April 24, 2013

a tranquil heart

“The greatest bestowal in the world of existence is a tranquil heart, and it is impossible for man to obtain a tranquil heart save through the good pleasure of the Lord.  That is, a man may so adorn the temple of his being with lofty attributes and philanthropic deeds as to be pleasing at the Threshold of the Almighty.  This is the only Path and there is no other Path.  My point is this:  Let all your thoughts, your ideals, your aims and purposes revolve day and night around one common object – that is, to live in accord with the good pleasure of the Lord.  Then all the doors of felicity will be opened before your faces, you will become successful in all your undertakings, and you will be confirmed in all your accomplishments.  The basic principle is the good pleasure of the Lord:  and the good pleasure of God is obtained through a tranquil heart, and the tranquility of the heart is only gained by living in accord with the Divine Teachings and Exhortations.  When a person attains to this station he is contented and peaceful.  Then he will become prosperous in all affairs and enter into Paradise.”
 ~ Abdu'l-Baha, Star of the West, vol.16, p.401

garden view outside the Shrine of the Bab
just hearing the word 'tranquil' lends to a calmness of my being.  it is the one virtue of my soul that seems to stretch as i breathe in deeply and embrace the moments as they come throughout the day.  it is also the one virtue that is almost nonexistent in moments when life seems to bombard me with chaos and the shortcomings of human character.  i cherish those moments when i am riding the wave of tranquility while all else around me is crashing and stumbling, arguing and deceiving, hurting and hating.  but it is not easy for me to always ride those waves..

tranquility of heart is a state of being that comes and goes in daily life.  it is a balancing act to maintain that deep serenity as life's challenging circumstances and happenings oftentimes easily disturb it.  i love this quote because it brings tranquility to my consciousness in a way of having the power to choose how to respond to the tests of life rather than react to them.  i feel empowered to draw upon the virtues latent in my soul and use them as my spiritual swords to combat the negative forces that are affecting me.  this quote strengthens my ability to remain still while moving, to remain focused while disturbed, and to remain calm while upset.  

all i truly desire in this life is God's good pleasure.  the difficulties, injustices and sufferings of life are meant to strengthen our souls as we practice using our spiritual powers rather than being defeated by the enslavement of our material traits -- anger, frustration, impatience, etc.  the more i can fix my gaze, my perspective and my vision on attaining the good pleasure of God, the more i will tap into remaining calm, considerate, courteous, forgiving, patient, long-suffering, etc. because i am ever aware of God's desire for how i can best be His servant.  this is best demonstrated as a parent but even in our safe-haven of a family, i lose my balance and succumb to my lower nature and express anger and frustration..

i carried this quote in my heart all day yesterday while my children were at school.  i was preparing myself for the moment when a conflict may arise between them.  i was determined to demonstrate tranquility; i wasn't going to let it be a wave i might miss riding.  my consciousness was so heightened, so aware of needing to be patient, wise and compassionate that when they started yelling at each other about something they both felt very strongly about, i was able to keep that inner peace.  i listened.  i let them vent their anger without becoming upset at their anger and hurtful words.  i asked them to silently reflect.  i encouraged the best in them.  i waited patiently for them to let the anger dissipate.  after a while (that seemed long but worth it!) they had sincerely apologized and the storm was over.  the calm resumed and soon became joy again.  they needed me to listen and give them the strength they have within them to look at their own shortcomings and not be stuck in the rut of blaming the other person.  the more i can demonstrate a tranquil heart in our family life, the better i am able to manage the greater struggles of disunity and disintegration that face humanity -- and certainly humanity needs to be healed by the powerful force of a tranquil heart.
Create in me a pure heart, O my God, and renew a tranquil conscience within me, O my Hope! Through the spirit of power confirm Thou me in Thy Cause, O my Best-Beloved, and by the light of Thy glory reveal unto me Thy path, O Thou the Goal of my desire! Through the power of Thy transcendent might lift me up unto the heaven of Thy holiness, O Source of my being, and by the breezes of Thine eternity gladden me, O Thou Who art my God! Let Thine everlasting melodies breathe tranquility on me, O my Companion, and let the riches of Thine ancient countenance deliver me from all except Thee, O my Master, and let the tidings of the revelation of Thine incorruptible Essence bring me joy, O Thou Who art the most manifest of the manifest and the most hidden of the hidden!
~ Bahá'u'lláh

3 comments:

  1. One of my favourite quotes had for years

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  2. One of my favourite quotes read it every now and then love it

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  3. The rest of the quote is missing their is more

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