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Melanie King Dollie

Melanie is a Californian Baha’i and creative at heart with a background in printmaking and cultural anthropology. She has lived in Latin America, Israel, and Southern China, and is currently living in Sydney, Australia, where she stays productive by working on painting, illustration, and web design projects.

9 Things I Didn’t Know About Obligatory Prayers

As Baha’is, most of us are familiar with the main aspects of the Obligatory Prayers: that there are three to choose from, and that one is to be recited, individually, each day. The three prayers, generally referred to as the short, medium, and long Obligatory Prayers, each have specific directions which accompany them, but all should be preceded by ablutions (washing of the hands and face) and are recited facing the Qiblih (Point of Adoration, i.e. Bahji, Akka). The significance of the Obligatory Prayers has been discussed in another Baha’i Blog post here.

As a junior youth, I knew that when I reached the age of 15, I would start to say my Obligatory Prayer every day. But it wasn’t until my late teens, when I read the Kitab-i-Aqdas (The Most Holy Book) for the first time, that I found out about the following exemptions and clarifications, and they added to my understanding of the importance and centrality of the Obligatory Prayers to our lives. Continue reading

Raising the Quality of Our Systematic Action: Reflection and Planning

Participants of a Study Circle in Preah Vihear, Cambodia (Photo credit: Baha'i World Centre)

All of us feel the sadness and pain that the peoples of the world are experiencing in this day and age. Yet as Baha’i’s, we know we must not lose sight of humanities’ bright future, focussing our energies on contributing our part to building a flourishing spiritual and material civilization. In it’s 2015 Ridvan message, the Universal House of Justice wrote: Continue reading

You Don’t Need to be an “Artist” to Integrate the Arts into your Study Circle

Shadow puppet show in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. (Photo: Baha'i World Centre)

This article is for those of you who either feel “terrified”, or maybe just simply “at a loss” when it comes to integrating the arts into your study circles. You know that we are urged by the Ruhi Institute to “include artistic endeavours in the activity of every study circle”, and that we should not think of these endeavours as “entertainment or as an extracurricular activity…but as an essential element enhancing the spiritual development of the participants”.

But how do we do this when we don’t feel necessarily musical, artistic, or dramatic? Continue reading