is not the case. 

The world is going through many upheavals at the moment and I write from a Bahai perspective as I am a Bahai and I tend to view things with the Bahai Writings in mind. If you are not sure who the Bahai's are, check out this
link or this link.

I am going to address the issue from a Bahai point of view and particularly with regards to the issue of education in Iran for Bahai's. You see in Iran if you are Bahai you are not allowed the rights of higher education that other citizens are. It is unfortunately a fault of the current regime in Iran that its prejudice against the Bahai community has prevented this. It is a sad part that they do not view Bahai's as equal citizens compared to Muslims. Now, the Bahai writings state that we are all equal in the eyes of God. To quote, "ye are all the branches of one tree" Baha'u'llah. There is no difference between us. For whatever reasons they may present, their view is flawed.

In a world of information where we can transmit ideas and thoughts in mere seconds and travel great distances in hours, access to information, knowledge and education is so important. It is with education that humanity will advance and improve far beyond what we can see now. This is the promise of this dispensation.

In Iran, the Bahai community created a grass roots organization called the BIHE or "Bahai Institute for Higher Learning", this network of college level teachers began teaching students in kitchens, living rooms and where ever was possible to supply this education. The courses are now recognized and accepted at universities outside of Iran. However on May 21st 2011 the BIHE came under attack by Iranian authorities and thirty Bahai homes were searched and a dozen of its teachers and administrators were arrested. They are now in prison for nothing more than providing a service of teaching students. 

The website
educationunderfire.com is a great place for information and how you can get involved with the movement and conversation to bring justice to these educators and also I would say to bring awareness to so many other places that may face the same lack of access to education.

The youth and children of today really are our future and educating them and giving them spiritual sustenance is of utmost importance to the advancement of humanity in this wonderful age.I urge you Take Action on the website and sign the petition. It is one way in which we can hopefully effect change. We pray that the situation in Iran will change and that other areas around the world, including our own cities in that we live in will always regard education and the young people as our most valuable assets.

Education Under Fire Trailer (3 min) from Education Under Fire on Vimeo.



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