armed with the power of thy name (music video)

Baha’i artist Devon Gundry (who I met at Bosch Baha’i School, and whose music I’ve featured here in the past), comes out with a brilliantly moving, profoundly touching new music video for a song based on one of my favourite passages from the Baha’i Writings. See the video below, or in full force on Vimeo thanks to Director Justin Baldoni. Thanks to Praveen for the link!

Armed with the power of Thy name nothing can ever hurt me, and with Thy love in my heart all the world’s afflictions can in no wise alarm me.

From a prayer by Bahá’u’lláh

trials of a voting baha’i

The recent Canadian election season offered me time to ponder and reflect about the Baha’i attitude regarding politics. I find it quite difficult to place myself within the Canadian political system, given Baha’u’llah’s command to refrain from involving oneself in partisan politics. (And living in Ottawa, you tend to hear a lot about politics no matter what time of year it is.) I’ve heard different things from many Baha’is about what forms of political involvement and expression are appropriate. The following quote from a letter on behalf of Shoghi Effendi pretty much sums up my take on the matter:

The Guardian wishes me to draw the attention of the friends through you that they should be very careful in their public utterances not to mention any political figures-either side with them or denounce them. This is the first fact to bear in mind. Otherwise they will involve the friends in political matters, which is infinitely dangerous for the Cause.

From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, January 12, 1933: Bahá’í News, No. 72, April 1933, p. 3 Lights of Guidance, p. 441

That’s why, for example, I leave my “Political Views” line blank on Facebook. It’s also why I never blog about political figures, either to compliment or criticise them, either to express. When I get emails from people criticizing this or that politician—yes, even unpopular ones (who shall remain nameless)—I kind of bristle, just like I would when hearing someone backbiting about a friend.

What do you think? Is it appropriate for Baha’is to openly express their hopes that one or the other candidate in a partisan election will win? Is the opposite appropriate? Why or why not? Oh, and here are a few links as fodder for discussion: Bahá’í Involvement in Politics (from bahai.org), The Spiritual Character of Baha’i Elections (from the Compilation of Compilations), a short Compilation on Criticism. (on that, since my lunch break is over, I’m out!)

blessed is the spot (prayercast, trk.3)

A lot more than two weeks later (x_X), here’s another track from the prayercast; this time, instead of being an improvised melody, the melody is a well-known one accompanying this sweet and beautiful prayer of blessing revealed by Bahá’u’lláh.

[audio:http://pizza.sandwich.net/mp3snd/blessed-is-the-spot.mp3]
Click above to hear this track, or download the file.

Blessed is the spot, and the house, and the place, and the city, and the heart, and the mountain, and the refuge, and the cave, and the valley, and the land, and the sea, and the island, and the meadow, where mention of God hath been made, and His praise glorified.

Bahá’u’lláh, Bahá’í Prayers, p.1

want to hear more of these? leave me a comment on this post or via email, and subscribe to the prayercast in iTunes or your favourite podcast player.

“in earthly riches fear is hidden…”

This quote popped up recently one evening during my reading, and I thought it was quite apropos to the current global economic situation.

By God! In earthly riches fear is hidden and peril is concealed. […] Fleeting are the riches of the world; all that perisheth and changeth is not, and hath never been, worthy of attention, except to a recognized measure.

Not sure what else to say about this one, other than stating how obvious this becomes, especially at a time like this when the foundations of world economy are being shaken to their core.

i am he, o my lord (prayercast, trk.2)

A little more than two weeks later (oops), here’s a second track for you to listen to; this is a prayer for forgiveness revealed by Bahá’u’lláh.

[audio:http://pizza.sandwich.net/mp3snd/i-am-he-o-my-lord-forgiveness.mp3]
Click above to hear this track, or download the file.

I am he, O my Lord, that hath set his face towards Thee, and fixed his hope on the wonders of Thy grace and the revelations of Thy bounty. I pray Thee that Thou wilt not suffer me to turn away disappointed from the door of Thy mercy, nor abandon me to such of Thy creatures as have repudiated Thy Cause.

I am, O my God, Thy servant and the son of Thy servant. I have recognized Thy truth in Thy days, and have directed my steps towards the shores of Thy oneness, confessing Thy singleness, acknowledging Thy unity, and hoping for Thy forgiveness and pardon. Powerful art Thou to do what Thou willest; no God is there beside Thee, the All-Glorious, the Ever-Forgiving.

Bahá’u’lláh, Bahá’í Prayers, p.75

want to hear more of these? leave me a comment on this post or via email, and subscribe to the prayercast in iTunes or your favourite podcast player.

remover of every anguish (prayercast, trk.1)

after years of being needled by everyone I know about my singing talents, I’m finally doing something about it, if only a small effort for now. the attached track is the humble first submission of a series that I’ll be posting semi-regularly on this blog in mp3 form, as a podcast. this one is an acapella vocal adaptation of a prayer revealed by the Báb.

[audio:http://pizza.sandwich.net/mp3snd/anguish.mp3]
Click above to hear this track, or download the file.

O Lord! Thou art the Remover of every anguish and the Dispeller of every affliction. Thou art He Who banisheth every sorrow and setteth free every slave, the Redeemer of every soul. O Lord! Grant deliverance through Thy mercy, and reckon me among such servants of Thine as have gained salvation.

The Báb, Bahá’í Prayers, p.29

want to hear more of these? leave me a comment on this post or via email, and subscribe to the prayercast in iTunes or your favourite podcast player.