"O people! Consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship," Bahá'u'lláh commanded his own followers in His epistle of the Glad Tidings. In that spirit I, and three to four-hundred others, ventured to downtown Minneapolis this evening for Minnesotans Standing Together - A multi-faith prayer service for respect. The service began and ended with bagpipes, surrounding comments, prayers, songs, chanting, and meditation from the Christian (Lutheran, Unitarian, Catholic), Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Bahá'í, and Buddhist faith traditions (a Lakota speaker was unfortunately absent). These were words of unity, love, and respect for one another -- and a call to actively show those feelings, to uphold them in society in the face of enmity, rancor, and hate.
Results tagged “prayer”
Minnesotans Standing Together - prayer service
Devotional Program: Creating Material Balance
This devotional program was presented at the Bahá'í House of Worship on September 5, 2010. Before going upstairs into the temple, I joked to my friend that I wanted to go downstairs to the bookstore, to be material before being spiritual. The architecture is inspiring enough, but the devotions and music were, well, heavenly :-).
A Prayer for the Friends in Iran
This month, the "Friends" (Yaran), a group of informal national Bahá'í leaders in Iran, began their third year in prison. The charges against them are specious, e.g. "corruption on earth", and the Iranian government will not even give them the dignity of holding a trial. I know that the Iranian people are better than this. I pray that their government will come to recognize their duty to respect the freedom to worship, and release this group. Last weekend I attend a devotional gathering in honor of this group, and others, who are imprisoned in Iran. I opened a particular Bahá'í prayer book with which I am not familiar, and this was the first prayer I encountered:
I beseech Thee, O Thou Who art the Lord of all names, to guard Thy loved ones against Thine enemies, and to strengthen them in their love for Thee and in fulfilling Thy pleasure. Do Thou protect them, that their footsteps may slip not, that their hearts may not be shut out as by a veil from Thee, and that their eyes may be restrained from beholding anything that is not of Thee. Cause them to be so enraptured by the sweetness of Thy divine melodies that they will rid themselves of all attachment to any one except Thee, and will turn wholly towards Thee, and extol Thee under all conditions, saying: “Praised be Thou, O Lord our God, inasmuch as Thou hast enabled us to recognize Thy most exalted and all-glorious Self. We will, by Thy mercy, cleave to Thee, and will detach ourselves from any one but Thee. We have realized that Thou art the Beloved of the worlds and the Creator of earth and heaven!”
Glorified be God, the Lord of all creation!
~ Bahá'u'lláh, Prayers and Meditations, LXI
Followup: Prayer for Soldiers, Baha'i Temple
I finally have time to followup on last week's post. Weekend America did indeed include me in last Saturday's broadcast, in a piece called Symbols for the Dead. Half of what I recorded with them did not make it, and I wasn't entirely happy with what they chose to keep, but it was fun to hear myself anyway =). I've extracted just this portion of the broadcast in mp3 format. Also following up below on a post that never made it in the first place, about the Bahá'í House of Worship in Chicago.
Speaking About Baha'i Services for Fallen Soldiers this Saturday on Weekend America
Bahá'ís are discouraged from serving in the military and cannot voluntarily take a combat role. Nevertheless, there have been and are Baha'is in the American military, some of whom die in service (particularly during the draft for Vietnam, I'm sure). American Public Media's Weekend America radio news "magazine" is exploring the topic of how some of the nation's smaller religions honor those who have died in service, including the Bahá'ís. Other than a local neo-pagan group I am not sure who will be featured, as I didn't have time to ask many questions.
Prayer in Buddhism
A friend recently passed to me a question about prayer in Buddhism. The question seemed to stem from the following passage in Bahá'u'lláh's Kitáb-i-Íqán:
The traditions established the fact that in all Dispensations the law of prayer hath constituted a fundamental element of the Revelation of all the Prophets of God—a law the form and the manner of which hath been adapted to the varying requirements of every age. (p39)
There is a common perception that prayer does not exist in Buddhism, which is one of the accepted religious "dispensations" in the Baha'i teachings. So could this passage possibly be wrong?