As a person of faith, I have always believed that all of us are – as French philosopher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin so succinctly put it – not human beings having a spiritual experience, but rather, spiritual beings having a human experience. It is this duality of existence that has given rise to some of the questions that countless individuals have grappled with over the course of civilizations.
What is my purpose in this world? How do I survive the harsh realities of life and attain comfort and security for myself and those who depend on me? And how do I do all this while also abiding by lofty ideals and higher principles of justice and compassion? What does it mean to live a life that is grounded in reality and pragmatism while also honouring the nobility of the human spirit?
If you are reading this blog, it is likely that these are questions that you too struggle with from time to time. That’s why this time of the year – the days spanning the Baha’i observances of Ayyam-i-Ha, the Fast and Naw-Ruz – are some of my favourite in the year. Continue reading
It is often said that our thoughts shape our reality, and that what we think, we become. But is there really a link between our thoughts and our reality?
Does meditating on visions of future success, for example, really do anything to address the very real obstacles that you face in your daily life?
Some people are firm believers that positive thinking works wonders, while others are more skeptical. Continue reading
On 13 March 2015, Cyclone Pam hit the South Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu, killing 16 people and destroying thousands of homes. Tanna, an island in the south of Vanuatu and with a population of approximately 32,000, was one of the worst affected areas. Tanna island is also one of five locations where – as the Universal House of Justice announced in its 2012 Ridvan Message – a new local Baha’i House of Worship will be built.
Payman and Sima Rowhani, two Baha’is from Vanuatu, have shared the following wonderful account of their visit to the Baha’i friends in Nakayelo Village on Tanna Island, which we are reproducing on Baha’i Blog, with their permission.
While it is clear from their account that the people of Vanuatu are going through a difficult time, it also demonstrates the incredible courage and resilience of the people there. Continue reading
The Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions is an organisation that aims to bring people of faith together to work for a more just, peaceful and sustainable world. Since 1993, the Council for a Parliament of World Religions has organised a total of four Parliaments which have been held in Chicago, Cape Town, Barcelona and Melbourne. The fifth Parliament will be held in 2015.
This video, created for the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions, beautifully encapsulates the vision behind this worldwide interfaith movement.
Here’s the first music video by the Johannesburg Baha’i Choir, directed by Neissan Alessandro Besharati and produced by Nicola Brescia.
Check out their website for more information and music!
Every year, when the vernal equinox begins in Tihran, the birthplace of Baha’u’llah, Baha’is from all over the world celebrate the festival of Naw-Ruz after nineteen days of fasting. Based on the Badi Calendar, Naw-Ruz is the first day of the Baha’i New Year.
Apart from being a time of joy and celebration, Naw-Ruz, which means “New Day”, also signifies renewal and change. Naw-Ruz, and the nineteen days leading up to it, are a period of deep spiritual significance for Baha’is.
We’ve compiled a list of 8 posts (from Baha’i Blog and some other sources) relating to Naw-Ruz that might help you better understand the significance of this Baha’i Holy Day.
We hope you find these articles useful.
A very happy Naw-Ruz to all our readers! Continue reading
Fast in a Day’ (2012) is a global attempt – created by Media Makes Us – to crowd source the feelings and emotions that surround the Baha’i fast, 2nd-20th March. All footage was generated from users of their online network and was filmed during the fasting period.
Fasting is considered a sacred act in many traditions and cultures, as well as abstaining from food and drink, it is a time of personal reflection, prayer and meditation.
The interplay of both the practical and mystical elements of the Baha’i Fast, make it an interesting subject to explore, by weaving together the experiences of individuals from around the world unique insights into this physical and spiritual journey have been captured.
You can follow Media Makes Us on their Facebook page.
Dr. Haleh Arbab presents a talk called “Learning to Read Social Reality in the Light of the Revelation” at the 2014 Association for Baha’i Studies North America Conference in Toronto, Canada.
A classroom in Battambang, Cambodia (Photo: Baha’i World Centre)
Education is a fundamental right to which every child is entitled. An education is fundamental to the development of individuals and their continued wellbeing. It allows individuals to realize their full human capacities and to live rich and meaningful lives. Beyond that, however, education also has the potential to shape entire communities. Continue reading
When I made the decision to become a Baha’i nearly five years ago, it was definitely a highlight in my spiritual journey. I’d always been interested in matters of spirituality and had been raised in a religious family by parents who placed our faith at the centre of individual and family life.
As such, the year leading up to my decision to become a Baha’i was marked by a period of intense exploration of the proofs of Baha’u’llah, a deep reflection on my personal beliefs and the application of His teachings in my own life. This period of independent investigation, which Baha’u’llah encourages us to undertake, was exhilarating and when I finally took the seemingly enormous step of calling myself a Baha’i, it was merely a personal affirmation of what I believed and an acceptance that Baha’u’llah’s teachings are divinely inspired.
It was the happiest and most challenging decision I’d ever made, but in hindsight I can see how that decision, rather than being a destination, was merely the beginning of an entirely new phase in my spiritual journey. Continue reading