Friday, May 9, 2008

A Baha'i Prayer

The first time I read this, I was blown away, for a few reasons. Originally because it was in a chapter with the heading 'Instructions', and I know it isn't a universal feeling, but by broad generalization, myself and the people who share some of my past experiences often express the feeling from an early age that we missed out somehow on the instructions to life. I specifically remember thinking that somehow everyone else had gotten the manual, and it was all just a big, cosmic joke on Rio. Religious and spiritual teachers have been passing on instructions as long as man has been thinking, but I myself can only claim to have been thinking for a very short time, and even a shorter time has my thinking been sensible or clear enough to follow said instructions. So I can just say that for some reason, I was ready to heed them and excited to have found some instructions I could follow.

The main reason I was so moved by these words from God (aka Higher Power, or for short HP) is the way this eloquent language not only confirms, but elaborates on the virtues and necessities of happiness and good living that I am coming to recognize as an essential part of my life because of a fellowship and program that shall remain nameless. They are in agreement. One does not negate or argue the other. Sure, as a person I can always try to pick points of dissension, but as a human being with the fundamental truth of a HP inside of me, the instructions laid forth here are in no way contrasting with the instructions that I have learned to give myself to stay sober and serene on a daily basis.

So please, take a moment to calm your mind, because even though it is written like a to do list, it is a prayer revealed by the son of a messenger from God (my beliefs!). These are not my words nor am I in any way responsible for how you feel when you read them. I hope it resonates with some of you like it did with my lovely Liz when I shared it with her. I hope you are filled with joy at reading the word of a Higher Power.

TO LIVE THE LIFE IS: To be of no cause of grief to anyone.

To be kind to all people and to love them with a pure spirit.

Should opposition or injury happen to us, to bear it, to be as kind as ever we can be, and through all, to love the people. Should calamity exist in the greatest degree, to rejoice, for these things are the gifts and favors of God.

To be silent concerning the faults of others, to pray for them; and to help them, through kindness, to correct their faults.

To look always at the good and not at the bad. If a man has ten good qualities and one bad one, look at the ten and forget the one. And if a man has ten bad qualities and one good one, to look at the one and forget the ten.

Never to allow ourselves to speak one unkind word about another, even though that other be our enemy.

To do all our deeds in kindness.

To sever our hearts from ourselves and from the world.

To be humble.

To be servants of each other, and to know that we are less than anyone else.

To be as one soul in many bodies; for the more we love each other, the nearer we shall be to God; but to know that our love, our unity, our obedience must not be by confession, but of reality.

To act with cautiousness and wisdom.

To be truthful.

To be hospitable.

To be reverent.

To be a cause of healing for every sick one, a comforter of every sorrowing one, a pleasant water for every thirsty one, a heavenly table for every hungry one, a star to every horizon, a light for every lamp, a herald to everyone who yearns for the kingdom of God.


(Who is pictured above)

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