114 Youth Conferences Still Rockin’ the World!

Youth Conference in Helsinki, Finland (2-4 August 2013).

The 114 Youth Conferences currently taking place around the world has Baha’i communities buzzing with excitement and activity!

Brisbane, Australia just had theirs over the weekend, and so far 86 of the 114 youth conferences have already taken place leaving 28 still to go!

These conferences were first announced by the Universal House of Justice in February this year, and the aim of these conferences is to promote an understanding of how youth can help contribute to society in a positive and meaningful way through the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment ProgramContinue reading

Beautiful Baha’i Stamps from Around the World

Whether you fancy yourself a bit of a philatelist or just enjoy exploring Baha’i history, you’ll be interested to see that there have been a variety of Baha’i stamps and postal items through history. Often celebrating Baha’i Houses of Worship, important Baha’i historical figures, or simply the Baha’i Faith itself, these items are certain to be staples of Baha’i philatelic collections for years to come.

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Divine Collaboration: An Interview with The Descendants


When three really close friends from California – Bella Blue, Aubrey Wood and Gia Sky – hear about the 114 world-wide Youth Conferences announced by the Universal House of Justice, they decide to get together to see what they could do to support it – oh, and did I mention that they’re all professional musicians!?

What resulted from their get-together was the creation of a music group called The Descendants and the release of a wonderful debut album called A Divine Collaboration.

The lyrics of their songs are all taken directly from the Baha’i Writings, prayers and holy texts, and the group sets them beautifully to uplifting contemporary music.

Since the launch of their album the group has been busy performing, but I managed to get them to squeeze in an interview with Baha’i Blog so we could find out more about the group and their awesome debut album. Continue reading

How to Make Inspiring Baha’i Quotes in Images

Putting inspiring Baha’i quotes against beautiful visuals to compose a graphic representation is a novel way to share our Holy Writings. It’s also really easy to do thanks to all the tools and resources out there! Today we’ll give you some tips on how to create your own quotes in image form from your phone. From there you can turn them into wallpapers, share them with friends, post them to social networks, or even print them. Let’s get started!

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6 Ways to Polish Our Mirror


Last week, I learned you could trap those pesky, ever-multiplying fruit-flies with a bowl of vinegar and plastic wrap. It worked. But this is not your typical how-to guide, as matters of the spirit can sometimes seem much more complicated – but they don’t have to be.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we can work on becoming a better person in a very real and practical sense, and I keep thinking about the analogy of us being like a mirror, and how we need to constantly work on polishing it.

Dean Frasier said,

[we] see the world, not as it is, but exactly as we are. The whole world is our mirror, to the many renounced and rejected aspects of ourselves.

Ouch.

The German writer Goethe was a little more subtle when he wrote,

[a] man sees what he carries in his heart.

Yeah, psychologists call this ‘projection’, and its embarrassing when someone points out that we may be doing just that. I don’t know about you, but what’s in my heart, on its less-than-pure days, is not always pretty. Luckily, Abdu’l-Baha tells us we can change this:

The most important thing is to polish the mirrors of the hearts in order that they may become illumined and receptive of the divine light…

Now this all sounds awesome, but how do we actually do this?

So here are a six things that work for me and help me polish my mirror: Continue reading

9 iPhone Apps for Baha’is

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Nowadays you can find mobile apps for just about anything, and thankfully mobile apps related to the Baha’i Faith are slowly on the rise.

It’s been over a year that we posted about 5 Unique Baha’i Apps for Android and 5 Unique Baha’i Apps for the iPhone, and with iPhone continuing to dominate the mobile app market, we thought it was time to write up another list of some more Baha’i iPhone apps to serve as a resource for all you iPhone wielding Baha’is out there.

If you’re an Android user, no need to fret, as most of these apps can also be found on Android as well.

Let’s begin!

1. When is the next Feast?

For those of you who, like me, can never remember when the next 19 Day Feast is, this great little app tells you when the next Feast or Holy Day is, and how many days to go. Its built in calendar lets you explore the full calendar of Baha’i special days.

View the ‘When is the next Feast?’ App in iTunes.

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Karim’s Lyrical Remix Mission


Most Baha’is can probably relate to the frustrating fact that so much of the music we hear on the radio and on the charts right now have awesome beats and catchy tunes, but the lyrics are… well, let’s just say that they’re not very good for the soul.

Enter Karim, who’s one half of the popular Baha’i R&B/Hip-Hop duo Nabil & Karim, and he’s trying to change that!

Karim has embarked on a lyrical remix mission. His aim is to create a 10 song remix album aimed at shining new light on some of our favourite songs by recreating and rewriting the lyrics in order to make them more meaningful and ‘elevated’.

By using GoFundMe.com to raise enough money, Karim aims to have the album completed by October this year, and as he works on the tracks, he’s posting some of them on Youtube.

I decided to catch up with Karim once again, to find out more about this initiative. Continue reading

The Gardener: A Film by Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Last week in Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to attend the final screening of The Gardener, a film by multi award-winning Iranian film maker Mohsen Makhmalbaf.

Makhmalbaf has a long list of movies and awards under his belt including films such as Kandahar and The Day I Became A Woman, and his latest film/documentary The Gardener, has been getting a lot of attention as well, especially as it was predominantly filmed in the Baha’i gardens in Haifa and Akko, Israel.

Using the beautiful Baha’i gardens in Israel as a backdrop, from the very beginning of the film Makhmalbaf and his son Maysam set out to learn more about the Baha’i Faith and ask why the Baha’is have been persecuted in the the birthplace of their faith, Iran since the Faith’s inception. Primarily however, the film is not so much about the Baha’i Faith, but more about the power of religion in general, and its role in the world both historically and in the present, and its transformative effect on humanity, and whether we need religion at all.

Using very simple cameras in order to convey a very grassroots and simple effect, Makhmalbaf also uses a lot of symbolism throughout his personal journey of discovery. As with all artistic endeavors, the effects of an artists work on the receiver is inevitably varied, but for me personally, the film struck a certain chord. Perhaps because the main character was a Baha’i volunteer working in the Baha’i gardens from Papua New Guinea (the country where I was raised), but also because it was mainly filmed in the gardens surrounding the Baha’i Holy Places in the Holy Land, (where I’ve had the fortune of spending a number of years and which I miss immensely), but most importantly for me was the fact that I really felt that Makhmalbaf was sincere in his quest to question the purpose of religion, and that he had a sincere concern for the plight of the Baha’is of Iran and the persecution they continue to face, even though he is not a Baha’i himself. Continue reading

6 Ways Study Circles have Helped the Baha’i Community

Photo: Morris S

Over the last 15 years I’ve had the opportunity to participate, tutor, and be involved to varying degrees in numerous Baha’i study circles in different parts of the world. I’ve experienced very good ones, and ones that could use a little work. Ones that completed the Ruhi book we were working on, and ones that fizzled out before completion. Ones that were run at an extremely intensive and accelerated pace, and ones that took over a year to complete. Ones that brought people into the Faith, and ones that weren’t very well received by some of the participants.

The fact is that no matter what you think about study circles or what your involvement has been with them over the years, study circles have and continue to revolutionize many Baha’i communities worldwide, helping to change the overall culture of the Baha’i community – and I think for the better.

Of course there’s always room for improvement, and we’re all learning through action and reflection while continuously developing and working on improving our ‘posture of learning’, but I thought it would be interesting to look at just six of the ways study circles have helped the Baha’i community, so let’s take a look:  Continue reading