Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson – Episode 17: Mary & Clark

Hello and welcome to the Baha’i Blogcast with me your host, Rainn Wilson.

In this series of podcasts I interview members of the Baha’i Faith and friends from all over the world about their hearts, and minds, and souls, their spiritual journeys, what they’re interested in, and what makes them tick.

In this episode I’m in Toronto, Canada interviewing husband and wife Mary Darling and Clark Donnelly. Besides having more kids than I can ever keep track of, they have their own media company called WestWind Pictures, which aims to promote themes of beauty and unity. Among many other things, they are known for their popular TV comedy series called Little Mosque on the Prairie, and I ask them how the series started and what sort of impact the show has had. They share the challenges of working on a comedy that deals with things that are sacred, and how they bring Baha’i principles into the creative process. We discuss the importance of consultation, what it’s like working as a husband and wife team, the role of a producer, and how they each became Baha’is. They also share what books they’re reading, what they personally strive to be better at, and their favorite Baha’i Writings.

To find out more about Mary and Clark and some of the things we covered in the podcast, check out the following links:

* Find out more about Little Mosque on the Prairie and Mary and Clark’s production company here on their website.

* Check out The Baha’is documentary and their interview about it on Baha’i Blog.

* Here’s the CNN article Mary mentions about Little Mosque on the Prarie called Want to end prejudice? Watch a sitcom.

* Mary mentions the book Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie.

* Clark mentions the book Abraham: One God, Three Wives, Five Religions Paperback by Frances Worthington.

* Clark talks about the long Obligatory prayer which you can learn more about from this Baha’i Blog article: A Prayer to Power Up Your Day: The Long Obligatory Prayer

* Mary mentions her favourite prayer which we’ve added below:

“O my God! O my God! Thou seest me in my lowliness and weakness, occupied with the greatest undertaking, determined to raise Thy word among the masses and to spread Thy teachings among Thy peoples. How can I succeed unless Thou assist me with the breath of the Holy Spirit, help me to triumph by the hosts of Thy glorious kingdom, and shower upon me Thy confirmations, which alone can change a gnat into an eagle, a drop of water into rivers and seas, and an atom into lights and suns? O my Lord! Assist me with Thy triumphant and effective might, so that my tongue may utter Thy praises and attributes among all people and my soul overflow with the wine of Thy love and knowledge.
Thou art the Omnipotent and the Doer of whatsoever Thou willest.”
-Abdu’l-Baha

Be sure to ‘subscribe’ to the Baha’i Blogcast for more weekly episodes on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify and Soundcloud.

Thanks for listening!

-Rainn Wilson

About the Author

Naysan is the editor of Baha'i Blog and he has worked in various avenues of media for two decades. He’s passionate about using the arts and media to support and explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith and he has produced and collaborated on popular music projects like the "DawnBreaker Collective" and the successful Ruhi-inspired sequence of "MANA" albums. His experience as a producer for CNN was invaluable while working on a number of special projects for the Baha’i World Centre, including the "Building Momentum" and "Pilgrimage: A Sacred Experience" videos. If there’s a media-related Baha’i project out there, chances are that Naysan was involved with it somehow!

Visit Author's Website

Share This Audio With the World

Discussion 3 Comments

  1. How are the Bahai teachinds different from those of Christianity?? Universal Truth is Predominant..How is the Bab any different from John the Baptist?? How do Bahais convert Christians?? There are over 600 christian denominations all claiming truth…go figure!

  2. Dennis, the Bab and Baha’u’llah taught that God’s one unfolding religion is renewed by a new Manifestation of God in a spiritual springtime after the teachings of the previous One have lost their power to unite the hearts (witness the many Christian sects you reference). This Baha’i Blog site includes a section on the basic teachings of the Baha’i Faith – both the core spiritual teachings such as the Golden Rule, shared with Christianity and with all expressions of divine faith, and the key social teachings of Baha’u’llah’s Revelation, based on the fundamental principal of the oneness of humankind, which all humans are capable of comprehending in this glorious Age – teachings designed to unite our species in an ever-advancing civilization, with peace and prosperity for all, ultimately. Baha’is do not actively convert Christians or anyone, but they share God’s love, as expressed in this new Revelation, in their words and in the way they live their lives, and they let sincere seekers be drawn by God to the Truth, following their own independent investigation – which is, itself, one of the key principles of this Faith. To find out more, visit http://www.bahai.org and pick up one of the good introductory texts on offer. I trust that you have had these questions and others answered since posting this message, Dennis. I share this response for the benefit of other readers who may be asking these same questions.

  3. Mary and Clark, I was thrilled to learn of all the elevated programming your company has managed to produce, and I plan to seek out some of it. Mary, Rushdie’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories is a gem of a book, one of my favorites; I look forward to seeing that produced as a film. Thanks for sharing that transformative prayer by Baha’u’llah, Mary, and thanks, Rainn, for sharing, with your irrepressible joyous humor, that that prayer shows that Harry Potter’s magic is, in one sense, a spiritual reality, transforming “gnats into eagles”, etc. Also, Clark, thanks for pointing us to the wonderful power of the Long Obligatory Prayer. You know, I’ve found the slight inconvenience of handling the book while kneeling can be overcome via persistent efforts at memorisation. Over a couple of years of saying this prayer as regularly as possible, working at a paragraph at a time, keeping count of the number of sentences in each paragraph with the fingers of one hand, I’ve managed to commit this 15-20 minute prayer to memory – only occasionally having to check back with the book. And I find the process of concentrating on saying the right words and not getting lost improves my focus on the meaning of those words and allows even deeper contemplation on their application to my own life. Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *