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9 Ways to Fast When You Can Eat

This March will be the third consecutive year that I will not be physically fasting and I think I am finally getting some ideas for how I can still participate. (If you’re unfamiliar with the 19 day Baha’i Fast, Sara wrote a great introduction about it).

There are many reasons to be exempt from fasting whether it’s age, health, performing physical labour, menstruation, travel, pregnancy, or nursing a child (exemptions from the Fast can be found in the synopsis and codification of the Kitab-i-Aqdas). At first I really struggled with being exempt. On one hand I was grateful: the fast is not meant to make us ill or malnourished and my baby’s development relied heavily on me eating well. On the other hand, I felt like I was no longer participating in a spiritual marathon. I was on the sidelines. I was so disconnected from the Fast that I offered my Baha’i friends food to eat in the middle of the day (so embarrassing!).

Having a grumbling tummy or parched mouth is an excellent reminder that you are fasting and without those physical cues I felt disconnected. But it’s not all about the food, so this year I’ve made a list of ways to fast when you can eat – some of which I’ve already tried, and some of which I’m looking forward to implementing: Continue reading

The Signature Paper Artistry of Renée Farrant

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Several months ago we featured the music video of Baha’i singer Shameem’s new song Under One Sun. Not only is it lovely music, but the whole clip showcases some amazing paper artwork, including a full-length dress made of paper! I had never seen this kind of artistry before, and it’s truly something to behold. The work is courtesy of the talented hands of Renée Farrant, a Baha’i from Western Australia who expresses herself and her faith through this deceptively simple medium in some extremely intricate forms, often marrying two and three dimensional pieces with light and shade. You can find Renée’s work online, and we asked her to give us some insight into the inspiration and process that goes into it. Continue reading

A Conversation on Ayyam-i-Ha

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As a child, there was always something magical in the anticipation of the days of Ayyam-i-Ha. Whilst each of the nineteen months of the Baha’i year reflects one of the attributes of God, these “Days of Ha”, that exist “outside of time”, signify the essence of God that transcends all of His attributes, and there is truly something mysterious and mystical about these special days.  Continue reading

“Modern Faith” at the World Economic Forum

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The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland recently hosted a panel discussion about modern faith. The panel was moderated by Thomas Friedman from the NY times and included Bani Dugal, the principal representative of the Baha’i International Community’s United Nations Office. Other panelists included Frankie Fredericks (Evangelical Christian), Matthieu Ricard (Buddhist), the Archbishop of Canterbury (Anglican faith), Ali Adnan Ibrahim (Muslim faith). Continue reading

Loving God: A Personal Reflection

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Baha’is believe that us humans were created to love God.

At first glance, this seems to be in tension with the Baha’i teaching that God is an unknowable Essence. Imagine if I, a Baha’i, told you that I’m completely in love with something. You then ask me what that thing is. I respond, “I have no idea, but I love it a lot.” That seems weird, right?

So how, then, could a Baha’i love God without believing something that is weird at the best and incoherent at the worst? Here’s one perspective.  Continue reading

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