We all look both ways before crossing the road. We try to save, instead of wasting our money. When someone we love dies, we mourn. Life is very real. We don’t treat it like a game at all. One false move and it’s all over. But should we take life this seriously?
According to Abdu’l-Baha,
this present life is even as a swelling wave, or a mirage, or drifting shadows.
Thoughts are a boundless sea, and the effects and varying conditions of existence are as the separate forms and individual limits of the waves; not until the sea boils up will the waves rise and scatter their pearls of knowledge on the shore of life.
The above wonderful expanded metaphor demonstrates one of the qualities of imagination. But what exactly is imagination and how can it help in Baha’i life? Continue reading
It is becoming more evident that the present economic system is dying out and cannot meet the needs of humanity. The gap between rich and poor is getting wider and wider, which has increased the suffering of the masses. The solutions that can heal it have been ignored. It is time to try a different course of action. We know that the Baha’i economic system will occur when the transformation of man and society has been accomplished and with it man’s awareness of his spiritual station and his destiny are realized. He will have subordinated his animal nature and will therefore behave less selfishly. At this time it is almost impossible to imagine a society that will have spiritually grown to that extent. Since we do not have the Baha’i economic system in place as yet, we may think that we cannot do anything to bring it about and we must wait for its arrival. But by introducing more of the spiritual qualities in our economic lives we are laying the foundation for such a system.
In its Ridvan message of 2010, The Universal House of Justice cautions the Baha’is to avoid “false dichotomies,” or simplifying complex phenomena into either/or propositions. At times, I’ve found that my reflections on my own spirituality can slip into this way of thinking. Am I a good person? Am I sufficiently deepened in the Faith? Am I serving enough?
When Baha’i institutions ask me to give a workshop about marriage or couples come for support… can you guess the MOST requested topic?
You guessed it: consultation. Continue reading
Todd Steinberg, a prison volunteer, and a group of Baha'is celebrated the Twin Holy Days at the Allred Unit prison in Texas, USA with pizza, wings, devotions and stories from the life of Baha'u'llah.
Sharing the Baha’i Faith with prisoners is difficult at times, and talking about it presents its own problems, but several friends asked me to write about my experiences working with inmates who found the Baha’i Faith while in prison.
When an interested soul in prison reaches out to the Baha’i community, usually in the form of a letter written to a Spiritual Assembly, that person’s correspondence is their only live contact with the Baha’i world. Continue reading
Prayer is an essential component of a spiritual life according to the Baha’i teachings, and indeed the teachings of most religions. It provides spiritual sustenance for our souls, which are in fact our true selves. It also shows our devotion to God. That is why it is a daily part of life.
There are three Obligatory Prayers that Baha’u’llah revealed that are known by their length – short, medium and long – and people are free to chose one of these to say each day. All of these prayers express similar thoughts and sentiments to God. The short Obligatory Prayer, although brief, is imbued with immense meaning and power. Continue reading
After the announcement that Bob Dylan had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, the media began quoting people who had listed their favourites Dylan songs.
Fans, and I include myself here, love his lyrics and melodies. We enjoy listening to his often idiosyncratic singing voice, his skill on his instruments, and his excellent bands. His memoir, Chronicles: Volume One, is superb.
If asked to name what I think is the best of the best of his works, I would go straight to one song, one that I believe has a deeply spiritual theme and which resonates with me as a Baha’i. Continue reading
Language is one of the most striking features that distinguishes humans as the beings that we are. It is the tool that has allowed us to achieve so much, both in the world of thought and material development. It is clear that language has immense power. As Baha’u’llah says, “it is through its potency and animating spirit that the people of the world have attained so eminent a position.” But what are the best ways to use, and not abuse, language? Here are a few of my thoughts on Baha’u’llah’s guidance: Continue reading