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)

Who is Layli and why do we seek her?

What is a Seeking Layli Event?

Sunday, 30 August 2009

...lost in the wilds of remoteness ..

Nay, the manifold bounties of the Lord of all beings have, at all times, through the Manifestations of His divine Essence, encompassed the earth and all that dwell therein. Not for a moment hath His grace been withheld, nor have the showers of His loving-kindness ceased to rain upon mankind.    (Baha'u'llah)
We'll take Baha'u'llah's word about the "showers of His loving-kindness" but we can vouch from mere personal experience that more earthly and wetter showers have not recently ceased to rain down upon Tasmania.  As a consequence, all the rivers run and the waterfalls roar.
As previously advertised, on Sunday September 6th we're going to Lost Falls.  We meet as usual at the car park at 12 noon.
This is a longer trip than usual for most of us.  First get to Canpbell Town.  Then, just at the south end of the town take the road signposted 'East Coast Via Lake Leake'  About 40 km down this road, after Lake Leake and Kalangadoo, there is a cross road.  To the right, well signposted, is the road to Lost Falls while to the left, not well signposted, is the road to Meetus Falls. The signposted suggests Lost Falls reserve is 4kms from the junction and we are sure that Forestry Tasmania wouldn't lie to us.  The reserve may start 4km from the junction  but the car park you are headed for is a couple of kilometres further so if you were planning a pleasant walk factor that in.  Of course Lost Falls is also accessible from the East Coast.
The track from the crossroads is dirt and not a particularly good dirt track at that.  It will I am sure not cause problems for anyone used to driving on gravel but if, for any reason, you wish to come but don't wish to drive off tarmac e-mail us here and we will arrange to meet you at the crossroads where there is plentiful parking.
The reserve claims to have basic facilities - very basic I would say.  Here they are.  note - no toilets.

It also according to the website has spectacular views of ...... well of the inside of a cloud when we visited but we are assured on other days it is views of the Freycinet Peninsula and surrounding coastline.

The walks to the various view points are short and easy from where as well as the Freycinet Peninsula you get distant views (possibly through a cloud) of the waterfall.  There is a steep, scrambly, though not long path down to the river and presumably close-up views of the falls.
That's it.  It's a long trip to a little known reserve and falls but one well worth visiting.  Plenty time to take in Meetus falls as well.
There will be the usual shared devotionals and picnic.
......wonderful scenes of the world of nature, which bewilder the minds of men, are manifest. Lofty mountains, deep canyons, great and majestic waterfalls, and giant trees are witnessed on all sides,    (Abdu'l-Baha)


Layli 1 Seekers 0

He sendeth down the rain from Heaven: then flow the torrents in their due measure, and the flood beareth along a swelling foam. (The Qur'an (Rodwell tr)
As the day approached we had such high hopes. Many of us, with no real evidence, have a gut feeling that Layli surely lives somewhere amid the forests, cliffs, and wild tundra that run from Liffey up to Pine Lake. With the river running so high would she not be at the waterfall?
But, as the day dawned, the rain was still pouring down. Doubts set in. What exactly is "due measure" and where would the torrents be flowing? Fears were expressed that they'd be flowing gleefully down the dirt track that is the road up from Liffey to the waterfall. The Bureau of Meteorology didn't help with promises of thunderstorms, winds and more rain not to mention vague 'Flood watches' and 'Minor Flood warnings'. The phones hummed and, by mutual consent, the event was informally canceled. One rather glum organiser set off to park as near as possible and warn off anyone who had not heard of the cancellation.
Before you accuse us of cowardice remember the words of God:
And it shall be no crime in you to lay down your arms if rain annoy you, or if ye be sick. The Qur'an (Rodwell tr)
Rain had certainly annoyed us.

However, the organiser found things not as bad as feared. The track was no worse than wet, slippery, pot-holed and dangerous so no problem if taken slowly. Though no Layli seekers were found there were rather a lot of Tasmanians up there seeking a waterfall in spate and who is to say that is not, in its own way, just as spiritual a quest?
And the Liffey was running white:

And the falls were full:
Even the little tributaries which normally trickle drop by drop were miniature waterfalls:
And then a quite place in the moist forest for prayers and and a somewhat lonely picnic.
So the great game of spiritual hide and seek continues. In the title of this post we have recorded a clear win for Layli - we did after all cancel the search. But more by accident than design, the waterfall was visited, prayers were said, the celebratory picnic was eaten. Did we possibly snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat?

And then perhaps the search for Layli is a search which can never succeed. Perhaps it is its own reward. After all what will we do if "haply" somewhere we should find her? Chat about the weather? Ask her what kind of music she likes? Below are two quotes from Baha'u'llah highlighting different aspects of the search for the Divine.

It follows, therefore, that every man hath been, and will continue to be, able of himself to appreciate the Beauty of God, the Glorified. Had he not been endowed with such a capacity, how could he be called to account for his failure? (Baha'u'llah)
Every attempt to attain to an understanding of His inaccessible Reality hath ended in complete bewilderment, and every effort to approach His exalted Self and envisage His Essence hath resulted in hopelessness and failure. (Baha'u'llah)

And heres one that combines both views:
How can I claim to have known Thee, when the entire creation is bewildered by Thy mystery, and how can I confess not to have known Thee, when, lo, the whole universe proclaimeth Thy Presence and testifieth to Thy truth? (Baha'u'llah)

The rules of this game are beyond my simple mind but Baha'u'llah has a recognition even of our confusion.
Ye shall be hindered from loving Me and souls shall be perturbed as they make mention of Me. For minds cannot grasp Me nor hearts contain Me. (Baha'u'llah)

Sunday, 9 August 2009

the clouds have rained down their rain, and the streams have flowed,

..... the clouds rain their bounty upon men, and the earth bringeth forth its fruits. (Baha'u'llah)

Well the clouds have certainly rained down their rain on Tasmania in the last few weeks and as a consequence the streams have flowed and the waterfalls have been spectacular.
We're going to take in a couple of them in our next two trips for surely not even Layli could resist the temptation of a mighty waterfall in full flow?

On Sunday August 23rd we are going back to Liffey Falls. This is probably Northern Tasmania's premier waterfall - some would say the best in Tasmania. We will meet at the top car park at 12 noon from where there are several options for walks though most people would choose the fairly short walk down to the falls and back through a magical wet rain forest.
It is also possible to walk down to the falls and continue beside the river to the lower car park or to walk up the river from the meeting place and after a rather strenuous hour ir two come out at a scenic lookout on the Lake Highway. Both these options would be easier if we can arrange a car to meet you at the end which should be possible.
The usual bring your own and/or share picnic and devotions will be held.

Most people probably already know their way to the Falls but if not there are directions here as well as a good description and for those of you who have forgotten what they look like

After Liffey, we will be starting a new regime. We will go seeking Layli regularly on the first Sunday of each Month. Dates and venues for the next couple of expeditions will be
Sunday 6th September - Lost Falls (near Lake Leake)
Sunday 4th October - Mount Roland

Further details will be provided in due course.

The inspiration to go seeking Layli at waterfalls came from a private expedition two of our members made to the Lemonthyme area. If you doubt that The streams are running and the falls full here's a shot of Bull Creek from behind Bridal Veil Falls.

And of course it wouldn't be the seeking Layli blog at this time of year if we didn't include some fungi. These two are from Lemonthyme area.

Hope to see you at Liffey.

Friday, 7 August 2009

From every direction the signs have been manifested.

"In this journey the seeker becometh witness to a myriad changes and transformations, confluences and divergences. He beholdeth the wonders of Divinity in the mysteries of creation and discovereth the paths of guidance and the ways of his Lord. Such is the station reached by them that search after God, and such are the heights attained by those who hasten unto Him." (Baha'u'llah)

Well we did attain the heights of Mount Direction though it would be stretching a point to say we hastened. It was a hard slog getting up to the semaphore station for those of us who are older or more arthritic and coming down as they say can be worse.

Hopefully, we did as we usually do on these searches behold something of "the wonders of Divinity in the mysteries of creation".
Unfortunately the semaphore though in working order was not actually working so we were unable to utilise to send a direct message to Layli.

Having made it to the top we found a table where we sat and said and sung our devotions.

From the map, we had assumed that from the top we would have rather spectacular views of the Tamar river and estuary. However it turned out that everything was veiled by the forest and we caught only glimpses of the river through the trees. still the earth was beautified by it.
"I entreat Thee by Thy Name through which Thou didst cause the dawn to appear, and the winds to blow, and the seas to surge, and the trees to bring forth their fruits, and the earth to be beautified with its rivers, that Thou wilt aid all them that are dear to Thee with both Thy visible and invisible hosts." (Baha'u'llah)

There was a reminder of how ephemeral all our projects here on earth are. The semaphore was built in the 1830's and no doubt the builders thought they had made a significant and lasting contribution to improving communications and bringing the people of the world closer together. Within fifteen years the new telegraphs had made it obsolete and it was decommissioned and the substantial quarters built for the staff allowed to fall into ruins.
"Fleeting are the riches of the world; all that perisheth and changeth is not, and hath never been, worthy of attention, except to a recognized measure. " (Baha'u'llah)

It was a lovely day, hard work climbing and descending and another chance to ponder each created thing. "Indeed, O Brother, if we ponder each created thing, we shall witness a myriad perfect wisdoms and learn a myriad new and wondrous truths." (Baha'u'llah)

Reaching the bottom of the mountain, we had our picnic, conversation, and at least one of us collapsed on our back in exhaustion and gazing upwards pondered those wonderful created things - the trees.