Northern Illinois Bahá'ís

Bahá'í Blogs

How the Coming of Baha’u’llah Changed the World

Baha'i Teachings.org - Thu, 11/07/2019 - 8:00am

Even before the appearance of Baha’u’llah, the world’s nations had begun taking steps to eventually become a more globalized community. However, in this case, that world limited itself solely to...

The post How the Coming of Baha’u’llah Changed the World appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Creating Spiritual Safety Zones for Our Children and Youth

Baha'i Teachings.org - Wed, 11/06/2019 - 8:00am

Few would disagree that the world our children live in today represents one of unprecedented opportunities – as well as the very real dangers left to them by preceding generations.  ...

The post Creating Spiritual Safety Zones for Our Children and Youth appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Our Narcissism Epidemic, and What We Can Do About It

Baha'i Teachings.org - Wed, 11/06/2019 - 7:50am

The title of this popular book should frighten us all: The Narcissism Epidemic – Living in the Age of Entitlement. Does our culture actually suffer from an epidemic of narcissism?...

The post Our Narcissism Epidemic, and What We Can Do About It appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

An Introduction to the Baha’i Faith by Rainn Wilson – A New Animation!

Baha'i Blog - Wed, 11/06/2019 - 7:00am

I’m super excited to let everyone know about a new animation called An Introduction to the Baha’i Faith by Rainn Wilson that Baha’i Blog had the pleasure of working on with our dear friends at BahaiTeachings.org, SwissVBS, and of course, actor Rainn Wilson.

When Rainn first called to chat about the idea of making an animated introduction to the Baha’i Faith, I was excited because of what was learned when Baha’i Blog made this short video about the Baha’i Faith, and because sadly, there’s still not that much out there when it comes to introductory Baha’i materials online. Seeing as how 57 percent of the world are actively online these days, there’s definitely a need for videos like this.

Over the last year or so while working on this project, I’ve had a number of conversations with friends about what goes into the making of an animation about the Baha’i Faith, and because here at Baha’i Blog we’re passionate about the creation of Baha’i-inspired content, and exploring the processes involved, I thought perhaps it would be a good opportunity to share a little bit about some of the considerations made, and the questions we asked ourselves, during the process of creating an animation which introduces the Baha’i Faith to a wide audience.

Action Through Consultation and Collaboration

This animation was the result of many months of consultation, and the collaborative efforts of Rainn Wilson, Baha’i Blog, SwissVBS, and BahaiTeachings.org. So who are these collaborators? Let me tell you:

Rainn Wilson is an actor, a Baha’i, and a dear friend, who’s passionate about the Baha’i Faith and service to humanity. He and his wife Holiday, co-founded a not-for-profit called LIDE, which focuses on the education of girls in Haiti. Rainn and I have worked on several projects together, and we even have our own podcast series on Baha’i Blog called the Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson, so check it out when you get a chance.

SwissVBS is an e-learning company based in Toronto, Canada, and you may have seen their beautiful animated works in the recent film commissioned by the Universal House of Justice called Dawn of the Light.

Hopefully, you’re all familiar with our friends BahaiTeachings.org, a resource-rich website from the United States, full of articles, videos, and podcasts all relating to the Baha’i Faith.

This animation was approximately a year in the making, and it involved not only time and resources, but it came together because of the collaborative efforts and contributions of all those involved, and it was truly the fruit of regular consultation – an important principle of the Baha’i Faith.

The Script

As a well-known actor, Rainn Wilson is often asked about the Baha’i Faith, and he’s also given a lot of talks about the Faith, so he wrote the script based on some of the explanations he’s given over the years, and he shares more about this here in this article about the animation.

Let there be no mistake that we completely understand that the Revelation of Baha’u’llah and the Teachings of the Baha’i Faith are grand in every sense of the word, and trying to present something so awe-inspiring and transformative in a short and succinct way is extremely challenging. Nevertheless, we all need to try our best in explaining the Baha’i Faith to others and this script is based on what has worked for Rainn. Over time, I personally hope to see many more initiatives like this which come from a diversity of voices, cultures, styles, and explanations.

Aesthetics, Design, and Sound

When it came to choosing a style of illustration, our first iterations were a little corporate looking and cartoon-like, but we wanted to avoid this, so after exploring different illustrative styles of what the animation could look like, we decided to go back to the drawing board and try something completely different. We wanted to try and scale the illustrations way back and make them a lot more simple, elegant, and inspired by shadow puppetry. The end result reflects our aim to showcase a style that is less of a colorful illustrated story, and more of a simple design that doesn’t distract or take away any emphasis from what Rainn is saying. The final version of the video is simple, minimalistic and monochromatic (with a splash of red here and there), however, it still took us a while to finalize the style of the animation and determine exactly what images and graphics we wanted to share.

An important consideration when creating visuals about the Baha’i Faith is the fact that we do not depict any Manifestations of God such as Christ, Buddha, the Bab or Baha’u’llah out of a sense of reverence. Even the image of a hand, never mind an entire figure, cannot, in any way, represent a Manifestation of God, and this creates a really unique challenge when you’re doing any kind of visual explanation. For example, what do you depict when speaking about Baha’u’llah or Christ in a way that isn’t a depiction of Them? For instance, when Rainn speaks about Jesus Christ in the animation, and a manger is shown, it was really important to us that a child is not seen in the manger, and would be contrary to the spirit of this law.

Even though we wanted the narration to remain personal in its delivery, we spent a lot of time exploring ways to effectively communicate the ideas presented, without being overly casual with the illustrations being used. For example, when Rainn talks about the crucifixion of Christ, we consulted about the visual of seeing the two nails in the cross, one after the other. We wanted to convey an important point, without belittling its significance. Not only did we consult about how this was portrayed visually, but we also worked together to decide what sound effects should be included that were dignified and effective.

Deciding on what type of music and sound effects to use also took a lot of time and consultation. During the course of the project, we experimented with a variety of musical styles and sounds. Ultimately, we wanted to keep the emphasis on Rainn’s words, so it was important that both the music and the sound effects did not distract from the narration, and you’d be surprised how having too many sound effects, for instance, can change the entire tone of a video, or even the choice in what sort of sound effect used in a certain segment, as there are literally thousands of variations to choose from, and a slight difference in certain sound can make a video go from sounding somber, to comical.

There’s so much more that could be said about the making of this animation, and I can go on-and-on about it, but ultimately, much of it boils down to what viewers thought about it, and whether they actually found the video easy to watch and informative.

Here’s the animation again incase you missed it, or would like to watch it again. We hope you find it useful and share it with your friends:

The post An Introduction to the Baha’i Faith by Rainn Wilson – A New Animation! appeared first on Baha'i Arts, Stories and Media.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

The Many Uses of Meditation

Baha'i Teachings.org - Tue, 11/05/2019 - 10:33am

The Baha’i teachings suggest meditation as one way we can become acquainted with God and our spiritual nature – and recommend developing a daily meditative practice. As we grow closer...

The post The Many Uses of Meditation appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Catastrophic Global Warming: True or False?

Baha'i Teachings.org - Tue, 11/05/2019 - 8:40am

Polls show that the majority of people now accept this single scientific fact: our planet has warmed over the past century. But does that fact portend impending disaster, or just...

The post Catastrophic Global Warming: True or False? appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Nature Feeds the Human Spirit

Baha'i Teachings.org - Mon, 11/04/2019 - 10:05am

At a very young age, I discovered a love of nature that has in the ensuing years of my life profoundly affected me. Simply stated, nature feeds my spirit in...

The post Nature Feeds the Human Spirit appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Tech Brings Us Closer, but Only Love Can Unite Us

Baha'i Teachings.org - Mon, 11/04/2019 - 8:33am

When my family and I moved to Vienna, Austria in 1991, international telephone calls were extremely expensive, making it pretty prohibitive to talk to far-flung friends and family. Our monthly...

The post Tech Brings Us Closer, but Only Love Can Unite Us appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Creating Social Justice in Your Own Community

Baha'i Teachings.org - Sun, 11/03/2019 - 10:00am

The best place to start creating social justice is in your own community. We can each advocate for more justice in the wider world, but justice truly begins at home....

The post Creating Social Justice in Your Own Community appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Christ’s New Name and the New Jerusalem

Baha'i Teachings.org - Sun, 11/03/2019 - 8:24am

The Book of Revelation foretold “Christ’s new name,” which presented an unsolved mystery for Christians and Biblical scholars to ponder for the past two thousand years. The Bible does not...

The post Christ’s New Name and the New Jerusalem appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Bicentenary Events at Baha’i Houses of Worship Around the World: A Roundup of Live-stream Recordings

Baha'i Blog - Sun, 11/03/2019 - 3:10am

As celebrations in honour of the bicentenary anniversary of the Birth of the Bab, Prophet-herald of the Baha’i Faith, unfolded around the planet special events held at the Baha’i Houses of Worship were live-streamed from the official website for the Bicentenary, bicentenary.bahai.org. The majority of these events were recorded and can now be watched at any time on the Baha’i World Centre’s YouTube channel and we definitely encourage you to take a journey around the world by watching them!

Here are the videos currently available, listed in the order the events occurred:

The Baha’i House of Worship for Australasia (Sydney, Australia)

The Baha’i House of Worship for Africa (Kampala, Uganda)

The Baha’i House of Worship for North America (Wilmette, United States)

The Baha’i House of Worship in Colombia (Norte del Cauca)

The Baha’i House of Worship for South America (Santiago, Chile)

The Baha’i House of Worship for the Indian Subcontinent (New Delhi, India)

The Baha’i House of Worship for Central America (Panama City, Panama)

The Baha’i House of Worship for Cambodia (Battambang)

You can find out more about Baha’i Houses of Worship (also known as Baha’i temples or Mashriqu’l-Adhkar’s) from this page on Bahai.org: The Mashriqu’l-Adhkar

If you’re curious to know more about Baha’i Houses of Worship, you might find this Baha’i Blog article helpful: Baha’i Temples: A Brief Introduction

If you haven’t been checking them out already, we definitely recommend following these official platforms that have published stories, photos, and videos from or related to the bicentenary:

  1. The Baha’i World News Service: bwns.org
  2. YouTube: youtube.com/thebahaifaith
  3. Instagram: @twinbirthdays
  4. Facebook: facebook.com/twinbirthdays

The post Bicentenary Events at Baha’i Houses of Worship Around the World: A Roundup of Live-stream Recordings appeared first on Baha'i Arts, Stories and Media.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Asking the Big Questions: What Does Your Soul Need Now?

Baha'i Teachings.org - Sat, 11/02/2019 - 9:19am

When I think of the most important questions in my life, I realize many were about how to get out of something I had gotten myself into.  I had very...

The post Asking the Big Questions: What Does Your Soul Need Now? appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

The Pure Science of the Greenhouse Effect

Baha'i Teachings.org - Sat, 11/02/2019 - 8:58am

When Baha’is encounter opposition to something they say, do, or believe, the Baha’i teachings offer a gentle prescription for how to respond: The heaven of divine wisdom is illumined with...

The post The Pure Science of the Greenhouse Effect appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Dr. Smile: Dentist, Hip-Hop Artist, Activist, Baha’i

Baha'i Teachings.org - Fri, 11/01/2019 - 10:28am

Alex Faizi Rawhani is a man of many talents. Widely known by his professional name – Dr. Smile – and his stage name – LexLeo – Alex is a dentist,...

The post Dr. Smile: Dentist, Hip-Hop Artist, Activist, Baha’i appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

4 Benefits of Going Vegan for the World—and You

Baha'i Teachings.org - Fri, 11/01/2019 - 9:18am

If we can feed ourselves without hurting vulnerable populations, participating in the brutal sacrifice of another life, and also improve our health and help sustain the environment, then why don’t...

The post 4 Benefits of Going Vegan for the World—and You appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Our Common Task: Racial Unity

Baha'i Teachings.org - Thu, 10/31/2019 - 10:00am

It might sound strange, an Iranian immigrant heavily involved in a school for at-risk high school kids in Harlem – but I loved it. I brought to Harlem Prep the...

The post Our Common Task: Racial Unity appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

The Forces of Darkness and Light in Stranger Things

Baha'i Teachings.org - Thu, 10/31/2019 - 8:00am

For those who enjoy the wildly popular Netflix series Stranger Things, the long anticipated sequels have arrived.  As before, the programs don’t disappoint, taking us on a roller coaster ride...

The post The Forces of Darkness and Light in Stranger Things appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Reflecting on Baha’i Pilgrimage: Celebrating the Bab

Baha'i Teachings.org - Wed, 10/30/2019 - 12:33pm

Similar to religious traditions of the past, Baha’is view pilgrimage to the Baha’i holy sites and shrines as a privilege – and as a spiritual obligation: O Son of Spirit!...

The post Reflecting on Baha’i Pilgrimage: Celebrating the Bab appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Interracial Marriage: Stories of Integration and Activism

Baha'i Teachings.org - Wed, 10/30/2019 - 10:32am

The Lambs and the McHughs turned their love into beacons of hope for others, in a time when their interracial marriages violated the law in much of the United States....

The post Interracial Marriage: Stories of Integration and Activism appeared first on BahaiTeachings.org.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Bicentenary Website Showcases Artistic Expression from Around the World

Baha'i Blog - Tue, 10/29/2019 - 8:55pm

At Baha’i Blog, we’re huge fans of artistic expressions so we wanted to make sure everyone was aware of the wonderful section on the official bicentenary website dedicated to artistic expressions from around the world in honour of the 200th anniversary of the Birth of the Bab, Prophet-herald of the Baha’i Faith.

From Bolivia to Iraq, and from Singapore to the Netherlands, this website showcases various artistic initiatives and activities created by individuals and communities, and the page is constantly being updated too!

You can check out all the various creative initiatives at once, or choose from the following categories:

* Visual Arts
* Performing Arts
* Music
* Film & Video
* Poetry & Storytelling

Be sure to visit the site repeatedly in the coming days and hours as more and more content is added!

To stay up-to-date with news about bicentenary celebrations around the world, you might wish to visit and/or follow these official websites and accounts:

  1. The Baha’i World News Service: bwns.org
  2. YouTube: youtube.com/thebahaifaith
  3. Instagram: @twinbirthdays
  4. Facebook: facebook.com/twinbirthdays
  5. Official bicentenary website: bicentenary.bahai.org

And you can find out more about the Bab here, and read selections from the Writings of the Bab here.

The post Bicentenary Website Showcases Artistic Expression from Around the World appeared first on Baha'i Arts, Stories and Media.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Pages

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