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Visiting Abdu’l-Baha: A New Two Volume Series by Earl Redman

Earl Redman is a master storytelling and his books captivate my imagination. He’s the author of Abdu’l-Baha in Their Midst, Shoghi Effendi Through the Pilgrim’s Eye (Volumes I and II), and The Knights of Baha’u’llah. George Ronald recently released a new book, called Visiting Abdu’l-Baha, that makes up the first volume in a two volume series. The books feature stories illustrating how Abdu’l-Baha taught the principles of the Baha’i Faith to others and how He embodied those principles in His interactions. I was eager to catch up with Earl and here’s our conversation:

Baha’i Blog: It’s wonderful to hear from you again, Earl! What have you been up to since we last interviewed you?

Since 2014, my wife Sharon and I have been traveling extensively from Tasmania, through the Pacific, the US, Canada and Alaska, to Iceland, Europe, Tunisia and Israel sharing stories from the two volumes of Visiting Abdu’l-Baha, mostly in small communities who do not get many visitors. And it has been amazing to see the reactions of both Baha’is and their friends to these stories.

Continue reading

“O Son of Dust” by Grant Hindin Miller [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 Auckland, New Zealand with Grant Hindin Miller who sings “O Son of Dust” from the Writings of Baha’u’llah. Continue reading

The Miniature Clay Baha’i Gardens of Sama Shodjai

I may never understand why tiny things inspire such awe (remember this tiny prayer book and this tiny introduction to the Baha’i Faith?) but when first I saw Sama’s work I was delighted! Below is a small gallery of Sama’s intricately detailed miniature Baha’i gardens (the locations of the gardens represented are in the captions) and a few of her words on what inspires her and how she creates them.  Continue reading

Fire and Light: An Album Dedicated to Baha’u’llah by Peter Held

German pianist and composer, Peter Held, has produced a nuanced jazz album of devotional music dedicated to Baha’u’llah in the bicentennial year of His Birth. The album is called Fire and Light and it contains 18 acoustic and instrumental piano tracks with titles such as “Traces of the Beloved” and “Morning Hour”.

Fire and Light isn’t Peter’s first devotional album. He also released Creation, on which Corinne Bahia sings a selection of Baha’i Writings in accompaniment with Peter’s piano music.

We decided to get in touch with Peter to find out more about his music and what inspired Fire and Light: Continue reading

Heroes Teaching Conference: Counsellor’s Keynote Address – Dr. Vahid Saberi

Member of the Continental Board of Counsellors for Australasia Dr. Vahid Saberi gave the opening keynote address at the Heroes Teaching Conference held in Brisbane, Australia, 6-7 April, 2019.

The Heroes Teaching Conference was a historic gathering of over 1,000 Baha’i adults, youth, junior youth and children, as well as some of their like-minded friends from all over Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales, Australia. Organised by the Regional Baha’i Council and Board of Counsellors, the program aimed to help its participants find their place in service to Baha’u’llah and humanity, by drawing on the heroism of the past, inspiring them to arise, through humble service, and become heroes of the Faith for this age. Continue reading

Heroes Teaching Conference: Counsellor’s Keynote Address – Dr. Vahid Saberi [AUDIO]

Member of the Continental Board of Counsellors for Australasia Dr. Vahid Saberi gave the opening keynote address at the Heroes Teaching Conference held in Brisbane, Australia, 6-7 April, 2019.

The Heroes Teaching Conference was a historic gathering of over 1,000 Baha’i adults, youth, junior youth and children, as well as some of their like-minded friends from all over Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales, Australia. Organised by the Regional Baha’i Council and Board of Counsellors, the program aimed to help its participants find their place in service to Baha’u’llah and humanity, by drawing on the heroism of the past, inspiring them to arise, through humble service, and become heroes of the Faith for this age. Continue reading

EBBF Podcast Episode 9: Personal Paths and Tools to Meaningful Work and Workplaces

The Ethical Business Building the Future organization, otherwise known as EBBF, is a not-for-profit that aims to promote and moral and spiritual wisdom and principles found in the teachings of the Baha’i Faith and the great religious traditions of the world, such as the principles of justice, respect, trustworthiness, integrity and unity.

#discoveringhow is EBBF’s podcast series where you can hear personal experiences and insights from EBBF members — each episode offers you stepping stones, fresh ideas, and the personal learnings of people who believe that ethical business can and should build the future.

On today’s program we learn more about practical strategies some EBBF members use to find meaningful work or make their current work meaningful.
Alex Cabon explains how difficulties have prepared him to find meaningful work. Payam Zamani offers concrete examples of putting his company’s values into action. Stephanie Akkaoui Hughes talks about action labs, a methodology to interact explore and experiment with the application of meaningful ideas.  Continue reading

Normalizing Menstruation Promotes Equality. Period.

When I was eleven, my period leaked for the first time in my sixth-grade class. It was my second period ever, and while age and experience has now confirmed what my mother said to me the day it happened (“Every single woman in the world has leaked”) I was mortified to the point of being momentarily traumatized; boys bullied me for weeks about it, and I exerted all my efforts into avoiding the memory of it. From then on, when I had my period, nothing was more important to me than making sure I didn’t leak. All my thoughts, anxieties, and concerns through the day on those dreaded moments of a month revolved around how many pads or tampons I had in my bag, and how many opportunities I would have to go to the bathroom.

It wasn’t long before I realized this was a concern all my girlfriends shared, and we spent our days in middle and high school clandestinely passing each other pads and tampons in brown bags, so no one would see, and through the sleeves of each other’s shirts like we were exchanging contraband instead of products crucial to our health and well-being. We didn’t talk about our periods above whispers and used euphemisms like “our friend from down South” if we had to talk publicly or loudly. Characters in TV shows didn’t have or refer to their periods; no one in movies seemed affected. Pop stars and models were beautiful all the time and never caved over in cramps, migraines, or nausea, so we put smiles on our faces, saved the complaining for each other when we were home in our pajamas and watching TV, accepting the silence and secrecy as givens and normalcy for menstruating women.

I’d always been passionate about my faith and spirituality, I often talked about the Baha’i Faith’s advocacy for women’s rights, but I never saw how my humiliation or secrecy regarding my period had anything to do with the principle of gender equality. Sometime in my teenage years, I was reading my own copy of the Kitab-i-Aqdas (The Most Holy Book) that my Baha’i school teacher had given me. I came across the passage:  Continue reading

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