Leaf of the Tree

Finding the Divine in the Details

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One healing spirit animates us all

Abdu'l-Baha repares to leave US-a-1

An intermediary is needed to bring two extremes into relation with each other.

Riches and poverty, plenty and need:

Without some kind of intermediary power, there could be no relation between such pairs of opposites.”

When he shared these words with his listeners in Paris in 1911, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá noted that as citizens of one world, we are “in extreme need” of such an intermediary, a power by which we are able to receive help from the Divine Reality, the Source of all life.

He likened that Reality to the sun, and the Holy Spirit to the rays of the sun. The sun doesn’t descend to the earth, nor the earth ascend to the sun. It is the rays of the sun that bring illumination and life to earth.Wertsunrise10502067_804750136215524_7278893372276770941_n

In the following year, addressing an American audience, he shared more about the vital, life-giving role of the Holy Spirit when he described the means by which true unity will be established within the human race:

“The source of perfect unity and love in the world of existence is the bond and oneness of reality.

When the divine and fundamental reality enters human hearts and lives, it conserves and protects all states and conditions of mankind, establishing that intrinsic oneness of the world of humanity which can only come into being through the efficacy of the Holy Spirit.

For the Holy Spirit is like unto the life in the human body, which blends all differences of parts and members in unity and agreement.”

IMG_1258He then urged his listeners to reflect on how diverse the various parts of the human body are. He described how, in a whole and healthy body, there is a oneness of animating spirit that “establishes such a unity in the bodily organism that if any part is subjected to injury or becomes diseased, all the other parts and functions sympathetically respond and suffer, owing to the perfect oneness that exists.”

Just as the human spirit is the animating element that unites and coordinates the parts of a human body, the Holy Spirit is the controlling cause of the unity and coordination of the body of humankind, he said.

“The bond or oneness of humanity cannot be effectively established save through the power of the Holy Spirit, for the world of humanity is a composite body, and the Holy Spirit is the animating principle of its life.” We had a bunch of different sunflowers pop up in the garden before we planted anything - so I moved them to the edges of the garden and we got a bunch of different ones!  (Some from our garden last year and some I think from the compost we bo

The evidence of the ever-increasing dis-ease in that body of humankind is all around us.

 ~ In the course of our lives each day, what might each of us do to draw on the power of the Holy Spirit to establish unity, and healing?

 ~ What can we each contribute to love and service, and the building of the good?

 ~ What qualities and choices empower us to do that?


The road to reunion always waits for us

Israel 139


Keep knocking and the joy inside will eventually open a window and look out to see who’s there.
 ~ Rumi

Israel 142When from our better selves we have too long
Been parted by the hurrying world, and droop,
Sick of its business, of its pleasures tired,
How gracious, how benign, is Solitude!
~ William Wordsworth

Man alone is very helpless. Man plus existence is enormous, huge, infinite. Prayer is a meeting of the tiny part with the whole. The tiny part dissolves into the whole and becomes the whole.
~ Osho

” … when we are present in life, free from demands and agendas, when we allow life to unfold according to its own inner principles, we open up a doorway again between the worlds. Within our consciousness the inner and the outer, the visible and the unseen worlds, can come together and speak to each other, and our split apart world can become whole again.”

 ~ Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee


The gold in the hours

sprgbluphoto 3

Artwork: Judy Wright

“This is one of the most singular experiences, waking on what feels like a good day, preparing to work but not yet actually embarked. At this moment there are infinite possibilities, whole hours ahead.

Her mind hums. This morning she may penetrate the obfuscation, the clogged pipes, to reach the gold. She can feel it inside her, an all but indescribable second self, or rather a parallel, purer self. If she were religious, she would call it the soul. It is more than the sum of her intellect and her emotions, more than the sum of her experiences, though it runs like veins of brilliant metal through all three. It is an inner faculty that recognizes the animating mysteries of the world because it is made of the same substance, and when she is very fortunate she is able to write directly through that faculty. Meme1959335_758163877584949_5796047359521828465_n

Writing in that state is the most profound satisfaction she knows, but her access to it comes and goes without warning. She may pick up her pen and follow it with her hand as it moves across the paper; she may pick up her pen and find that she’s merely herself, a woman in a housecoat holding a pen, afraid and uncertain, only mildly competent, with no idea about where to begin or what to write.

She picks up her pen.” 

~ excerpted from The Hours, by Michael Cunningham

HPearrings prizeimage001

Quick contest:

Last pair of hand-painted earrings from D. Kirkup Designs.

Leave a comment on any post and you’ll be included in a drawing Nov. 27.

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Light for timid ships


Photo: David Campbell / http://gbctours.com

“Evolution is transformation. And transformation is happening all the time. It happens as we learn new things …

“Evolution is not an automatic ever-ascending spiritual conveyor-belt, but the result of our ability to face reality, adjust, adapt, and change,” says author Christine DeLorey.


Photo: David Campbell / http://gbctours.com

A key element of our transformative path is contrast, whose intensity can sometimes seem shocking – even disheartening. What can it point to, for our hearts, as it reminds us of all that we do not yet know?


Photo: David Campbell / http://gbctours.com

“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable,” urges poet Mary Oliver, and theologian Paul Tillich reminds,“The first duty of love is to listen.”


Photo: David Campbell / http://gbctours.com

“ … if you are willing to let your heart break completely open, with no internal narrative controlling the opening, you will discover the pure, innocent love that is alive in the core of every emotion, every feeling, everybody,” writes Gangaji. “It remains pure and spacious regardless of change or loss.”

Once this happens, then perhaps we are equipped at last for what these words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s invite:

“Make ready thy soul that thou mayest be like the light which shineth forth from the loftiest heights on the coast, by means of which guidance may be given to the timid ships amid the darkness of fog …”

Including those often-timid ships of our own small selves.

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Beyond limits and doubt


Courtesy Julie Bond Genovese / http://nothingshortofjoy.com

With thanks to Christine DeLorey for these November gems:

At any given moment, life is completely senseless. But viewed over a period, it seems to reveal itself as an organism existing in time, having a purpose, and trending in a certain direction. ~ Aldous Huxley

Nothing we ever imagine is beyond our powers, only beyond our present self knowledge. ~ Theodore Roszak

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life! But there was always some obstacle, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business. Then life would begin. At last, it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.

~ Alfred D. Souza

The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. ~ Franklin Roosevelt

You must stoop a little in order to jump. ~ Scott Fitzgerald

Learn more about Christine DeLorey’s work at: http://creativenumerology.com

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A fathomless Ocean, closer than our life-vein

Great, indeed, is this Day.Storm 236

“Were ye to discover the hidden, the shoreless oceans of My incorruptible wealth, ye would, of a certainty, esteem as nothing the world, nay, the entire creation.

“ … My holy, My divinely ordained Revelation may be likened unto an ocean in whose depths are concealed innumerable pearls of great price, of surpassing luster.Israel 138

“ …This most great, this fathomless and surging Ocean is near, astonishingly near, unto you. Behold it is closer to you than your life-vein! Swift as the twinkling of an eye ye can, if ye but wish it, reach and partake of this imperishable favor, this God-given grace, this incorruptible gift, this most potent and unspeakably glorious bounty.

Israel 127Could ye apprehend with what wonders of My munificence and bounty I have willed to entrust your souls, ye would, of a truth, rid yourselves of attachment to all created things, and would gain a true knowledge of your own selves—a knowledge which is the same as the comprehension of Mine own Being. Ye would find yourselves independent of all else but Me, and would perceive, with your inner and outer eye, and as manifest as the revelation of My effulgent Name, the seas of My loving-kindness and bounty moving within you.

“ … Obstruct not the luminous spring of thy soul with the thorns and brambles of vain and inordinate affections, and impede not the flow of the living waters that stream from the fountain of thine heart.

~ From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

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Mid-autumn musings


Like an image of autumn’s last hurrah, this photo of Burg Gamburg shows a setting I can’t wait to visit next year. It’s not far from my childhood home in Germany. I used to picnic with my parents beside a pretty little stream nearby, and marvel at this vision on the hillside.

And as autumn begins to hint at winter, writer Jennifer Clay shared this poem of irresistibly playful spirit:


Photo: D. Kirkup Designs

frantic chuffing chipmunks relay warnings
their neighbors passing it on
mourning the immense loss
of potential winter stash
that cannot be rescued
from the crunch of truck tires
nor retrieved from the nocturnal sorties of squirrels
whose molotov acorns ping off our metal roof
spirited away to line the bird-seed coffers
of opportunistic bullies in gray fur.

~ Jennifer Clay


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