Thursday, August 21, 2008


Quiet mind
Release grip
Quiet mind
Foot will find ground
Find rest
Questions and answers
Yesterday and tomorrow
Water I’m in
Drop down
Settle down
Universe is mooooooving
My Maker!
Here’s an instrument
On the ocean floor
No one can find it
But Thee!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Chipped Tooth Daniel

Been a bit of time since the last entry. Can't say things have been terribly eventful since then...until this last Sunday! Saturday some folks got together at the Baha'i Center and studied some good Baha’i stuff. We got together again on Sunday for study and practice giving a brief presentation on the Faith. Then we went in different groups for home visits! A home visit is simply a few Baha’is going to someone’s home and talking about the Faith plus supporting the people there. Most of the time the folks are Baha’is, but not always. It’s the perfect thing for Baha’is who have been out of the loop for a while for whatever reason.

Anyways we went on the home visit and it was amazing. I went with So Jeong and Su Jeong, similar names and similarly radiant souls! We went to see a young woman who had embraced the Faith in Vancouver, Canada. She’s been back for 2 years but hasn’t been active in the community. She was so open with us about her story. I was impressed with how trusting she was and how she bared so much of her heart to us! I really LOVE that in people. Partly because I feel I am that way and want to be that way but most time people don’t have time or energy for it or something. Anyways, we talked for a while, getting to know each other and learning about her experiences and her spiritual needs. We prayed together and made a plan to have a devotional gathering at her house soon.

I’ve talked about the Faith a number of times since I’ve been here in Korea and had some good spiritual conversations. I guess since she’s already a Baha’i and because of her open heart I just felt the flow so much more and I really opened up and felt the spirit moving through me! Not sure the last time I’ve felt that way but it’s been too long! I realize now that the spirit of the Cause was moving through me and I was on a more spiritual level, not because of my own talents but because God works on that higher level and draws us up there when we strive to serve Him.

Anyways, something opened up a bit in me then. I feel more spiritual, more energized. I have been doing some of the Be Here Now stuff that I talked about in the last blog entry. I think that helps in serving the Cause a lot. Putting myself forward to serve the Cause has always stressed me out because of my fears about my own weakness, inadequacy, etc. and also other people’s lack of receptivity, not knowing how to go about it, etc. I feel less susceptible to all that now because, for one, I know it’s just negative self talk and doing the work of the Cause is of course bigger than me and not just putting together a lego jeep or something, so of course it tends to be overwhelming. Just do and do and flow and flow and let the ball roll down to the bottom and find rest. I also feel like the Now really is important to me and, for right now, I don’t need to concern myself with the future. there are so many things filling my present now that, if fully pursued, will change the whole scheme as far as plans go.

So, yeah, as I was saying…something opened up in me. I feel this vibration that I’ve felt at times before when I was serving the Cause and in a groove as a Baha’i. It’s funny because on Friday before the workshop and everything I was being my usual lazybones self but I guess I’ve been building up to this and was ready. So what is this vibration? I guess I can say it’s the spirit of the Cause. I can feel a bit of it flowing through me. I feel engaged. I feel the joy of serving Baha’u’llah! I know this is a fragile thing right now and I must nurture it and protect it and keep going forward. God has helped with that by giving me responsibilities for the coming weekend. I’m helping plan Common Ground, which is a discussion group that happens every other week at the Baha’i Center. It’s all in English and more indirectly about the Faith but a good way to connect to people and give them a chance to learn more about the Faith. I’m helping with a translation project earlier in the day. Before Common Ground I’m hanging out with a new friend who will hopefully come to the meeting. I’m even meeting with the Local Spiritual Assembly that day to reflect on the devotional gathering that I and a friend are in charge of. Sunday we’ll have the devotional at the house of the friend we visited. Friday I’m getting together to prepare everything for Common ground with my friend Carter, another American about my age. I’ve wanted to know him better for a while but it hadn’t quite happened. Now I feel like we’re becoming real friends.

The point of spewing all that is that I like being busy with all these things and I want to keep having weekends like this. Things won’t always be handed to me though, so i have to figure out how search out opportunities. one thing that will keep me busier starting in September is taking Korean classes! There are free classes given by a government sponsored institute, the Seoul Global Center, every Tues, and Thurs. from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm. Perfect for my schedule! They have different levels. Mine will be beginner I guess. I’m learning more on my own too. Be Here Now has opened me up to learning Korean and now that I’m starting I’m regaining my confidence and starting to think that the talent I had in learning Chinese will carry over to Korean. If I can find more chances to practice then I’m on my way. Language exchange is also a great way to share the teachings of Baha’u’llah as well.

Sharing the teachings of Baha’u’llah needs to become what my life is all about. The last veil clouding my vision of that truth has been lifted. Work is important. So are sleeping and eating and everything else. Of course those things mustn’t be overly compromised. If I do then I’m not really living a Baha’i life well and am diminished in my ability to share the spirit of the Faith with others. Of course I’ve got to get lots of those things, including sleeping, eating, and work up to spec. They’re on their way for sure.

I don’t even care anymore. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing. It doesn’t matter if people end up not wanting to be Baha’is or if I bark up numerous wrong trees. It doesn’t matter if it takes a long time to get a few results. That’s all the obvious surface stuff. God works in mysterious ways and He’s got a plan for Seoul. I don’t know what it is I don’t need to know. I also don’t need to know how long I’m going to be a part of it. I just know I’m part of it now and I am DARN lucky to be a part of any of God’s plans! I’m just going to keep moving forward at taking steps and letting the ball of my wild mind roll down to find the spot of rest.

Oh Lord please empty me of all vanity and complacency! Purify me from all my worn out idleness! Aid me to think not of myself at all! I know in my heart—and now in more of my mind—that all my concern for myself is only a cause of suffering for myself and others. Wean me from self Lord! Fill me with the spirit of Thy Cause! Help me to not fall back or to either side! Make me a hollow reed from which the pith of self has been blown! Share your healing message through me Lord! Make me able to communicate it, heart to heart!

On Monday I chipped my tooth. Just a little. It was totally stupid. I was trying to close a little metal ring that had been bent out of shape. I couldn’t get it to close that last little bit so I used my teeth. Now I have a prominent tooth that will be chipped for the rest of my life. I can see it very clearly when I look in the mirror but of course I’m looking for it. Not sure if others notice. I was infuriated with myself at first but now I don’t mind so much. The timing of it is interesting. When I look in the mirror I see a slightly different person, a person whose appearance is permanently altered. A different person. A humbler person. I felt a change in me on Sunday. It was the beginning of something that I hope will only keep growing and getting stronger. It was the beginning of a new me. The next day I chipped my tooth a bit and changed on the outside too. When I look in the mirror I want to see a new image, a new heart, a new mind, a new Daniel! A purer, humbler, more dedicated and passionate, more spiritual, more active, less-talk-more-action Daniel!

The old Daniel is gone. Chipped Tooth Daniel is here to stay.