spideyj: (LU Human unicorn)
The US Department of State released their report on International Religious Freedom for 2005 yesterday. The section on Iran details the persecution of the Baha'is (and other religious minorities and women) quite clearly and is consistent with the reports we've been getting from our leadership here and in Israel. The Baha'i community here has been actively promoting awareness of the persecution by writing to our political leaders and by holding some public events commemorating some Baha'i martyrs. Last year our community held such a commemoration to acknowledge the anniversary of the martyrdom of the father of one of our community members, so this issue is very near to me. Baha'is are not permitted to own property, attend university, establish schools or hold government jobs and our blood is considered "mobah" which means it can be spilled with impunity. Baha'is are also not allowed to assemble, inhibiting the free exercise of our faith, especially as we have no clergy and our leaders are elected and the power of leadership resides within groups rather than individuals (the affairs of the Faith cannot be conducted without meetings, in other words).


Aug. 22nd, 2005 01:13 am
spideyj: (j_ballistics)
I've spent the weekend teaching a class for Baha'i Sunday school teachers. While the training is ostensibly for the purpose of training them in using the national curriculum, it's really much more than that. As I was leaving today, one of the participants told me she was expecting that we'd be spending the entire time looking at the lesson plans and talking about how to use them. In actuality, only one of the four days of training focuses on curriculum. The rest of it deals with concepts surrounding the curriculum, teaching it through example activities. Hmm... it's hard to explain. Maybe it will be clearer if I describe it.

Teacher training )
spideyj: (Default)
So I believe I mentioned before that this is the Baha'i month* of fasting. From sunrise to sunset, we don't eat or drink. (Or smoke, either, but I don't smoke any more anyway, so it's not an issue.) In my household during the Fast, we get up around 5:30 a.m. to eat breakfast together, usually something fairly substantial. I always make sure to have some protein and some complex carbohydrates. And lots of water! I generally avoid sugar, since I'm mildly hypoglycemic and sugar can really make it hard for me. After breakfast we brush our teeth and then gather in the living room for prayers. Unfortunately, I'm usually not very alert, so I sometimes don't feel like I'm really getting much out of the dawn prayers. I try, though.

Mostly it's easier than it sounds, except for the getting up early. I'm not much of a morning person. It feels really good to exercise the spiritual discipline to fast, and I try to focus on being more spiritually centered at this time. This year has been a little weird, since I have been out late a lot and generally spending a lot of time getting to know Brian and enjoying his company. So I haven't been getting much sleep, but I haven't felt as tired as I usually do, probably because I'm really excited. The fasting part has been pretty easy, though there've been a few times when I've had dinner a bit later than I would have liked, and that was kind of difficult.

I feel very strongly that changes in my life which occur during the Fast are very significant, especially since the Fast is a very spiritual time of year.

For more info about the Baha'i Fast, you can read this article.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the last day of the Fast is March 20. It ends with Naw-Ruz, which is our new year. I'll be MCing the New Year's party for San Mateo county, and if any of you want to come to the party, you're more than welcome. I'll post the details later this week.

* A Baha'i month consists of nineteen days.


spideyj: (Default)

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