Baha'i culture...art, film, literature

arthra

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Art therapist believes Art can promote spirituality:

Exhibit features art therapist's work
Thursday, June 12, 2008
By Dave Zuchowski
assouthcorbin1_330.jpg

Andy Starnes/Post-Gazette
Jeri L. Corbin holds one of her paintings, "A View from a Crack in the Hold."

In the late 1950s, North Side artist Jeri Corbin hit on the idea that art could be used as a therapeutic and diagnostic tool for treating people with mental disorders. She considered pursuing a career in art therapy, but when she researched the field in her local library, she couldn't find any information and decided to become an elementary school teacher instead.
After graduating from Kent State University, she taught off and on for 12 years, until her career segued into a three-year stint as a social worker, then another three as an employment counselor.
"It wasn't until 1985, at the age of 50, that I attended a graduate program in art therapy at George Washington University that I realized my 25-year-old dream of being an art therapist," said Ms. Corbin, 74, who is the featured artist in an exhibit titled "Solstice" at the South Arts Gallery in Bethel Park.
After obtaining her master's degree, Ms. Corbin moved to Pittsburgh in 1987 when she took a position as art therapist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, working with geriatric, schizophrenic and chronically mentally ill patients.
"Art therapy is a psychotherapeutic method that uses art in addition to verbal interplay," Ms. Corbin said. "In an hour, a client, through art, can create a microcosm of their universe and give the therapist clues about such things as coping mechanisms and anger issues. Art therapy helps the client understand their feelings, see where their strengths lie and have a fuller life."
The act of creating or even viewing art also can have a therapeutic effect, Ms. Corbin said.
"There are times when I take a client to a museum to hear what they have to say, which gives me guidelines to their mental state and emotional makeup," she said.
Although not formally trained in the fine arts, she has consistently engaged in some form of artistic expression. In the mid-1970s, for example, she became interested in Oriental painting, which she said "seems to be a natural niche," and she took courses from a Chinese artist in Virginia. After she entered the art therapy segment of her career, though, she put her own art-making on hold until she retired in 1995.
Currently, Ms. Corbin is far from what most people would consider retired. In addition to conducting a small private art therapy practice, she teaches watercolor at South Arts and supervises two art therapists working toward formal registration. Since retiring, she's also taught art therapy part time at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, worked with youth for a year in the art program at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild and taught art to teachers at Point Park College.
She recently found time to pursue the creation of her own art. The "Solstice" exhibit includes several watercolors that are an attempt to merge the four cultures that influence her life and are relevant to what she calls her "physical and spiritual heritage" -- Oriental, Western, African and Native American.
A member of the Baha'i faith, Ms. Corbin found a personal resonance in the doctrine's basic tenet that sees unity in all things and the oneness of mankind. She discovered the faith in 1963 while reading a book titled "God Passes By" written by Shogi Effendi, considered the guardian of the Baha'i faith. In her readings of other books on the Baha'i, she came across many references to the importance of art to the progress of mankind.
"We believe the arts have a role in promoting the spirituality of mankind. Humanity feeds and nurtures their bodies but woefully neglects to do the same for that part which is truly themselves -- their spirit. Creative activity helps fulfill that purpose,'' she said.
Ms. Corbin has been a member of South Arts for many years and of the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society for about 10 years.
"Jeri usually works in watercolor, employing a variety of techniques to achieve an ethereal quality that reflects her art therapy background," said Margo Barraclough, publicity representative for South Arts. "Her subject matter ranges from joyful interpretations of nature to explorations of her ancestors and the importance of lineage."
"Solstice" runs through July 25 at the South Arts Gallery, 2600 South Park Road, Bethel Park. For more information, call 412-835-9010.
Dave Zuchowski is a freelance writer.
First published on June 12, 2008 at 6:18 am

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Exhibit features art therapist's work
 

Dawud

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Re: Art therapist believes Art can promote spirituality:

A member of the Baha'i faith, Ms. Corbin found a personal resonance in the doctrine's basic tenet that sees unity in all things and the oneness of mankind. She discovered the faith in 1963 while reading a book titled "God Passes By" written by Shogi Effendi, considered the guardian of the Baha'i faith. In her readings of other books on the Baha'i, she came across many references to the importance of art to the progress of mankind.
"We believe the arts have a role in promoting the spirituality of mankind. Humanity feeds and nurtures their bodies but woefully neglects to do the same for that part which is truly themselves -- their spirit. Creative activity helps fulfill that purpose,'' she said.

What a great year to find the Faith! :)

One hundred years after Ridvan.
 

arthra

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I found this in an article in the Jazz Encyclopedia about Dizzy Gillespie:

Dizzy’s punishing pace of appearances at clubs and festivals, coupled with racial strife in the United States, made the 1960s a particularly difficult time for Gillespie. In 1968, he found a degree of solace when he converted to the Baha’i faith. The teachings of the Baha’is, follow the precepts of racial unity and peace taught by nineteenth-century Persian prophets, inspired him to give up alcohol and pursue a more spiritually guided approach to his music and his life.

Source:

Gillespie, Dizzy (John Birks) – Jazz.com
 

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"Born in Cheraw, South Carolina, on October 21, 1917..."

Dizzy was born in South Carolina, the state with the most Baha'is... (the country with the most Baha'is is India.) He was born one day after the Birthday of the Bab and one hundred years after the Birthyear of Baha'u'llah :)
 

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Re: You-tube of the Baha'i House of Worship choir:

Here's a You-tube of the Baha'i House of Worship choir:

YouTube - Baha'i House of Worship's first choral festival

I also like Eric Dozier :)

I'm a Charlotte Church fan, and found a bunch of her videos on youtube, but since this is the Baha'i culture topic, I should point out that Charlotte Church is Catholic.

As for Baha'i singers... I like Eric Dozier and Dan Seals... "We Are One."
 

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UNESCO adds Baha'i Shrines to World Heritage list:

BAHA'I SHRINES CHOSEN AS WORLD HERITAGE SITES

QUEBEC CITY, Canada, 8 July 2008 (BWNS) -- Muslims to Mecca, Jews to Jerusalem, Christians to Bethlehem, Buddhists to Lumbini - and Baha'is to Acre.

The holiest spots on earth to Baha'is - the resting places of Baha'u'llah and the Bab, the founders of the Baha'i Faith and both considered Manifestations of God - attract thousands of pilgrims and visitors each year.

Now the sites, located in northern Israel, have been named to the UNESCO World Heritage list in recognition of their "outstanding universal value" to the common heritage of humanity.

By any measure, the sites are beautiful. Stunning formal gardens surround them - the Shrine of Baha'u'llah in the countryside near Acre, north of the city of Haifa, and the Shrine of the Bab, a golden-domed building on the slope of Mount Carmel in the heart of Haifa itself.

Pilgrims will tell you that the outward beauty is but a symbol, an expression of love for the Messengers of God who lie entombed there and a beacon of hope for the future of humanity.

"It's hard to put into words," said Gary Marx, on pilgrimage from his home in Michigan in the United States. "You can describe things physically, but it's really not about that. Pilgrimage is an experience that goes back to the dawn of mankind. It's a yearning to connect with spiritual reality ... and to connect with yourself."

Although the two shrines have specific meaning for Baha'is, their spiritual nature appeals to others as well.

"People who are not Baha'is come here and say it is like a piece of heaven falling from the sky," said Taraneh Rafati, who has served for the past 10 years as a pilgrim guide to the Baha'i holy sites.

"Whether you are a Muslim, Jew, Christian, Buddhist, in the holy texts, heaven is described. It is like this," she said, mentioning the peacefulness, the beauty. "You come and feel close to your Lord. It is free of charge, and it is for everyone."

Visitors, tourists, and pilgrims

Half a million people visited the shrine areas last year, many of them tourists wanting to see the gardens and get a close look particularly at the Shrine of the Bab, a famous landmark in Israel that looks out over the city of Haifa and Haifa Bay, and beyond that to the Mediterranean Sea.

More than 80,000 of those visitors entered the shrine itself, removing their shoes and walking silently into the room adjacent to the burial chamber of the Bab. Some just want a peek but many linger to read a prayer of Baha'u'llah that adorns one of the walls, or engage in their own meditation or prayer. Some are visibly moved.

"There was one group of Catholics, and they all went to their knees as soon as they entered," remembers one of the guides.

Baha'i pilgrims participate in a special nine-day program that includes visits to both shrines. Guides say that individuals have different reactions to the experience.

"The response is as varied as the people who come," said Marcia Lample, a pilgrim guide for the last five years.

Some people, for example, cannot immediately go in the shrine when they arrive. "They feel unworthy," she explained. For others, the sacred shrines are like a magnet, pulling them in.

"Some people go in and stay for hours. Some stay for four minutes. It doesn't matter. They stay as long as they need to stay," Mrs. Lample said.


The Shrine of Baha'u'llah

The Shrine of Baha'u'llah is the holiest spot on earth for Baha'is - the place they turn to each day in prayer.

"It's amazing inside," said Farzin Rasouli-Seisan, 26, on pilgrimage from Sydney, Australia. "You go in and it leads to a garden inside - there are flowers and a couple of trees, all under a skylight. There are a number of rooms, and one of them is Baha'u'llah's resting place. You can't go in that room, but there is a step where you can put your head down."

Mrs. Rafati says of being in the shrines: "It is not that we are worshipping the dust or worshipping a wall - it is the connection that the place has with our beloved. We do not go there to worship the flowers. We go to there to pour out our heart."

The shrine is also special because it is adjacent to the country house where Baha'u'llah lived the last years of His life. Pilgrims can go there and enter His room - the room where He passed away in 1892 - restored to the way it was when He was present. Some of His actual belongings can be viewed.

Baha'u'llah lived at the estate, called Bahji, the final years of His life, after authorities loosened the restrictions that had kept Him inside the prison city of Acre for years following His banishment from His native Iran.


The golden dome in Haifa

Before He passed away, Baha'u'llah was able to go several times to nearby Haifa, and He gave explicit instructions to establish the Shrine of the Bab on Mount Carmel.

The Bab - who in 1844 in Iran had announced that He was a Messenger of God who had come to foretell the imminent arrival of a second Messenger even greater than Himself, namely Baha'u'llah - had been executed in 1850 in the public square in Tabriz. His followers hid His remains for years, waiting for the time they could provide a proper burial.

Half a century later, the sacred remains were taken to Haifa and finally laid in their permanent resting place on Mount Carmel, in the Bible described as the "mountain of the Lord."

The golden dome that crowns the shrine was completed in 1953 along with an extension of earlier gardens at the site. In 2001, a series of beautiful garden terraces was completed, both above and below the shrine, stretching more than a kilometer up the side of Mount Carmel.


The experience of the pilgrim

Baha'is plan and save their money for years to be able to come to Acre and Haifa, Mrs. Lample said.

"They get a chance to pray in the place where the founder of their faith has walked, where He revealed the word of God, where He suffered for them and for the unity of the human race," she said. "And mostly they come to pray in the places which contain the precious remains of the central figures of their religion."

Roger and Cathy Hamrick, who live in North Carolina in the United States, came in June for their first pilgrimage.

"We have been married almost 30 years, and we have been wanting to come that whole time," Mrs. Hamrick said. "Going to the shrines is like the culmination of a spiritual journey of a lifetime. How can anything compare to putting your forehead on the sacred threshold?"

Pilgrimage also helps Baha'is see their faith in practice, Mr. Hamrick said. The main teaching of the Baha'i Faith is the unity of mankind under one God, and people who come to the Holy Land meet Baha'is from all around the world.

"There is such joy in experiencing the oneness of the human family," he said. "It is unlike anything I have ever done."

Mrs. Lample said that pilgrims also attend talks and programs about the development of the Baha'i Faith around the world, which helps them envision how their own community back home fits into the bigger picture.

Still, she said, the main purpose of pilgrimage is praying and meditating at the shrines, and it is almost always a special experience.

"People can find something," she said. "There is a spirit surrounding these places. It is palpable. People can sense the presence of God."



To view the photos and additional features click here:
http://news.bahai.org
 

Dawud

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Re: UNESCO adds Baha'i Shrines to World Heritage list:

BAHA'I SHRINES CHOSEN AS WORLD HERITAGE SITES

"There was one group of Catholics, and they all went to their knees as soon as they entered," remembers one of the guides.

That reminds me that when I first opened a Kitab-i-Aqdas and started reading, I bowed down with my head all the way down the way that Muslims get on the ground and bow with their heads on the ground. I wasn't a Baha'i yet, and it would still be a few months (I don't remember exactly how long but it was the same year) before I became a Baha'i.
 

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On the "Rex Mundi" series...

In an interview with the creator of the Rex Mundi series Arvid Nelson said:

“I grew up Episcopalian, actually,” Nelson said. “In college, I converted to a religion called Baha’i. ‘Rex Mundi’ is, at it deepest level, a meditation on the prophecies surrounding the advent of the Baha’i era.”

Source:

Comic Book Resources > CBR News: Arvid Nelson talks "Rex Mundi"

- Art
 

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"Mona's Dream" to start shooting later this year..

Lots of news about Baha'i culture today!

"Due to Start Shooting in October/November 2008, the film entitled Mona's Dream, is a 10 $ Million project that has entered pre-production last May with the financial backing by Mel Gibson's Icon Productionsfilm company."

Source:

Mona's Dream

- Art
 

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Re: "Mona's Dream" to start shooting later this year..

Lots of news about Baha'i culture today!

"Due to Start Shooting in October/November 2008, the film entitled Mona's Dream, is a 10 $ Million project that has entered pre-production last May with the financial backing by Mel Gibson's Icon Productionsfilm company."

Source:

Mona's Dream

- Art

So it's true! I heard about this a long time ago! I heard that Mel Gibson was going to help make a movie with Jack Lenz about Mona Mahmudnizhad. And he is!!!!!
 

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More on "Mona's Dream"...

Story of Bahá’í girl’s martyrdom to be shot in Malta

The true story of Mona Mahmudnizhad, the courageous young Baha’i teacher who was martyred in 1983 along with 10 other Baha’i women in the Iranian city of Shiraz, a particularly resounding echo of the painful reality of human rights violations in today’s Iran, is due to start filming in October/November in Malta.

The film, entitled Mona’s Dream, is a $10 million project that entered pre-production last May with the financial backing of Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions film company.

Canadian musician and composer, Jack Lenz, was asked to collaborate with Mel Gibson a few years ago on the musical score of the film The Passion of the Christ. Lenz spent more than a year travelling around the world and researching ancient instruments, cultures and their music to come up with an idea of what kind of music would be historically accurate and appropriate for Mel Gibson’s magnum opus. It was widely expected that he would be named as composer for the movie but later on, Mel Gibson and his associates ended up choosing John Debney for that role. Nevertheless, Lenz continued to work on the project and ended up contributing to many of the original titles and songs in the movie.

Late last year, Mel Gibson and the other producers of The Passion of the Christ met with Jack Lenz in Los Angeles. They wanted to communicate their appreciation for the hard work he had put into the project and asked him how they could return the favour. Jack Lenz replied that it had always been a lifelong dream of his to make an original motion picture about the martyrdom of Mona, a 17-year-old Iranian Baha’i girl.

He then proceeded to tell Mel Gibson and his associates about Mona’s story; how she had been taken away by Iranian authorities and interrogated; how she had been told that she would be, along with nine other women, summarily executed; how she had asked to be hung last so that she would be able to pray for the other women; and how she had met her death with serenity and strength, never wavering in her faith. Lenz also showed them a letter that Mona had written herself...

An international cast as well as high profile Iranian actors include Keisha Castle-Hughes (Oscar-nominated actress from Whale Rider, also in Star Wars Episode III), Shohreh Aghdashloo (Oscar-nominated actress from House of Sand and Fog, also in 24, Lake House and X-Men: The Last Stand). Cas Anvar (Canadian-Iranian actor from Shattered Glass) as Khalid, Chief Interrogator, and Nazanin Afshin-Jam (Singer/Songwriter and debuting as actress; International Human Rights Activist, and Miss World Canada and Miss World runner-up) as Tahirih, have committed to the project.

Source:

http://www.independent.com.mt/news.asp?newsitemid=72933
_________________________
Show forbearance and benevolence and love to one another. ~ Baha'u'llah
 

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Sarah Farmer Peace Award:

August 13, 2008 12:41 PM

ELIOT, Maine —

The Sarah Farmer Peace Award for 2008 will be awarded to Friends Forever, a Portsmouth-based organization that focuses on “World Peace…. Grown Locally.”

The celebration and award event will be held on Saturday, Aug. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Kelsey Center on the Green Acre Baha’i School campus, Route 103, in Eliot, Maine. Featured musicians will include world musician Randy Armstrong and singer- songwriter Leona Hosack.

Founded in 1986 by Rotarian and YMCA director, Robert Raiche, Friends Forever began as a joint Portsmouth, N.H. YMCA/Rotary effort to unite one small group of Catholic and Protestant teens from Northern Ireland. Since that time, Friends Forever has grown to host 60 youth from Northern Ireland annually, and it has expanded to serve the Arab and Jewish youth of Israel. Friends Forever has built hundreds of lasting friendships across the cultural, religious, and political divides of both Northern Ireland and Israel. The public is invited to come and learn more about this locally grown program with a global reach.

The Sarah Farmer Peace Award is presented annually by the Baha’i Community of the Greater Seacoast Region to recognize the contributions of area individuals and groups who take effective local action to promote world peace and understanding among nations and members of the human family.
The award is named after Sarah Jane Farmer, a turn-of-the century peace heroine who was born in Dover, N.H., in 1847. She founded the Green Acre Conferences in Eliot where the first peace flag in the world was hoisted in 1894, and where a peace flag has been flown every year since then.

Baha'i communities around the world work to advance the processes leading to world peace, particularly in the areas of human rights, the advancement of women, moral education and sustainable development, by working with their governments, the United Nations, and local, national and international non- governmental organizations.

The Aug. 16 event marks the fourth Sarah Farmer Peace Award. The Portsmouth Peace Treaty Anniversary Committee received the first award for its noteworthy efforts in mobilizing organizations and individuals to learn the history of the Russo-Japanese Peace Treaty and to reflect on its implications for peace-making in the 21st century.

Previous awards were presented to:

The Teaching Peace Conference, an educational event aimed at bringing together the peace- building community from all sectors of society to share and to learn with each other how we teach and make peace in our formal and informal environments, and to create new strategies for teaching and
making peace at home, in school, in the workplace and in the world.
Educator Bert Cohen for his leadership in sustainability and peace education, including the co- founding of the Piscataqua Sustainability Initiative.
All are welcome to this year’s event, which is free and open to the public. It will be followed by time for socializing in the Kelsey Center Café, with refreshments available.
 

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"Just one human family - the earth will celebrate"!

American jazz musicians compose winning song for Olympics

5 August 2008

BRUNSWICK, Georgia, United States —

Two U.S. jazz musicians combined their knowledge of Chinese music, Brazilian samba, and American jazz to write one of the songs being featured at the Beijing Olympic Games.

“Beijing Olympics Hao Yuing (Good Luck),” composed by Phil Morrison and Keith Williams, was one of only about 30 works selected in the final phase of a competition sponsored by the Beijing Olympic Committee.

The contest began four years ago, with the final segment alone drawing more than 3,000 entries, organizers said. The Olympic Games begin on 8 August.
Although songs were solicited from everywhere, rules said that compositions should reflect “the unique cultural background and humanism of Beijing and China.”

Mr. Morrison and Mr. Williams – long-time Baha’is who have recorded in China and performed there numerous times over the past decade – were told that they were the only American-born artists with a winning song in the competition. Only a handful of songs from outside China were selected as winners, according to the notification letter they received.

The lyrics of their song convey some of the principles of the Baha'i Faith: “Just one human family – the earth will celebrate – for world unity” and “Promoting peace and friendship for all – the world will come together – we’ll open up the gate.”

The two, along with a drummer or other musician, perform as the Phil Morrison Trio featuring Keith Williams.

Mr. Morrison, a bassist and composer, has worked as a musician virtually his whole life, first in his native Boston and later touring internationally. He played for about five years with the group of Freddy Cole (younger brother of Nat King Cole), during which time he frequently performed in Brazil. He now lives in Brunswick, Georgia, in the United States.

Mr. Williams, originally from San Francisco, is a singer, pianist, composer, and arranger who graduated from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has performed with Dizzy Gillespie and Lionel Hampton, and for five years had his own trio in Atlanta. He also lives in Brunswick.

As leaders of the World Unity Jazz Ensemble – a name they still use for certain performances – Mr. Morrison and Mr. Williams released the albums “China Sky” and “Hollow Reed.”

In the Olympic song competition, many of the winning compositions are anthems, but Mr. Williams said “Beijing Olympics Hao Yuing” has more the flavor of a party celebration.

“The lyrics say, ‘Come join us in the human family,’” he said, noting that they had been told that their song would be on the official Olympics CD put out by Sony Music.

Their composition for the Olympics can be heard on the Web site www.philmorrisontrio.com.
 

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Nelson Evora Baha'i for Portugal at Olympics

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Olympic return

Nelson Evora will represent Portugal at the Olympics for the second time in his career this summer in Bejing, where he figures to contend for the gold medal in the men's triple jump. In Athens in 2004, Evora jumped 51 feet, 7 inches and finished 40th. No Portuguese man has ever won an Olympic medal in the event.

Strong season
Heading into the Olympic year, Evora will definitely have momentum on his side following a spectacular showing in 2007, when he posted 14 podium finishes, including nine victories, in 18 starts.

The highlight came in Osaka, where he won gold at the World Championships at 58-2 1/2, a mark that broke the Portuguese national record, established a new person best, and ranked No. 2 in the world on the season.

Read the rest at

2008 Beijing Summer Olympics | Nelson Evora Profile & Bio, Photos & Videos | NBC Olympics
 
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