To celebrate Baha’i Blog’s 7th birthday, we’ve published a post on our top 10 articles of the year, and our top 10 image posts of the year, and now it’s time to list our 10 most popular audio tracks of the year.
At Baha’i Blog we produce our own original audio content, like this dramatized reading of E. G. Browne’s meeting with Baha’u’llah, and we also share curated audio content from the online world (always adhering to copyright laws of course).
In this top 10 countdown, we list the top 10 audio tracks based on the number of plays and downloads from Naw-Ruz 2017 to Naw-Ruz 2018. So let’s get on with the countdown starting from number 10:
This beautiful song by a wonderful group of youth who call themselves ‘JYSEP Goodna’, is a part of Baha’i Blog’s Studio Sessions series, where we invite people into a studio to sing and record a song based on the Baha’i Writings. This song was filmed and recorded in Brisbane, Australia, February 2016, and is based on the following quotation taken from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha: “At all times do I speak of you and call you to mind. I pray unto the Lord, and with tears I implore Him to rain down all these blessings upon you, and gladden your hearts, and make blissful your souls, and grant you exceeding joy and heavenly delights…”. Click here for more information and to listen to this song.
In this episode Rainn has an awesome conversation with his wonderful Christian neighbors Sara and John Barton. Sara is an author and likes writing poetry and hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains, usually at the same time, and she serves as the University Chaplain at Pepperdine University in California, where she oversees worship services and pastoral care in the community. John is Director of the Center for Faith and Learning at Pepperdine University where he also serves on the faculties of the Religion and Philosophy Division and the graduate program in Social Entrepreneurship and Change. John also speaks and conducts research in the areas of African philosophy, ethics and philanthropy, Christian studies, interfaith dialogue, and Christian/Muslim interactions. The three of them talk about the station of Christ, the importance of service to others, and why interfaith dialogue and learning about religions is important in society today. They share the importance of being an active part of wider communities while maintaining their Christian convictions and commitments. They also tell us about the nonprofit they helped start and what their eight years in Uganda taught them. They discuss the importance of the community over the individual, prayer and meditation, why they love working with college students and have hope for the future. Sara even shares a wonderful poem she wrote just for the Baha’i Blogcast as well. Click here to listen to this episode on iTunes, Spotify, or Soundcloud.
In this episode of the Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson, Rainn interviews his good friend, Baha’i actor and filmmaker Justin Baldoni. Among many other things, Justin is currently starring in the hit TV show “Jane the Virgin”, and in this podcast, they talk about being a new dad, personal hardships and putting your trust in God, making videos about death and creating content to be a source of healing, the Shout! app and social media, redefining masculinity, and celebrating birthdays for the homeless. Click here to listen to this episode on iTunes, Spotify, or Soundcloud.
In this episode Rainn speaks 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 they talk about his musical influences and what inspired him to pursue a career in music. He tells Rainn what his songs are about and how his faith inspires his music and everything he does. They 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. Click here to listen to this episode on iTunes, Spotify, or Soundcloud.
In this episode Rainn sits down with Dr. Ruha Benjamin, a mother, a scholar, an author and associate professor in African American Studies at Princeton University, who writes and speaks about science and technology, race and inequality. Ruha and Rainn talk about racist robots and the use of technology, the relationship between unity and justice, the Marshall Islands and the example of her parents, Star Trek, marriage as a soul growing machine, and how bringing about social change also needs to consider the spiritual reality of things. We also look at the importance of independent investigation of truth and the need to challenge our own assumptions, plus the wonderful example of Abdu’l-Baha and how He challenged the status quo. Click here to listen to this episode on iTunes, Spotify, or Soundcloud.
In this episode Rainn interviews professional life coach Susan Gammage from Canada. They talk about how she became a Baha’i, why she became a life coach, and how she uses the Baha’i Writings in her work and everything she does. They delve deep into the idea of ‘sin’ and ‘shame’ and she explains why she believes “it’s the stories that separate us and the reactions that unite us”. They talk about her very popular blog SusanGammage.com and all of the books she’s written and working on. They discuss the spiritualization of money; workaholism and other addictions; what she’s currently reading, and how forgiveness is the key to solving so many things within us. Click here to listen to this episode on iTunes, Spotify, or Soundcloud.
In this episode Rainn interviews his Baha’i friend Michael Penn, a Clinical Psychologist and Professor of Psychology at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in the US. They talk about how he became a Baha’i and the cool story of how he and his wife met. They discuss beauty and being our authentic self; hope and hopelessness; racism and how each one of us can overcome it; how the human being is the most sensitive signal detection system in the known universe – yep that’s right! and they talk about the book he’s working on, and how philosophy is the bridge between science and spirituality. Click here to listen to this episode on iTunes, Spotify, or Soundcloud.
In this episode Rainn is in Toronto, Canada at the lovely home of award-winning architect Siamak Hariri. Siamak is the architect of the Baha’i House of Worship for South America, located in Santiago, Chile, and he talks to Rainn about his family and how he was first drawn to architecture, some of his thoughts and inspirations behind the design of the temple and its relationship with the community, and how architecture can touch the heart. They discuss the interplay between material and nonmaterial, where things like proportion and composition are enveloped in mysticism, ideas relating to prayer, and how things like composition and refinement are important and how they’re connected to our higher aspirations. Siamak also shares some of his understandings of the Baha’i Faith, some of his favorite Baha’i Writings, and the importance of shaping our thinking in a way that looks to the future and affects generations to come. Click here to listen to this episode on iTunes, Spotify, or Soundcloud.
In this particular episode Rainn wanted to do something a little different, as right now, millions across the globe are celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha’i Faith, and he wanted to honor this very special occasion. Rainn explains that above his front doorway is a handwritten “Greatest Name”, drawn by the son of Hand of the Cause Mr. Samandari as a gift to his grandparents. Ah he walks into his house, he thinks about the fact that as a baby (albeit a giant, pale one), he met Mr. Samandari who traveled to Seattle in 1967, and he was the last living person who had spent time with Baha’u’llah. Rainn wanted to write about this remarkable connection: He was once cradled as an infant by the guy who met THE GUY! That’s how young our Faith is. How connected we all are. Rainn explains: “As Baha’is we strive to be in discussion and dialogue on shared topics of interest with like-minded folks, so I really wanted to write a warm, funny essay that every person could connect to. It was imperative that it be published on a site where there was a good deal of interfaith dialogue and I was drawn to Patheos.com for this reason, and you can find this essay here. I’ve decided to record the essay for this episode, and I just wanted to add that I think it’s crucial that Baha’is seek to share our history, views, humor and stories with as many different communities as possible, in as many different ways as we can. Engage in deep dialogues with open-hearted souls with the goal being the dialogue itself, not ‘conversion’.” Click here to listen to this episode on iTunes, Spotify, or Soundcloud.
In our very first episode of the Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson, we kicked things off with the founder of Baha’i Blog Naysan Naraqi (myself), and Rainn interviewing each other. I had just landed in Los Angeles after a 16 hour flight, went and bought a microphone, and then headed over to Rainn’s place to do the interview. We then realised that many of the interviews may have to be done via Skype, so I drove to a friends house and did the interview remotely so we could test out the gear. In this episode, we talk about Baha’i Blog, education for young girls in Haiti, world citizenship, books we’re reading, being a Baha’i in Hollywood, and some of the things we’re working on within our personal lives. Click here to listen to this episode on iTunes, Spotify, or Soundcloud.
Well, that’s the list of Baha’i Blog’s 10 most popular audio tracks of the year!
We hope you’ve enjoyed what Baha’i Blog has to offer so far, and subscribe to our email list so you can receive weekly updates of all the cool content we’re posting.