Isn’t this a good introduction and/or invitation to a study circle!

Faith & Action: Study Circles


It was a rather striking introductory statement: This series of courses provides a means for promoting the well-being of humanity. How’s that for a grand purpose? Intriguing. When was the last time you took a course which trained you for such a lofty and noble goal?

But, here it was. A unique curriculum, the Ruhi Institute, initially developed in Columbia and currently being offered in cities, towns and villages world-wide. From pasturelands in Mongolia to penthouses in Montreal, across the velds of South Africa to the mountains of Europe, and in every province of Canada and every state of America, small groups of people are joining together in Ruhi study circles, learning about themselves in a manner that connects their hearts to every other beating human heart on the planet.

Interior of the room of Bahá’u’lláh at Mazra‘ih.Okay, so what exactly would promote the well-being of humanity and how could one person’s participation make any sort of meaningful mark? The answer is clearly indicated in the title of the first course, “Reflections on the Life of the Spirit.” Examining the very essence of our humanness, we are compelled to explore the spiritual aspect of our beings and discover the existence of our true selves, our souls. That thoughtful investigation allows each participant to understand their common bonds with all people. It also reveals our intimate relationship with our Creator…

But, here it was. A unique curriculum, the Ruhi Institute, initially developed in Columbia and currently being offered in cities, towns and villages world-wide. From pasturelands in Mongolia to penthouses in Montreal, across the velds of South Africa to the mountains of Europe, and in every province of Canada and every state of America, small groups of people are joining together in Ruhi study circles, learning about themselves in a manner that connects their hearts to every other beating human heart on the planet.

Okay, so what exactly would promote the well-being of humanity and how could one person’s participation make any sort of meaningful mark? The answer is clearly indicated in the title of the first course, “Reflections on the Life of the Spirit.” Examining the very essence of our humanness, we are compelled to explore the spiritual aspect of our beings and discover the existence of our true selves, our souls. That thoughtful investigation allows each participant to understand their common bonds with all people. It also reveals our intimate relationship with our Creator…

In a way, one just needs to experience a Ruhi course in order to understand what is meant by quotation-based study. It’s the kind of thing that fairly defies explanations. Don’t assume that this method precludes the free and vigorous expression of emotion nor stifles vibrant individuality. There’s plenty of room for enthusiasm, excitement and exploration…

Establishing the study circle, the group may choose to meet weekly over the stretch of several months, or conduct a more intensive pace, covering the materials in the timeframe of a single week-end. Groups are facilitated by experienced Ruhi tutors who guide the process, not as authority figures, but as collaborators with everyone else. Participants engage in a focused study, using a compilation of quotations in each book. Egos are checked at the door… Simply a respectful environment of encouragement and sharing.

Book One, “Reflections on the Life of the Spirit”, explores themes regarding the nature of the human soul, the purpose of our lives, our ability to commune with God through prayer, developing divine virtues, and life after death. The practices encouraged are cultivating the habit of reading the holy Writings daily and visiting others to share and study prayers together. What other kind of activity promotes, so directly and so meaningfully, the true well-being of humanity?…

This is not a simple project rooted in philanthropy, of short term, material solutions. It’s a grassroots, interactive process grounded in spiritual as well as practical activity.

By JOYCE FULLER KLEIKAMP, Baha’i Community of Pinal County

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=19673495&BRD=1817&PAG=461&dept_id=222077&rfi=6

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