Let Thine everlasting melodies breathe tranquillity on me … O Thou Who art the most manifest of the manifest and the most hidden of the hidden!

 

The soft music at the beginning of our session sets the mood for a contemplative introduction to the Bahá’í faith. The session was jointly led with some of our local Bahá’í s – Jan MacDonald, Minou Rowshan and George Ballentyne – who welcomed us into the world of their faith, one that strives for the unity of humanity and justice for all peoples. This was highlighted particularly well through a video called Light to the World, commissioned by the Bahá’í  World Centre – the video presentation can be found here and is a brilliant introduction to the key principles of Bahá’í. I, for one, finally understand the difference between the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh – although it not a perfect analogy (as George pointed out himself) it is helpful for Christians to think about the relationship between the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh as akin to that between John the Baptist and Jesus Christ.

 The second part of the morning was spent reading together some Bahá’í texts – including reading excerpts from the 1911 Paris Talks of Abdu’l-Bahá, the eldest son of Bahá’u’lláh. I found the piece on kindness to strangers very moving, as well as some of the prayers that were shared. As one of our participants put it, the whole session was “very enjoyable, very informative and well thought out. I think we could have gone on all afternoon!” Although this was only a dip of the toe into such an interesting subject, I think our participants went away with a much fuller understanding of the Bahá’í faith, and what it means to those who practise it.