Category Archives Baha’i Life

My Experiences Teaching the Baha’i Faith to Prisoners

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.

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

The Short Obligatory Prayer: A Personal Reflection

The Short Obligatory Prayer

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

Spiritual Themes in Bob Dylan’s Songs

spiritual-themes-in-bob-dylans-songs

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

Ways to Use Words

how-to-use-and-misuse-words

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

7 Cherished Closing Paragraphs of Recent Messages

Colonnade of the Seat of the Universal House of Justice. Photo: courtesy of Chad Mauger

Colonnade of the Seat of the Universal House of Justice. Photo: courtesy of Chad Mauger

Once, while studying a recent message from the Universal House of Justice, a friend commented on how much she loves and cherishes the closing paragraph of every letter from the Universal House of Justice. She described how they are filled with love, how they give her energy and how they inspire her to serve others with renewed and increased excitement. She compared the last paragraph of these letters to listening to the right music while exercising and explained how both encourage her to strive harder with joy and enthusiasm.  Continue reading

The Power of the Oneness of Humankind

Photo: Courtesy of the Baha'i International Community

Photo: Courtesy of the Baha'i International Community

I was raised in a humble, Catholic and loudly middle-class family in Colombia but walking through the Champs-Elysees in Paris during my last trip to Europe kindled within me a powerful sense of belonging to the world. Now, more than ever, I carry with me a message of oneness and openness and I truly believe we are holders of a global citizenship although we still need to carry national passports. As I looked around me at the Champs-Elysees I saw people from all walks of life, from all different corners of the world, but I knew we are all part of a global tribe.  Continue reading

The Tablets of the Divine Plan & Today

Photo: Courtesy of the Baha'i International Community

Photo: Courtesy of the Baha'i International Community

By reading the Tablets of the Divine Plan alongside recent messages of the Universal House of Justice, we can learn about what aspects of our current work trace their origin to these tablets revealed by Abdu’l-Baha 100 years ago. I encourage everyone to dive into these texts themselves and see what parallels they are able to make. Following are four points I was able to find:  Continue reading