Saturday, July 31, 2010

On the Zen of Canoeing: Through the faculty of meditation man attains to eternal life

You cannot apply the name ‘man’ to any being void of this faculty of meditation; without it he would be a mere animal, lower than the beasts.
Through the faculty of meditation man attains to eternal life; through it he receives the breath of the Holy Spirit—the bestowal of the Spirit is given in reflection and meditation.
The spirit of man is itself informed and strengthened during meditation; through it affairs of which man knew nothing are unfolded before his view. Through it he receives Divine inspiration, through it he receives heavenly food.
Meditation is the key for opening the doors of mysteries. In that state man abstracts himself: in that state man withdraws himself from all outside objects; in that subjective mood he is immersed in the ocean of spiritual life and can unfold the secrets of things-in-themselves. To illustrate this, think of man as endowed with two kinds of sight; when the power of insight is being used the outward power of vision does not see.
This faculty of meditation frees man from the animal nature, discerns the reality of things, puts man in touch with God.
This faculty brings forth from the invisible plane the sciences and arts. Through the meditative faculty inventions are made possible, colossal undertakings are carried out; through it governments can run smoothly. Through this faculty man enters into the very Kingdom of God.

Bonita calls the plantlife that grows on a floating log a "meditation." In our canoeing we have admired a ton of these little worlds unto themselves. Mineral Lake was replete with them. So were Beaver and Little Beaver Lakes in the Okanogan. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On Rocky's Back With Stories: He said I was going to preach his funeral some day

Thursday night Rocky was back. One month ago he had a kidney transplant. He still has a few weeks of official recovery, but he snuck out of the house to come to Thursday devotions at our home. Once again we were blessed with his stories. I took 34 video clips. Here are four of them in slideshow sequence. Rocky was a preacher before becoming a Baha'i, that fact alone the source of many of his stories. He talks of life and death, for example, always in a humorous and touching way. -gw


Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On Tierra Is a National Champion: Junior Olympian

This message from Rocky about his granddaughter's amazing AAU feat. -gw
National champion,Tierra crockrell, Norfolk Virginia july 30,2010
Still winning,GO TT

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

Friday, July 30, 2010

On Latinos in Twilight Country: Gente sin fronteras

For many readers, the bestseller Twilight has put Forks, Washington, on the map. The Northwest Washington Coast may seem a great place to find vampires, so isolated, so out of the mainstream. If you live in Washington State as I do, when I think of Forks, I think of loggers, more than 100 inches of rain, and several coastal Indian tribes, one of which has the distinction of having seen the establishment of the first Baha'i local assembly on an Indian reservation (Makah Reservation) in this country..  
Forks may be isolated, and just about as far from the Southern border of the United States as you can get, but, surprisingly, it has been a place where many immigrants from South of the border have found home. The Olympic Peninsula Community Musuem has an beautiful online exhibit on the subject.
God continues to stir up His pot. It's a rich stew He's making for us all to enjoy. -gw

The West End of the Olympic Peninsula is one of diverse cultures. Over the last 25 years, Forks has seen a new group of immigrants come to the area and shape the culture here. Individuals and families from Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador have been moving to the peninsula in search of opportunities for work and education. ...

Latinos are a strong part of the community in Forks. There has been much intertwining of the American and Latino cultures, with many locals learning Spanish and the growth of English as a Second Language classes in the community. On Saturday nights, Spanish music groups play music until late in the evening with many people, Latino and non-Latino, dancing the night away. Celebrations for Cinco de Mayo and Mexican Independence Day happen almost every year.

Thanks, Canadian friend for Museum link. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On a Baha'i Wedding in Central Park: Congratulations to Schuyler & Kavisa

"My mom reading a Baha'i prayer," uploaded by KavisaCW on 30 Jul 10, 10.05AM PDT on Flickr
Summer, a time for weddings. Congratulations Schuyler & Kavisa! -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

On Religious Truths Are Expressed Through Metaphor: Walking on water

We understand religious truths through metaphor. Have you walked on water lately? Bugs do it. Why can't we? -gw

One of the distinguishing features of modernity has been the universal awakening of historical consciousness. An outcome of this revolutionary change in perspective that greatly enhances the teaching of Bahá’u’lláh’s message is the ability of people, given the chance, to recognize that the whole body of humanity’s sacred texts places the drama of salvation itself squarely in the context of history. Beneath the surface language of symbol and metaphor, religion, as the scriptures reveal it, operates not through the arbitrary dictates of magic but as a process of fulfilment unfolding in a physical world created by God for that purpose.

One Common Faith
Author:Bahá’í World Centre

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

On Big Bang Abandoned: The beginning that has no beginning

Ripples from the Big Bang. Bending Light #11

Light refraction patterns from the base of a clear glass vase.

I still trying to get it right. The processing lab is having trouble printing these images, there's no blue sky, grass or flesh tones for the digital printing computer to use as a reference and B/W images on colour film don't help either. It's difficult to judge the exposure as I've no way of metering and I'm literally working in the dark so I can't even see the camera settings easily. I'll persevere; I've still got some ideas to try.

Uploaded by Reciprocity on 28 Feb 06, 3.20AM PDT on flickr

From: Tim


“The universe has no beginning and no end...” Hmm. That sure sounds familiar. This is from a way-cool blog that I follow, the MIT technology blog.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Big Bang Abandoned in New Model of the Universe

A new cosmology successfully explains the accelerating expansion of the universe without dark energy; but only if the universe has no beginning and no end.

Way cool, Tim! -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On Following Baha'i Content on Every Level: There is no "other level" that you inhabit when you believe in God

Is Religion Special?

on The Opinionator from 1 hour ago

I appreciated this column. As an atheism-leaning agnostic who shared a wonderful relationship with a woman of extreme devotion to the Baha'i faith for many years, my comments ahead stem from my experiences.

I can understand why its tempting to view mere secular tolerance and religious commitment as different levels of commitment. I understand why you would claim that religion is more than simply a "viewpoint" and that secularism's imposition of neutrality can stifle the very core of what religious faith aims toward: its sense of GOOD beyond a balancing of worldly values.

After all, you see this multi-level approach in legal opinions, historical texts, ethics treatises, and it also has some intuitive appeal.

But I think that multi-level approach is wrong.

There is no "other level" that you inhabit when you believe in God; if you believe, God infuses everything. And there is no "other level" you inhabit when you care, love, ponder, and direct your mind to the greater good.

How amazing it is to follow the progress of the Cause online, through every news article, every blog post, every mention! All it takes is to arrange for an alert for "Baha'i" to be sent to your email, and you are informed of new content as it appears. BackType is an alert that focuses on comments.  I came across this comment content via a BT alert. -gw
BackType Alerts sends you e-mail updates whenever a search term is mentioned in a comment

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On The Evolution of Baha'i Websites: There is nothing unscientific in the assumption that a Creative or Divine force is at work in the world

In its truest form, devoid of dogmatic accretions, religion has imparted spiritual and moral verities that in no way contradict the discovered truths of science. There is no substantive basis to the contention that an intrinsic incompatibility exists between science and religion. The process of scientific discovery itself involves human faculties such as imagination and intuition, in addition to reason, and cannot be regarded simply as a set of well-defined procedures. The historic dichotomy between reason and faith is a false dichotomy. They are complementary faculties of human nature that both engage in the process of discovering and understanding reality; they are both tools that enable society to apprehend truth.

This perspective is reinforced by recent scientific developments that suggest strong epistemological convergence with various religious world-views. Modern physics and psychology, for example, cast considerable doubt on the notion that matter is the primary basis of reality, or that human consciousness is a simple derivative of neurochemical processes. The reductionism and determinism associated with Newtonian mechanics is now giving way to an understanding of physical phenomena in which the universe is regarded as an ever evolving, interconnected, and unified whole. The fact that physical laws permit complex biological configurations to emerge and evolve to the point of consciousness, suggests evidence of higher level organizational laws and even design. In short, there is nothing unscientific in the assumption that a Creative or Divine force is at work in the world.

I found this on the Baha'i website for India. Beautiful site, with the same beauty and flash of and That's certainly appropriate for the most populous country in the world in terms of Baha'i population. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On Baha'i Music & Music from Baha'is:

Follow this site. What has been needed for some time now has been a website that lists all in one place all of the Baha'is who are producing Baha'ii-inspired music. With three inaugural entries, this site promises to do just that. -gw

Posted via email from baha'i music

Monday, July 26, 2010

On How Can Feeble Reason Encompass the Qu'ran: Or the spider snare a phoenix in its web?

Beautiful photo, huh! Reminds me of this quote in Baha'u'llah's The Seven Valleys. -gw

God, the Exalted, hath placed these signs in men, to the end that philosophers may not deny the mysteries of the life beyond nor belittle that which hath been promised them. For some hold to reason and deny whatever the reason comprehendeth not, and yet weak minds can never grasp the matters which we have related, but only the Supreme, Divine Intelligence can comprehend them:
How can feeble reason encompass the Qur’án,
Or the spider snare a phoenix in his web?

All these states are to be witnessed in the Valley of Wonderment, and the traveler at 3every moment seeketh for more, and is not wearied. Thus the Lord of the First and the Last in setting forth the grades of contemplation, and expressing wonderment hath said: “O Lord, increase my astonishment at Thee!”
Likewise, reflect upon the perfection of man’s creation, and that all these planes and states are folded up and hidden away within him.
Dost thou reckon thyself only a puny form
When within thee the universe is folded?

Then we must labor to destroy the animal condition, till the meaning of humanity shall come to light.

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

Sunday, July 25, 2010

On What's in Arlene's Prayerbook: Unfold the drooping wings of ever broken bird and start it on its flight

Arlene let me take over the prayer duties in sun-mottled shade under the trees behind the Ethnic Fest Booth for a little while yesterday. She let me use here prayer book. I read all the prayers in my favorite section, "Triumph of the Cause." I had to read them out loud, to be able to sufficiently concentrate on them, because the music from two different stages was so loud. I love Ethnic Fest. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

Saturday, July 24, 2010

On Operating at the Most Local Level of Society: A trend away from churches, sermons and large crowds taking hold

By Linda Stewart Ball

DALLAS — To get to church on a recent Sunday morning, the Yeldell family walked no farther than their own living room to greet fellow worshippers.

The members of this “house church” are part of what experts say is a fundamental shift in the way U.S. Christians think about church. Skip the sermons, costly church buildings and large, faceless crowds, they say. House church is about relationships forged in small faith communities.

In general, house churches consist of 12 to 15 people who share what’s going on in their lives, often turning to Scriptures for guidance. They rely on the Holy Spirit or spontaneity to lead the direction of their weekly gatherings.

“I think part of the appeal for some in the house church movement is the desire to return to a simpler expression of church,” said Ed Stetzer, a seminary professor and president of Lifeway Research, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. “For many, church has become too much (like a) business while they just want to live like the Bible.”

House church proponents say their small groups are sort of a throwback to the early Christian church in that they have no clergy and everyone is expected to contribute to the teaching, singing and praying.

They are more commonly seen in countries where Christianity is not the dominant religion. Organizers say they’re just starting to take off in the United States.

Baha'is reading  this article appearing in newspapers across the country this Sunday will  recognize the divinely guided perceptiveness of the Universal House of Justice in their admoition to us to organze our efforts at the level of the neighborhood. The activities of Baha'i life, whether Feast, devotions, childen's classes, and study circles, thrive when we follow the House of Justice's guidance. -gw
At the most local level of society – the neighborhood -- Baha’is are learning how “to empower individuals of all ages to recognize and develop their spiritual capacities and to channel their collective energies towards improving their communities.”*

(* Text excerpted from the Baha'i International Community document, Rethinking Prosperity: Forging Alternatives to a Culture of Consumerism.)


Posted via email from Baha'i Views

Friday, July 23, 2010

On the Weather This Weekend: It's Ethnic Fest time

Can't ask for better weather in Tacoma this weekend for Ethnic Fest. Here is a taste from last yearofr the annual Wright Park extravaganza celebrating Tacoma's diversity. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On Nettie Asberry: The first African-American in the United States to receive a doctorate degree

More on Nettie Asberry, a Tacoma Baha'i. -gw

From: Northwest BahaiLibrary

Renton Magazine advertised the performance of Eva Abram portraying Nettie Asberry (Tacoman Baha'i) in their February 2010 edition:

See: page 4.

Eva Abram's webpage is

Nettie Asberry's biography has been shared in several places on the Internet, most notably these two places:

There is also this new account of Nettie Asberry by Mrs. Freddie May Barnett, current President of the Washington State Association of Colored Women’s Clubs who was interviewed May 30, 2009 in Tacoma:

"She was a great activist. I learned so much of her giving to the community on racial issues. She stood up for the rights of African-Americans in this state. Per one of her early accomplishments, she was a party to organizing the NAACP in WA and the Tacoma City Association of Colored Women’s Clubs. Dr Asberry was a piano teacher by profession. Another major accomplishment: Dr Asberry participated with club members in a march on Olympia, the state capital after she heard about lynching to occur to a man regarding an interracial marriage. The march was a success and the lynching did not occur. She was a piano teacher and she taught music to all races as she wanted to insure that all people of all races had the opportunity to learn music and be treated equal. This was her passion."

In 1883 Dr Asberry received her PHD. Degree from Kansas Conservatory of Music. Mrs. Barnett goes on to state she believes Dr. Asberry was the first African American in the United States to receive a doctorate degree at that time.

Dr. Asberry was also president majority of the time and organized the“Asberry Cultural Club” which Mrs. Barnett as the current president.

The interview is here:

The Asberry Club sponsors cultural events featuring arts, crafts andmusic and is one of four clubs at the Tacoma City Association of Colored Women's Club:

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On the 50th Convención Nacional Bahá'í de Bolivia 2010: Fifty years

I have posted a number of Steve Pulley's photos from Bolivia on Baha'i Views. I always have such a strong feeling when I see his shots, because of my memories of seeing around the time of my initial exposure to the Faith photos and articles about the Baha'is there I always felt such delight that there were Baha'is not just where I lived in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, but in such a seemingly far-away place and among such a noble people. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On an Alaska-Salishan Connection: Visiting a village

For Cari, Salishan is like the villages in Alaska she used to visit when she lived there. The Baha'i teaching work is conducted the same way, by making friends. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On an Audio Track Added: Paul Lample's talk, our faces

Here is my cheap movie-maker trick, my way of adding audio to a slideshow of photos from the last ntensive. Paul Lample is the speaker in this talk given at the Baha'i House of Worship on June 2nd. Ask your Assembly if you would like a copy. It is incredibly relevant to the work that we are doing now.
We're trying to get all our resources lined up, so we can take full advantage of every one of them. There are not a lot of Baha'is in the world, relatively speaking, which is why every believer is called to arise to plug into some part of the Institute Process. We are invited to let go of what we have been doing habitually over the years as Baha'is and do what the plan calls upon us to do in the present moment. These are all my words, of course, not Paul's, but reflect on an implication of his presentation for me. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

Thursday, July 22, 2010

On O God, Refresh and Gladden My Spirit

An often said and often sung Baha'i prayer.
  • Walter Heath sings it on "Praise His Name"
  • Lorintha Umtuch chants it on her album
  • Kathy Tahiri sings it on the Louhelen music compilation album "Fruits of the Spirit"
  • Inge Haghighi does it on "Eternal Sun"
  • Tapestry sings it on "Interwoven"
  • Mana includes it on their "Teaching Children" album
  • Rowshan sings it on "Celestial Soul"

etc. etc. -gw


Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On an Interfaith Prayer for the G8 World Religions Summit: Ever unite us

Most religious traditions put an emphasis on thanksgiving.  The prayer below gives grateful recognition to the unique and diverse gifts of the world’s spiritual traditions.

Reader: We give thanks for the world’s religions and the richness they bring to our lives.

People: We give thanks.

Reader: We give thanks for our Baha’i brothers and sisters, for their genuine openness and desire for unity.

People: We give thanks.

Reader: We give thanks for our Buddhist sisters and brothers, for their sense of peace and relinquishing of self.

People: We give thanks.

Reader: We give thanks for our Christian brothers and sisters, for their message of love and ethic of compassion.

People: We give thanks.

Reader: We give thanks for our Hindu sisters and brothers, for their openhearted acceptance of others and kindly disposition toward those of other faiths.

People: We give thanks.

Reader: We give thanks for our Humanist brothers and sisters, for their emphasis on the dignity and worth of all persons.

People: We give thanks.

Reader: We give thanks for our Muslim sisters and brothers, for their commitment in prayer and faithfulness in worship.

People: We give thanks.

Reader: We give thanks for our Jain brothers and sisters, for their deep respect for life and practice of nonviolence.

People: We give thanks.

Reader: We give thanks for our Jewish sisters and brothers, for their enriching symbols of worship and cherishing of tradition.

People: We give thanks.

Reader: We give thanks for our Aboriginal brothers and sisters, for their reverence of nature and their ancient and still-living culture.

People: We give thanks.

Reader: We give thanks for our Shinto brothers and sisters, for their affirmation of ritual and awareness of the natural world

People: We give thanks

Reader: We give thanks for our Sikh sisters and brothers, for their warm hospitality and public witness of faith.

People: We give thanks.

Reader: We give thanks for our Taoist brothers and sisters, for their sense of the connectedness of all things and pursuit of harmony.

People: We give thanks

Reader: we give thanks for our Unitarian sisters and brothers, for their openness to truth and commitment to freedom, reason and tolerance.

People: We give thanks.

Reader: We give thanks for our Zoroastrian sisters and brothers, for their devotion to right though, right speech and right action.

People: We give thanks.

Leader: We give thanks for every faith tradition, named and unnamed, for the variety and richness of their spiritualities, for their united quest for truth, for their common dedication tot he pursuit of peace, reconciliation and healing of the spirit.

Congregation: We give thanks.  Ever unite us as one community of joy, hope, love and peace.  Ever inspire us to live more genuinely and authentically, celebrating diversity, affirming unity, pursing peace, not just for better relations among  philosophies, but for a new and more just world.  Amen.

“Ever Unite Us” -- An Interfaith Prayer for the G8 World Religions Summit
The blogger here reposts this prayer as an example of a bad thing. Baha'is know the limitations to what the interfaith movement can accomplish, but the direction people of faith must inevitably take is clear, towards ever higher levels of unity. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On This Month's Flickr Batting Average: 1141 views a day

There have been 30,809 aggregate views on Baha'i Views / Flitzy Phoebie on Flickr in the last 27 days, for an average of 1141 views a day. All time view count to date is 408,029. Flickr has been a wonderful vehicle for Bonita and me. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

On Shoulder Pads and Nature Centers: Supporting children, building community

Coach Charles is still in the South visiting family, but I stopped by the Tigers practice anyway, took some pictures, and visited briefly with Coach William. It was a beautiful mild summer evening in Tacoma. There were kids at various stations all over the field. And the cheerleaders were practicing, too. Yes, the Tigers have cheerleaders.
Will was outfitting kids in shoulder pads, pants and jerseys. The team did car washes for something like 10 Saturdays to raise more than $6000 to cover the cost. Will said he has been coaching for decades. He said that back in Atlanta he had benefitted from playing football as a kid due to the sacrifices of others who organized it, so now he provides that service. He said that sometimes he says he's gonna take a break from football, but he never does, "because there is always a team that needs a coach."
Will and his wife Karen, who is just as involved in the week-to-week team activities as Will is, are never home. Not only does Will, along with Charles, coach the Tigers, but they are the general managers for the Tacoma Invaders, too. Karen runs the concession stand at the Invader's games.
Will, Karen, Charles, and the other coaches and volunteers who give of their time with the Tigers and the Invaders contribute to cohension in the community. They are buildling community through sport as Baha'is are buildling community through devotional meetings, study circles, children's classes, junior youth groups, and home-visiting. We're all in this together.
Coach Charles is being driven up to Kentucky today, following his visit to family in his hometown of Lakeland FL He's probably tired of the heat by now, and probably hasn't gotten much sleep, but a visit back home has been overdue and is well worth it. He'll be back on the 31st.
The Invaders played the Eagles and won. They went down to Tenino and lost to the Caviliers by only one point. The playoffs begin this weekend. Charles will make it back before the championship game. And, oh yeah, the Tigers start their games the third week in August. The football season is long for these folks.
After visiting the Tiger's practice, I swung by Snake Lake, taking the short hike to the bridge over placid waters at the center of the park, a favorite spot.  A Children's Nature Exploration Area is being developed at the entrance of the park and will open in September. Another indication of the importance the learning experiences of children is given here in Tacoma.  -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On All Through the Night: Latest videos uploaded

I'm getting in the habit of uploading to Flickr through the night, HD video taking 5 times longer than the video I took with my other camera. Here is what I uploaded last night from the Baha'i intensive. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On the Best Collection of Baha'i Music Videos in One Place: The Baha'i-Inspired Music Listeners Club on Facebook

Just when I think I know Baha'i music, I come across something that tells me I don't. Such as Harri's list. Who's Harri? Harri of The Baha'i-Inspired Music Listeners Club on Facebook. (There are actually multiple administrators to the group, but Harri's the one whose name I see the most.)
There are now no less than 150 videos up by almost 100 artists . There are people here whose names I don't recognize. Surely this is the best collection of Baha'i music videos all in one spot the net.
Today Harri put up videos by Chris Rosser. Interesting that Chris toured as keyboardist for master Turkish musician Omar Faruk Tekbilek (2005). Thanks, Harri and friends, for continuing bring to my attention the limitations of my knowledge. -gw

Posted via email from baha'i music

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

On Abdu'l-Baha in America: He spoke to 85,000 people

Robert H. Stockman figures `Abdu'l-Baha gave 350 talks in the US and Canada, and something like 85,000 people (give or take a few ten thousand) attended them.
Via Facebook. Now that's a fascinating statistic! -gw


Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On Having Fun at Clara Dunn: Training ground for Northwest Baha'i youth

we elders decided to get together and write a song for clara dunn, the ridiculousness in the beginning is a result of that. the nice song at the end, however, is a quote that was put to music by imani and roya. you guys are de best!!
Clara Dunn was last week. Based at Brighton Creek, here in the county. -gw
The Clara Dunn Academy is an intensive nine day session during which participants study the Sacred and Authoritative Texts and Nabil's Dawnbreakers. The program is designed to assist individuals in recognizing their station as spiritual descendants of the Dawnbreakers as they expand their knowledge of the Cause and develop the skills and attitudes of service to the Faith.

Posted via email from baha'i music

On We All Live in the Year of Sunday: So many things are in store for us.

Lyrics and music by James Seals & Dash Crofts, 1971)
From the album YEAR OF SUNDAY (1972).

We all live in the Year of Sunday, so many things are in store for us.
Oh what a gift to be born in Sunday's beautiful light way down here in the dusk.
People, return to the tree of oneness, oh won't you hurry the Presence is there.
Down on our knees in the darkness of Sunday, we'll find the answers to all of our prayers.
And then everyday will be Sunday, for you and me. How I pray! How I pray!

God made a pact with Abraham, never leave a man alone.
So Abraham gathered his family, and brought his people home.
Along came Moses, gave the world a push. Climbed upon a mountain high.
He got the Ten Commandments from a burning bush and put together his first tribe.

Then came Jesus to Jerusalem, ridin' on His shoulder a dove.
The dove upon his shoulder said he was the One, the One to teach us how to love!
Mohammed stayed out in the desert sun, stayed out there just as long as he could.
The Maker gave him water from the River of Life, and then he gave us nationhood.

And then time passed, soon the dark clouds, came and covered up Mohammed's sun.
But the young Bab, down in Persia land, came to tell us of the Promised One.
(From Baha'i Scripture) "Lo, the nightengale of paradise
Singeth upon the twigs of the Tree of Eternity,
With holy and sweet melodies,
Proclaiming to the sincere ones the glad tidings of the nearness of God."
Baha'u'llah! Baha'u'llah! Baha'u'llah! Baha'u'llah!
We all live in the Year of Sunday, so many things are in store for us.
Oh what a gift to be born in Sunday's beautiful light way down here in the dusk.
We all live in the Year of Sunday, so many things are in store for us.
Oh what a gift to be born in Sunday's beautiful light way down here in the dusk. . ..
We taught on Sunday in a year full of Sundays. Here are the last of the photos from the 20th Baha'i intensive campaign. More HD videos yet to come. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On Hilltop in the Sunshine: A garden growing

Everything looks good in the sunshine. The Hilltop neighborhood of Tacoma looked especially good last weekend as I was out with my teammates, Dawn, Marcia, and Corinne, inviting residents to participate in the Baha'i core activities.

Our focus was on small apartment complexes, the kind where you can actually knock on someone's door, and a person on the other side can answer. We engaged in spiritual conversations with a young African-American mother of a 1 year old child, a Cambodian immigrant father of two young children, a 17-year old youth and a young adult Jehovah's Witness, both Caucasian, and a young couple, one Samoan and the other African-American, who are parents of another one year old. We did a follow-up visit to the single mother of a five year-old child, and with our friend Jeff, both African-American, who had been initially contacted during previous intensive campaigns.

It was a glorious weekend in the sunshine. In the middle of the neighborhood was a community garden, every vegetable planted there taking full advantage of the rays of the sun. I could not help but take out my camera to record the work in progress. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

Monday, July 19, 2010

On New Forces Reshaping Human Societies: Wikinomics

Sounds like a Baha'i kind of book. -gw
From: praveen

Dear Friends

Authors Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams have written an intriguing, necessary and, in some ways, groundbreaking book, In Wikinomics The authors examine the possibilities of mass collaboration, open-source software and evolutionary business practices. They integrate examples from the arts ("mashups"), scholarship (Wikipedia) and even heavy industry (gold mining) to argue that new forces are reshaping human societies. Some of their examples will be familiar, but others will surprise and educate you. The result is that the book reads at times like a guidebook, at times like a manifesto and at times like a cheer leading effort for the world the authors desire. It reads, in short, like the Wikipedia they so admire: a valuable, exciting experiment .

Warm Greetings,

Praveen []

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On Music in Montreal: Up on the Baha'i Center stage

Looks like they're getting ready to make music here. Don't you love the clutter of stages?  -gw

Posted via email from baha'i music

On the Voices of Baha: Broadcast on the Indian Parliament Channel

From: praveen

Dear All

The International Choir group Voices of Baha recently performed in Delhi both in the prayer hall as well as the auditorium of the Baha'i House of  Worship.

The event was covered by Lok Sahba television and includes interviews with the artistes and Music Director Tom Price:

The program will be broadcast - nationwide -  at 6.30 pm today,  Mon, 19 July,  on Lok Sabha tv.

Repeats the same night at 12;
Tuesday at 5 am;
Wed, 12 noon.

Happy viewing

Office of Public Relations
Baha'i House of Worship

[New Delhi, India]
There are a number of videos up on YouTube from the 2010 Voices of Baha tour to India, uploaded by Praveen, LizKauai, and others. -gw

Posted via email from baha'i music

On Growing Organically as a Cellular Cluster: Video proof of Baha'i life

I am a tiny cell
single alone and lowly
I have just found a plan
to help me grow systematically
into a group of five
into a local assembly
--From the Baha'i song "I am a Tiny Cell," written by Susan Jenkins and first sung back in the late 70s or early 80's
We gathered in the living room of a home in a wooded neighborhood in Gig Harbor, where the friends are striving to move from a group of 4 adults to have enough believers in the locality to form an Assembly. Some of the teachers going out during the Intensive Phase of our 20th expansion campaign focused on one particular apartment complex in the Gig Harbor City limits. Other teams returned to the Salishan neighborhood of Tacoma where we have had such astounding success setting up the Baha'i core activities to promote the development of a spiritual neighborhood. Other teams returned to Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood where the friends cut their eye teeth in learning how to direct teach collectively. -gw
All of the videos of stories from the second weekend of Baha'i teaching uploaded so far. -gw 

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

Sunday, July 18, 2010

On Yesterday's Photos Today and Today's Tomorrow: Can't wait to get them up

The pics from Saturday in Gig Harbor, our home base for the Baha'i intensive. Today's photos will be posted soon, and more live video of the exciting debriefing by teaching teams as I am able to get them uploaded to Filckr. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On Working With Refugee Populations: Raising up spiritual communities

Community building, creating spiritual neighborhoods, is the fundamental work of Baha'is today. We're attempting to do that here in Pierce County WA, as Baha'is are doing it in localities the world over. In a neighborhood in Decatur, Georgia, a week long summer camp was organized by the Baha'is involving refugee children. Check out Abid's post and pics. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On a Family Fun Night Out: Jeff brings his boys

Jeff made it to Family Fun Night on on the Penensula last month, without Jeff Junior (the pool shark) this time, but with his other two boys this time. Tacoma got into the act with its own Family Fun night last week (which I, unfortuantely, had to miss), so now there is family fun galore in Baha'i Cluster 19 WA. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On the Grass of the Field: Wherein I satisfy my hunger for beauty

Thus Jesus, Son of Mary, whilst seated one day and speaking in the strain of the Holy Spirit, uttered words such as these: “O people! My food is the grass
of the field, wherewith I satisfy my hunger. My bed is the dust, my lamp in the night the light of the moon, and my steed my own feet. Behold, who on earth is richer than I?” By the righteousness of God! Thousands of treasures circle round this poverty, and a myriad kingdoms of glory yearn for such abasement! Shouldst thou attain to a drop of the ocean of the inner meaning of these words, thou wouldst surely forsake the world and all that is therein, and, as the Phoenix wouldst consume thyself in the flames of the undying Fire.
Jamie Frank took the above picture on his back porch in Tacoma the other day. Bonita took the one below while camping in Eastern Washington last month and included it in a recent blog post on Flitzy Phoebie. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On What Will Happen in 2012: Superstitious people will become more superstitious

What do you think will happen in 2012? Best Answer chosen by asker...

Birth, old age, sickness, death will occur perhaps at a higher rate. And superstitious people will become more superstitious.

Source: ExperienceProject

The prophecies of Buddha Sakyamuni about Maitreya Buddha have been fulfilled.

The prophecies of Moses about Christ have been fulfilled.

The prophecies of Christ about His return as the Comforter have been fulfilled.

The prophecies of Muhammad about the Mihdi have been fulfilled.

The prophecies of all religions about the Universal Saviour have been fulfilled.

Those diverse and complicated prophecies commonly promise the Advent of the one and same Holy Spirit, Who had appeared from Age to Age, in the physical temples of those Divine Prophets. Only He Himself can interpret convincingly again and again His prophecies. ...

There might be great catasthropes in the next decade due to environmental changes and confrontations of various groups of fundamentalists. But the strong movement of the people of good will push the reconstruction of the world, at high speed, with newer means of communications and newer construction technologies. Behold! How many great organizations and societies are working actively on the international fields of economic, educational, scientific, cultural and social endeavours.

This is a blog of answers by a Baha'i participant on the Experience Project.
Another answer...
Do you find the internet addictive? Best Answer – Chosen by Asker. Yes, it is miraculously addictive. We can learn everything and we can keep everything for future generations. There is no more fear of books being censored or burned by tyrants. The new World civilization is firmly established and preserved. In answering another question, [...]

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On New Camera, Better Video: To tell the story of our Baha'i teaching more effectively

New camera, better video. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

Friday, July 16, 2010

On Getting Past the No's: One never knows

There are 2 more days left in this 20th Cycle Expansion Phase!  Teaching stories and learnings are being shared all over the Cluster from our first week.  Learning is becoming our mode of operation!  Come and join a team and experience the collective teaching campaign centered in Gig Harbor this weekend.
Chris sent out an invitation for the friends to join theBaha'i teaching this weekend.  All of us who heard the teaching stories shared from last weekend have been reflecting of them through the week. Here is the story that Counselor Serrano told. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On Kim Is Staying in Tacoma: Sing out loud

So glad to see Kim who came by for our Baha'i devotional last night. She has completed her Americorps service and is on to her next adventure. Thankfully, she has chosen to stay on in Tacoma. Yeah!
I played one of Tony V's mix CDs last night. He's blessed me with four altogether, more than 5 hours of music. The first song on the first CD was by Sia. I also played some Laura Harley ("Sing Out Loud") and Kevin Locke ("Earth Gift"). Then we looked at (and listened to) a flickr set on last weekend's IPG and the Holy Day at Lisa's. -gw

Posted via email from baha'i music

On the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence: Requires an acceptance of ambiguity

 "One of the greatest misconceptions about SETI is that we know in our hearts that there is life out there, and the question is whether we’re going to be the generation that finds it. That’s false," he said. "SETI requires an acceptance of ambiguity. If there’s a virtue to SETI, it’s that it’s making ambiguity acceptable at a time when people are focused on the concrete and short-term. It is very often uncomfortable not having the answers, but we need to accept that. We try to recognize that, in this domain, with what we now know, the best we can do, the most honest thing we can do, is live with a sense of ambiguity."

"That sounds deeply spiritual," I told Vakoch. He asked what I meant. "The act of coming to peace with the unknowable," I said.

"It’s not necessarily a matter of being at peace with it," he replied. "There’s a passage in the Bible — ‘Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.’ In a sense, I think science and religion are not ultimately in opposition to one another. They are both attempting to understand things as they are. They understand different aspects of what is."

Read More

Another find by

Posted via email from Baha'i Views