happy naw-ruz

sippin'today was my last day at work before the trip! I’m feeling nervous about the preparations, as I mentioned yesterday, but at least I know that things are in good hands at work. there’ll be a nice little lunchtime farewell next Tuesday, I’ll drop by again the day before leaving, and that’s it until September.

Tonight, a special celebration happens, called Naw-rúz; while it also happens to be the Persian new year (as recently attested to by President Obama), it’s also the Bahá’í new year, symbolizing spiritual renewal and the dawn of a new day for humankind. Apart from having a great time there, I’ll be performing on stage during the artistic portion, as well as offering a prayer set to an improvised melody (much like the tracks from the prayercast I post here). Before that, I’ll be joining a band of friends—almost 80 of them, in fact—in breaking the Fast for the last time this year, at Saffron Restaurant on Rideau St. Good friend, former co-worker and fellow web dude Martin used his wheeling-and-dealing talents to secure a buffet dinner for 80 people, including unlimited kebab (koobideh beef, joojeh chicken) and Persian rice. I’m definitely looking forward to it, along with the other 79 I’m sure.

I have to say though, I’ll miss the Fast. For some reason it seemed unusually sweet this year, although it was also hard. I felt as though I was able to connect with God through prayer in a way that I don’t always feel able to. Maybe it’s the influence of preparing to move out of my apartment and leave for Vietnam that’s been helping me become more detached from my surroundings, my possessions, and the like. You know, like packing up your life into a set of luggage and leaving behind the rest. Whatever it is, I’ve found it… especially sweet, in that it seems to have allowed me to deepen my spiritual experience during the past month, helped me to leave behind attachment to material things. Awesome.

Speaking of material things, it’s getting close to dinner time. Happy Naw-rúz and a glorious springtime to you all, materially and spiritually.

the life of baha’u’llah

shrine of baha'u'llahHappy celebration of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh! Right on time, the Baha’i International Community has launched a new website that serves as a pictorial history of the life of Bahá’u’lláh. you should see it, especially if you’re planning to go on pilgrimage soon.

it’s been just about a year since my family returned from our pilgrimage to the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa, Israel—in the midst of my now-busy life, looking back on the traces of that sacred journey brings back a lot of memories and a lot of longing.

ridván continued

Keeping Love Alive by deb5376 (cc)So the twelve-day festival of Ridván, “…the holiest and most significant of all Bahá’í festivals”, continues. Check out some pictures from Ottawa’s celebration of the 1st day of Ridván. Spiritual Assemblies – building blocks of Bahá’í administration – were elected across the country on that day, in a rarefied atmosphere of spirituality that provides a refreshing contrast to the crassness and ego-mongering that too often characterizes our familiar democratic process. The Bahá’í National Convention happens this weekend in Toronto; there, representatives nationwide will gather to elect the nine members of the Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada. Offer your prayers for smooth and productive deliberations at the convention, so that we may enter the new Five-Year Plan running and more united and resolute than ever.

As usual, if anything in this post doesn’t make sense to you—drop me a line!

photo by deb5376 (creative commons)

happy ridván!

Best wishes on this first day of Ridván, the King of all Festivals.

From John Walbridge’s Two Articles on Ridván:

Ridvan, Festival of. The twelve day period commemorating Baha’u’llah’s announcement of his claim to prophethood and his departure from Baghdad in 1863, observed from sunset 20 April to sunset, 2 May. The first, ninth and twelfth days of Ridvan are major Baha’i holy days on which work should be suspended. Baha’i elections are normally held during Ridvan. The name derives from the Najibiyyih Garden in Baghdad where Baha’u’llah stayed during this period and to which he gave the name Ridvan (Paradise).

See also the BBC’s fact file on Ridván.

View a Ridván-themed Flash presentation hosted by the Bahá’ís of New York City.