Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tjoughts on Entering an Event

In my last blog entry, I indicated that I was going to write about how Abdu'l-Baha would be expected to respond, when entering a party. What would he notice?

Well, back in 1912, Abdu'l-Baha did get invited to a dinner in New York City. While walking to the place of that dinner, Abdu'l-Baha noticed that the hosts had obtained a special bowl. They had filled it with water, so that their guest could wash his hands in that bowl.

Being a humble man, Abdu'l-Baha did not like that idea. He ducked into a small bathroom and washed his hands there. Then when he got to the dinner, he explained that he had just cleaned his hands, and he invited the other guests to use the water in the beautiful bowl.

Sue Chehrenegar

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Thoughts on New Ideas

What did Abdu'l-Baha think about new ideas? As a writer who has made Abdu'l-Baha the main character in one of my stories, I should have an answer to that question. Abdu'l-Baha invited the contribution of new ideas and new information. In fact, he liked to demonstate his awarness of such information. He would often include mention of newly discovered facts in his talks.

Abdu'l-Baha believed that God wanted man to "bring forward an ever advancing civilization." That is why he applauded announcement of previously unmentioned ideas and previously undiscovered information. By the same token, he encouraged all thinkers and inventors to come up with peaceful and humane ways to utilize any new invention.

The above two paragrahps focus on the second of nine questions that the editor of Writers Digest thinks each writer should ask about his or her main character. The third question is this: When you walk into a party, what do you notice first? In my next blog entry, I will use a story about Abdu'l-Baha to answer that question.

Sue Chehrenegar

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thoughts on My Cheracter

Abdu'l-Baha is the main character in my anthology story. A newsletter that I just received from Writer's Digest encourages writers to have their main character answer nine different questions. I am going to present those questions here in my blog, and then give an answer that would match with the lifestyle of Abdu'l=Baha.

This is the first question: "How do you learn best?"

As the character Adu'l-Baha I learn best by communing with God. I pray frequently throughout each day. While in prayer, I am focused on the messages that God has sent to us through his various manifestations. Those messages help me to discover a solution to any problem.

Now I do not overlook written information about new scientfic findings. I read that material as well. However, I try to match what I read in present day publications with what I read in the Scriptures and other Holy books.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thoughts on Adversity

I just wrote a short essay, in response to this question: "How do you overcome adversity." I drew heavily from the writings of Abdu'l-Baha. My essay should appear among the comments on this web site:

Sue Chehrenegar

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Thoughts on a Documentary

Yesterday I read about a new documentary that was created by two young filmmakers. They had been asked to use the movie camera as a way to look at Los Angeles through the eyes of scriptures. In response, they made the film called "Finding God in the City of the Angels."

What impressed me most about their film is what they had discovered while making it. One of the filmmakers, Jennifer Jessum said this to an reporter from the Los Angeles Times: "[Each of the faith groups] had different names to idenify things, but they were saying the same thing. Everbody had something about being good to other people."

In my work with various religious groups, I have found that each of the world's faiths has something similar to the golden rule. Jessum's observation confirmed my own realization.

I enjoyed the one comment made by Simon Joseph, the other member of the filmmaking pair. Joseph said, "It was a tightrope to walk between unity and diversity." Back in the summer of 1990, I taught a one week course on unity and diversity at a Bah'ai summer school in Los Angeles. I recall trying to explain the concept of unity and diversity to five and six year olds.

I remember taking them out on the parking lot and letting them play with bubbles. I talked about how every bubble was different, but every bubble came from the same soap and water solution. I wonder if any of those children, now 25 and 26 will view this new documentary.

Sue Chehrenegar

Monday, June 7, 2010

Thoutghts about a Video

Yesterday a friend of mine sent me this link:

After I viewed this I wanted to share it with all my readers. This clip was shot in 1906 from a cable car in San Francisco. Since Abdu'l-Baha visited San Francisco in 1912, I feel that this clip provides a sense of what he saw there.

We are fortunate to have this clip, which was taken just four days before the big earthquake of 1906. The film had been sent to New York for processing.

Sue Chehrenegar

Monday, May 31, 2010

Thoughts about a Controversy

Today a lot of questions are being raised about Israel's decision to attack a Turkish ship, a ship headed towards the Gaza Strip. This blogger does not plan to take sides in that controversy. She does, however, plan to write about another time when a Turkish ship visited the land that we now call Israel.

This took place in the early part of the 20th Century, when that land was called Palestine. Abdu'l-Baha and his family lived across the bay from Palestine. Turkish authorities heard that Abdu'l-Baha had purchased some land in northern Palestine, and was building some momuments to the Baha'i Faith on his land.

The Turkish government sent a ship to examine what changes had been made on Palestinian soil. After making their inspection, the ship headed back across the bay. Abdu'l-Baha's friends and family were afraid that the Turkish authorities would put Abdu'l-Baha under arrest.

Abdu'l-Baha went to his room and prayed. Eventually the ship changed course, and headed back to Turkey. An incident in Turkey demanded the attention of the men on board the ship. They abandoned their plan to confront Abdu'l-Baha. Today Baha'i buildings and monuments add to the beauty of Haifa, Israel.

Sue Chehrenegar