Perhaps you live in a place like I do where the weather is a big topic of conversation. You could be in line at the market or among friends. No matter the situation: casual talk always begins with a commentary on the weather of the hour and its forecast.
As the Fast draws to a close, Baha’is celebrate the New Year when the vernal equinox begins in Tihran, the cradle of the Baha’i Faith. While snowstorms may still rage in my corner of the world and while any greenery is still dormant and hidden, spring has nevertheless sprung. One of my favourite Writings is:
The Divine Springtime is come, O Most Exalted Pen, for the Festival of the All-Merciful is fast approaching. Bestir thyself, and magnify, before the entire creation, the name of God, and celebrate His praise, in such wise that all created things may be regenerated and made new.
The fast is beautiful, spirituality refreshing and hard…and it can get so much harder when you become a parent! Suddenly you not only have to fast but now you have to a be a good parent at the same time (something that can feel pretty impossible even when we’re fully nourished). This year I’ve given myself seven strategies for fasting with three kids with as much mindfulness, patience and good-humour as possible. Continue reading
Every year during March Baha’is observe a 19 day Fast. According to Abdu’l-Baha, fasting symbolizes detachment from earthly things. It is my understanding that fasting is a time for aligning our inner compass with God’s will and getting a grip on our lower nature.
Physical fasting is a symbol of that abstinence, and is a reminder; that is, just as a person abstains from physical appetites, he is to abstain from self-appetites and self-desires.
It seems like the Fast is a perfect time to challenge our insistent self, set some goals and start a journey towards a destination. So why not dedicate the period of Fast for a specific purpose? Continue reading
As we move into the early days of the Fast, here are some Baha’i Blog resources and a few other great finds from around the web dedicated to this special time of year. They include articles that offer a variety of perspectives on the Fast. There’s a diversity of personal reflections, music, videos and a quiz! We hope these resources, listed in no particular order, give you some food for thought (pun intended!) during these spiritually rejuvenating days. Continue reading
Have you ever stopped to think about why it is that cleanliness plays such an important role in the way we feel? In our homes, our workspace, our school or any other place we are in?
In the last year or so, my husband and I have been reflecting on the importance of cleanliness and the amount of time that needs to be dedicated to such tasks without feeling weighed down. We have also been reflecting on how we can set certain habits in our lives so that they do not become arduous but rather feel like an act of love. Ultimately, I think a significant portion of our time in this life is dedicated to cleaning, in every sense, whether it be physical or spiritual and both are important and necessary for our exaltation. Continue reading
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