Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson – Episode 52: Dara Feldman

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 joined by award-winning educator, author and speaker, Dara Feldman, who served as the Director of Education for the Virtues Project for seven years. We talk about food shaming, the power of the 12-step program, and all the ways the virtues can be incorporated into all aspects of our lives. She tells me how she became a Baha’i, her passion for restorative justice, what’s she’s working on now, and her recent experience in India at the largest school in the world. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did!

To find out more about some of the things we covered in this episode, check out the following:

  • Dara Feldman’s website: www.darafeldman.com
  • The Virtues Matter website: www.virtuesmatter.com
  • The Virtues Cards App: www.virtuesmatter.com/app
  • Virtues App promo video: Help Goodness Go Viral – The Virtues Cards mobile app
  • Dara’s book: The Heart of Education: Bringing Joy, Meaning and Purpose Back to Teaching and Learning
  • Dara mentions one of the founders of the Virtues Project, Linda Kavelin Popov, who was also a guest on the Baha’i Blogcast: Episode 28: Linda Kavelin Popov
  • The Al-Anon website: al-anon.org
  • The Alcoholics Anonymous website: aa.org
  • Overeaters Anonymous website: oa.org
  • Dara refers to the Baha’i belief that we are all ‘created noble’: “O SON OF SPIRIT! Noble have I created thee, yet thou hast abased thyself. Rise then unto that for which thou wast created.” -Baha’u’llah
  • Dara mentions the Baha’i principle of ‘progressive revelation‘.
  • Dara tells us about her trip to the largest school in the world in India: City Montessori School in Lucknow India
  • Video: Virtues Matter at City Montessori School (The Largest School in the World!)
  • Dara mentions Baha’i Firesides: What is a Baha’i Fireside?
  • Dara mentions ‘Devotional Gatherings‘.
  • Dara mentions the Baha’i principle of the importance of the independent investigation of truth.
  • Dara mentions the Ruhi books.
  • Dara says the short Obligatory Prayer:
    “I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee. I testify, at this moment, to my powerlessness and to Thy might, to my poverty and to Thy wealth. There is none other God but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.”
    -Baha’u’llah
  • Rainn mentions the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program: What is the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program?
  • Dara mentions a girl in her community doing a “year of service” which you can find out more about here: Youth: Give a Year of Service to Humanity!
  • Dara recites the following quote by Baha’u’llah: “Intone, O My servant, the verses of God that have been received by thee, as intoned by them who have drawn nigh unto Him, that the sweetness of thy melody may kindle thine own soul, and attract the hearts of all men. Whoso reciteth, in the privacy of his chamber, the verses revealed by God, the scattering angels of the Almighty shall scatter abroad the fragrance of the words uttered by his mouth, and shall cause the heart of every righteous man to throb. Though he may, at first, remain unaware of its effect, yet the virtue of the grace vouchsafed unto him must needs sooner or later exercise its influence upon his soul. Thus have the mysteries of the Revelation of God been decreed by virtue of the Will of Him Who is the Source of power and wisdom.”
  • Dara shares one of her favorite quotes from Baha’u’llah: “O MY SERVANT! The best of men are they that earn a livelihood by their calling and spend upon themselves and upon their kindred for the love of God, the Lord of all worlds.”
  • Dara mentions Barbara and Radiance Talley, who were also guests on the Baha’i Blogcast: Episode 51: Barbara & Radiance Talley
  • Dara refers to the metaphor “pupil of the eye”, which comes from the following quote by Abdu’l-Baha: “Thou art like unto the pupil of the eye which is dark in color, yet it is the fount of light and the revealer of the contingent world”, and which you can read more about from this article: The Baha’i “Pupil of the Eye” Metaphor—What Does it Mean?
  • Dara talks about the ‘Arise: Pupil of the Eye Conference’ here.
  • Dara mentions Joy De Gruy who was also a guest on the Baha’i Blogcast: Episode 10: Joy DeGruy
  • Dara mentions Van Gilmer.
  • Rainn mentions Louis Gregory.
  • Dara encourages us to read and study The Advent of Divine Justice by Shoghi Effendi.
  • You can find all of our episodes here on the Baha’i Blogcast page, and be sure to ‘subscribe’ to the Baha’i Blogcast for more upcoming 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!

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