Mia’s Wish – the Month of ‘Alá (Loftiness)

A year ago Adam and I were finalizing our preparations to move across the globe to Haifa, Israel.  It just so happens that this transition in our personal lives coincided with the Bahá’í Fast—a 19-day period (2-20 March) dedicated to spiritual reflection and preparation for the new year (21 March) in which Bahá’ís abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset.  One year later, while gearing up for this special time of year, I was asked by a dear friend to consider posting one photo per day from the Holy Land (Akká and Haifa, Israel) on Instagram—Akká and Haifa are points of Pilgrimage for Bahá’ís. It was Mia’s wish to start each day of the Fast with a little piece of the Holy Land.  Feeling grateful for the possibility of nourishing my spirit by seeking Beauty, I agreed to take on the project.  Thank you dearest Mia for the opportunity, during this sacred time, to transcend my physical hunger by feeding my soul.

I hope you all find joy in taking this brief journey with me.  Happy Naw-Rúz!

© Lindsey Lugsch-Tehle 2014
Day 1
“prayer and fasting is the cause of awakening and mindfulness and conducive to protection and preservation from tests….” -‘Abdu’l-Baha

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© Lindsey Lugsch-Tehle 2014
Day 2
“For this material fast is an outer token of the spiritual fast; it is a symbol of self-restraint, the withholding of oneself from all appetites of the self, taking on the characteristics of the spirit, being carried away by the breathings of heaven and catching fire from the love of God.” – ‘Abdu’l-Baha

© Lindsey Lugsch-Tehle 2014
Day 3
“Happy is your condition for you have executed the divine command; and have arisen to fast in these blessed days.” – Abdu’l-Baha

© Lindsey Lugsch-Tehle 2014
Day 4
“For this physical fasting is a symbol of the spiritual fasting, that is, abstaining from all carnal desires, becoming characterized with the attributes of the spiritual ones, attracted to the heavenly fragrances and enkindled with the fire of the love of God.” – ‘Abdu’l-Baha

© Lindsey Lugsch-Tehle 2014
Day 5
“Let my food, O my Lord, be Thy beauty, and my drink the light of Thy presence…” -Baha’u’llah

© Lindsey Lugsch-Tehle 2014
Day 6
“For every sincere soul who has a beloved longs to experience that state in which his beloved is … This is one wisdom of the wisdoms of fasting …” -‘Abdu’l-Baha

© Lindsey Lugsch-Tehle 2014
Day 7
“Fasting is the cause of awakening man. The heart becomes tender and the spirituality of man increases. This is produced by the fact that man’s thoughts will be confined to the commemoration of God, and through this awakening and stimulation surely ideal advancements follow …” -Abdu’l-Baha

© Lindsey Lugsch-Tehle 2014
Day 8
“O Divine Providence! As I am abstaining from bodily desires and not occupied with eating and drinking, even so purify and sanctify my heart from the love of anyone save Thyself, and shield and protect my soul from corrupt desires and satanic qualities, so that my spirit may commune with the breaths of holiness, and fast from the mention of all else besides Thee.” -‘Abdu’l-Baha

© Lindsey Lugsch-Tehle 2014
Day 9
“This is the hour, O my Lord, which Thou hast caused to excel every other hour, and hast related it to the choicest among Thy creatures. I beseech Thee, O my God, by Thy Self and by them, to ordain in the course of this year what shall exalt Thy loved ones. Do Thou, moreover, decree within this year what will enable the Day-Star of Thy power to shine brightly above the horizon of Thy glory, and to illuminate, by Thy sovereign might, the whole world.” -Baha’u’llah

© Lindsey Lugsch-Tehle 2014
Day 10
“Know thou that religion is as heaven; and fasting and obligatory prayer are its sun and its moon. We entreat God, exalted and glorified be He, to graciously aid everyone who acteth according to His will and good-pleasure.” -Baha’u’llah

© Lindsey Lugsch-Tehle 2014
Day 11
“Verily, I say, fasting is the supreme remedy and the most great healing for the disease of self and passion.” -Baha’u’llah

© Lindsey Lugsch-Tehle 2014
Day 12
“Fasting and obligatory prayer are as two wings to man’s life. Blessed be the one who soareth with their aid in the heaven of the love of God, the Lord of all worlds.” -Baha’u’llah

© Lindsey Lugsch-Tehle 2014
Day 13
“All praise be unto God, Who hath revealed the law of obligatory prayer as a reminder to His servants, and enjoined on them the Fast that those possessed of means may become apprised of the woes and sufferings of the destitute.” -Baha’u’llah

© Lindsey Lugsch-Tehle 2014
Day 14
“The fasting period (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. Its significance and purpose are, fundamentally spiritual in character.” -Shoghi Effendi

© Lindsey Lugsch-Tehle 2014
Day 15
“Thou seest, O God of Mercy, Thou Whose power pervadeth all created things, these servants of Thine, Thy thralls, who, according to the good-pleasure of Thy Will, observe in the daytime the fast prescribed by Thee, who arise, at the earliest dawn of day, to make mention of Thy Name, and to celebrate Thy praise, in the hope of obtaining their share of the goodly things that are treasured up within the treasuries of Thy grace and bounty.” -Baha’u’llah

© Lindsey Lugsch-Tehle 2014
Day 16
“We beseech God to assist His people that they may observe the most great and exalted Fast, which is to protect one’s eye from beholding whatever is forbidden and to withhold one’s self from food, drink and whatever is not of Him.” -Baha’u’llah

© Lindsey Lugsch-Tehle 2014
Day 17
“Grant, O my Lord, that this fast may become a river of life-giving waters and may yield the virtue wherewith Thou hast endowed it.” -Baha’u’llah

© Lindsey Lugsch-Tehle 2014
Day 18
“These are, o my God, the days whereon Thou didst enjoin Thy servants to observe the fast. With it Thou didst adorn the preamble of the Book of Thy Laws revealed unto Thy creatures, and didst deck forth the Repositories of Thy commandments in the sight of all who are in Thy heaven and all who are on Thy earth. Thou hast endowed every hour of these days with a special virtue, inscrutable to all except Thee, Whose knowledge embraceth all created things. Thou hast, also, assigned unto every soul a portion of this virtue in accordance with the Tablet of Thy decree and the Scriptures of Thine irrevocable judgment.” -Baha’u’llah

© Lindsey Lugsch-Tehle 2014
Day 19
“This is the hour, O my Lord, which Thou hast caused to excel every other hour, and hast related to the choicest among Thy creatures. I beseech Thee, O my God, by Thy Self and by them, to ordain in the course of this year what shall exalt Thy loved ones. Do Thou, moreover, decree within this year what will enable the Daystar of Thy power to shine brightly above the horizon of Thy glory, and to illuminate by Thy sovereign might, the whole world.” -Baha’u’llah

© Lindsey Lugsch-Tehle 2014
Naw-Rúz
“Erelong shall ye bear witness that the lights are streaming forth, the banners of the realm above are waving, the sweet scents of the All-Merciful are wafted abroad, the hosts of the Kingdom are marching down, the angels of heaven are rushing forward, and the Holy Spirit is breathing upon all those regions.” -‘Abdu’l-Baha

For additional imagery, visit Nineteen Day and Nineteen Months, to take a walk around the globe with some fantastic photographers.

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