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Circling Spirits: A New Album by Roman Orona

(Photo credit: Robert Doyle/Canyon Records)

Raised in the culture of his Apache roots, Roman Orona, also know as “Ish Hish Itsaatsu” which means “One Who Dances With Eagles” in Apache, is a Native American performer and musician whose new award-winning album of Apache songs called Circling Spirits, expresses his people’s sacred values and acknowledges the spirits of the ancestors who sacrificed their lives, families and lands, so that their tribal communities could endure.

I had the pleasure of meeting Roman while briefly living in Arizona, so I decided to catch up with him to talk about his new album and how his faith as a Baha’i and as a Native American heritage have shaped his life and his music. Continue reading

“Blessings” by Roman Orona [Audio Track]

Baha’i Blog’s “Studio Sessions” is an initiative where we invite Baha’is and their friends from around the world to come into a studio and share the Baha’i Writings put to music.

In this Baha’i Blog Studio Session, we’re in Phoenix, USA with Roman Orona who sings “Blessings” in Apache style, from the Writings of Baha’u’llah. Continue reading

Acting with Detachment and Determination

Over a year ago I had a job interview that I had to rush to from my workplace. I’m not the most technologically savvy person but I will still blame the GPS on my phone for what happened. I looked up how to get from work to the interview, jumped on the light rail (or tram), then the train, then tapped the function on my phone to show me how to walk the rest of the way. After walking some time, I arrived back at the train station where I got on the train! With only 10 minutes until the job interview, I started to panic. But then I said to myself: “Well, what will happen if I miss the interview? I have a job anyway. It’s not the best job in the world but it helps me pay the rent and bills and feed my family. I really have nothing to lose!”

So I decided to try to get there on time but not get stressed about it. I was spurred on by a sense of detached determination. I made a second try at navigating my way and I finally arrived at the place half an hour late, my shirt soaked with sweat, and had the interview.  Continue reading

The Art of Kate Vestlie

Kate Vestlie is an artist, a mother and a Baha’i based in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. She creates her pieces of artwork using layers of material, assembled in such a way as to create a simulated reality, where art comes to life. Often turning to her belief in the Baha’i Faith for inspiration, she finds that the more challenging parts of her art are what make it the most rewarding.

In this short film, Kate shares some of the thoughts and inspiration behind her art. Continue reading

Spiritual Community-Building in Urban America | Seaon Shin

In this talk, produced by Bahaiteachings.org, Seaon Shin, a community-builder in the inner-city neighbourhoods of San Francisco shares her deep desire to make an impact on the world. This drive to make the planet a better place, she explains, begins at the grassroots. Believing that you can’t create sustainable social change with one-off events, Seaon and her friends started a junior youth spiritual empowerment program in urban San Francisco, California, helping young people discover their moral framework and carrying forward an inspiring process of individual and community transformation.  Continue reading

‘Economics of the Future Begins Today’: A Book by Badi Shams

Badi Shams has combined his love of economics and his ardor for the Baha’i Teachings in his book Economics of the Future Begins Today. This book explores some possible ideas for how we can implement Baha’i principles in our daily economic dealings. He gave us a little teaser in his article Practical Economic Suggestions for Everyday Use and my interest was piqued. Badi lovingly agreed to tell us more about his book.

Baha’i Blog: To begin, could you please tell us a bit about yourself and your interest in economics?

I was born in Iran and became a Baha’i at the age of 15 but I didn’t realize the importance of the Faith till at 19 I had a serious accident that almost blinded my eye but opened my spiritual eye. At the time, 1974, there was a plea for pioneering which I obeyed and went to India. There I studied, learned English and tried to serve in various capacities that I could. I made a change of direction in my education from engineering to economics because I dreamt of doing my Ph.D in Baha’i economics and that was my idea of service to the Faith. In order to do that I had first to do my Bachelors and Masters degrees. After completing those I wrote to the beloved House of Justice to request the Baha’i Writings on economics. It informed me that the Research Department did not have a compilation on economics and that maybe I should collect the Writings. It also reminded me that there is no Baha’i economic system so the best title for my research would be “Study of the Baha’i Writings on Economics.” This was the 1970’s and there was no computer or internet so I spent a few years collecting and cataloguing the Writings related to economics which was published by the Baha’i Publishing Trust of India as a compilation in 1989 called “Economics of the Future”. I couldn’t finish my academic research because I had to leave the country and so I came to Canada in 1988 after the dedication of the Baha’i Temple in India.  Continue reading

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