Who was `Abdu'l-Bahá, and why did He come to the West?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Eternal Nature of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Journey

Engaged in a Wilmette Institute course right now on 'Abdu'l-Bahá, I am inspired by many mysteries associated with His travels--and life, for that matter!

Here's an ever-significant quotation, for reflection (again)! The human race seems to yearn for distance to be annihilated and yet does not know how to go about it. Perhaps it's just really a matter of our working on our individual and collective "illumination"--and knowing about such potent figures as 'Abdu'l-Baha to help us!

"Whenever an illumined assembly of the friends of God is gathered, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, although bodily absent, is yet present in spirit and in soul. I am always a traveler to America and am assuredly associating with spiritual and illumined friends. Distance is annihilated and prevents not the close and intimate association of two souls that are closely attached in heart even though they may be in two different countries. I am therefore thy close companion, attuned and in harmony with thy soul."    SWAB 145

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Special Programs in Washington, DC and Sterling, VA this weekend!

We are going to Washington, DC and Virginia this weekend! 

We'll be giving special programs on honor of the visit of 'Abdu'l-Bahá to the area: 

Saturday, November 22, 7:30–9:30 pm, 
Washington, DC Bahá’í Center

Sunday, November 23, 3:00–5:00 pm, 
NOVA Bahá’í Center, 
21415 Cardinal Glen Circle, Sterling, VA 20164. 

Copies of the DVD & Blu-ray DVD will be available, discount prices. 
All welcome. See fliers for each event. 


Friday, November 14, 2014

Progam for Ascension of 'Abdu'l-Bahá


A Program for the Observance of 
the Ascension of 'Abdu'l-Bahá

This program to observe the anniversary of the Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is designed to be uplifting and inspiring, providing an appreciation of the life and station of the Master. The steps below are meant as a guide and can be modified to meet your community’s needs. With a little effort and a lot of love you can create an experience your community will not soon forget. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Program for Day of the Covenant


A Program for the Celebration 
of the Day of the Covenant

This program to celebrate the Day of the Covenant is designed to be uplifting and inspiring, as if providing a glimpse into what it must have been like to be in the presence of the Master. We have included two program outlines for you to choose from. The first is between 30-45 minutes in length and the second is for a 60 minute program. The steps below are meant as a guide and can be modified to meet your community’s needs. With a little effort and a lot of love you can create an experience your community will not soon forget.

Friday, November 7, 2014

'Abdu'l-Bahá in Bristol, UK--Clifton Guest House apartment purchased

Exciting news!  See message below.  We can't wait to go see the Clifton Guest House apartment in Bristol.
'Abdu'l-Bahá on balcony,
Clifton Guest House

National Spiritual Assembly
5 November 2014 
To the Bahá’ís of the United Kingdom
Dearly loved Friends,
On two occasions ‘Abdu’l-Bahá visited the City of Bristol: once for three days in September 1911 and again for one day in January 1913.  On both occasions he stayed at the Clifton Guest House on Royal York Terrace where he was hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Tudor-Pole.  Built on elevated ground, the guest house overlooks a valley in which the early city of Bristol was built.  Although visiting on the first occasion to gain some rest from His arduous travels and extensive engagements in London, whilst in the guest house ‘Abdu’l-Bahá took the time to address large gatherings, meet individuals and groups of friends, shower His tender love upon children, dine with close companions, cheer and advise the staff, give interviews to newspaper reporters and devote time to His extensive daily correspondence.  In an account written by Mr. Tudor-Pole we read that the “Master went all over Guest House blessing and dedicating each room to the service of Bahá’u’lláh and promising that the house would become a centre of peace and rest for pilgrims from East and West.”  The property is now entirely residential and has been divided into a number of apartments.
How extraordinary it is to consider that the Master—He whom Shoghi Effendi reminds us as being “the Centre and Pivot of Bahá’u’lláh’s peerless and all-enfolding Covenant, His most exalted handiwork, the stainless Mirror of His light, the perfect Exemplar of His teachings, the unerring Interpreter of His Word, the embodiment of every Bahá’í ideal, the incarnation of every Bahá’í virtue, the Most Mighty Branch sprung from the Ancient Root, the Limb of the Law of God, the Being “round Whom all names revolve,” the Mainspring of the Oneness of Humanity, the Ensign of the Most Great Peace, the Moon of the Central Orb of this most holy Dispensation” – twice visited and stayed in this blessed and sacred place.  It is thus with untold joy and excitement that the National Spiritual Assembly is pleased to inform you that on behalf of the Bahá’í community it has purchased one of the apartments within the former Clifton Guest House.
It is the intention of the National Assembly to work towards opening the property for visitors.  On hearing the news of the final purchase, the Universal House of Justice, in a letter dated 31 October 2014, conveyed that it was pleased to learn of the purchase of the property and that the National Assembly’s “intention to carry out renovation work, so that the former guest house can be brought closer in appearance to its condition at the time when ‘Abdu’l-Bahá visited it, is entirely appropriate”.  This will require historical records to be researched and, in light of the information gleaned, the property will be restored to its former condition to the extent possible. 
Enclosed with this email letter is a photograph of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá standing on a balcony on the first floor of Clifton Guest House. It is the apartment associated with this balcony that has been purchased.
Given that this apartment is one of many in the building, sensitivity is required in regard to both viewing premises now and visiting it in the future when it is open for this purpose, and we are sure that you will bear this in mind.
We know that you will join us in giving thanks to Bahá’u’lláh for this stupendous and sacred gift which He has chosen to confer upon this already blessed community at this moment in its history. Ours is now the duty to prepare this precious place for future generations of visitors from east and west who will flow to it and draw upon its hallowed spirit of tranquillity and peace to inspire them in their building of His world embracing civilisation.
With loving Bahá’í greetings,
National Spiritual Assembly
Patrick O’Mara, Secretary

Monday, November 3, 2014

In Honor of the Holy Days . . .

We hope to be doing a program/screening in the DV area, soon!  Also, in honor of the two Holy Days associated with 'Abdu'l-Bahá in November, we have lowered our prices for our DVD (now $20) and Blu-ray DVD (now $25). See "Order" at www.LuminousJourney.org

Also, if anyone wishes to arrange for a quantity discount, let us know!  (You can send us a message under the website.)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

'Abdu'l-Bahá in Hungary

As our Persian version of Luminous Journey slowly progresses (after a major change of direction prompted by the Universal House of Justice), we are still interested in pursuing the research and writing of a series of films about 'Abdu'l-Bahá in Europe. While UK has expressed the most interest, France seems to be the starting place for us.

Recently a friend shared the following link, which I am excited about studying:


Hope this will benefit someone who wishes to "go" to Budapest in the footsteps of the Master!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

An Interview

An Interview by Tara Jabbari

Our friend Tara Jabbari conducted an interview with us  re. our film about 
'Abdu'l-Bahá in America, when we were in Chicago & she had just gotten
 back from New Zealand.  She edited it, adding photos and footage from the film
and from our behind-the-scenes images.

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPmqsORHNg8

(On her youtube channel: YouTube.com/user/mstarajabbari)

Thanks, Tara!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Embarking on the European Story

All the signs are there: I need to wrap up the "Persian version" of Luminous Journey and officially embark upon the research for telling the European story.

Fortunately, as fate seems to bring to us what we need at any given moment, I have purchased Mary Perkins book on the life of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and Candace Moore Hill has just sent the following, so there is no excuse not to follow the dictates of "fate."  However, will we ever get vol. 2 of Mahmúd?  In the meantime, I will order what's below:

On December 20, 2012, in News, by Robert Stockman
Two new books about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá are now available, in English, from Librairie Bahá’íe in Paris: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in France and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in the West: A Biographical Guide of the People Associated with His Travels. Both books were written by Jan T. Jasion, an internationally respected author and editor, and have been released to coincide with the hundredth anniversary of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s historic journeys to the West in 1911 and 1912–13.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá in France provides a day-by-day account of the Master’s 196-day stay in four visits to France and Switzerland. People, places, reminiscences, first-hand accounts, anecdotes, including stories He told about the early days of His Father’s Faith, all richly woven into a Parisian backdrop. Most of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s talks given in France are included as well as some of the letters He wrote from Paris. The book is generously illustrated with historical and contemporary photographs of places He visited and people He met.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá in the West: A Biographical Guide of the People Associated with His Travels includes almost 2,000 persons whom ‘Abdu’l-Bahá met and who are recorded in the published records of the Master’s travels. Where possible, each entry includes full name, dates, occupation, education, writings, where and when they met ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and, if Bahá’ís, their service to the Faith. The persons range from such notables of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and the Ranee of Sarawak to Wilbur the butler and governess Madame Bricka. Notes provide information about the publication in which each individual’s meeting with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is recorded.
Both books are approximately 500 pages in length and aim to present to Bahá’ís and non-Bahá’ís, in a readable, informative, and well-documented format, the wonder that is ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
The books may be obtained from Librairie Bahá’íe, 45 rue Pergolèse, 75116, Paris, France, telephone +33(0)45003312, fax +33(0)45000579, or http://www.librairie-bahie.fr/.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Crisis and Victory?

Dear Shokouh in the studio
We had begun recording Shokouh Rezaie in Los Angeles as the main narrator for the Persian Version of Luminous Journey when she had a stroke.  This is a deep and tragic situation for us. Shokouh is doing much better--recovering now in the rehabilitation area of St. Joseph's Medical Center in Burbank, CA.  Her family members have been there; a number of people have come to visit; she is well loved. Please send forth thoughts and prayers for her healing!

Tim, Anne, Shokouh, Ojan

We will soon be back in the studio, recording other voices for the film.  It is not yet known whether Shokouh will be able to finish the narration, but we will use her voice for the first part. 

And share the Kickstarter link below, if you can! Only 8 days left to make our goal. . . . 


Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Dream and a Portal of Hope; Traversing Time and Space

Yesterday I dreamed I was driving the Master around. I think it may have been in Europe, and there were several others in the car. I was responsible for taking Him to various places I had never been before. He was calm, radiant, receptive to all that befell Him.

I awoke and remembered it was February of 2014, not 1912 or 13, grateful to have had the dream. It seemed to tell me both what I was doing (through the film--taking "Him" around) and responsible for--perhaps taking His story to unfamiliar places.  It also may be a foreshadowing of a sequel--the Luminous Journey in Europe!  Oh, if only this were ordained! We stand ready, really, to launch into further research and write a script, travel and shoot footage, and create segments on UK, France, Germany, Austria, Hungary.  And then, of course, there's Egypt.  Will time and funding converge for us to tell these stories?

Speaking of time, 'Abdu'l-Bahá once said, "I am always a traveler to America." I take this to mean He is always here, always coming, always anticipating coming. . . . The journey transcends time! I am sure this is true for all of the places He visited, and His travels remain a living issue. The stories are always potent and need to be told in so many different ways. . . .

Years ago I dreamed I was asking 'Abdu'l-Bahá and His sister, Bahiyyih Khanum, how they would like to be introduced at Green Acre. The three of us were sitting in the Sarah Farmer room; they would provide the evening program, and I would get to introduce them!  Now the arena is larger; the more extensive tale eclipses introductions; the "evening" will perhaps go on for the rest of my life and take me to new places and include others. Yesterday's dream provided a portal of hope that I will get to be in the "driver's seat" for future excursions with the Master. . . . How do I merit such blessings and tests?

"... for any movement animated by love moveth from the periphery to the centre, from space to the Day-Star of the universe. Perchance thou deemest this to be difficult, but I tell thee that such cannot be the case, for when the motivating and guiding power is the divine force of magnetism it is possible, by its aid, to traverse time and space easily and swiftly."  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 197)