Leaf of the Tree

Finding the Divine in the Details


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Rising from the heart

“Rising from the Heart” by Judy Wright

 

Stay ye entirely clear of this dark world’s concerns, and
become ye known by the attributes of those essences
that make their home in the Kingdom.

Then shall ye see how intense is the glory of the heavenly Day-Star, and
how blinding bright are the tokens of bounty coming out
of the invisible realm.

~ Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha

“Sacred Space” by Judy Wright

Be thou severed from this world, and reborn through the sweet scents of holiness that blow from the realm of the All-Highest.

Be thou a summoner to love, and be thou kind to all the human race.

Love thou the children of men and share in their sorrows. Be thou of those who foster peace. Offer thy friendship, be worthy of trust.

Be thou a balm to every sore, be thou a medicine for every ill. Bind thou the souls together.

~ Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha

The evidences of discord and malice are apparent everywhere, though all were made for harmony and union.

“Come Together as One” by Judy Wright

The Great Being saith: O well-beloved ones! The tabernacle of unity hath been raised; regard ye not one another as strangers. Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch.

We cherish the hope that the light of justice may shine upon the world and sanctify it from tyranny. If the rulers and kings of the earth, the symbols of the power of God, exalted be His glory, arise and resolve to dedicate themselves to whatever will promote the highest interests of the whole of humanity, the reign of justice will assuredly be established amongst the children of men, and the effulgence of its light will envelop the whole earth.

~ Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah

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A song above all other songs

GLEANINGS FOUND HERE AND THERE:

… Let us hearken to the melody which will stir the world of humanity, so that the people may be transformed with joy.

Let us listen to a symphony which will confer life on man; then we can obtain universal results; then we shall receive a new spirit; then we shall become illumined.

Let us investigate a song which is above all songs; one which will develop the spirit and produce harmony and exhilaration, unfolding the inner potentialities of life.

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Image courtesy of Ziya Rezvani

~ ‘Abdu’l-Baha

 

Shut your eyes so the heart may become your eye
and with that vision look upon another world.

~ Rumi

Thank you, God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough.

~ Garrison Keillor


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Human being is a privilege

JWFRender

Painting: “So Bright” by Judy Wright.

GLEANINGS FOUND HERE AND THERE:

The fact of storytelling hints at a fundamental human unease, hints at human imperfection.

Where there is perfection there is no story to tell.

~ Ben Okri

We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles.

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Painting: “Voices of the Ancients” by Judy Wright.

Meantime within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gratitude is the understanding that many millions of things come together and live together and mesh together and breathe together in order for us to take even one more breath of air,

that the underlying gift of life and incarnation as a living, participating human being is a privilege, that we are miraculously, part of something, rather than nothing.

~ David Whyte


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The foundation of all economics

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Photo: D. Kirkup Designs

GLEANINGS FOR THE SPIRIT

A pure heart is as a mirror; cleanse it with the burnish of love and severance from all save God, that the true sun
may shine within it and the eternal morning dawn.

~ Bahá’u’lláh

The source of crafts, sciences and arts is the power of reflection. Make ye every effort that out of this ideal mine there may gleam forth such pearls of wisdom and utterance as will promote the well-being and harmony of all the kindreds of the earth.

~ Bahá’u’lláh

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Photo: D. Kirkup Designs

True Economics ~ from a talk shared by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Boston, 1912:

Strive, therefore, to create love in the hearts in order that they may become glowing and radiant.  When that love is shining, it will permeate other hearts even as this electric light illumines its surroundings.

When the love of God is established, everything else will be realized. This is the true foundation of all economics. Reflect upon it.

Endeavor to become the cause of the attraction of souls rather than to enforce minds. Manifest true economics to the people. Show what love is, what kindness is, what true severance is and generosity. This is the important thing for you to do. Mirror Love

… Economic questions will not attract hearts. The love of God alone will attract them. Economic questions are most interesting; but the power which moves, controls and attracts the hearts of men is the love of God.


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We will all, verily, abide …

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Thirty-five years ago this week, my husband and I, on one of the coldest nights of our lives, faced each other and declared, “We will all, verily, abide by the will of God.”

There were seven other people in the room with us that night, two of them the witnesses required for our Bahá’í marriage to be legal.

Most of the evening is a blur, quite frankly, though I do remember one especially poignant moment when my mother read a prayer, and these words stood out: “Cause them to become the signs of harmony and unity until the end of time.”

These were still echoing in my head when, as we drove toward Canada for our wedding trip, Jon remarked that he had also noticed the spirit of what those words evoked when he felt a whole new significance about the vow we’d each spoken. The essentials of a Bahá’í marriage ceremony can seem so simple that it’s easy to overlook their depths. Iceland and Mexico and Spring 06 Germany 130

“I realized,” he told me, “that when I said, ‘We will all, verily, abide by the will of God’, I was referring not just to the two of us, but something we were committing to with every one there with us, supporting our marriage, and our future children, and every soul that we’ll know. THAT was the commitment we are making. And our marriage itself is WHERE we’re committing to do that.”

And indeed, the spiritual resonance of that vow has been with us ever since, though we had no idea where it would take us. As another Year of the Horse opens, we’re naturally remembering the last one, 12 years ago, which we spent in China. The spirit of our marriage vow was and is a foundation for us as parents, accompanies our every shared decision, our many travels, the bonds we forge with others, even our reconnection with our mutual childhood home of Germany.

EB pix Germany and more 182In this past year, I finally had the opportunity to dedicate two books to this partner, this soul mate, who abides with me at the very center and core of my life and being. What I recognized as I wrote those dedications is that our marriage is a means by which we help each other learn to be encouraged about the potential in our truest selves, and kind about the struggles and confusions of our very human ones. I’m coming to believe that this is the essence of what that vow we said is pointing to.

There are some things we cannot know or understand without the passing of time, and the accumulation of experience, as well as reflection on that experience. What I feel more deeply each day is that the commitment of our marriage, the fortress for well-being that it is designed to be in the advancing – and spiritualizing – of civilization, seems a little-understood jewel. But it is unquestionably an ever-revealing treasure that illuminates my life, and my heart, each and every day.

 


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Gleaming forth, unmasking the world

Gleanings here and there – urgings – IMG_3654

You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.

~ Franz Kafka

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If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. Joy is not made to be a crumb.

~ Mary Oliver

The source of crafts, sciences and arts is the power of reflection. Make ye every effort that out of this ideal mine there may gleam forth such pearls of wisdom and utterance as will promote the well-being and harmony of all the kindreds of the earth.

~ Bahá’u’lláh

Photos courtesy Nelson Ashberger and Diane Kirkup.

View artist Diane Kirkup’s work at: http://www.dkirkupdesigns.etsy.com