“Fasting is the cause of awakening man. The heart becomes tender and the spirituality of man increases.”
“Although the kingdom of heaven is hidden from the sight of this unwitting people, still, to him who seeth with the inner eye, it is plain as day. Wherefore dwell thou ever in the kingdom and be thou oblivious of the world below. Be thou so wholly absorbed in the emanations of the spirit that nothing in the world of man will distract thee.”
negeen sobhani/left (oklahoma city, usa): The Fast has become a scale which measures the imbalances in my life. As a young mom, it wouldn’t make me hungry or thirsty, but rather very tired. It showed me how much I needed to slow down and take the time to rest my body. These days, I don’t feel hungry, thirsty or tired—but rather unable to focus. With so much swarming in my mind, this Fast beckons me to release what’s occupying my mind, clear it with the same hollowness that’s in my stomach and let it be a receptacle for new prayerfully-inspired thoughts and perspectives.
brianna butler/right (nyc, usa):My mind often jumps to a music as inspiration/motivation through my day! This section of the song Let Go by Frou Frou felt particularly poignant today:
So let go (so let go), jump in
Oh well, whatcha waiting for?
’Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown
So let go (yeah let go), just get in
Oh, it’s so amazing here
’Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown
“… make of me a shining lamp, and a brilliant star.”
“Verily, I pray God to make thee the sign of guidance among the maid-servants of the Merciful, to enkindle in thy heart a spark of that fire which was ignited in the Sinaitic Tree and to give thee to drink an overflowing cup from the choice wine of the love of God, until the intoxication of that wine may so prevail upon thee that thou mayest thereby forget all else save God, be attracted to the Beauty of God, glorify thy Lord and sanctify Him during morn and eve.”
anyssa samari/left (brooklyn, ny, usa):
This is my window. And this is my street.
A short list of things I have learned between the dates of 2 March 2013 and 11 March 2013:
– The people that own the laundromat next to my home on Pacific st. eat bread standing in their doorstep at around 6:15 every morning. They also have a dog. I don’t know the dogs name.
– I can do difficult things. Like not eat or drink for 12 hours. This is a good thing to learn for future reference when (inevitably) I will be faced with other difficult things that I will need to do.
– It is impossible to drink very hot tea very fast.
– prayer is like a fire.
– both Martha and Roja agree that eggs keep you full the longest.
– generally speaking, people are inquisitive, curious, accepting and receptive. And God pray I can construct a sentence when they come to me with questions.
– Scientifically speaking, due to atmospheric refraction the sun can appear to still be above the horizon when its is, in fact, set.
– moving slowly (even in New York city) is growing on me.
– I have some of the most enlightening, smart, courageous, and precious people in my life. They are giants of love and spirit. My task: grow my heart so it can keep them in it and still have space for more.
– Because there is always room for more.
lindsey lugsch-tehle/right (saint peter, mn, usa): I’ve always experienced the Fast as a time of meaningful transition; and this year is no exception. On February 26th my husband and I were invited to serve for the next two and a half years at the World Center…we leave on March 26th. Meaning this Fast is especially permeated with openness, trust, purification, and detachment as we organize our affairs, say farewell to our loved ones, and prepare, as best we can, for what lies ahead. The bounties are endless. The gratitude is overflowing. And in utter humility, we turn to the Blessed Beauty.
“O handmaid of God! In this wondrous dispensation in which the Ancient Beauty and the Manifest Light—may my spirit be sacrificed for His loved ones—hath risen from the horizon of age-old hopes, women have assumed the attributes of men in showing forth steadfastness in the Cause of God, and revealing the heroism and might of fearless men. They invaded the arena of mystic knowledge and hoisted aloft the banner on the heights of certitude. Thou, too, must make a mighty effort and show forth supreme courage. Exert thyself and taste of the sweetness of a heavenly draught, for the sweet taste of the love of God will linger on to the end that hath no end.”
amy: waking up at 3:30am to go into work on your day off and then stand for hours on end in the brutal cold wind is not your usual idea of a good job. for some reason, I find this enormously rewarding. I am so grateful that I enjoy my work, for the challenges it provides, for the ever changing nature.
leila: i know i’m a few days late, but i did want to recall International Women’s Day and some thoughts on the equality of women. the other day in class, one of my classmates mentioned that a recent United Nations’ report on international development strategy has been emphasizing aid directed to women, because women are the primary caregivers and educators of children.
in 1918, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá repeated the declaration of His Father, Bahá’u’lláh, that the education of women is more important than the education of men, “for education begins with the milk“. i have been raised with this idea from the earliest days of my training by my mother, who is also a Bahá’í. her mother is a Bahá’í, as was her mother before her. because of their faith, they were educated and literate, even though all but a few of their countrymen—including their husbands— were not. this is something in my family about which i am very proud.
a footnote: i would like to acknowledge that, next to amy, i am quite a chatterbox. the thing is, i’m trying to be concise.