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Five Tips for a Healthy, Happy Fast

Photo by iainsimmons

We’re a few days into the Baha’i Fast and as always for me, the first days are kind of hard! These early days are when your body is adjusting to its new routine and regime, and here in the southern hemisphere it’s also when the daylight hours are the longest.

While the Fast is ultimately spiritual, and this is a time of prayer and reflection, I find it helps to put some thought into the material aspects of Fasting. Over the years I’ve tried a lot of different ideas for what to eat and drink, and how to go about the days. I have come to the conclusion that the best thing to do is to be moderate, consistent and embrace the Fast.

Here are my personal tips for a healthier, happier fast. What are your tips? What works for you? Add them in the comments! Continue reading

The Baha’i Fast

The Baha'i Fast 620x412
The Baha’i Fast falls during the month of Ala – the last month of the Baha’i calendar. During these 19 days, Baha’is – with the exception of women who are nursing or pregnant, the elderly, children, the sick, those travelling and those engaged in heavy labour – abstain from food and drink between sunrise and sunset.

While this abstention from food and drink is a test of one’s will and discipline, the Fast is not just about abstaining from food. The Fast is, primarily, a spiritual practice.

For 19 days, those observing the Fast partake in a rich spiritual experience. The Fast is a time of joy and invigoration of our lives. It is an opportunity that comes once a year for us to take a step back and reconnect with what truly matters to us. It is a period of respite from the daily routines and hectic schedules that so often consume and overwhelm us.

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The ‘Fast in a Day’ Video Project

The Fast is fast approaching – no pun intended – so put down your plate of food and grab your video cameras, your web cam, or just use your camera phone – it doesn’t really matter, but get behind (or in front) of a camera and share your thoughts or experience on what The Bahá’í Fast means to you.

That’s the latest call out from Media Makes Us, a group of filmmakers based in the UK, who have put together a video initiative called ‘Fast in a Day’.

The “Fast in a Day” project is a global attempt to crowd source the feelings and emotions that surround The Bahá’í Fast (2nd-20th March).


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Stuff Baha’is Say

A parody of stuff Baha’is say. Baha’i humor at its best. Directed by Laheeb Quddusi, Written by Ashkon Ataee, Laheeb Quddusi, Taeed Quddusi. Starring Farahmand Ataee, Feeruze Quddusi, Milad Asdaghi, Karolina Drabik, Ashkon Ataee, Laheeb Quddusi, Yashar Roohi, Nasim Switzer, Roya Yazdamehr, Nathan Ryhard, Taeed Quddusi.

Can You Solve This?

Everyone has the right to education”, says article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Unfortunately, the reality is very different: many young people in Iran today are being denied this right. They might have gotten the grades to pursue higher education – they might even be among the top students in the country. Yet, when they submit their application forms, they are told that their files are incomplete, that they do not fulfil the necessary entry requirements; in short: that they cannot attend higher education.

The reason why they are denied this basic human right, in spite of their academic ability, is that they are members of political opposition groups, human rights or women’s rights activists or members of religious minorities, such as the Bahá’ís. In the case of the Bahá’ís, even the community’s attempt to educate their youth by setting up the Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) has been criminalised, and many of the educators supporting the project have been imprisoned.

The world, however, is not going to simply watch as many young people’s dreams of serving society are being destroyed, with the mere education of many young people being declared a crime in Iran. Continue reading

Baha’is on Reddit: Share and Vote on Baha’i Stories

The more time you spend online, the more you realize just how much content is out there. Social news sites like Reddit let users share and vote on links to help surface interesting content in a democratic manner.

If you’ve never been to Reddit before, it’s a bit of a nerdy blend of social news and community forums where you can go to different subreddits, which are sort of like channels, to find content you are interested in. Subreddits range from the mainstream to quirky and niche. Continue reading

What’s Your Calling? Layli Miller-Muro and Human Rights

When race riots erupted in her high school, Layli Miller-Muro took what would be the first steps towards becoming a force for change in immigration and the laws protecting women and girls.

Her journey from being a self-described low performer at school to representing in the Matter of Kasinga, a high-profile case that set national precedent and revolutionized asylum law in the United States, is documented in a wonderful video interview that you can watch below.

Layli Miller-Muro from Bahai.us on Vimeo.

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8 Creative Ideas for Your Next Devotional Gathering

Devotional Gathering by John Marmaras

Getting together to share prayers and writings from the Baha’i faith, other scriptures and enlightened souls, is a staple of Baha’i life. These devotional gatherings are one of our core activities and all Baha’is are encouraged to not only attend, but to host them.

There is no set format or formula for running a devotional, and they run the gamut from organized public events through to informal sharing of prayers and readings around a coffee table. And since there is no particular way that a devotional should be held, it’s open for creativity and inventiveness! Continue reading

Baha’i On Air: An Interview with Ken Zemke

What Baha’i TV show has been running for over 12 years now and boasts over 200 episodes? “Baha’i On Air”, that’s what!

Since 1998, “Baha’i On Air” has been broadcasting every week in Auckland, on New Zealand’s community TV station. The show not only reaches Auckland’s population of one million people, but also broadcasts to the nation’s four million, and to other countries in the Pacific such as The Cook Islands, The Solomon Islands, and American Samoa.

Baha’i On Air is headed up by award winning Hollywood filmmaker Ken Zemke, who’s someone I’ve known and admired for a long time now and whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with on a couple of video projects over the years.

Ken has to be one of the hardest working people I know. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him without a camera in his hand, working on a project for the Faith.

I finally managed to catch up with Ken and asked him to talk to us about Baha’i On Air. Continue reading

3 Clever Ways to Use Google Apps in Your Baha’i Community

Photo by Halilgokdal

Over the years, I’ve lived in a lot of different Baha’i communities and every one is different. My current community is especially interesting to me because it’s quite tech-savvy. In particular, we use Google’s Apps services to organize a variety of administration and activity. So I thought I would share some ideas on how to do this for your own community.

 

As you may know, Google offers a ton of different free services beyond its core search engine product. There’s a whole suite of products which are useful to Baha’i community administration and organization. In particular Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Sites. Here’s how you can use them: Continue reading

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