Category Archives Discussion

Journalism: A Vehicle for Change

While I was serving at the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa, one of the youth asked a member of the Universal House of Justice his views on the best career choice. I remember he used the example of someone who decides to make a living as a street-sweeper, doing so in order to maintain a clean and pleasant environment for the community. He continued on to say that it wasn’t important what career path we chose to pursue, as long as we used our work to serve humanity. Abdu’l-Baha sheds light in this regard:

In the Baha’i Cause, arts, sciences and all crafts are counted as worship. The man who makes a piece of notepaper to the best of his ability, conscientiously concentrating all his forces on perfecting it, is giving praise to God. Briefly, all effort and exertion put forth by man from the fullness of his heart is worship, if it is prompted by the highest motives and the will to do service to humanity. This is worship: to serve mankind and to minister to the needs of the people. Service is prayer. A physician ministering to the sick, gently, tenderly, free from prejudice and believing in the solidarity of the human race, he is giving praise.

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Interfaith-ish: A Podcast Series About Humanity’s Common Ground

Interfaith-ish is a podcast series that features “conversations about what we believe, why we believe, and how we navigate the common ground and differences between our traditions!” It is hosted by Jack Gordon, a professional media producer and photographer, and it has a unique and unifying format. Jack comes from a family with Jewish, Christian, and Baha’i relatives, so he has a deeply personal understanding of the importance of building positive interfaith relationships. I wanted to learn more about his fascinating podcast series and how it came about. I hope you enjoy our conversation!

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Some Personal Thoughts on Mr. Lample’s “In Pursuit of Harmony between Science and Religion”

As the editor of the Journal of Baha’i Studies, I have the pleasure of reading hundreds of wonderful articles and papers submitted on a variety of subjects relating to the Baha’i Faith.

In the most recent issue of the Journal of Baha’i Studies (volume 26 number 4), an article by current member of the Universal House of Justice, Mr. Paul Lample, really grabbed my attention, as it is, in my opinion, a milestone treatment of the often discussed topic, and attempts to clarify what is intended in the Baha’i texts by harmony (or unity) of science and religion. Titled In Pursuit of Harmony between Science and Religion, this discussion is a highly organized and insightful rendering of a talk given by Mr. Lample on 20 May, 2016 at the Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois, but it is much more than a mere transcript, and I wanted to share some of my personal thoughts on the article, which you can read in full hereContinue reading

Baha’i Tools: A Resource for Elevated Group Discussions

There are a lot of wonderful Baha’i resources available online (many of which we list here in our directory) but in this article we wanted to highlight one site in particular that aims to help groups have spiritual conversations. The site is bahai.tools and they offer more than 70 discussion guides on topics ranging from “The Eye of Oneness”, “Science, Faith & Reality” to “A Hero for Every Season”. The guides are made up of slideshow presentations that include talks, quotes and questions to generate elevated group conversations. To help you out, each presentation is summarized, its target audience is explained and a list of the technological requirements you’ll need is provided. Steve Moses and Caleb Gilleland, the dynamic duo behind bahai.tools, kindly shared the details behind this great resource!  Continue reading

Is God Real? The Unseen Ancient Power

The question, “Is God real?” was posed to me by my four-year-old daughter. A simple “yes” would not suffice and she further asked; “But I can’t see Him, so how do I know He’s real?”

I admittedly struggled with her question. How do you explain the unseen force of God to anyone, let alone a four-year-old?

I was on a quest to answer my pre-schoolers seemingly simple question, but my journey took me into the world of metaphysics and beyond. Continue reading

Raising the Quality of Our Systematic Action: Reflection and Planning

Participants of a Study Circle in Preah Vihear, Cambodia (Photo credit: Baha'i World Centre)

All of us feel the sadness and pain that the peoples of the world are experiencing in this day and age. Yet as Baha’i’s, we know we must not lose sight of humanities’ bright future, focussing our energies on contributing our part to building a flourishing spiritual and material civilization. In it’s 2015 Ridvan message, the Universal House of Justice wrote: Continue reading

Religion: A Cause of Prejudice?

For many people, the heading of this article will seem absurd. “Religion: A cause of prejudice?” well of course it’s a cause of prejudice, they will state, why bother with a question mark. You only have to pick up the paper, or read any history book to see the horrific injustices caused in the name of religion.

But does any label, including “Baha’i”, foster religious prejudice? Continue reading

The Power of Our Thoughts

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

Different Religions, Same Golden Rule

While it is often easy to focus on the differences between the various religions of the world, there are definitely many similarities which unfortunately often get overlooked. Beyond the many similarities relating to customs and rituals, such as fasting and prayer, many of these similarities are based on what could be classified as the “core values”, or the “essence” of these religions, rather than the “details”.

These similarities are very evident in the teachings of these different religions when it comes to the subject of how we should treat others, so I thought it would be interesting to list the “Golden Rule” of what each religion says about how we should treat others. Here’s just one quote from a short selection of major world religions in alphabetical order: Continue reading