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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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Visionaries: An Interview with JB Eckl of Badasht

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Many of you may have already heard the music of The Badasht Project, (or more commonly known as Badasht). Their debut album While The City Sleeps and thier second album release Raise Me Up have been hugely popluar in the world-wide Baha’i community, and now The Badasht Project returns with a new album called Visonaries, which is a 2-CD set of 21 songs dedicated to the youth, featuring an ever-greater circle of collaborators spanning every genre from electronica to bluegrass to hip-hop. The new album features young artists, some already well along their path, others recorded for the first time, creating music ranging from the purely devotional, using passages from the Baha’i Writings to the personal and introspective, in the inspired language of the heart.

The Badasht Project is spearheaded by musicians JB Eckl and Eric Dozier, and it’s expanded into a collective benefiting from many voices and perspectives. The project was originally conceived as a response to the Baha’i Writings regarding the true purpose and station of the arts and by combining the talents and experience of artists, producers, scholars and entrepreneurs, and the project aims to bring to bear the full power of the arts towards the fostering of a more dynamic, spiritual and vibrant community.

It’s been over two years that I’ve wanted to do an interview with JB Eckl and Eric Dozier about The Badasht Project, and so now, three albums later, I was finally able to catch up with JB Eckl to find out more about this wonderful initiative and their latest album. Continue reading

A Talk by Mr. Paul Lample on the Current Plan and the Community-building Process

Paul Lample TalkHere at Baha’i Blog we’re always looking for good resources for the Baha’i world community to use, so we’re happy to share with you a recent talk by Mr. Paul Lample called ‘The Current Plan and the Community-building Process’.

Mr. Lample gave the talk in August last year at the Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette, USA, and he covers a number of topics including his personal thoughts on the current Plan and the activities propelling the community-building process forward.

The talk is available on the US Baha’i website, but the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States have also given Baha’i Blog permission to share the talk with our readers, so you can either stream or download the talk below. Continue reading

SoulPancake’s ‘Have a Little Faith’ does an Episode on the Baha’i Faith

I’ve been meaning to post about this for a while now, but there’s a great show I watch on SoulPancake’s Youtube channel called Have a Little Faith, and basically the show follows Zach Anner (the show’s creator and host) in his quest to learn more about faith and different religions.

In this particular episode called ‘Baha’i How Are You Doing?’, Zach visits Justin Baldoni, a Baha’i, an actor and a director (and the creator of My Last Days, another great show on SoulPancake), to learn more about the Baha’i Faith. The episode is both accurate and heartwarming, and Zach’s humor is awesome – so check it out! Continue reading

10 Great Articles About the Baha’i Fast for You to Read

10 Great Articles for You to Use About the Baha’i Fast
The Baha’i Fast is always a time when we get a lot of questions from our friends and colleagues about why we fast and what the Baha’i Fast is all about, so I thought it would be useful to put together a list of 10 articles available online, each related to the Baha’i Fast in some way, which may help you in your personal deepening and discussions, and which you can share with others who may be interested.

So here’s the list of 10 articles in no particular order: Continue reading

‘Happy Ayyam-i-Ha’ Album by William Sears and the Ayyam-i-Ha Kids Available Again

Ayyam-i-Ha Album Cover 350x350A lot of my friends are always telling me that we really need more resources to support our Baha’i holy days and celebrations.

So, to help with your Ayyam-i-Ha celebrations, I am absolutely delighted to let everyone know about the digitally restored and remastered re-release of the Happy Ayyam-i-Ha album by William Sears and the Ayyam-i-Ha Kids!

For those of you who have never heard of it – the Happy Ayyam-i-Ha album is simply a classic. It blends the wonderful storytelling of Hand of the Cause of God Mr. William Sears with sing-a-long songs performed by children.

Released in 1979, the album received the 1979 Christian Angel Award for the ‘Best Children’s Album of the Year’, and it was the first time in the association’s history that the Angel Award had been given to a non-Christian group. Continue reading

‘To Serve Humanity’: A New Series of Short Videos from the Baha’i World Centre

To Serve Humanity screenshot 620x347The Baha’i World Centre has just released a series of 11 short videos commissioned by the Universal House of Justice which are collectively called To Serve Humanity.

The Baha’i World News Service (BWNS) explained that “To Serve Humanity explores, through the diverse voices of a few of the 80,000 young people who participated in the 114 gatherings, the ways in which young people can contribute to the spiritual and material well-being of their communities. As the young participants articulate insights on themes covered at each conference, what it means for their generation to be dedicated to the service of humanity is brought to life. Continue reading

The Supreme Remedy: A New Book about Fasting by Deborah Walters

The Supreme Remedy cover 350x539As I join my fellow Baha’is around the world in preparing for the upcoming 19 day Baha’i Fast, I managed to get my hands on a copy of a brand new book by Deborah Walters called The Supreme Remedy – Reflections on applying natural healing arts to the Baha’i Fast.

Deborah Walters is a Doctor of Naturopathy and Homeopathy and she runs a private practice specializing in spiritual, mental and physical healing. In this wonderful book, she draws on both the Baha’i teachings and her own professional experience to examine the human condition of the soul, mind and body. She focuses on how they interrelate and can be harmonized, transformed and energized through the spiritual discipline of the Baha’i Fast and explores the “illimitable” benefits hidden within the Fast and why Baha’u’llah calls it “the supreme remedy” for self and passion.

The Supreme Remedy is also very practical as well, and Deborah answers questions about the Baha’i Fast like: How does the Fast relate to our health, our minds, and our spiritual growth? How can we make it easier and what foods should we eat?

The book is the first of its kind, and Deborah is currently touring to promote her book. I managed to get in touch with Deborah and asked her a few questions about The Supreme Remedy: Continue reading

Dealing with Sorrow and Grief: Learning to Let Go

Learning to let go - 620x429I recently lost someone in my life. Someone very close to me. Someone I love very much.

You can fall in love with, and become attached to anything. A person, an object, an idea, a place, a feeling, a belief.

No matter what it is that you’re attached to and in love with – once it’s gone – letting go can be hard.

Grief is an interesting thing. Many of my friends console me by saying that things happen for a reason, and we have to count our blessings. My mother always says that things could be worse, and she tells me the parable of a man who, while walking down a muddy street, complained to God that he didn’t have shoes. His complaints turned into prayers of gratitude when he noticed a man passing him on that muddy street who didn’t have any legs… She’s right. It could always be worse. Continue reading

Yaran: A New Album by Badi Yazdi Dedicated to the Imprisoned Yaran

Badi YazdiThe situation for the Baha’is in Iran took a turn for the worse after Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, and as the Baha’is in Iran continue to face persecution, many Baha’is around the world continue to work towards ensuring their freedom through peaceful diplomacy, various awareness campaigns, and of course through the power of prayer.

This ongoing persecution is the driving force behind the music of Badi Yazdi, and in his new album entitled Yaran, Badi shares with us a selection of seven prayers chanted in Persian and underscored by Eric Harper. Each prayer is dedicated to the seven imprisoned Baha’i leaders in Iran, who collectively are known as ‘The Yaran’.

I decided to catch up with Badi Yazdi to find out more about the album and the initiative as a whole: Continue reading

Celebrating 60 Years of the Baha’i Faith in Samoa

The first Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Samoa, 1957.

The first Baha’i Local Spiritual Assembly in Samoa, 1957. (Photo: Lilian Ala’i)

This year marks the 60th Anniversary of the Baha’i Faith in Samoa, and last week the Baha’is and their friends got together to celebrate – and there’s a lot to celebrate about!

Besides being a part of what Shoghi Effendi calls The Spiritual Axis, Samoa is recognised as the first nation in the world where the reigning monarch, His Highness Susuga Malietoa Tanumafili II, accepted the message of Baha’u’llah and became a Baha’i. His Highness was already aware of the Baha’i Faith, however in 1968, after the “Proclamation to the Kings” by Baha’u’llah was presented to him by visiting Hand of the Cause Dr. Ugo Giachery on behalf of the Universal House of Justice, the king declared his belief in Baha’u’llah.

Recalling the early days of the Faith in Samoa, His Highness had once said:

My brother (High Chief Savea, a retired judge) knew so much about the Baha’i teachings. He was the first of us to study this new religion. During the early years of independence we witnessed many denominations being established, but the Baha’i Faith was so different, its teachings, its approach to people, its concern for the meek and lowly, its lack of interest in worldly things, its regenerating spirit. I was readily attracted.

Continue reading