Category Archives Baha’i Life

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)

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

Am I Racist? A Personal Reflection

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Have you ever wondered if you’re racist? Having grown up in a Baha’i family, I was raised with Baha’u’llah’s words that the human family is like the fruits of one tree, the leaves of one branch, and the waves of one sea. Like many others, my family moved from country to country in order to assist with the needs of the Faith and I grew up with these words of Abdu’l-Baha ringing so true:

The diversity in the human family should be the cause of love and harmony, as it is in music where many different notes blend together in the making of a perfect chord. […] Think of [people of different races] as different coloured roses growing in the beautiful garden of humanity, and rejoice to be among them.

Racism with a capital “R” was not something that I really experienced in my daily life; it wasn’t a struggle that I owned or one that affected my family. Recently, however, I have noticed that more subtle forms of prejudice and racism are becoming mainstream topics of conversation. Concepts such as white privilege, cultural appropriation, the racist roots of some common English words and phrases, Islamophobia, and xenophobia are really hot topics. Continue reading

I Love the Baha’i Faith, I Just Don’t Like Statistics

(Photo: Baha'i World Centre)

(Photo: Baha'i World Centre)

There has always been a special relationship between the Faith and numbers. Nine pointed star. Ninety-five Allah’u’Abhas. Nineteen Letters of the Living and subsequently nineteen terraces.

Despite this, I’ve noticed that many of us still seem to internally resist when it comes to using numbers to advance the Cause. Whether it’s setting numerical teaching goals in a cluster, being remunerated for full-time service, or calculating how many home visits were made in a cycle – putting a number next to a spiritual undertaking can feel counter-intuitive for many, or even wrong. But is it? Continue reading

The Power of Our Thoughts

The Power of Our Thoughts

It is often said that our thoughts shape our reality, and that what we think, we become. But is there really a link between our thoughts and our reality?

Does meditating on visions of future success, for example, really do anything to address the very real obstacles that you face in your daily life?

Some people are firm believers that positive thinking works wonders, while others are more skeptical. Continue reading

Different Religions, Same Golden Rule

Different Religions Same Golden Rule

While it is often easy to focus on the differences between the various religions of the world, there are definitely many similarities which unfortunately often get overlooked. Beyond the many similarities relating to customs and rituals, such as fasting and prayer, many of these similarities are based on what could be classified as the “core values”, or the “essence” of these religions, rather than the “details”.

These similarities are very evident in the teachings of these different religions when it comes to the subject of how we should treat others, so I thought it would be interesting to list the “Golden Rule” of what each religion says about how we should treat others. Here’s just one quote from a short selection of major world religions in alphabetical order: Continue reading

7 Ways We Can Practice Being Grateful

(Photo: Baha'i World Centre)

(Photo: Baha'i World Centre)

Abdu’l-Baha suggests we should thank God a hundred-thousand times for being enabled to serve His Cause:

In short, thou shouldst thank God a hundred-thousand times for having been confirmed and strengthened in obtaining such a great gift [servitude]! Know thou the value thereof and consider that its price is highly appraised.

But what’s the best way to do it?

Here’s a list of seven things I think we can do to practice being grateful: Continue reading

Consultation: A Perspective

(Photo courtesy: Baha'i World Centre)

(Photo courtesy: Baha'i World Centre)

Consultation is a distinctive and unifying method of decision-making that is used by Baha’is whether at home, among friends, or while serving on committees or institutions at any level.

Baha’u’llah stated:

No welfare and no well-being can be attained except through consultation.

Shoghi Effendi also said that:

…consultation, frank and unfettered, is the bedrock of this unique Order.

Continue reading

The Importance of Service in the Baha’i Faith

Photo: Baha'i World Centre

Photo: Baha'i World Centre

In the Baha’i Faith, the concept of “service” plays an important role, and we believe that service to others gives meaning and purpose to life.

Abdu’l-Baha says:

Service to humanity is service to God.

In the Baha’i Writings, there are many aspects to service, and there are just as many ways to serve as there are ‘servants of God’, so let’s break it down and reflect on the idea of service as it relates to the Faith: Continue reading

Raising Children and its Spiritual Effect on Marriage

Raising Children and its Spiritual Effect on Marriage

For Baha’is, the purpose of marriage is to create a divine institution that gives birth to the next generation of teachers who will arise to further proclaim the Cause of God. As Baha’u’llah says:

Enter ye into wedlock, that after you another may arise in your stead.

There are, of course, many factors that influence whether and when to have children, including education, financial stability, career or physical ability. A letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice states:

They should realise, moreover, that the primary purpose of marriage is the procreation of children. A couple who are physically incapable of having children may, of course, marry, since the procreation of children is not the only purpose of marriage. However, it would be contrary to the spirit of the Teachings for a couple to decide voluntarily never to have any children.

Continue reading