Bahá'í Blog

How I’m Rethinking Understanding

1 week 4 days ago
Have you ever come across an idea so simple as to seem obvious, but so profound it seemed to bend your brain in new directions? I had that experience in 2016 at a seminar with the Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity (ISGP). On the very first day, we discussed a foundational principle of our study: the importance of holding a concept in our brain with the intention to understand it, without accepting or rejecting it.
Maia James

Loving All the World – A New Children’s Book About Abdu’l-Baha

2 weeks 3 days ago
Stories about Abdu’l-Baha for children are light upon light and I am delighted to know about a new publication called Loving All the World that was put together by Barbara Johnson. It contains stories by a score of talented writers and works by a plethora of skillful artists. It was a joy to hear from […]
Sonjel Vreeland

Monthly Reflection – Azamat (Grandeur): On Sunshine

3 weeks ago
The last month has been overflowing with excitement and joy as this Ridvan the 13th International Baha’i Convention was held in Haifa in order to elect the Universal House of Justice. Delegates from all over the planet gathered together and, by following along with the Baha’i World News Service, the jubilation and thrill of the gathering was palpable all over the globe. You know that sentence where Abdu’l-Baha says, “When a man turns his face to God he finds sunshine everywhere”? I feel like those words were embodied in the vibrant portraits captured by Edit Kalman, a talented photographer and a delegate from Hungary who took several hundred photographs of delegates and volunteers and the Baha’i gardens in Haifa and Akka. It was a treat to hear from Edit about her photographs and to feature a small visual feast of them on Baha’i Blog.
Sonjel Vreeland

Monthly Reflection – Jamal: Let’s Talk About Beauty

1 month 1 week ago
No matter where we are on the planet, the Baha’i month of Jamal is a time of transition, and periods of transition invite reflection. I wrote an article entitled “Unravelling Beauty” for Baha’i Blog in 2020, in which I explored what beauty is and what purpose it serves in our lives. When I was asked to write another piece on the topic of beauty, I decided I wanted to dig deeper and engage others in dialogue around this subject this time. Over the last few weeks I have been having conversations with friends about beauty in the hope of deepening our collective understanding of why we have an entire Baha’i month named in beauty’s honour.
Ariana Salvo

Tehranto – A Rom-Com Featuring a Character with Baha’i Roots

1 month 2 weeks ago
I had the pleasure of attending the US premiere of the film Tehranto, a debut work by Canadian-Iranian filmmaker Faran Moradi. It's a love story that takes place in the vibrant city of Toronto where Badi and Sharon, two young students with very different upbringings from a divided Persian community, accidentally fall in love. While Faran is clear that the film is not Baha'i-inspired, the Baha'i Faith is a thread woven into the fabric of the story. Here's what Faran shared with me:
Naysan Naraqi

A Journey of Courage: From Disability to Spiritual Ability

1 month 2 weeks ago
Conversations on the purpose of life from a Baha'i perspective will touch on the belief that all human beings have been created to know and worship God, and to promote an ever-advancing civilization. Each and every one of us has the capacity to do this.
Sonjel Vreeland

Hope – A Personal Perspective

1 month 3 weeks ago
I recently had a conversation where a friend expressed concern for the future of humanity. ‘Even great statesmen,’ he said, ‘do not appear to have created a lasting social change.’ Gandhi, Mandela, Martin Luther King, Helen Keller and even Emmeline Pankhurst came to mind. We sat back for a minute to ponder their achievements and reflect on the change, or lack thereof, that may be associated with their lives.
Aaron Blomeley

Monthly Reflection: Jalal (Glory) – On Roses

1 month 4 weeks ago
As my neighbours will attest, I am not a gardener. I have managed to plant a variety of perennials along the front of our home but any growth or thriving that occurs is not because of me, but in spite of me. Some of these specimens came from friends, and some were purchased at a nursery (picture me with one child attempting to pluck all the blossoms off an expensive shrub, while another rides the flat-bed cart her sister is valiantly pushing into a display of tender trees while I ask an employee what flourishes best with minimal care and attention).
Sonjel Vreeland

Five Creative Activities That I’ve Used in Ruhi Study Circles

2 months ago
As someone for whom experiential learning has proven to be the most effective way to process new ideas, see things from alternative perspectives and adopt new ways of doing things, I am always looking for creative ways to reinforce what I am learning. Based on my experiences as both a tutor and participant, the Ruhi Institute study materials lend themselves well to the integration of creative projects developed with the purpose of further enriching individual and collective learning process. The use of the arts as an avenue to explore themes and ideas presented in the Writings is one mentioned repeatedly by the Universal House of Justice. In a message to the Baha’is of the World dated 21 April 1996, it says that we should:
Ariana Salvo

ebbf Books: Social Discourse-Based Publications

2 months 1 week ago
The Australian Baha'i book distribution service has teamed up with ebbf (Ethical Business Building the Future) in order to create new Baha'i-inspired social discourse-based publications. These books are available in physical copies and digitally and they range in topics from gender equality to consultation, from social innovation to sustainable development, and many other subjects in between.
Sonjel Vreeland

Monthly Reflection: Baha (Splendour) – On Fasting, Transformation & the Season of Light

2 months 2 weeks ago
I am writing this in my dimly lit kitchen as I reflect on the significance of the upcoming month of Baha or Splendour—the first month of the Baha’i year. Outside a steady blur of horizontally blown snow sails past my window. Splendour means to possess great light or luster, so it makes perfect sense to me that Baha’is across the world celebrate our new year (Naw-Ruz) on spring equinox in Tehran—the birthplace of the Founder of the Baha’i Faith, and a place where hyacinths are already pressing their brilliant purple and pink heads up through the dark soil.
Ariana Salvo

Reflections on Fasting (Spiritually) While Pregnant

2 months 2 weeks ago
The Fast for 179 B.E. is approaching its final hours and I want to take this opportunity to share some thoughts, reflections, and goals I had this year. I’ve been a Baha’i since the end of 2015 and was is my 8th Fast, however, this was the first year I was exempt from partaking of the physical fast as I am expecting my first child. During these few weeks, I hit the 8 month mark of my pregnancy, and with that came a lot of excited preparation for my little one’s arrival. This was also the first Fast I have been this conscious of making goals. Usually, I glide through it feeling hunger pains as the easy reminder of what this period means--knowing I wouldn’t have that this year made me engage in more preparation before this time came.
Cherie Heggie

An Introduction to The Secret of Divine Civilization

3 months ago
With these words, Abdu’l-Baha exhorts readers of The Secret of Divine Civilization to arise and strive for humanity’s advancement. He penned this volume while living in exile in Akka, addressing it to His native land, Persia, where it circulated starting in the 1880s. Within a few decades, it had been translated into English. The writer Marzieh Gail produced the current authoritative translation, for which the Hand of the Cause Horace Holley wrote an introduction.
Layli Miron

19 Book & Meal Pairings for the Fast

3 months ago
I am intrigued with the world of food pairings. The more unusual the better– such as crisps and cheese, or cookies and cheese. My friend Ariana writes about loose-leaf tea and which books best suit them, and so I thought it might be fun to list 19 Baha’i-inspired books and 19 meals for the Fast. […]
Sonjel Vreeland

Monthly Reflection:  Ala (Loftiness) – On Cleanliness & the Fast

3 months ago
The month of the Fast is already upon us (wow does time fly). We know that fasting from food is mostly a symbol of spiritual renewal but I really like the thought of the cleansing effect of the Fast as well. Abdu'l-Baha says that the Fast “leadeth to the cleansing of the soul…” ((The Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting)) That led me to look up other passages about cleanliness. Here is what I found:
Lorraine Manifold

Special Edition Newsletter: On Ayyam-i-Ha and Meaningful Media

3 months 1 week ago
Happy Ayyam-i-Ha friends!  We wish you and your family joyful celebrations for this holy period! This year we launched a new project called the Great Big Ayyam-i-Ha Bake Off! Thank you to everyone who had a chance to share their tasty creations with us! We're working on creating something special with all the delicious submissions that we hope to share soon. In the meantime, feel free to explore all the videos, music, articles and more related to this joyous time of year!
Cherie Heggie
1 hour 9 minutes ago
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