… then we come across one sentence which I believe is the most important in the
whole of The Hidden Words. He says, “Rejoice with the joy of your own heart.” It is something that we have utterly forgotten. The western world has forgotten this for centuries. The art of meditation, the art of contemplation, the art of dreaming within oneself, and Bahá’u’lláh wants us to start doing this again. First, it means that there is nothing in world to make you happy, outside of your own heart. If you possess the whole world, the treasures of the world, the pleasures of the world, they may be momentary pleasures, but they will be bitter sadness throughout your life. They will never bring you any happiness. People are wrong to change the places of their entertainment and enjoyments from New York to Paris, to Rome, to Africa, to Australia. They are searching for it, while they are carrying it along with themselves. He says, “Go deep into thy heart.” There is a realm in your heart. There it will spring up with the water of joy, a constant stream of joy will be flowing from your own heart. Nothing will stop it and nothing will be able to give it except yourselves. This is done by spiritual exercise.
(Hand of the Cause Faizi, http://bahai-library.com/faizi_hidden_words_commentary)
‘Abdu’l-Bahá tells the story of one of the prisoner in ‘Akká, who had been with Bahá’u’lláh in the Most Great Prison. He said that he had a small rug, a samovar, one cup and a teapot. He said that every afternoon he would sprinkle water somewhere and sweep and then spread this rug, bring his samovar and let the water boil. He would say, “Listen to it. How it boils. It’s better than anything, better than anything else in the world. The weather is most pleasant.
(referring to the weather of ‘Akká, which was the most stinking in the whole world).” Then he would pour tea for himself. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said that he held the cup, looked at its color and said that never was there any tea as beautiful. Every day his tea was better than the previous one. And he would drink it with all sorts of happiness and gratitude and praise to God for one cup of tea, which he had made. And he was full of prayer as he was drinking, full of praise, of joy and happiness, because it was something springing up from his own soul.
(From Hand of the Cause Mr. Faizi)
I myself was in prison forty years—one year alone would have been impossible to bear —nobody survived that imprisonment more than a year! But, thank God, during all those forty years I was supremely happy! Every day, on waking, it was like hearing good tidings, and every night infinite joy was mine. Spirituality was my comfort, and turning to God was my greatest joy. If this had not been so, do you think it possible that I could have lived through those forty years in prison?
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 111-112)