Naw Ruz marks the end of the Fast and the beginning of a new year in the Baha’i calendar. Naw-Ruz is a celebration of a “spiritual springtime” that symbolizes both individual renewal and mankind’s revitalization.
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 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 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
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 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.
Naysan is passionate about using the arts and media to explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith. Back in 2011, Naysan started up the Baha’i Blog project, channeling his experiences in both media and technology companies to help create a hub for Baha’i-inspired content online.