The following is our monthly newsletter. You can get a copy sent directly to your inbox by signing up on our homepage! Hi dear ones! Yet another Baha’i month has passed, and we are nearing the end of the Gregorian year. How that’s possible is beyond me, but it seems to happen every year and I always find myself in a state of disbelief. Peculiar thing, time is.
I would like to honour Abdu'l-Baha by sharing a song that He loved. The song, called “Benediction”, was composed by Louise Waite in March 1909 and was sung at many Nineteen Day Feasts in the United States. It was also translated into many languages and has been since sung all over the world. Abdu'l-Baha wrote to the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Chicago about this song saying:
There is a wealth of inspiration that we can derive from the stories of our spiritual ancestors, those brave and courageous souls willing to share the Baha'i teachings, no matter the personal difficulties they faced. I am delighted that the life of Hand of the Cause Agnes Alexander is now in print to be read and treasured.
Duane Varan has created a new podcast series as a response to the call of the Universal House of Justice for the release of the society-building power of the Baha’i Faith in ever-greater measures. This call was voiced in the recent 30 December 2021 message that outlines the goals of the coming Nine Year Plan.
Finding Abdu’l-Baha is a picture book for children by wife-and-husband duo Karla and Dan Vallely; Dan wrote the poem that forms the text of the book and Karla created its watercolour illustrations. In this post, we hear from Dan about the book and what inspired its creation:
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Yas Daniel Matbouly, the founder and president of the Queensland-based not for profit Serving Our People.
Last year I rewatched that late 1990s blockbuster The Matrix for the first time in 20 years and found that its ideas and concepts such as taking the red pill or blue pill, a metaphor for choosing to be awakened or choosing to remain in ignorance, still resonate. Oddly, though, as the film went on I sensed there were some Baha’i-like concepts at play as well. Is that a stretch? On the surface The Matrix is a dizzying action film that could be a war movie with a French Resistance (the awakened humans) dodging the Nazis (agents of the A.I. that controls Earth). Also familiar is the hero’s journey where the lead character Neo fittingly starts as a cubicle drone, awakens to his true surroundings, and then emerges as nascent savior of humanity. That theme ties into a quasi-Christian subtext that includes a “promised one,” a John the Baptist-like prophet, a Judas, and even a resurrection. In recent years the film’s directors have stated that they had actually made a transgender allegory. So despite its Hollywood veneer there is a lot going on beneath the surface. I would argue, though, that at its core The Matrix is a liberation film with a clever twist, and it is this aspect of the movie that got my attention as a Baha’i.
How is it the month of Qudrat already? The end of this month has come and we’ve wrapped up Mental Health Month for 2022! Although it is over for this year, mental health problems don’t hold themselves to one month a year so I’d like to take this moment to acknowledge the struggles that many people are going through. What we have shared across all our platforms this month will remain available indefinitely and we hope the content brings you some solace and provides valuable information that can help you work through your thoughts. If you are facing something particularly serious and you’re in Australia, you can call the Lifeline Helpline for support at 13 11 14 or 000 if you are facing an emergency. We encourage you to find the emergency number for your respective country if you are not in Australia.
In this interview, Victoria is sharing with us the power of her pen in her latest creative endeavour, a novel for teens about kindness called Little Birds in Cages:
Yesterday afternoon, I took my eight year old son to school for his very first overnight sleepover. Upon entering the school, the corridors were bursting with 70-odd anxious yet excited children eager to spend the night away from their parents and caregivers in a learning experience that would instil in them a sense of independence, adventure and camaraderie.
We're enjoying creating a variety of Baha'i-inspired content for Mental Health Month and it's also given us the opportunity to see what articles are online that look at mental health from a perspective informed by the Baha'i teachings. We've put together this short list and we hope it's helpful for anyone looking to read more on the subject online.
Is not pain the steed of the Valley of Love?This is the question that Kevan Pitcher asks himself when considering the role that tests play in our everyday life.
The following is our monthly newsletter. You can get a copy sent directly to your inbox by signing up on our homepage! Hi Friends! This month I’ve been reading Ruhiyyih Khanum’s incisive book: Prescription for Living. If you’ve never picked it up, it’s a treasure tome of advice, thought and observation about the world that’s as relevant today […]
Xavier and his four friends want to plant a garden near the park but wonder, how do you grow a garden? Together they seek out the answers and learn a lot along the way about patience, friendship, and being kind to the Earth.
Smith & Dragoman recently released their fourth studio album titled Into the Fire. It features 25 musicians and collaborators and it continues the band's exploration into some of the key themes, stories and events that took place during the early history of the Baha'i Faith. Employing world music rhythms and instruments, cinematic soundscapes and intimate three-part harmonies, this album aspires to guide the listener on a musical journey of contemplation and discovery.
A Western understanding of mindfulness defines it as “a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
I recently went back to work after being made redundant in December and working online for almost two years previous to that. I must say, it has been a shock to the system to be back in a workplace with three-dimensional human beings. It has also made me reflect on the place of work in our lives and the pace at which we are expected to work in the culture and place where I live.
Australian author Maryam Master just released her second book. No Words tells the story of Aria, a new kid at school who doesn't speak, and the friends who attempt to unravel the mystery of his silence.
National Mental Health Month is an initiative of the Mental Health Foundation Australia (MHFA) that runs every October. It aims to advocate for and promote better mental health across the country. This year Baha'i Blog is taking part by sharing articles, videos, interviews, and a new collection of Baha'i Blog content on the essential spiritual principles of health, healing and overcoming difficulties.
The following is our monthly newsletter. You can get a copy sent directly to your inbox by signing up on our homepage! Hi friends! I just got back from a five day Indigenous retreat near Canada’s Rocky mountains. I listened to knowledge keepers speak about plants, known as the Standing People, which give us all […]
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