Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Few More Reflections During the Baha'i Fast

One of the special favors of the Fast is that I place more care and concern into the foods that I eat in the morning and evening. Breakfast is usually a bowl of oatmeal with raspberries, walnuts, and soymilk, but during the Fast I usually also have some fresh fruit which is normally a treat, such as papaya, pineapple, or mango. Dinner, instead of being a hastily prepared meal thrown into the toaster oven or, worse yet, microwave, is usually homemade: a bowl of black bean chili with chipotle and cilantro, a homemade lasagne, a special casserole.

Uploaded on September 15, 2007by hetan_hunt13 licensed under Creative Commons

But this is only a side benefit, an extra bonus. The real bounty of the Fast is an increased attention to reflection and one's inner spiritual life.
"It is essentially a period of meditation and prayer, of spiritual recuperation, during which the believer must strive to make the necessary readjustments in his inner life, and to refresh and reinvigorate the spiritual forces latent in his soul."
-Shoghi Effendi

Each evening, dinner is a celebration, re-learning the simple pleasure of a meal prepared with care for those eating it, and, sometimes, the extra joy of conversation with a treasured friend or friends. Tonight, our Baha'i community is gathering once again for a talk and potluck dinner (I have some gnocchi with tomato sauce and mushrooms baking in the oven).

On the entertainment front, last night I rented "Dan in Real Life" starring Steve Carell. It was a typical lighthearted yet touching and meaningful Steve Carell comedy. One line stood out like a shining star for me "Love isn't a feeling, it's an ability". This reminds me of a similar concept in Tal Ben-Shahar's "Happier", "... the most important and challenging component of a happy relationship is not finding the one right person... but rather cultivating the one chosen relationship".
I think that might be enough reflection for this afternoon. It smells like the gnocchi is ready, and I have a party to get ready for!


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