Musician, Pianist, Composer, Vocalist, Artist

9 days of inspiration!

Our family recently had the privilege of visiting the Bahá’í World Centre for a 9 day Pilgrimage!  Spending time in the holy places where Bahá’u’lláh resided after His exile from the Ottoman empire in 1868 was a priceless experience.  Praying and meditating in the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh was extremely nurturing and for the first time I felt at complete peace – a moment I will never forget.  Most of all, the joy I felt throughout the 9 days was all-encompassing and experiencing the Pilgrimage with my family was such a blessing.

Meeting friends from around the world was so joyous and it was wonderful to see such diversity.  Among the countries represented were: Canada, United States, South Africa, Hong Kong, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Tanzania, France and Australia.  We were especially happy to see so many families with youth and children – a lovely gift for our children to be able to bond with others their age.  A wonderful surprise on our Pilgrimage was finding out that my first cousin (who I grew up with) and her family happened to be in the same Pilgrim group as we were.  You can imagine how joyous and moved we both were knowing we hadn’t planned it and yet we were able to experience the special Pilgrimage together.

Something that struck me throughout those 9 precious days was how much beauty and order permeated everywhere and in all forms – from the gorgeous tapestry in the gardens to the beautiful decor so lovingly placed in each room for the Pilgrims to see.

As promised, I had the pleasure of reciting prayers in the Shrines for friends and loved ones all over the world.  It brought me great joy to say them as I know not everyone is able to go on Pilgrimage.  One of my favorite prayers to read in the Shrines is the Long Healing prayer.  As I read it, I dedicated each paragraph to a person on my prayer list, especially those who have asked for healing prayers.

Here’s another blog post I wrote in 2009 titled, ‘A Spiritual Reunion’,  about my 3 day visit to this very special place.

Below are a few photographs from our special visit.  Enjoy!

The Shrine of the Báb at night. So beautiful!

The Shrine of the Báb at night. So beautiful!

 

My family standing on the balcony of the Mansion of Bahji. The garden is like a tapestry.

My family standing on the balcony of the Mansion of Bahji. The garden is like an exquisite tapestry.

 

At the Ridvan garden. One of my favorite photographs of our Pilgrimage. My family looks so radiant.

At the Ridvan garden. One of my favorite photographs of our Pilgrimage. My family looks so radiant.

 

Another favorite photo... father and son walking arm in arm with the sunlight. An inspiring moment.

Another favorite photo… father and son walking arm in arm with the sunlight at their back. An inspiring moment.

 

At the Ridvan garden. The bench where Bahá'u'lláh would sit and greet the friends

The bench where Bahá’u’lláh sat in the Ridvan garden

 

Bahji - the exquisite garden that surrounds the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh in Akka.

Bahji – the exquisite garden that surrounds the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh in Akka.

 

Walking in the gardens. Love watching my husband and son having deep conversations

Walking in the gardens. Love watching my husband and son having deep conversations

 

'Abdu'llah Pasha - The original stairs of the house in 'Akká that 'Abdu'l-Bahá rented in 1896 and that served as His residence until He moved to Haifa in 1910

‘Abdu’llah Pasha – The original stairs of the house in ‘Akká that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá rented in 1896 and that served as His residence until He moved to Haifa in 1910

 

Just before our special visit to the Archives building which holds many of the most sacred items within the Bahá'í Faith. One of my favorite days of Pilgrimage

Just before our special visit to the Archives building which holds many of the most sacred items within the Bahá’í Faith. One of my favorite days of Pilgrimage

 

My sweet first cousin who just happened to be in the same Pilgrim group as we were!

My sweet first cousin who just happened to be in the same Pilgrim group as we were!

 

Our Pilgrim group B with friends from diverse parts of the world - such a beautiful group

Our Pilgrim group B with friends from diverse parts of the world – such a beautiful group

 

Such a pleasure to be able to say prayers for friends and loved ones inside the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh

Such a pleasure to be able to say prayers for friends and loved ones inside the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh

 

My talented friend and photographer, Glenn Franco Simmons, allowed me to use his photo to create this gift for friends I prayed for...

My talented friend and photographer, Glenn Franco Simmons, allowed me to use his rose photograph to create this gift for friends I prayed for…

13 Comments

  1. Thank you..thank you for sharing your beautiful experience and journey with us. For me watching your amazing photo’s touched me so deep that I can stop the tears from coming. This is a sign that my soul is longing to be closer and closer to our beloved.

    Your story also inspired me to make more effort to make plans and apply for pilgrimage!

    Thank you! You really have a beautiful family, lovely people!

  2. Pilgrimage, full of joy and peace

  3. Thank you for sharing this Elika! So awesome that your family got to do this pilgrimage together, and I’m happy that it was such a deeply touching experience for you. I need to get back there too, soon ツ

  4. Dear Elika, You have such a radiant and loving soul that reading the story of you and your family’s pilgrimage and looking at the beautiful photos, brought tears to my eyes. Bless you for your wonderful service to the Faith in so many ways, including the music! With warmest love, Sylvia

  5. Sweet Sylvia, thank you for your words of love and kindness. It was a very special visit and I have been trying to capture its essence. Writing about the Pilgrimage was a gift for and brought so many wonderful memories.

  6. Thank you Earl. It was amazing to be there as a family and to watch the children experience the Pilgrimage as young adults. So precious! I hope you get to go very soon. :)

  7. Thank you dearest Cherida for your words of love. I’m so glad to hear that after reading the blog you are feeling inspired to apply for Pilgrimage. I would highly encourage you to do so. It is such a precious opportunity and blessing.

  8. Beautiful blog Elika joon. It was wonderful meeting you and your family on pilgrimage. It was An amazing pilgrimage albeit Ryan and I had to miss a few of the events due to his health but I was so grateful that he was even able to make it on pilgrimage since we had to cancel our last pilgrimage dates due to his illness. I hope to see you all again. Visit us in Texas when you can. Would love to have you which reminds me you forgot to mention United States on your blog 😉

  9. What a lovely experience for your family. I enjoyed reading about the Pilgrimage and viewing the lovely photographs. The gardens are beautiful.

  10. Anijoon – It was such a pleasure meeting your beautiful family and thank you for the kind invitation to visit you! I can’t believe I forgot the most obvious country on the list! I have since edited the post. Thanks for the reminder. Lots of love to you and the family.

    Thank you dear Lisa for your sweet note. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  11. It was a true blessings to be on pilgrimage and then to be on pilgrimage with you my dear Elika! I will cherish this experience and in the years to come will look back on it and get comfort and inspiration.

  12. So true – a great blessing Ladanjoon to be in spend time with you in such sacred surroundings. :)

  13. Dearest Elika
    What precious memories for you and your family at Pilgrimage. Especially reiunion with your first cousin.

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