In the Kitab-i-Aqdas, Baha’u'llah has said ”We have made music a ladder by which souls may ascend to the realm on high” and I’m sure you have all experienced this to be true at times while listening to certain music. The emotions and thoughts that music can engender in heart, mind and soul can at times be truly sublime. Now combine this with the blessed words of the Holy Messengers in a reflective atmosphere and its effects can become soul-stirring.
Over the last 8 years that we’ve been holding a monthly public devotional event called Soul Food, we have learnt how the accompaniment of music to the Holy Writings can truly uplift the atmosphere.
There is a vast ocean of beautiful music that can be used to assist. In selecting the right background music it needs to fulfil its purpose of uplifting the writings rather than overpowering it. Also the appropriate feel of music to match the tone of the quotes being read is also important. I have found that often movie sound tracks are ideal, as they tell a story and are often longer in length .
Below I have compiled a list of 10 tracks we have used in Soul Food that I would recommend as a good start for your next series of devotionals. The first five are taken from motion pictures, all of which I would also recommend to watch, and the last five are a range of music by different composers. The links for where you can purchase these tracks are also attached. Continue reading
Over the last several years, American Baha’i Warren Odess-Gillet has been hosting and broadcasting a weekly Baha’i radio program over the airwaves called A Baha’i Perspective.
The program is fascinating, as it’s based on interviews with individual Baha’is who share the personal stories of their lives and how they found the Baha’i Faith.
You dont have to tune into the radio to have a listen though, as the program is also available as a podcast on iTunes as well, and it’s a podcast I often listen to on my headphones while taking the train to work.
I thought it was time someone put Warren on the receiving end of being asked questions, so I decided to catch up with him and find out more about A Baha’i Perspective. Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago Baha’i Blog sponsored our very first event at the Baha’i Centre in Sydney, Australia.
It was a talk by Tom Price called Following the Example of Abdu’l-Baha and we wanted to take advantage of the fact that he was passing through Australia on his way back to the US after speaking at the two recent summer schools in New Zealand.
Baha’i Blog has posted some of Tom Price’s other talks such as The Five Year Plan (which is still one of our most popular posts), and more recently Recreating Ourselves in the Image of the Master.
Abdu’l-Baha, (also referred to as the Master) was Baha’u’llah’s eldest son and appointed successor, and He is considered the perfect example of how to live according to the Bahá’í teachings.
You can listen to Following the Example of Abdu’l-Baha by either streaming it live from our site or by downloading it – and best of all, it’s completely free! Continue reading
Study the Faith is a great new site which helps you do exactly just that: “Study the Faith”.
When it comes to studying the Baha’i Writings, this wonderful new online initiative takes you through the process of familiarising and deepening your understanding of certain topics or texts within the Baha’i Faith by helping you decide what to study, how to study, and where to find more information.
The site was started by Maryam, Naeem and Neysan - three of my friends based in Germany, so I decided to get in touch with them to find out more about it. Continue reading
The Bahá’is of New Zealand have launched a new website for the friends and members of the wider community to access.
The chic new look came in mid 2012 and has drastically improved the accessibility of information and Baha’i activities that are happening in New Zealand. On the home page for example, there are quick links to read a few simple prayers, how to become a Baha’i or even how to go about attending a Bahá’í event.
Oneworld Publications has just released a fantastic new book called The Baha’i Faith in Words and Images.
The book combines breathtaking photography and intelligent accompanying text to produce a beautiful coffee-table book, which gives readers comprehensive coverage of the Faith’s teachings, texts, practices, community life and organization, with images reflecting its rich architectural heritage and the international diversity of its members.
Paul Slaughter spent three years travelling around the world to capture the photographs for the book, and John Danesh and Seena Fazel wrote the accompanying text. Many of you may have already seen the Youtube video where comedian Omid Djalili has a chat with John and Seena about the book (which I’ve included at the bottom of this post).
I actually just received my very own copy of the book in the mail, and a while back, I had interviewed Oneworld co-founder Juliet Mabey about Oneworld Publications here on Baha’i Blog, so I decided to get in touch with her again to find out more about this wonderful new book . Continue reading
Okay evereyone, it’s time for another Baha`i Blog Trivia Quiz!
Today’s quiz is to celebrate The Birth of Baha`u`llah, so join us in celebrating by take the quiz, and see how much you know about the life of the founder of our wonderful Faith!
Don’t forget that these quizzes are a great resource for community activities as well, so feel free to use them and share them with your friends and the community.
Image by Leila Barbaro
When I first heard about Mama Papa & Me, I was excited for so many reasons. The education of children is a tremendously important duty in the Baha’i Faith. In fact, ‘Abdu’l-Baha calls it “among the most meritorious acts of humankind”.
So when I found out that Mama Papa & Me focuses on education during the early years, which is now widely recognised among educators as being the crucial years in which the foundation for a person’s lifelong learning and wellbeing is formed, I was fascinated and wanted to know more about their Early Years Education Programme.
And then, when I discovered that Mama Papa & Me’s focus was not just on the early years, but also on helping parents and caregivers develop the capabilities they need as the first educators of their children, I definitely wanted to know more!
Serendipitiously, a family wedding brought me to London, which is where Danielle Pee, the amazingly talented founder of Mama Papa & Me, is currently based. And so I jumped on the opportunity to sit down with her and ask all my questions.
What started as a conversation about education, parenting and the work that Mama Papa & Me is doing ended up becoming a deeper conversation about capacity-building and the Baha’i approach to community development, as well as an illuminating discussion about what it means, in very practical terms, for Baha’is to attempt to contribute towards the advancement of civilization.
I gained so much from my conversation with Danielle, not just in terms of my own professional interest in education and community development, but also personally, as I listened to the story of her own inspiring journey and the many lessons she has learned along the way. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did!
Okay Baha’i Blog readers, it’s time for another Baha’i Blog Trivia Quiz!
In order to commemorate the Birth of The Báb, we’ve put together another trivia quiz about the life of The Bab.
This is the second one we’ve done about The Bab, and if you missed the first one, you can find it here.
These quizzes are a great resource for community activities as well, so feel free to use them and share them with your friends and the community.
Alright now, go ahead – take the quiz and see how much you know about the life of The Báb, and let us know if you enjoyed it in the ‘comments’ section below.
Good luck! Continue reading
Ever since I was a kid, it seemed implied in Bahá’í culture that we should memorize the Writings and prayers not only because they became more readily accessible during the teaching of the Faith but also because it had a deep spiritual impact within.
“From the texts of the wondrous, heavenly Scriptures they should memorize phrases and passages” Bahá’u'lláh enjoins in one of His Tablets, and Hand of the Cause Collis Featherstone used to say that we should memorize prayers because when we die we can’t take our prayer books with us, but we can take our memory!
The importance of memorization has also been stressed in recent times through the Institute Process. Both as participants and as tutors we have seen ourselves and many others struggling when memorizing quotes, complaining how they are not young anymore or how the quotes are too long. But memory is like any other muscle or skill, it may be unused but it’s right there waiting for us to make the most out of it, and the more we use it, the stronger it gets.
What I want to attempt in this post is not to address the importance of memorizing the writings nor an analysis on the spiritual power of memory, but I want to share some practical tips that I have personally found helpful when memorizing quotes and passages. Continue reading