Physical and spiritual Spring Cleaning

     Physical and spiritual Spring Cleaning

By; Firoozeh Bowden  3/22/2020
 Growing up in Iran, I remember that before every first day of spring (usually March 21) my mom as well as all our neighbors, doing a thorough house cleaning called (Khone Tacoony)”, shaking the house”! I guess that is what western people call Spring cleaning. We all got new clothes and celebrated the new year, and a fresh start.

“The season of Spring can also reflect the spiritual renewal that takes place when Messengers of God appear in stages of humanity’s growth. Just as there was a renewal of spiritual energies released with the appearance of Messengers such as, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Christ, Muhammad and Bahá’u’lláh, so too was there an advance in scientific and social progress.” Ted Slavin

“… just as the solar cycle has its four seasons, the cycle of the Sun of Reality has its distinct and successive periods. Each brings its vernal season or springtime. When the Sun of Reality returns to quicken the world of mankind a divine bounty descends from the heaven of generosity. The realm of thoughts and ideals is set in motion and blessed with new life. Minds are developed, hopes brighten, aspirations become spiritual, the virtues of the human world appear with freshened power of growth and the image and likeness of God become visible in man. It is the springtime of the inner world.” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

First day of spring, Vernal Equinox, is the Persian, Baha’i, Zoroastrian, and many other people’s New Year. The time that everything renews, the dried up and dead branches and leaves are cleared and turned into compost. Little buds start to emerge, showing signs of new life.

“…There is no separation between a thing and its inherent qualities.
It is the inherent nature of things on this earth to change, thus we see around us the change of the seasons. Every spring is followed by a summer and every autumn brings a winter–every day a night and every evening a morning. There is a sequence in all things.

Thus when hatred and animosity, fighting, slaughtering, and great coldness of heart were governing this world, and darkness had overcome the nations, Bahá’u’lláh, like a bright star, rose from the horizon of Persia and shone with the great Light of Guidance, giving heavenly radiance and establishing the new Teaching….” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, page 27

19 Days before the start of spring Baha’is around the world also fast to cleanse their body and soul for the new year. It is a sacred time. It is not an easy time, but a necessary one.

O Peerless Lord! Be Thou a shelter for this poor child and a kind and forgiving Master unto this erring and unhappy soul. O Lord! Though we are but worthless plants, yet we belong to Thy garden of roses. Though saplings without leaves and blossoms, yet we are a part of Thine orchard. Nurture this plant then through the outpourings of the clouds of Thy tender mercy and quicken and refresh this sapling through the reviving breath of Thy spiritual springtime. Suffer him to become heedful, discerning and noble, and grant that he may attain eternal life and abide in Thy Kingdom for evermore.      – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá       Bahá’í Prayers

We know, if there are not small brush fires in the forest periodically to clear the dead and dry wood, there could be catastrophic forest fires that kill and displace a lot of creatures. The universe and mother nature constantly renew and cleanse, so nothing gets stagnate and blocked. That principle also applies to us not only physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. It applies to us as individuals, as well as Humanity as a whole.

I can’t help but wonder if the Coronavirus- COVID19 crisis is like a Spring cleaning, forcing us to review our way of life, our unhealthy habits, the way we do business everyday, and how it’s effecting the Earth and all the other creatures on it.

I wonder if this is natures way of telling us there is a better way to behave. There is a way for all of us to unite and see this world and humanity through the eyes of our higher selves (Soul) and not our Egos. Maybe this will be the way we will realize we are truly one entity and not separate. Coronavirus-COVID19 has shown us, there is only one Human race, and magnified the fact that what happens to one of us will eventually affects all of us. We can no longer pretend to build a wall around ourselves and our loved ones, and forsake everyone else. The only way we will survive is through cooperation, understanding, sharing resources, and ultimately Love.

“Dost thou reckon thyself only a puny form/When within thee the universe is folded?” (Seven Valleys 34) 

Although a lot of us have learned that to stay healthy and germ free, we need to take showers and wash our hands, we still don’t understand that we also need to let go of negative emotions and energetic blockages, through meditation and prayer to stay spiritually healthy. We need to stay open to the flow of the Divine Energy, and allow it to shower us and flow through us, to keep us clear, clean and rejuvenated.

When we stay connected to the source of our lives, we don’t just barely survive, but thrive. This is when we become more joyful, motivated, energized, and inspired. We become more creative and productive. We become more loving and compassionate. When more of us are connected, the community and the society benefits from our service. This is how we can unite and through understanding, patience and love create an ever advancing civilization, making this an abundant, peaceful world for everyone.

O thou seeker of Truth! The realm of the Kingdom is a unit. The only difference lies in this: That when the season of spring dawns, a new and wonderful motion and rejuvenation is witnessed in all the existing things; the mountains and meadows are revived; the trees find freshness and delicacy and are clothed with radiant and bright leaves, blossoms and fruits. In a like manner the preceding Manifestations form an inseparable link with the subsequent dispensations; nay, rather they are identical with each other. Since the world is constantly developing itself, the rays become stronger, the outpouring becomes greater and the sun appears in the meridian orbit.Bahá’í World Faith (‘Abdu’l-Bahá), page 380

By; Firoozeh Bowden  3/22/2020