What effect do the words of the world’s divine educators have on our lives? “Moments of Meaning” explores a range of answers to that question through 9 conversations with guests from around the globe.
Inspired by Baha’u’llah’s words, “Immerse yourselves in the ocean of My words that ye may unravel its secrets, and discover all the pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths,” host Sean Hinton sought to share stories about the moments when people discover these pearls, and how they change their lives.
Through sincere conversation, heartfelt storytelling, and the words of some of the Baha’i Faith’s central figures, season 1 of “Moments of Meaning” offered a window into the lives of nine guests, from Botswana, to England, to the United States.
Some of these moments of meaning were deeply personal, such as Arya Badiyan’s story in “Will” about reconnecting with the spiritual meaning she felt she had lost, and the story in “Knowledge” about how an excerpt from the Baha’i Writings sparked Kate Glastonbury’s spiritual search for truth, or Rocky Moncho’s account in “Possibility” about how saying this prayer with his grandfather shaped his journey through grief after tragedy:
O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life. O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord.
Many moments come from guests’ childhood, such as Aku Ntumy’s story in “Law”, when Baha’u’llah’s words changed the way she saw religious rules and practices, and Mehrdad Baghai’s in “Questioning”, when the Baha’i Writings on independent investigation growing up in an environment full of religious persecution struck a chord in him. “It was an incredibly liberating, eye-opening thing for me as a 15-year-old, to suddenly have all the rules of society be something that I could question, and maybe rethink.”
In other episodes, the Baha’i Writings guided guests’ decisions throughout their careers. Roy Steiner, who heads the global food and agriculture program at the Rockefeller Foundation, shared in “Agriculture” how the Baha’i Writings on agriculture inspired him to pursue his career. Similarly, in “Education”, Bruktawit Tigabu explained how the Baha’i Writings on education paved her path as an educator creating educational media for young people in her hometown of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. And investor Daryn Dodson opened up in “Equality” about how the women in his life inspired him to actively address gender inequality in business, and how the Baha’i Writings defined his approach to advocating for women.
And, particularly relevant to this time in history, the moment in “America” was Bahiyyih Nakhjavani’s revisiting of the Baha’i “Prayer for America,” in light of the last year of political and spiritual upheaval. After all that has happened, she said, “I believe much more that the words on the page are capable of creating the reality around me.”
After 9 episodes, which have been released weekly since January 29, season 1 of “Moments of Meaning” has come to an end. But this is only the beginning. In the coming months, Sean hopes to welcome a new set of voices to the podcast and explore even more decisive moments in season 2 of “Moments of Meaning,” which will premiere this October 2021.
In the meantime, all episodes of season 1 of Moments of Meaning are available on BahaiTeachings.org, Spotify, Soundcloud, iTunes and YouTube. Click below to view a pdf compilation of the writings and prayers from season 1.
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