It is related that one day they came upon Majnun sifting the dust, and his tears flowing down. They said, "What doest thou?" He said, "I seek for Layli." They cried, "Alas for thee! Layli is of pure spirit, and thou seekest her in the dust!" He said, "I seek her everywhere; haply somewhere I shall find her."
(Baha'u'llah, The Seven Valleys, p. 6)
Monday, 22 December 2008
Ralph's Falls lie between Ringarooma and Pyengana. The final stretch of road was a community project which took more than half a century to complete. A brief description of the project can be found here:
while excellent photos of the area are available here:
and the official description and directions here
If getting directions using Google Maps, Google recognises Ralph's Falls Track not the Fall's themselves.
We will meet as usual at 12 noon in the car park. Bring some food to eat or share and if you like a willingness to offer devotions in your own style (neither the food or the devotions are compulsory).
A few warnings:
Don't trust the distance when deciding when to set off . The final section is steep, winding, and very rough. It is OK for a conventional car but you have to take it slow.
The area is quite high (hence the views) - we're not expecting any particular bad conditions in January but it might be wise to carry some warmer clothing than you would wear in Launceston.
Call early for lifts!
This is a longer trip than our usual adventures but, for many people it is a holiday weekend and there is much to see in the North East particularly if you feel like throwing a tent or a motel key in the back of the car and making a weekend of it. Some of the attractions of the area are given here:
and of course it is not very far from the Bay of Fires recently nominated by Lonely Planet as the best holiday spot in the world!
Hope to see you there. Here's a couple of photos (phone quality) from out last visit:
We inadvertently put this famous advice to the test at Holwell Gorge but, unfortunately, it didn't work out quite as well as the Sage seemed to expect. We may be being unfair - our bread was not so much 'cast' as accidentally allowed to slide in - also we retrieved it in a few seconds thanks to the eagle eyes of one whose "..eyes[were] ever expectant to witness the wonders of God's mercy and eager to behold the splendours of His beauty". (Baha'u'llah) and another who sped "... over the waters even as they course the land" (Baha'u'llah). Still we can't deny that the bread was quite sodden and useless and its hard to imagine it would have improved by being in the water for many days. Perhaps the advice was not meant to be taken literally. As Baha'u'llah said in another context :
This is the significance of the well-known words: "The wolf and the lamb shall feed together." ......... Besides, of what profit would it be to the world were such a thing to take place?" (Baha'u'llah).
Holwell Gorge is beautiful with a lovely little waterfall above which we had our picnic (fortunately more than one had brought bread) and prayers.
It was a rather well-attended 'Layli' and after our spiritual and material food we were able to split into two search parties. The younger or fitter members set off to complete the walk through the gorge while the older or more arthritic members returned to the cars and drove round to meet them at the other end. Despite the numerous warning messages posted by the path the walk apparently proved relatively easy but no material evidence of Layli came to light.
The particularly pleasant atmosphere gave us hope that she was shedding her influence upon us but sightings remained as elusive as ever.
Canst thou discover any one but Me, O Pen, in this Day? What hath become of the creation and the manifestations thereof? What of the names and their kingdom? Whither are gone all created things, whether seen or unseen? What of the hidden secrets of the universe and its revelations? Lo, the entire creation hath passed away! Nothing remaineth except My Face, the Ever-Abiding, the Resplendent, the All-Glorious.
Perhaps Layli too was part of the entire creation which passed away? Certainly she remains unseen.
Baha'u'llah talks about the revelations of God's Beauty being imprinted on all beings.
The portals of Thy grace have throughout eternity been open, and the means of access unto Thy Presence made available, unto all created things, and the revelations of Thy matchless Beauty have at all times been imprinted upon the realities of all beings, visible and invisible. (Baha'u'llah)
Certainly there was much at Holwell that seemed to be bear the imprint of His Beauty.
".....and the Bridge hath been laid, and the Verses have been sent down, and the Sun hath shone forth, and the stars have been blotted out, and the souls have been raised to life, and the breath of the Spirit hath blown...." (Baha'u'llah)
Saturday, 29 November 2008
On Sunday 7th December at 12 noon we will meet in the car park at Holwell Gorge for another search for Layli. Holwell Gorge is reached from Launceston by following the West Tamar Highway up to Beaconsfield and watching for the signposts. But it gets more complex there are two entrances to the Gorge, the North and the South or as they or sometimes known the East and the West. We are going to the North entrance or to put it another way, the one furthest from Launceston. If you reach the wrong one you will notice there is no Blue Holden Cruze there. You can either:
1. Jump back in your car and head further up the highway to the right one (its not far).
2. Console yourself with the thought "....North and South are both inebriated with the wine of His presence. Blessed is the man that hath inhaled the fragrance of the Most Merciful,..." (Baha'u'llah)
Some photos and description can be found at http://www.touringtasmania.info/holwell_gorge1.htm
Bring something to eat and a willingness to take part in some Devotions.
For further info , a lift, or to offer a lift post a comment here.
Hope to see you at the Gorge.
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
I'm afraid the October 'Layli' was one that God did not deign to create.
Sunday, 21 September 2008
(Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf)
Well, we don't think Baha'u'llah was really talking about trees with this quotation but the White Knights of Evercreech are trees - reputably the tallest white gums in world.
We are heading there on Sunday the 28th September. Meet in the car park at 12 noon bringing some food for a picnic and a willingness to offer some form of devotion to God. Well come anyway even without those prerequisites.
The reserve is described here http://www.forestrytas.com.au/visiting/visitor-sites/north-east/evercreech-forest-reserve and here (with more photos)
Directions from Launceston are given here http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Evercreech%20reserve&rls=com.microsoft:en-au:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7HPAA&um=1&sa=N&tab=wl
If coming from other directions you are basically getting to Mathinna and then following the signs.
The white gum is desribed here
Hope to see you there.
(Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah)
The Prophets and Messengers of God have been sent down for the sole purpose of guiding mankind to the straight Path of Truth.
Occasionally, the veils lift and one catches a tantalising glimpse of one's destination.
If you stick to the path with determination and self-discipline you do eventually reach your destination. But there you are, as far as you can go, at the tree beyond which there is no passing (at least if you observe the regulations for an environmentally sensitive area) and what can you see? Just a few metres in front of the veils. The essence of Pine Lake remains shrouded in mystery. Sometimes reality appears to be an extremely corny metaphor.
(Baha'u'llah, Gems of Divine Mysteries echoing the Quran)
The ground cover obviously has to handle snow and frost. It is no manicured garden but stunningly beautiful in its own way.
And a final different shot of the pencil pines. These are their leaves. As an adaption against the cold their leaves have wrapped around their stems so tightly they appear like maggots rather than foliage.
Thursday, 21 August 2008
Well some people might call the Pencil Pine a barren tree. It's fruit is not edible, it never grows very tall, doesn't offer much shade and to conventional eyes may be rather drab.
But it's a tough little character, growing in high mountain boggy areas where it is often the only thing taller than a sedge and thus plays an important role in the local environment. And to some of us it is perfectly beautiful in its natural montane setting surrounded by the browns and greys of the high plateau. Slow growing and long lived, if you plant one now you may have to wait a thousand years to see it fully mature.
It's actually not a pine. Try http://www.conifers.org/cu/at/cupressoides.htm or http://www.anbg.gov.au/anbg/conifers/athrotaxis-cupress.html for a proper description.
or have a look at the photo at http://www.touringtasmania.info/pine_lake.htm
Better yet, why not join us on Sunday 31st August at 12 noon for our next Seeking Layli devotional picnic? We're heading for Pine Lake (as shown in the above photo) to see if any trace of the Beauty can be found amongst the Pencil Pines. Meet at the car-park as usual.
Pine Lake lies just beside the A5 Lakes Highway on the right hand side as you head from Deloraine to Miena. Google show it here
and gives these directions from Launceston
though some people might find it easier to just go through Deloraine on Highways all the way.
The walk at Pine Lake is billed as one of the sixty great short walks of Tasmania. See http://www1.parks.tas.gov.au/recreation/shortwalks/pine_lake.html
It is an environmentally sensitive area and one is asked not to leave the track so we may have to find another spot for our picnic. We will decide on the day.
And please believe this. It will be chilly, probably cold, and possibly very, very cold indeed. If you don't believe me have a look at the frozen lake"
Hope to see you there. Lifts can be arranged if necessary.
(Baha'u'llah (the embedded quotation is from the Qu'ran) )
Our picnic site was rather more civilised than is our custom complete with barbecues and toilets. It felt rather strange really.
But a short walk reaffirmed that even in the heart of a city (well a decent sized town at least) God's handiwork is still more wonderful than anything we humans have produced. Though, as Baha'u'llah pointed out even our works are really His works. "Through the mere revelation of the word 'Fashioner,' issuing forth from His lips and proclaiming His attribute to mankind, such power is released as can generate, through successive ages, all the manifold arts which the hands of man can produce." (Baha'u'llah)
Monday, 21 July 2008
Baha'u'llah and his companions had no choice but to suffer the cold when they were expelled from the city but we do and have decided to make our July picnic in the relative warmth of the centre of Launceston. (Those who like the wild and chilly places wait for our August trip to Pine Lake). Note however that even Launceston can be a little chilly in July so please do bring the necessary raiment.
We meet as usual at 12 noon on Sunday the 27th July in the car park at Punchbowl reserve. If you are late head up the little path signposted 'Rock Fissure' and you will find us somewhere. The customary picnic, prayers and ceaseless search for signs of the Beauty will occur. Some of us are interpreting 'picnic' to mean 'barbecue' as there are facilities there.
We assume everyone knows where Launceston is but if you are coming from overseas allow at least an hour to get to Punchbowl from the airport. If you need a lift just drop me an e-mail.
The entrance to the reserve is marked 'A' at
and photos can be found at
Hope to see you there
After a peaceful walk through what seems a mildly undulating forest the suddenness with which a dramatic view confronts one is a highlight of the Alum Cliffs experience. Until perhaps 10 metres from the viewpoint there is no real indication that anything other than forest is around. There is a hint in the slope on the right dropping away rather more steeply (though we still managed to have our picnic there). The paths turns sharply to the left and within a few paces one steps out onto a well constructed platform.
And to the left another cliff face contains the red ochre which was prized resource for the indigenous people of the area.
Somehow it didn't seem the place to mutter a few quiet prayers. It seems that one's praises should resound between those great cliffs. So in addition to the Baha'i Prayers which are our staple diet, we let a few mighty 'Om's sound out. At least as mighty as our aging lungs could manage. If we didn't see Layli we hope at least she heard us.
Nature in its essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, the Creator. Its manifestations are diversified by varying causes, and in this diversity there are signs for men of discernment. Nature is God's Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world. It is a dispensation of Providence ordained by the Ordainer, the All-Wise. Were anyone to affirm that it is the Will of God as manifested in the world of being, no one should question this assertion. It is endowed with a power whose reality men of learning fail to grasp. Indeed a man of insight can perceive naught therein save the effulgent splendour of Our Name, the Creator.
Another good day and another spot blessed but we live in hopes of one day finding at least the spoor of Layli.