The Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson

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 other 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. Enjoy!

Episode 1: Rainn and Naysan

In our very first episode, we kick things off with the founder of Baha’i Blog Naysan Naraqi and I interviewing each other. 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 find out more about this podcast.

Episode 2: Tierney Sutton

In this episode, I interview multi-award winning Jazz singer and legend, Tierney Sutton. Tierney has won and been nominated for countless awards, including six consecutive Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Tierney and I talk about how she first got into music, became a Baha’i, why she studied Russian, the power of music and the Holy Word, how Jazz and consultation relate, her favourite Baha’i quote, and what she’s working on in her personal life. She even sings a beautiful prayer for us all as well, so I hope you enjoy this one! Click here to find out more about this podcast.

Episode 3: Justin Baldoni

In this episode, I interview my 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, we 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 find out more about this podcast.

Episode 4: Layli Miller-Muro

In this episode I interview Layli Miller-Muro, founder and Executive Director of the Tahirih Justice Centre, a non-profit which provides free legal services to women and girls who are fleeing human rights abuses. The organization which was founded in 1997 and serves nearly 19,000 women aims to promote a world where women and girls enjoy equality and live in safety and dignity. In this interview Layli and I talk about her aspirations for service as a youth, her early experience as a lawyer, how the Tahirih Justice Centre came about, keeping the Faith at the center of what you do, personal detachment and welcoming tests, engaging with the wider community in your own field, plus a lot more. Click here to find out more about this podcast.

Episode 5: Payam Zamani

In this episode I interview Payam Zamani, Iranian-born entrepreneur and philanthropist living in San Francisco. He tells me about his escape from Iran to the United States, his early religious experiences as a Baha’i, including the discrimination he experienced in Iran, his family’s pioneering journeys in different countries, his humble beginnings, switching careers, becoming a business owner and his desire to find the spirit of service in his work, plus a lot more. Payam is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of One Planet Ops and the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Click here to find out more about this podcast.

Episode 6: Andy Grammer & Aijia

In this episode I interview Andy Grammer and his wife Aijia. We talk about how they met and what married life is like, the evolution of their careers, having a baby in the kitchen, trying to ‘keep it real’ in all that you do, tests and perseverance, songwriting, death and loss, becoming a Baha’i, their favourite Baha’i quotes, plus they even sing Aija’s favourite quote for us at the end of the podcast. Click here to find out more about this podcast.

Episode 7: Steven Phelps

In this episode I interview Dr. Steven Phelps, physicist, philosopher and translator who currently lives Oregon, USA. We talk about his experience growing up as a Baha’i, his studies in physics and philosophy, when his deepest beliefs were challenged, his move to the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa and his experience as a Hebrew, Arabic and Persian translator. We also look into some of the deepest philosophical questions and share thoughts about how the world works, the relativity of religious truth, science and religion, consciousness, and the progress of civilization. Click here to find out more about this podcast.

Episode 8: Leyla & Ryan Haidarian

In this episode, I interview my friends Leyla and Ryan Haidarian who live in Johannesburg, South Africa with their son. We talk about the unexpected way in which they moved to South Africa from Los Angeles, their media company which produces, distributes and develops financing for movies, television shows and creative projects. We talk about the special story of how they met on pilgrimage, about their professional path, their experience in the film industry, and their passion for doing work that has an impact and affects lives. We also look at topics like surrendering to the will of God, the struggle of fame and status, the concept of self, tests and accepting them with radiant acquiescence, and their experience with marriage as a fortress of wellbeing. Click here to find out more about this podcast.

Episode 9: Tom Price

In this episode I interview Tom Price, a Baha’i music composer, director and well-known public speaker currently living in Adelaide, Australia. We talk about his background, his travels, his experience doing music projects for global Baha’i events, and the fascinating story of how he became a Baha’i. We look at topics like the harmony between science and religion, walking and its meditative benefits, spiritual principles and how they apply to the physical world. We also talk about his experience as a public speaker whose talks have become widely shared and listened to around the world, his creative process with music, his daughter’s band Lake Street Dive, upcoming projects, some of the research he’s doing, and some of his current spiritual goals. Click here to find out more about this podcast.

Episode 10: Joy DeGruy

In this episode I interview Dr. Joy DeGruy, an internationally renowned researcher, educator, author and presenter living in the United States. We talk about how she became a Baha’i and her research and work creating and developing the concept of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome. We also talk about how we can affect change in society, especially when it comes to dismantling racism, and we end our discussion speaking about Joy’s love of fishing. Click here to find out more about this podcast.

Episode 11: Luke Slott

In this episode I interview the wonderful Luke Slott, a Baha’i singer and songwriter from Dublin, Ireland who has an equally wonderful head of hair. We talk about his musical background and how he became a Baha’i; how he first started composing music based on the Baha’i Writings and the new album he’s just released during the month of the Baha’i Fast called Year of the Nightingale, which is dedicated to the bicentenary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah taking place this year. He tells us all about the fascinating book he’s currently reading; what personal struggle he’s currently trying to overcome, and what advice he would give to other artists and musicians. He also sings one of the songs from his new album live for us, and shares another one of them at the end of our beautiful conversation. Click here to find out more about this podcast.

Stay tuned for more episodes!

Episode 12: Michael Penn

In this episode I interview my Baha’i friend Michael Penn, a Clinical Psychologist and Professor of Psychology at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in the US. We talk about how he became a Baha’i and the cool story of how he and his wife met; we 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 we talk about the book he’s working on, and how philosophy is the bridge between science and spirituality. Click here to find out more about this podcast.

Stay tuned for more episodes!

Bahai Arts, Stories, Media & Bahai Religion