Photo: courtesy of the Baha'i International Community
Shed the light of a boundless love on every human being whom you meet, whether of your country, your race, your political party, or of any other nation, color or shade of political opinion.
The security of people of Middle Eastern and South Asian descent living in the United States seems to be on thin ice: bearing brown skin and a “foreign” name are dangerous liabilities. Evidence comes in recent hate crimes like February’s Kansas killing. Engineers Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani were attacked by a man who told them to “get out of my country.” Kuchibhotla died. The attacker later disclosed that he thought his victims, who were natives of India, were Iranian. In March, Hasel Afshar returned to his Oregon town from vacation to discover his home ransacked and hateful messages coating the walls of his house. The messages indicated that the attackers believed Afshar to be Muslim. He is actually a Baha’i refugee from Iran. Persecuted for his faith in his homeland—attacked for his foreignness in his refuge. Continue reading
Untitled, watercolour & ink, December 2016
A few years ago, in late February, I laid out a bunch of tiny Starbucks cups with a handful of dirt and little seeds in each of them under a desk lamp in my apartment.
I didn’t undertake this on my own; I was part of a group of friends who wanted to learn more about the idea of organic growth. We had been saying these words, “organic”, “process” and “growth”, a lot in the Baha’i community but we wanted to go a little deeper into their meaning and define their characteristics. The following are my own reflections on that experience, as well as my current experience watching the growth of my son. Continue reading
Children showing their artwork in Norte del Cauca, Colombia. (Photo: courtesy of the Baha'i International Community)
Now that my eldest is four years old, she understands a lot more about the significance of Baha’i holy days. This has made me increasingly reflect on how we commemorate these special days as a family aside from attending our community’s events. In the first volume of The Revelation of Baha’u’llah, Adib Taherzadeh describes the Ridvan Garden in Baghdad with these words:
There, Baha’u’llah appeared in the utmost joy, walking majestically in its avenues lined with flowers and trees. The fragrance of roses and the singing of nightingales created an atmosphere of beauty and enchantment.
This year we will be celebrating the King of Festivals by adding some beauty and enchantment to our daily lives in the following 7 ways: Continue reading
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