The Fast: Day 14- Diet


March 15, 2018, Prescott-

One of the challenges I used to face, when I first became a Baha’i and started fasting, was what sort of food and beverage intake would sustain me, through a normal day.  I did not want to be one of those who went through the workday, zombie-like, getting the shakes from not having my customary mid-morning coffee break, or small lunch.  I did not want to go home after work and slide into bed for the three hours that remained before dinner.

While my appetite has certainly gone down, especially in my sixties, here is what still works well:  Early morning  breakfast- Two proteins (Meat, cheese, yogurt or beans); two sources of complex carbohydrates (Organic bread, whole grain cereal); one serving of fruit; one serving of vegetable; two 8 oz. glasses of water, with a slice of lemon; coffee with milk or cream.  Post sunset dinner (One protein; one complex carb; a salad; a serving of fruit or frozen yogurt; a glass of water with lemon; coffee (black) or tea (herbal).

Sometimes, when I have been feeling that the fast, on a given day, seems too long, I will make room for tea made of puerh, or other digestive aid, which helps suppress the urge to turn to food as a distraction.

Baha’u’llah did not intend the Fast to be an endurance test, thus allowing those 70 years of age or above, to refrain from the dietary portion of the Fast.  Three years from now, I will still wake before sunrise and offer prayers and meditation, but not refrain from food and beverage.  There is a wisdom in this, allowing our bodies to be better equipped for the challenges that often come with advancing age.

I believe that diet is the best form of medical self-care.

The Fast: Day 8- Fidelity


March 9, 2018, Prescott-

Yesterday was the official International Women’s Day.  I was in the company of my two beautiful co-workers, during the day.  Both have men in their lives, who are luckier than either woman might sometimes suppose.  As an aside, it occurs to me that every day should be Women’s Day.

My mind today, the last day before Spring Break, has been on fidelity.  Faithfulness is the mindset, and chastity the outcome, of a person who feels fidelity, loyalty, to another human being.

I was faithful to Penny, all those years.  There were times when other women would flirt with me, and she made it clear that we’d all get clobbered, if they kept it up.  She needn’t have ever worried.  I wasn’t going anywhere.  The proof of that became clear to her, when we circled the drain together, those eight years.  I stayed close; kept hope alive.  I guarded her from those whose sole concern was getting their hands on what little money we had.  I spoke up for her when an emotionally clumsy male nurse made her cry.

Since I’ve been back on my own, my fidelity has been to friends and to my charges.  Some get it; some don’t.  I have a friend, whom I have at times regarded as my best friend, who has adopted a distance, ostensibly for reasons of our differences in spirituality, which are in truth, basically semantic.  I respect that distance, and stay away.  Most of my friends, even the most emotionally needy, know  full well where my loyalties lie.

I spent this evening, with a few such people, in the comfort of devotional drumming.  We used Baha’i Scripture and prayers for this, but there are many traditions.  Here is the Indian drummer, Sivamani, accompanying a Hindu woman in song.

The Fast: Day 1


March 2, 2018, Prescott-

Every year, from March 2-20, until I reach the age of 70, my practice is to refrain from food and drink, between sunrise and sunset.  The purpose is both physical and mental cleansing, which is something that could benefit anyone.  Of course, if I am traveling long distances, engaged in strenuous work or become ill, the Fast gets modified somewhat.

Each of these nineteen days will feature a post that deals with spiritual matters- attributes and such, that help us meet challenges.

The first of these is trustworthiness.  I haven’t always been deserving of trust.  Last night, I dreamed of someone whose trust I broke, a few years back.  In the dream, my charge was to deliver some mail to this person’s office, whilst she was, ostensibly, not there.  I had a key to the office, which was to be returned to a third party, after the delivery.  When I made the delivery, I saw the top of the person’s head, over a divider.  I silently handed her one of the parcels, and left the others on a table in the front of the office.  No words or gestures were exchanged, and I went on my way, delivering the keys to the third party, as planned.

Quirks and perceived needs can, and do, impinge on trustworthiness; so do skewed perceptions.  Divided loyalties can enter into the matter, as well.  The fact is, however, that once trust is broken, it can seldom, if ever, be wholly restored.  There are those who have broken my trust, and those, like the aforementioned, whose trust i have broken.  With one forgiving exception, of them are in my life anymore.

Going forward, my choice is to pursue every single encounter with a person, or group, very carefully.  Trust is like glass.

Billy Graham


February 21, 2018, Prescott-

He was a staple of my Catholic father’s television fare,

whenever he aired a Crusade, in the evening.

He was a subtle influence on me, as well,

bringing Jesus the Christ to my heart,

in a personal way.

Years later, he went on a crusade of a different sort,

trying to win back souls for Christ,

from the ranks of Baha’is.

Still more years later,

when I had found Baha’u’llah for myself,

he realized that there were many

paths to the Realm of the Father.

He only wanted to see Heaven.

Now, he is on his way.

Bless you always,

Reverend Mr. Billy.

Deja Vu?


February 2, 2018, Prescott-

Today being Groundhog Day, the film with Bill Murray as a somewhat sisyphean character, forced to repeat his experiences over and over, comes to mind.

Yesterday, I reached a point in my current study of business, where I was reminded, somewhat sharply, of what happened when I overreached, nine years ago.  A good night’s sleep, however, underscores the differences between then and now.  To make a long story short, my spirit guides are not struggling with their own issues anymore, and I get a much more positive, “can do” message, from them and from my life coaching team.

I have mentioned that this year seems to be one of giant steps.  There have been a few already, and more are coming.  I will be more specific, later today and as things happen.  Work awaits, though, so I wish all a fine Friday!

Monster, Part II


January 16, 2018, Prescott-  Dolores O’Riordan had a powerful voice, calling out those who exacerbated tension and bloodshed, in her Irish homeland and appealing to those who take the feelings of loved ones lightly, to think deeply about their choices in life.

I’m thinking of her,now, in the wake of an untimely passing and on the heels of some very harsh judgments, flying in all manner of directions.  Dolores both made rash judgments and received quite a few, over a 25-year public career.  She made amends for the former and absorbed the latter, as many of us do, in similar straits.  I find her music compelling, regardless.

The ego leads us into horrible choices, even among those who have dedicated their lives to the welfare of humanity.  I have made plenty of my own, and I know of many others who have, as well.  In each case, there are people who could come forward and point fingers.  We’ve seen quite a bit of that, lately, and in most cases, the accused could probably stand to make amends, if they have not already been made.

The ego leads us, also, to set conditions on our love for others.  Christ says:

Matthew 5:43-48
“You have heard people say, “Love your neighbors and hate your enemies.” But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you. Then you will be acting like your Father in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. And he sends rain for the ones who do right and for the ones who do wrong. If you love only those people who love you, will God reward you for that? Even tax collectors love their friends.

If you greet only your friends, what’s so great about that? Don’t even unbelievers do that? But you must always act like your Father in heaven.”  (CEV)

Baha’u’llah says

“Now is the time to cheer and refresh the down-cast through the invigorating breeze of love and fellowship, and the living waters of friendliness and charity.”
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 7) , and, through His eldest son and interpreter, ‘Abdu’l-Baha, He admonishes us:

“The greatest gift of man is universal love – that magnet which renders existence eternal. It attracts realities and diffuses life with infinite joy. If this love penetrate the heart of man, all the forces of the universe will be realized in him, for it is a divine power which transports him to a divine station and he will make no progress until he is illumined thereby. Strive to increase the love-power of reality, to make your hearts greater centers of attraction and to create new ideals and relationships. First of all, be ready to sacrifice your lives for one another, to prefer the general well-being to your personal well-being. Create relationships that nothing can shake; form an assembly that nothing can break up; have a mind that never ceases acquiring riches that nothing can destroy. If love did not exist, what of reality would remain? It is the fire of the love of God which renders man superior to the animal. Strengthen this superior force through which is attained all the progress in the world.”
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 111-112)

Satan, the personification of the  dark aspects of the ego, is clever, as the human mind is clever.  It can get a person to do and say the most heinous of things, even in the name of the Lord.  It can make a person fear those who mean no harm, and embrace those ready to apply a dagger to the back.  It can lull a soul into complacency, whilst raising the hackles of another, leading to lost spiritual growth, in each of them.  It leads to disease, contention and strife.  Yet, this is not some one of the supernatural dark forces, being summoned, (though these do exist).  It is the power of a person’s own ego, or of the collective ego, manifest in a community.  The time is now, to work at channeling our egos towards love, and away from self-aggrandizement.

I have said enough, for now, and will have more to say about love, in an upcoming post.




January 8, 2018, Prescott-

He was like Gibraltar’s rock,

working day and night

to secure his future,

and those of countless others,

for he was a man of finance,

and a man of principle.

I’d have trusted him

with the account I am building.

He loved a sacred space,

not far from where he

and his beloved

had lived

for over two decades.

He worked the grounds

of that sacred space.

I had the honour

of working alongside him.

Now, he has taken his flight,

after a life lived powerfully.

She was in the worst  of pain,

the sort that only a flood of love

can even come close to healing.

Those closest to her,

not knowing her level

of suffering,

tended to other matters.

She tended to her matter,

and took her flight,

after a life lived tortuously.

We know not what

is in store for us.

We can only live

in as much of the Light

as we can absorb.

We can only absorb

as much of the Light,

as the size of our lens,

will let in.

Our lens is

only as big,

as the heart that

it mirrors,

and the lenses

off  which

it reflects.

So, I honour

a forthright,

valiant man.

So, I feel pain,

for a tortured



Year End Reflections,Part 1: Proud


December 23, 2017, Prescott-

Before heading down to Phoenix, to take part in a Baha’i conference, I want to take a few minutes and look back at those who have made me proud to know them.

My dear friend’s daughter has finished high school, a semester early, with honours and is embarking on two life efforts, dear to her heart.  L is a living, breathing miracle.

My second cousin, the only granddaughter of a paternal uncle, who passed away this year, has finished college, Magna Cum Laude, and will walk the stage, next May.  S is also a living, breathing miracle.

My son, Aram, has made rank, every year since he entered the Navy.  He has overcome many obstacles to get where he is, and will face down whatever gets in his way, because that’s what he knows.

Both of my living brothers are taking life by the horns, and building on already stellar careers, to see major projects through to completion.

My sister, a peacemaker, is ever working to keep her beautiful extended family on an even keel.  Every one of her children is a success, in his/her own way.

My blessed mother continues to show us the way forward, and to send any pre-conceived notions about aging, up the creek, where they belong.

My sister-in-law, in Florida, has taken on the often thankless task of caregiving, which I know, firsthand, means “putting your own life on hold”, while realizing that this is an integral part of everyone’s life.

My co-workers, standing with me, in helping our students face both their own disabilities and the possibilities that life still has to offer, have provided the most rewarding base of operations I have realized, in nearly 20 years.  I look forward to the rest of this amazing year, R and MF.

A Baha’i friend, here in Prescott, mostly singly and alone, is building a spiritual foundation for several children and youth, in her neighbourhood.  J is another living, breathing miracle.

Lastly, my dear friend, you have stood by me and are always encouraging me to go forward.  You are one of the greatest miracles of all, not willing to just survive, but to take leaps of faith, for the sake of your youngest child, to serve your Lord and to let Him carry you forward.  I will be in your corner, always, precious M.

This has been a year of depletion, of replenishing, of sustaining and of thriving.  It has been a year of loss and of gain, of discovery and of reminders.  Those mentioned above, and countless others, have helped make it an unexpectedly blessed one.


Thoughts on A Thanksgiving Just Past, and On Black Friday


November 24, 2017, Prescott-

Why do I wake in a state of love?

Perhaps it’s because the alternative

is nothing but a debilitating illusion.

I was treated to a fabulous Thanksgiving Dinner,

courtesy of my hard-working,

always conscientious

best friend,

and her younger daughter,

this daughter’s boyfriend

and BF’s middle sister.

I had the pleasure of

helping out,

before and after the meal.

Helping always makes

me feel a part of the lives

of those around me.

Thanksgiving has its

roots in our primal need,

as creatures,

to praise our Creator.

The Konda Reddy people,

of southern India,

praise their Lord,

when the wild mango ripens.

The Zuni, of western New Mexico,

offer thanks, each December,

by blessing the houses that

have been built or renovated,

during the course of the year.

The wise among us,

do similar things,

once a year.

They also offer thanks,

first thing in the morning

and last thing at night.

Thanksgiving is not

imposed by conquerors.

It is a gift of the heart.

The sweep of commerce,

leaving little sacred,

in its wake,

screams “DEALS!”,

even before one’s

heavenly meal,

is a thing of the past.

Again, today,

I think I’ll pass.