Saturday, February 27, 2010

To continue in an Audio theme; I have just discovered a new audio resource.
"Hear the Writings.Com". (see link on sidebar).
They currently just have the one title;

"The Advent of Divine Justice" by Shoghi Effendi.

Check out the site: They are conducting a poll to ascertain the most popular titles.

“Know thou, of a truth, these great oppressions that have befallen the world are preparing it for the advent of the Most Great Justice” ~ Baha’u'llah

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Singing 'rewires' damaged brain

I was reading a BBC article by Victoria Gill a Science reporter for the BBC News in San Diego.
Teaching stroke patients to sing "rewires" their brains, helping them recover their speech, say scientists.

So I thought I would look at what the Bahá’í Faith has to say about music, since that is particularly relevant to the Core Activity arts and crafts.

We, verily, have made music as a ladder for your souls, a means whereby they may be lifted up unto the realm on high; make it not, therefore, as wings to self and passion.

(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 38)

In sooth, although music is a material affair, yet its tremendous effect is spiritual, and its greatest attachment is to the realm of the spirit.

(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 412)

This wonderful age has rent asunder the veils of superstition and has condemned the prejudice of the people of the East. Among some of the nations of the Orient, music and harmony was not approved of, but the Manifested Light, Bahá'u'lláh, in this glorious period has revealed in Holy Tablets that singing and music are the spiritual food of the hearts and souls. In this dispensation, music is one of the arts that is highly approved and is considered to be the cause of the exaltation of sad and desponding hearts.
Therefore ... set to music the verses and the divine words so that they may be sung with soul-stirring melody in the Assemblies and gatherings, and that the hearts of the listeners may become tumultuous and rise towards the Kingdom of Abha in supplication and prayer.

(Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 377)

Endeavor your utmost to compose beautiful poems to be chanted with heavenly music; thus may their beauty affect the minds and impress the hearts of those who listen.

(Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v1, p. 59)

What a wonderful meeting this is! These are the children of the Kingdom. The song we have just listened to was very beautiful in melody and words. The art of music is divine and effective. It is the food of the soul and spirit. Through the power and charm of music the spirit of man is uplifted. It has wonderful sway and effect in the hearts of children, for their hearts are pure, and melodies have great influence in them. The latent talents with which the hearts of these children are endowed will find expression through the medium of music. Therefore, you must exert yourselves to make them proficient; teach them to sing with excellence and effect. It is incumbent upon each child to know something of music, for without knowledge of this art the melodies of instrument and voice cannot be rightly enjoyed. Likewise, it is necessary that the schools teach it in order that the souls and hearts of the pupils may become vivified and exhilarated and their lives be brightened with enjoyment.

(Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 52)

It is clearly a powerful tool for reaching hearts and minds, that can be incorporated in all our activities.
Before those who know me ask; "are you going to start singing?", the answer is NO but I will deputise, and as always have my finger ready to hit the "play button"

Marble Magnets

Here is a great idea for Ayyam i Ha gifts, or just a fun project for the children’s class or study circle.


• Clear glass marbles (the kind with a flat side)
• Magnets
• Artwork
• Mod Podge or white glue
• Goop glue
• Circular punch (We used a 1” 25.4mm)
• Scissors

There are many sources of suitable artwork; you can download images from the web, use magazines, photographs, or draw your own. The theme used here is “Bahai Stars”, but you can chose your own.

First prepare your artwork. If you do not have a suitable punch you can simply cut out the artwork with scissors. As you will see from the insert on the picture below, the punch has a clear bottom which allows you to align the artwork prior to punching.
Cutting Out
• Spread a thin layer of mod podge on the flat side of the marble with your finger
• Repeat the procedure with the face of the artwork
• Place the artwork on the marble and apply a thin coat of mod podge to the back and smooth down until there are no air bubbles between the glass and the picture.
• Set aside and allow to dry for at least 5 mins

Mod Podging

• Apply a small amount of the “goop” to the magnet
• Press magnet onto the back of the completed marble
• Set aside to dry
Applying the Magnet

Make as many as you like and display on your fridge or give to friends and family.

We hope you enjoy this craft, and be sure to come back to the site with your comments, ideas and friends.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

COFFEE FILTER FLOWERS by Sandra Larkin Douglas

Thanks to sandra for the wonderful flowers. Ideal for Ayyam i Ha decorations or gifts.
• White coffee filters
• Acrylic paint
• Needle & thread
1. In a small cup, dilute some yellow paint in some water.
2. Dip the edges of one filter into the paint. Allow the paint to “travel” into the interior of the filter on its own.
3. With a brush apply another color to the center of the filter, allowing the color to move out on it’s own. The two colors will blend into one another.
4. When the filter is partially dry you can use a brush and add a bit more color for accent.

The Painted Flowers

5. You can cut the filters down to smaller sizes for smaller flowers.
6. You can dip the cut off edges in green to create the leaves.
7. When the filters are totally dry, use a needle and thread and sew all the way around the edge of the filter and very carefully pull this thread up to “gather” it to the center creating a “yo yo”.
8. These “flowers” can be used in many ways. I created an example of a possible use. putting some on a piece of cardstock, adding a green pipe stem and a quotation. There are many quotes in the writings about flowers and gardens.

The finished flowers

Then will mankind be as one nation, one race and kind;
as waves of one ocean. Although these waves may differ
in form and shape, they are waves of the same sea.
Flowers may be variegated in colors but they are all
flowers of one garden.

Abdu'l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hanging Quotes from Shelly Julian

Thanks to Shelly Julian for the idea for this post.

This concept can be applied to any quote from Book 3.

• Piece of Wood (Wal-Mart has very reasonably priced, thin balsa wood pieces in the craft section)
• Paint for background
• Pencils to write quotes
• 3D paint in bottles for writing quote
• Glue gun or glue depending on the craft materials used
• Miscellaneous craft supplies left over from other projects: we used copper wire, a wooden "O", and acrylic gems

Following Shelly's example I experimented with a plaque of my own, and as you will see my penmanship is not great but it is clear. Note the "shining lamp" symbol. There will be more on how it was made in the next post, which will be just in time for you and your participants to make Ayyam i Ha gifts.

My finished plaque

Since I used the above quotation on the wooden plaque that I made, I thought I would share a memorisation method which I use, and hope that the concept may be of use.

Visual Memorisation Aid

I began using a visual memorization method, when I first started the Ruhi sequence, by drawing simple pictograms and stick people, in a sequence to represent the quote.(My wife Juliet called them my “cave paintings”)
I then went to the more high-tech method of using the vast range of clip-art available in Power Point .
You can use the example provided, but connections which work for one person may not be as obvious, or may not even work for another. The act of converting the quote into a visual form is what helps me memorize and having done the work a quick glance at the images, even after some time, will refresh the memory.
It should also be remembered that not everyone is “visual”, so this method will not work well for everyone. As a tutor it is best to have several methods to suggest to the participant, and let them experiment, to find the method that works best for them, throughout the duration of the study circle.
I have also found that this method is not particularly effective for very long and or complicated quotations.
Please experiment with this method and feel free to contact me with any ideas or questions.

I have a number of such aids for use with various Ruhi books, please contact me if you wish copies.