July 03, 2011

Baha'i family life

this morning Ayana and Domani were creating a melody to a Selection they are trying to memorize from the Baha'i Writings

"If man be imbued with all good qualities but be selfish,
all the other virtues will fade or pass away and eventually he will grow worse."

it was a scene that was melting with sweetness and purity of heart.  they repeated the words until they were in harmony while Domani beat the drum softly to a simple rhythm.  we have been talking about what it means if the insistent self takes over and dominates over our higher or spiritual nature.  it is like a bird that cannot soar.  the self in us is like a heavy weight that needs subduing so that our soul can grow in spiritual powers and rise above our lower nature.

reading from Brilliant Star, a Baha'i magazine for children
this kind of dialogue with our children is a daily exercise of how we all continue learning gems of wisdom as we focus on the Word of God for this Day.  as parents we have an inescapable duty to spiritually educate our children, training them to become adults that are servants of humanity, able to contribute to an ever-advancing civilization that is distinguished by pure and holy deeds, high-minded and noble pursuits, and a rectitude of conduct that befits man's dignity.

our family life is one big process of learning as we are striving to serve, reflecting on the Baha'i Writings, and consulting with each other about how to handle each swelling wave of difficulty as it arises.  we make many mistakes.  we are rarely at a place of ease or simplicity.  most days are full of complexity and great effort to be patient, to listen, to be fair, to treat them all as unique individuals, to help them understand who they are as a soul and not a body with a mind, and to teach them how to manage the many, many negative forces at work in the world today -- immorality, indecency, permissiveness, materialism, prejudice, selfishness and violence...

it is by the grace of God that we are able to raise our children.  it is this grace which assists us as we strive to abide by the Will of God, to be unified in consultation, to humble ourselves before the Almighty One, to be steadfast as Baha'is and serve His most glorious Cause of Oneness.

"permaculture: a quiet revolution"

i am not a permaculturalist.  but i know it's the solution for the world's ecological, economic and social crises.  it's rooted in honoring and supporting Nature's systems, protecting its particular diversity within each region, channeling its forces, designing our structures and systems based on its principles, conserving vs. wasting energy and money, and creating environments in which food production and sustainable ways of living are enhanced.

there is a short film called, Permaculture: A Quiet Revolution, that is a great way to introduce oneself to the vital necessity of transforming our lives and communities to conform to permaculture principles.  to me it's the most exciting sign of a new world civilization in the making.


girls in the Northern Province of South Africa benefitting from a permaculture project


July 02, 2011

favorite friends from Delft

our days in cape town were the best days of our lives.  what immense joy we all shared together!  this is one of many photos capturing the silly moments -- making faces for the camera depending on what mood we asked them to portray.

our kids feel like these friends are their brothers and sisters.  truly as family.  the closeness we share is divine.  it's not limited to this world.  it is bound by God's love.

until life takes off on a new path, i find myself longing to be with these souls in delft.  i feel like they are my children.  it makes my heart sad being away from them.  it broke my heart again when recently one of them said over the phone, 'so, we're never going to see each other again, are we?'