Category Archives Interviews

Our Seven Families – A Book About Interwoven Social Worlds

In Our Seven FamiliesElaine McCreary describes invisible human worlds so clearly that you can see them for yourself. She does this with an easy-flowing narrative through scholarly content in a manner described by Dr. Janet Khan in the book’s forward:

Drawing on her experience as a social scientist and on insights derived from a deep study of the Baha’i Sacred Writings, Elaine McCreary offers a fresh perspective on human affairs, revealing new hope and opportunities for action.

This book strikes me as unique, not only in the content it offers, but also in the way it is structured as it moves through seven different worlds that we all live in. Doesn’t that sound fascinating? Elaine agreed to tell us all about her new book, what it explores and how she presents her ideas!

Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

From earliest childhood I was aware of the reality of God, at first as Jesus, then as the presence of a Holy Spirit that was something beyond the Person of Jesus. This conviction about spiritual reality never left me, but as a young adult I stepped out to find God elsewhere and practiced a refined form of Raj Yoga (hatha, bhakti, jnana, and karma yogas) for 19 years, accepting Lord Krishna as an avatar in the same station as Lord Jesus, before finally accepting Baha’u’llah at the age of 42. A complete reading of Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah convinced me that He is indeed the Lord of the Age and His Revelation has indeed unveiled a completely new perception of the world.

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Dreamer’s Sea: A Debut Album by Calla Kinglit

Many of you may have seen or heard of Calla Kinglit from her song on Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions called “No One But Thee” which actually happens to be the most popular song of our Studio Sessions series! Lots of people have been asking her for more in the comments section, and so here it is! I’m thrilled that Calla Kinglit’s debut album, called Dreamer’s Sea, is now available and it includes the studio version of “No One But Thee” as well.

I decided to catch up with Calla to find out more about her and her music, and her debut album:  Continue reading

An Interview with Jean Parker, Host of EBBF’s Podcast Series ‘Discovering How’

My friend Jean Parker is always in the midst of an exciting creative endeavour! She’s currently working on a book about constructive resilience and community economic enterprise, but one project that she recently completed is a podcast series called “Discovering How” for our friends at EBBF. EBBF stands for “Ethical Business Building the Future” and Jean was the host of its podcast series, skillfully curating and weaving together conversations that offer you stepping stones, fresh ideas, and the personal learnings of people who believe that ethical business can and should build the future. There are 17 episodes in all, and I was interviewed for the series, but I thought it was time to turn the microphone around and ask Jean to tell us more about herself and “Discovering How”. I hope you enjoy our conversation – and the podcasts!  Continue reading

The Fashioner: A Book Exploring the Role of the Arts in Building Community

It’s interesting to see Baha’i-inspired book publishing flourishing and covering a wider and wider array of subjects and genres for a growing diversity of audiences. Jenina Lepard, for example, just released a book titled The Fashioner: Reflections on the Role of Music and the Arts in Building a Global Community with a suitably vibrant and eye-catching cover by Misha Blaise  — I know we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover but I totally do when the cover is something I can’t stop looking at!

The Fashioner explores the various ways in which the arts can touch people’s lives by drawing on quotations from the Baha’i Writings, as well as concrete examples of the transformative power of the arts. Jenina discusses a variety of art forms, she looks at the way in which Baha’i artists have applied principles of the Faith to their art, and she shares the ways in which the arts can be used to inspire and enhance core activities.

This is subject close to my heart as Baha’i Blog aims to create, celebrate and explore Baha’i-inspired content, artistic expression and use of media. I was thrilled when Jenina agreed to tell us a little about her book. Here’s what she shared:  Continue reading

Make Me Ready: A New Album by Strong Steep

Strong Steep is a Baha’i-inspired indie folk duo comprised of Alex Balcazar and Kent Hansen. Their latest sweetly simple and catchy album is called Make Me Ready and it features nine devotional tracks (my personal favourite is its title track which I can’t stop humming!). Alex and Kent agreed to share a little bit about their album and I hope you enjoy our conversation:

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Garden of Virtues: A Guess-the-Virtue Book for Kids

I love books and I love reading to my young children so I get positively giddy when a new Baha’i-inspired book for children is made available. Chelsea Lee Smith, who we interviewed about her children’s album At First Light and who wrote a great Baha’i Blog article called What I Really Want for Mother’s Day, has authored a new book called Garden of Virtues. It’s a colourful and playful interactive book about virtues, all about gardening. Chelsea graciously took some time to tell us all about it:

Baha’i Blog: What inspired you to create ‘Garden of Virtues?

I wanted to create an interactive book that would give kids a fun way to quiz themselves on how well they knew what virtues look like in real life situations. Garden of Virtues features ten scenarios with three virtues listed that the kids can guess from, and the answer for each scenario’s virtue comes on the next page. The concept came to me last year when our family took a road trip around Australia in our camper trailer. We stayed in a small town in Western Australia for a few weeks where they had a lovely community garden. Our whole family enjoyed the experience of contributing to the garden so much, and I noticed how many character building opportunities there were while working in the garden. That’s what gave me the idea of creating a virtues book with a garden theme.

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The Ink of Light Baha’i Writers’ Festival

Several months ago I was invited to participate in a one-day festival called “The Ink of Light Baha’i Writers’ Festival” held in May in Brisbane, Australia, about an hour from where I currently live. Unfortunately I was overseas at the time, but I was so excited to hear about this initiative, as it’s the first I’d ever heard of such a festival. As an avid reader and as the editor of Baha’i Blog where we publish thousands of posts and articles, writing is definitely something I’m passionate about!

“The Ink of Light Baha’i Writers’ Festival” was the brainchild of Brisbane photographer and author, Ian Hallmond, and I heard so many great things about the festival. When I returned to Australia, I met up with Ian to find out more about the initiative: Continue reading

Consulting Detective: A Crime Novel by Alan Manifold

A new Baha’i-inspired crime novel has recently been published by my dear friend, Alan Manifold, and to be honest, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of a novel of this kind being released, so I’m so excited to share this everyone!

Alan Manifold is the author of Consulting Detective, a murder mystery set in contemporary United States, and it’s centred around a Baha’i character whose actions are guided by principles and teachings of the Baha’i Faith. We eagerly chatted with Alan about his new crime novel, and here is our conversation:

Baha’i Blog: Hi Alan, can you tell us a little bit about the book?

Consulting Detective is quite possibly the first murder mystery to feature a Baha’i detective. Police Detective Mihdi Montgomery is called to investigate the murder of a Jewish Rabbi in a synagogue in his Chicago suburb. Montgomery works to find the murderer amongst all those with a motive and opportunity. Mihdi questions people to determine how and to what extent they are involved, but he also uses the Baha’i process of consultation with multiple groups to tap into the power of collective experience and wisdom.

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Promised Land: A New Album by Nima Majzoubi

A little over a year ago I had the bounty of visiting the Holy Land for a few days, and while there, I had the privilege of meeting a young man named Nima Majzoubi, who was on Baha’i Pilgrimage at the time. Nima and I spoke about music and his desire to produce an album, and now friends, here it is!

Nima’s debut album is titled Promised Land, and I’m happy to share my interview with him about the music and inspiration behind the album: Continue reading

Nancy Campbell Academy: An Interview with Founder Gordon Naylor

When I was visiting Toronto, I had pleasure of meeting Gordon Naylor, founder and principal of Nancy Campbell Academy, a Baha’i-inspired intermediate and secondary international school in the quaint small town of Stratford, Canada. It’s a small school with a big impact that aims to foster moral development alongside academic achievement and artistic exploration. Curious to find out more about the school, named after the Baha’i dancer Nancy Campbell, I sat down with Gordon to hear more about it:  Continue reading