Meek and lowly, trying to live an articulate life

This morning I woke up with a melody I knew was coming from the “Badasht Vol. 1” album of Eric Dozier and JB Eckl but was unsure which song exactly it was. I put the CD on and it was the first song, “Meek and Lowly”. I’ve highlighted (in bold), the words of the song taken from a prayer by Abdu’l Baha:

O my God! O my God! Glory be unto Thee for that Thou hast confirmed me to the confession of Thy oneness, attracted me unto the word of Thy singleness, enkindled me by the fire of Thy love, and occupied me with Thy mention and the service of Thy friends and maidservants.

O Lord, help me to be meek and lowly, and strengthen me in severing myself from all things and in holding to the hem of the garment of Thy glory, so that my heart may be filled with Thy love and leave no space for love of the world and attachment to its qualities.

O God! Sanctify me from all else save Thee, purge me from the dross of sins and transgressions, and cause me to possess a spiritual heart and conscience.

Verily, Thou art merciful and, verily, Thou art the Most Generous, Whose help is sought by all men.

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

(Compilations, Baha’i Prayers, p. 151)

JB Eckl and Eric Dozier performing at the 2007 DC Baha’i CongressEric and JB performed and talked during the Baha’i Youth Thanksgiving Congress over the weekend on a number of very inspiring topics. One of them was on “living an articulate life”. Eric referred to a dictionary definition of articulate, as being joint, i.e. words and deeds in concert, not alone — here is an expanded list of definitions of articulate on the Web, courtesy of Google:

  • joint: provide with a joint;
  • give voice: put into words or an expression;
  • expressing yourself easily or characterized by clear expressive language;
  • pronounce: speak, pronounce, or utter in a certain way;
  • express or state clearly

As Eric elaborated, the only way to touch another heart with the healing message of Baha’u’llah is by having speech and actions, utterance and deeds, joined. The most eloquent speaker would not have lasting impressions unless the way of life, the character is consistent with the words’ promise.

Say: Beware, O people of Baha, lest ye walk in the ways of them whose words differ from their deeds.

(Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 305)

Another thought shared by Eric that touched me profoundly was the idea that to teach the Faith of Baha’u’llah is to facilitate the reunion of a soul with its Creator, providing a gentle reminder for each seeking soul that despite what a world driven by consumerist culture in its self-indulgent blindness might believe, the true reality is the spiritual reality.

Last but not least, in a lively discussion JB and Eric encouraged us to look for ways to find a way to incorporate music and arts into our devotional practices — from dedicating a special place for prayers and meditation, through singing along a song and lighting a candle or incense, by finding a way that helps us focus on what is spiritual in us, we nurture our soul and draw on the powers of the spiritual realm. They also referred to “Wildfire”, a book by Istvan Dely — the co-founder of Millero Congo, the band of Leonor Dely — dedicated to inspiring a new Baha’i folklore, where local art traditions are incorporated into the devotional practices of Baha’is, bringing the Baha’i message closer to the hearts of more and more people.

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