When you take part in the friendly, collegial atmosphere of a Baha’i study circle, you’ll learn how to apply some of the spiritual wisdom of the Baha’i teachings to your own inner spirit—and to your outer community.
Participants in study circles begin to appreciate that we have to change ourselves to fulfil our desire to change society.
Study groups explore how we may apply some of the spiritual concepts in the writings of Baha’u’llah to our daily lives and community service. That starts by identifying types of commendable conduct. Some of the questions in the study circle books do not have easy answers, like this one: “There are so few good people in the world that their actions do not have any effect.”
To resolve this statement, study group participants review previous quotes, explore any apparent contradictions and come up with their own answers.
At some points in the curriculum, groups consider the implications of the quotations with no apparent or immediate connection to the theme of the quote. For example, Baha’u’llah’s instruction to: “Bring thyself to account each day ere thou art summoned to a reckoning.” – The Hidden Words, p. 11.
Participants may find this self-awareness and self-responsibility concept challenging if they come from tradition that includes confession. The Baha’i Faith has no clergy, and Baha’u’llah instructed Baha’is to be accountable for their own actions. This is consistent with the Baha’i concept that the fate of humankind is in the hands of every person on the planet, hence the concept of community service and the application of the Baha’i principle of consultation to resolve issues.
Why Consider Joining a Baha’i Study Circle?
Many people have become disillusioned with religion, and cast off their religious traditions, deciding to become “spiritual but not religious,” or even agnostic or atheist. But most have not abandoned their moral values and continue to believe in a higher power. The Baha’i Faith is a new spiritual paradigm and one simple way to explore that paradigm is joining a Baha’i study circle.
Baha’is belong to an optimistic global community with a vision and a plan for a peaceful, unified world. Baha’i study circles focus on understanding our spiritual nature, our attitudes and our behaviors, which all influence those around us. Baha’is view this process of spiritual studying and learning as an opportunity to heal the spirit of individuals and their communities.
People commonly report feeling powerless to address society’s challenges when material solutions fail. However, there is a deeper cause which has spiritual roots within ourselves and our communities, at its core, the solution is love:
A heart that has embraced love for the whole of humanity will certainly be pained when confronted by the suffering that so many endure because of disunity. … No matter how bleak conditions may appear at any given time, no matter how dismal the immediate prospects for bringing about unity, there is no cause for despair. The distressing state of the world can only spur us to redouble our commitment to constructive action. “These are not days of prosperity and triumph” cautions Baha’u’llah. “The whole of mankind is in the grip of manifold ills. Strive, therefore, to save its life through the wholesome medicine which the almighty hand of the unerring Physician hath prepared.” – The Universal House of Justice, to the Baha’is of the World, January 18, 2019.
You are warmly invited to attend a Baha’i study circle, not only to explore and enrich your spirit, but to discover how you can experience the positive impact of serving your community. If you’re interested, just contact your local Baha’i community.