|The Scottish Bahá’í, No.37 – Autumn, 2004||scots abroad – ruhi|
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|Walking Together on a Path of Service|
|from Margaret Paton|
|It was a very special time in our lives, walking on this path together. Friends gathered
from all over Scotland to participate in this unique journey, the first of its kind – an
intensive Ruhi training course held over nearly six weeks during July and August. The
venue was perfect and, yes, we did walk on many evenings after supper among the rich
fields with their golden crops and the distant views of a rosy horizon. The beauty of our
surroundings in Fyvie at the home of Ian and Lorrie Fozdar, Sophia and Markie, and with
the help of Joanie, Lorrie’s mum, became a parable of why we were there, to reap that
abundant harvest of souls which is waiting for us in our beautiful land. |
Some of us, under the guidance of our beloved tutors, Sathia, Pearl, Soroosh, Carrie, Andrew and Sholeh, walked the whole way from Book 1 to Book 7, others of us undertook those parts of the journey most appropriate to our circumstances. With a new mixture of faces each week, some old, some new, of course there were continual adjustments to be made, laughter to be shared, physical and spiritual tests to be overcome; yet these only helped to intensify the spiritual energy released from our unified activity. For two weeks we had two groups, one in Fyvie and one in Insch, yet we were still able to achieve a sense of unity among us from a distance and met together on several occasions. It was not easy. No real achievement ever is. Everyone made some kind of sacrifice but the gain was always greater than the loss.
This journey was a first for Scotland in that all the books available have now been studied as a sequence with an increase in tutors at all levels. It could never have been done without the help of many friends who engaged in menial tasks, who worked long hours and who made so many sacrifices. To name them all would be too much as would be a personal recognition of all who participated. Yet there are always those moments of inspiration when you know you will wait a long time before you feel that particular warmth again, that knowledge that there, among the truly special, was a star that beamed so brightly it could only herald a new age. There were three special instances of this kind. Firstly was the love which gave us not simply a lodging place, but a home, one which glowed with a complete sense of abnegation, a total surrender of all that was theirs for us. We will never forget the Fozdar family and all the physical and spiritual nourishment that issued from them. There were also two other stars whose light will never fade, Sally-Ann and Maggie. Each of them came to us with enormous courage. Each burned so brightly for the time they stayed in Fyvie that their light will continue to shine as an inspiration to all of us who studied with them and who witnessed their sacrifice and the joy with which it was offered.
From a personal viewpoint I attended this course as an act of obedience. From the very first moment, however, I realised that this was no duty to be performed as a lifeless task. Much has been said about the Ruhi material but the only way to appreciate fully the inspiration which guides it is to experience it for yourself with an understanding of how it feels, how it works and how it truly caters for all backgrounds, cultures and inclinations. Memorization, telling stories, analysis, searching questions about the way we live our lives and the way we teach, broke down the barriers. If I had doubted its value as a channel of the Holy Spirit I only had to look at the faces of the children who sat entranced and sang with shining eyes, ‘My love is My Stronghold’. Now, once again, back in the teaching arena with the cares of life about me but with the help of the Institute, I know even more vibrantly than before that this is true.