Northern Illinois Bahá'ís

Northern Illinois Bahá'ís

Uniting Northern Illinois & Chicagoland

Bahá'í Blogs - RSS

Creating a Spiritual Marriage and Family

Baha'i Teachings.org - 1 hour 5 min ago

Baha’u’llah makes it clear that individual spiritual progress cannot occur if one deliberately chooses to live apart from society. Baha’is believe that one must serve others, cultivate human relationships, and...

The post Creating a Spiritual Marriage and Family appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Is There Any Justice in this World?

Baha'i Teachings.org - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 10:00am

Here’s an important question we all ask sooner or later: Is there justice in this world? Our certitude and conviction may be shaken by the repeated images of blatant injustice...

The post Is There Any Justice in this World? appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

How to Turn Your Work into Worship

Baha'i Teachings.org - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 8:00am

Throughout Baha’u’llah’s ministry he exhorted people to engage in a profession or trade of some kind. To Baha’is, work performed in the spirit of service is actually worship. In The...

The post How to Turn Your Work into Worship appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Celebrating World Humanitarian Day 2017

Baha'i Teachings.org - Sat, 08/19/2017 - 3:09pm

In countless places we don’t usually hear about around the world, humanitarian aid workers labor every day to assist people who need help. Have you ever traveled somewhere solely to...

The post Celebrating World Humanitarian Day 2017 appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

My Search for Metaphysical Justice in a Physical World

Baha'i Teachings.org - Sat, 08/19/2017 - 10:00am

In contrast to most institutionalized religions, the Baha’i Faith teaches that theology is logical and reasonable, if we look deeply enough. In fact, the Baha’i teachings say we should all...

The post My Search for Metaphysical Justice in a Physical World appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Religion and Pleasure—They’re not Enemies

Baha'i Teachings.org - Sat, 08/19/2017 - 8:00am

The Baha’i teachings do not condemn pleasure, knowledge or enjoyment—instead, they say “just as the spiritual delights are here in profusion, so too the material delights.” – Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from...

The post Religion and Pleasure—They’re not Enemies appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

True Religion: No Blind Acceptance of Dogma

Baha'i Teachings.org - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 10:00am

When I first became interested in the Baha’i Faith, my initial attraction was to the principle that belief results not from blind acceptance of dogma but from independent investigation of...

The post True Religion: No Blind Acceptance of Dogma appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Leading a More Meaningful Life

Baha'i Teachings.org - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 8:00am

So far in this series of essays we have discussed the major principles that constitute the keys to living a more meaningful life. These include the knowledge and love of...

The post Leading a More Meaningful Life appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Reflection, Planning and Action in Our Daily Lives

Baha'i Blog - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 7:35pm

As the activities of the Baha’i community have grown and developed in complexity, a pattern of action has emerged. Baha’is all around the world are engaged in cycles of activity that are guided by reflection, planning and action. This creates a collective rhythm and unifies a diversity of activities, such as devotional meetings, children’s classes and study circles.

I learned from the fifth book in Ruhi Institute sequence of courses, Releasing the Powers of Junior Youth, that living an integrated life means placing service at the centre and integrating other facets around it. To me, this means that we can benefit from using these three capacities and can add the rhythm of reflection-planning-action to our personal lives. In addition to service, we can also focus on other things we wish to include and develop in our daily lives. 

One analogy that we can use to understand reflection, planning and action is from Stephen Covey’s book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Imagine that you are lost in a huge, dense forest and need to find your way out of it. In the reflection phase, which Covey likens to leadership, you climb the tallest tree and try to get your bearings and find out where you are and where you need to go. This is closely followed by planning, or in other words, management. You choose a course to follow and set another point in the distance to aim towards, a point at which when you reach it, you will take stock again. The next phase is action: you climb back down the tree and start hacking your way through the dense undergrowth of the forest along your planned route. Then once you have travelled for a certain amount of time or reached your planned destination, you climb the tallest tree there, and take stock again, repeating the same steps.

So how does this relate to our lives, which for many of us are very urban? Well we might say that modern life is just as overgrown as a forest and very difficult to navigate through. We are constantly bombarded with deadlines, responsibilities and imagery that confuse and overwhelm us. We often don’t know what our direction in life should be let alone how to get “there”. We constantly find that we can gain no perspective because there seems to be no escape from the noise and turmoil of our frantic lives.

For this reason, we need to climb the “tallest tree” that we can find in order to see the bigger picture. So, what is this tree? It might be prayer and meditation, studying the Writings, time in nature, a walk by the ocean, reading a meaningful book or staying up late after the family have all gone to bed. And what do we do when we “get to the top” of this “tree”? We meditate, we ponder, we re-consider, we analyse, we remember, we yearn… We leave the mindset of schedules and deadlines and pressures; we enter a state of reflection. And the reason that we need to climb this tree is that from down in the undergrowth of our hectic lives, we cannot see clearly. We cannot think and open our mind in the midst of everything, so we need to elevate ourselves above it.

And up there in the canopy, we can consider things, great and small. For example, we can think about the way we eat, and how to eat healthier; reflect on our social life, and find more meaningful ways of relating to people we know and those who we meet; consider our financial situation and where we would like to be, or meditate on our relationship with God and how to draw closer to Him. Any aspect can be the focus of our reflection and conscious intention. And how often do we need to reflect? Baha’u’llah says: “Bring thyself to account each day…”

As we are coming back “to earth”, we can start to become a bit more practical and careful not to leave our visions high up in the sky to be blown away in the winds of the world. We are able to break up our ultimate goals into smaller, more manageable steps: we become systematic. And then we act. We can look at where we are and where we want to be and move forward. As Baha’u’llah says:

…those who journey in the garden land of knowledge … see the end in the beginning.

We start working on our plan. And we approach it with resolve and determination. One of the things Baha’u’llah most loved to see in people was “the ability to carry a task once begun, through to its end.”

But although these are three distinct steps, they are also interrelated. Paulo Freire, the renowned Brazilian educator, explained throughout his writings on education and social change that reflection and action work hand in hand: one cannot exist in isolation to the other for both feed in to the other.

Critical consciousness is brought about, not through an intellectual effort alone, but through praxis – through the authentic union of action and reflection.

Likewise, planning and action also need to co-exist. For example, when I started working on a plan to eat healthier, I reflected on how things were affecting my body and altered the plan to better achieve my objective. Planning is important, but a plan is a means to an end, not an end in itself, so we should never set a plan in stone.

I like to think that this way of living merges two different approaches: being organised and systematic, and going with the flow. This means that you don’t roam aimlessly relying solely on inspiration and passing whims, but you also are not a slave to a rigid plan. You utilise your rationality, creativity and spirituality together.

 

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Facing Your Fears | Shayan Safar

Baha'i Teachings.org - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 5:56pm

Shayan Safar, Hollywood stuntman, talks about his childhood dream to become a superhero; about overcoming his fear of failing; and about the Baha’i principle of facing your fears to refine...

The post Facing Your Fears | Shayan Safar appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

5 Reasons the Baha’i Faith Works

Baha'i Teachings.org - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 10:00am

Sometimes people look at the teachings of the Baha’i Faith and conclude it is a fantasy, a utopian scheme, that it will never work. Entrenched in negative views about humanity;...

The post 5 Reasons the Baha’i Faith Works appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

What Will Stop Humanity’s Violence?

Baha'i Teachings.org - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 8:00am

One of the deepest modern thinkers, the psychologist and Harvard professor Steven Pinker, says “today we may be living in the most peaceable era in our species’ existence.” That startling...

The post What Will Stop Humanity’s Violence? appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Coping With the Death of a Loved One

Baha'i Teachings.org - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 10:00am

When a baby comes into this world, he “dies” with respect to the warm, comfortable mother’s womb where he happily lived for nine months. He leaves that life forever as...

The post Coping With the Death of a Loved One appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

World Peace: More than an Idealistic Dream

Baha'i Teachings.org - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 8:00am

Many people think of world peace as an idealistic dream—but Baha’is believe that world peace is actually inevitable. The Baha’i teachings say that humanity can either unite voluntarily and consciously...

The post World Peace: More than an Idealistic Dream appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Panalangin: A New Album by Paolo Escobar

Baha'i Blog - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 11:39am

When I was at the Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference in Phoenix, USA at the end of last year, I heard the beautiful thundering voice of someone singing to open one of the sessions, and let’s just say that it really got my attention. The song was by Filipino-American, Paolo Escobar, and we managed to meet at the conference and get to know each other. Since then we’ve caught up a couple of times, and he said something which really stuck with me: “All my life I’ve been passionate about two career paths…” he said. “My first passion, or the thing I was most passionate about was to become a musician. My second passion was to become a chef. I became a chef and it helped pay the bills and it’s been great and all, but when I had my birthday and I reassessed my life, I realized now after over a decade of working in what I would call my ‘second passion’, that I need to pursue my first passion: ‘music’. So I quit my job and am now giving it everything I’ve got.” Well I was glad to hear it, because I love Paolo’s music and I was excited when he released his album and agreed to do an interview with Baha’i Blog, so here it is:

Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your musical background?

My parents tell me that I was singing before I spoke, so music has been huge part of my life since before I can remember. My dad was a pretty well known singer in the Philippines – and still the best in my opinion – and he introduced me to a ton of different singing styles and music.

Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little bit about the album and why it was important for you to make it?

I was, for a long time, looking for people to work with and relied a lot on what their skills can do, I ended up doing a lot of features for other people but didn’t do a lot for myself. So this year, for my 30th year, I decided to put out two albums by myself. One is called “PANALANGIN” meaning prayer in Tagalog, and this is my devotional album based on Baha’i Writings that I put out on Naw Ruz 2017, and the other is called “PANGARAP” which means hopes or ambitions, and this is a personal album I released on my 30th birthday.

Baha’i Blog: I know from the time I’ve spent with you that when you sing the Writings, it really knocks you out and you have to unwind a bit. Can you tell me a little bit about this experience for you?

The Baha’i Faith has had a deep impact on my life – like it quite literally saved it – and the Writings have such a meaningful significance that when I sing them I like to embody the emotions that I felt when I first read/heard them. So yeah, it definitely takes a lot out of me and I have a tendency to need to recharge after a large amount of emotional/spiritual output like that.

Baha’i Blog: What’s something that really touched you or that you personally learned during the process of making this album?

I think the amount of loving care and immense amount of time that I had to put out for these projects have made me respect the process more. Especially when doing this type of thing by yourself you really have to love it otherwise it’s easy to burn out. Luckily, there’s not a lot of things I love doing more than this music!

Baha’i Blog: What has the response to your music been like so far and how has it been received?

People have really dug it so far! I’ve been invited to many different communities to perform songs from the albums and it’s been tight to be able to see the effect that my music has had on people in many forms. It really shows how important the arts are in this world and in our Faith community!

Baha’i Blog: Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I just want to thank every person who has supported my efforts and want to able to tell/show everyone how grateful I am that y’all are allowing me to make my dream of making music for a living a reality! More to come soon!

Baha’i Blog: Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview Paolo, and congratulations on this wonderful new album!

You can find out more about Paolo Escobar, and listen to and purchase a his music here on Bandcamp: paoloescobar.bandcamp.com/album/panalangin

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

100-Year-Old Pioneering Actor Reflects on Life, Faith, and Change

Baha'i Teachings.org - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 10:00am

When the 22-year old Earl Cameron arrived in England from Bermuda in 1939, most of the people of Caribbean origin whom he met there were struggling to find work. “It...

The post 100-Year-Old Pioneering Actor Reflects on Life, Faith, and Change appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

How to Govern a United Planet

Baha'i Teachings.org - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 9:00am

Let’s say, just for the sake of discussion, that the leaders of the world decided to unite tomorrow. If that happened, how would we govern the planet? Many people—historians, sociologists,...

The post How to Govern a United Planet appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Where Do Your Ethics Come From?

Baha'i Teachings.org - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 10:00am

We all have a set of ethics—things we will do and things we won’t do. If you’re not aware or conscious about the fact that you do have a set...

The post Where Do Your Ethics Come From? appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

The U.N.: Giving Ordinary People a New Lease on Life

Baha'i Teachings.org - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 8:00am

Last week I took a walk through Muir Woods, the coastal Sequoia forest north of San Francisco, and stood at the spot where the founders of the United Nations once...

The post The U.N.: Giving Ordinary People a New Lease on Life appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Charlottesville and the Plague of American Racism

Baha'i Teachings.org - Sun, 08/13/2017 - 9:41am

A year and a half ago in Charlottesville, Virginia, a 9th grader named Zyahna Bryant started a petition to remove the city’s statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. In...

The post Charlottesville and the Plague of American Racism appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Pages

Subscribe to Northern Illinois Bahá'ís  aggregator - Bahá'í Blogs