Monday, March 31, 2008

Pilgrim Saturday

This picture was taken at the Bahji Visitors Centre on the Saturday of my pilgrimage. It's always amazing to see yourself through anothers eyes... Eternal gratitude, shout-outs and blessings be upon you Kadria!

For more of her work...

Thinking Out Loud

So during my prayers and meditations this morning, I was reminded that we are, in fact, spiritual beings having a physical experience. While I was on pilgrimage, and indeed, living here in the Holy Land, I am much more conscientious about praying and meditating.
When Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, chanted prayers, he did so in such a way that the act and beauty of his chanting would not distract from the beauty and majesty of his prayer. Likewise are the flowers and trees lining any garden path meant to enhance the walk rather than distract you from your purpose.
Why then should life be any different? If our purpose here on this earth is, as I believe, to know and love God, and we steadfastly move on the path He has prepared for this purpose, why should we allow the vein imaginings of material existence to distract or even deter us from our goal?
Ok... so to sum: let your physical life enhance your spiritual life - not the other way around.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Most Great Prison: Eternal Illumination

The Mansion Of Bahji: A Day And A View

Pilgrimage: In No Particular Order

Man Haji Hastam!

My pilgrimage, recently completed, will have life-long effects - I am sure. While I work out the business of processing such a momenteous and life changing opportunity, enjoy some pictures I managed to take. But please know that just because there are pictures from this period does not mean it was simply a vacation and I a simple tourist... but more on that later.

Guest Appearances By...

Thousands of pilgrims come through Akka and Haifa every year - but it is something else entirely to have friends and family from your home town come through.

Friends and Family - O My!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Makes My Heart Sing...

"O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.
O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord."
- ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

This prayer from the Bahá’í Writings was the first prayer I learned as a child; it still makes my heart sing.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I Told You That I'm Taking a Photo Class, Yes?

I'm really learning a lot from this class - and it's nice to finally be able to tie in all of my art classes into something more practical than abstract thought. Although I'm not mad at using the theories in a myriad Lit papers....
One of the things I've realized is that I'm obsessed with light right now. Maybe I always have been - but I love the way that everything responds to it....
I'm still learning how to use my camera (typical). But one of the things I'm most interested in conveying is the spiritual nature of the subject, as opposed to capturing the material tangibility of the object. Maybe someday (with more practice) I'll be able to really take exceptional pictures - but for now I'll be taking a page out of William Blake's book.
Enjoy - I do.

Breaking the Fast: BWC Style

Nasim and I on Day 2 of the Fast / Yours Truly on Day 3 of the Fast

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

And Now For Something Better

I am capable of something greater than waxing poetic on my new haircut....
Bahá’ís all over the world are Fasting now, and doing so here in the Holy Land is an amazing experience. This passage from Bahiyyih Khanum, the daughter of Bahá’u’lláh, captures the wonderful spirit of this time as we prepare for a material spring, while in the throes of the Divine Springtime.

"We ought to show something greater than forgiveness in meeting the cruelties and strictures in our lives.To be hurt and forgive is saintly but far beyond this is the power to comprehend and not be hurt. This power we may have...Acceptance without complaint and it should be associated with our name.We ought never to be known to complain or lament.It is not that we would "make the best of things",but that we may find in everything, even in calamity, the gems of enduring wisdom.We ought never to be impatient.We ought to be as incapable of impatience as one would be of revolt.This is not being as much long-sufferingas quiet awareness of the forces that operate in the hours of darknessor in the years of waiting and inactivity.Always we ought to move with the larger rhythm, the wider sweep, towards our ultimate goal, in that complete acquiescence,that perfect chord which underlies the spirit of the Faith itself." -Bahiyyih Khanum

Monday, March 3, 2008

Long Awaited...

Pictures of my haircut - here with Nima at Naveed's going away party. And in color - Naveed and friends before his return to LA/pioneering post in Tonga.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Some Thoughts

So I've been doing a lot of thinking - on a myriad topics - lately, and when I was at Bahji for Dawn Prayers yesterday, I began to think about the circumstances of my birth. I'm the oldest in my family, and I was also the biggest baby (9lbs 22oz, 22") - you had better believe that I hear about it at least twice each year (Mothers Day and my birthday). The story always involves the fact that I was due on June 13 but born July 1.

Those of you who know me will immediately recognize a trend.... And while I'm working on being on time for the things I can control, let me tell you of the conclusion I reached at Bahji:

I was born on time. Not late. Just when I was ready.

And I love this little conclusi0n of mine.

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