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The Value of Silence and Fewness of Words

In today’s world and in my culture, it is often the talkative who are popular and at the centre of attention. Those who don’t speak a lot are considered shy and even boring. It is normal that when people are together, they talk the whole time. Any silence is awkward and has to be filled with chatter.

Of course, speech is a marvellous skill. In another article on Baha’i Blog, I explained the high station that language has in the Baha’i Faith.

But here I would like to discuss the place of silence in the life I am striving to live. Words are useful for certain purposes and if used in the right way (as the before-mentioned article highlights), but beyond that, I think they can be destructive.  Continue reading

Vuelo al Reino (Flight to the Kingdom) – by Leonor Dely

“Vuelo al Reino” (Flight to the Kingdom) is a song in Spanish about death performed by Leonor Dely in the lively style of the Colombian cumbia.

Inspired by the Baha’i Writings, the song was written by Enidia Rinaldi, and she shared it with her son Daniel Badi Rinaldi as a gift after she was diagnosed with cancer. Her wish was for people to have a different perspective towards death, that it shouldn’t always be sad, and instead a celebration of life.

Below are the lyrics to the song in both Spanish and English, and you can find out more about the background to the song in Daniel’s own words: Continue reading

Spiritual But Not Religious – Are Millennials Missing the Plot?

BahaiTeachings.org Editor-in-Chief, Payam Zamani interviews an author, an activist and actor Justin Baldoni — to find out why so many reject religion but embrace spirituality.

Payam wanted to know why 72% of millennials consider themselves “spiritual, but not religious” — so he asked an African educational activist, a celebrity actor/producer and an author. All from different walks of life, these three offer frank and honest answers. “Isn’t religion,” one of the panelists said, “only for people who can’t think for themselves?” Join Payam as they explore this big social trend and try to answer the penetrating questions it raises for our future. Continue reading

Among the Sanctuaries: An Album by Amy Stephen

Amy Stephen, a Canadian multi-instrumental musician, singer, composer and choir director, has released an album called Among the Sanctuaries. It features Celtic infused devotional songs inspired by the Baha’i Faith, Christianity and Islam. You’ll also hear the stirring chanting of Amir Haghighi. All proceeds from the sale of this album will be donated to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). I was excited when Amy agreed to tell us more about her album and the inspiration behind it: Continue reading

“O That I Could Travel” by Sarah & Nava

Baha’i Blog’s “Studio Sessions” is an initiative where we invite Baha’is and their friends from around the world to come into a studio and share the Baha’i Writings put to music.

In this Baha’i Blog Studio Session, we’re in Vancouver, Canada with Sarah Nadia Mohebiany and Nava Taghvai who sing “O That I Could Travel” based on a Tablet by Abdu’l-Baha. Continue reading

“O That I Could Travel” by Sarah & Nava [Audio Track]

Baha’i Blog’s “Studio Sessions” is an initiative where we invite Baha’is and their friends from around the world to come into a studio and share the Baha’i Writings put to music.

In this Baha’i Blog Studio Session, we’re in Vancouver, Canada with Sarah Nadia Mohebiany and Nava Taghvai who sing “O That I Could Travel” based on a Tablet by Abdu’l-Baha. Continue reading

Bobo & Kipi: A Fabulous Uplifting Children’s TV Show

Bobo & Kipi is a children’s television show unlike any other. Produced by Susan Sheper, a Baha’i pioneer to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this virtues-based puppet show was an instant hit with my children. They love the characters, the songs, the animated stories and as a parent, I love having a reference point for when we discuss specific virtues such as generosity and sharing, perseverance, and trustworthiness. Although originally produced in French and aired in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 9StarMedia recently released the first season of the show in English for purchase and download and if you’d like a taste, here’s the link to the show’s English trailer. I felt like I was in the presence of a celebrity when Susan agreed to tell me a bit more about the fabulous show!

Baha’i Blog: Hi Susan! Thank you for spending some time chatting with us! To begin could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your work in television?

Continue reading

Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson – Episode 18: Khalil Fong 方大同

Hello and welcome to the Baha’i Blogcast with me your host, Rainn Wilson.

In this series of podcasts I interview members of the Baha’i Faith and friends from all over the world about their hearts, and minds, and souls, their spiritual journeys, what they’re interested in, and what makes them tick.

In this episode I speak with Hong Kong based Chinese soul-pop superstar Khalil Fong, otherwise known in Chinese as 方大同, which is “Fang Da Tong”. Khalil has been very instrumental in bringing an eclectic mix of international styles of music to Chinese audiences, but especially Soul music and R’n’B. Besides creating hit songs, Khalil has been recognized as a positive role model for his upright character. In this interview we talk about his musical influences and what inspired him to pursue a career in music. He tells me what his songs are about and how his faith inspires his music and everything he does. We discuss spirituality in China, being a vegetarian, having his own record label, what really draws him to the Faith, the exciting new project for children that he’s working on with his mother, and the advice he would give to other aspiring artists. Continue reading

Hope, Faith, and the Afterlife – A Talk by Hooper Dunbar

This is talk called ‘Hope, Faith, and the Afterlife’ given by former member of the Universal House of Justice Mr. Hooper Dunbar at the Persian Conference in Toronto, Canada in May, 2013.

In this talk, Mr. Dunbar shares his thoughts and reflections on what makes us different from each other; forgiving and forgetting each other’s mistakes; becoming an instrument for teaching; essential pioneering in contrast to movement in the world; not giving up on ourselves, and the three stages of divine grace. Continue reading

Some Personal Thoughts on Mr. Lample’s “In Pursuit of Harmony between Science and Religion”

As the editor of the Journal of Baha’i Studies, I have the pleasure of reading hundreds of wonderful articles and papers submitted on a variety of subjects relating to the Baha’i Faith.

In the most recent issue of the Journal of Baha’i Studies (volume 26 number 4), an article by current member of the Universal House of Justice, Mr. Paul Lample, really grabbed my attention, as it is, in my opinion, a milestone treatment of the often discussed topic, and attempts to clarify what is intended in the Baha’i texts by harmony (or unity) of science and religion. Titled In Pursuit of Harmony between Science and Religion, this discussion is a highly organized and insightful rendering of a talk given by Mr. Lample on 20 May, 2016 at the Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois, but it is much more than a mere transcript, and I wanted to share some of my personal thoughts on the article, which you can read in full hereContinue reading

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