Ruhi Book 2: Arising to Serve


Ruhi Book 2: Arising to Serve
by Mona Tahiri

Arising to Serve is the second in a course sequence
designed to raise up human resources capable of fostering the growth of
the Baha'i Community with efficiency and love. The units of the Ruhi
Institute aim, in their entirety, at achieving three overall
objectives:  providing insights into spiritual matters, imparting
knowledge about the Faith, and helping to develop specific acts of
service.  The units of Book 1 basically seek to help the students gain
insights into certain spiritual matters.  Book 2 is largely concerned
with skills and abilities for specific acts of service.

Unit 1:  The Joy of Teaching

Purpose:  To understand that the joy of teaching is in the very act of
sharing with others the Word of God, independent of immediate results.

Excerpted from "To the Collaborators":  The first unit of this
book, "The Joy of Teaching", tries to convey the implications of [joy
in the act of teaching itself]....The sequence of ideas presented in the
unit is as follows:

1.  When we teach the Cause we partake of a special blessing -- that of
sharing with others the Word of God revealed by Baha'u'llah.   This
blessing fills us with profound spiritual joy.

2.  Baha'u'llah's Revelation can be compared to an ocean in the depths
of which lie pearls of divine guidance.  We should make every effort to
reach the shores of this ocean and to receive its benefits.

3.  The ocean of Baha'u'llah's Revelation is astonishingly near to us. 
If we but wish it, we can reach its shore in the twinkling of an eye.

4.  Having received the bounty of recognizing Baha'u'llah, we wish to
share the pearls of divine guidance contained in His Revelation with
others. In doing so, we use the power of His own Word; it alone can
transform the hearts of men.

5.  Of all the activities that occupy us in our daily lives, those that
involve sharing the Words of God with others are special.

6.  The joy that fills our hearts when we teach the Cause comes from
the act of teaching itself - sharing with others the Word of God
revealed by Baha'u'llah.  Being concerned with other things, such as
praise and recognition, spoils this joy.  Detachment is a requirements
of joyful teaching.

7.  We must also be willing to exert effort and make sacrifices.  We
should remember that, in doing so, we are gaining spiritual happiness
and furthering our spiritual progress.  Sacrifice involves renouncing
that which is lower for that which is higher.  Though it entails pain,
it is reality the bearer of joy.

Unit 2:  Deepening Themes

Purpose:  To develop the capacity of making periodic visits to the
homes of newly enrolled believers and sharing with them a number of
deepening themes.

Practice:  Visit a few families and study with them at least the first three themes presented in this unit.

Excerpted from "To the Collaborators":  The first act of
service is introduced in the second unit of the book, "Deepening
Themes", which is designed to help the students develop the capacity of
making periodic visits to the homes of newly enrolled believers and
sharing with them a number of themes -- the Eternal Covenant of God, the
life of Baha'u'llah, love and unity in the Baha'i community, Baha'i
meetings and the Nineteen Day Feast, the significance of contributing to
the Fund, and teaching the Cause....When the Ruhi Institute first began
offering the content of what is now the second unit of this book, it
was noticed that some of the participants would continue visiting
families, sharing deepening themes with them, while others soon lost
enthusiasm.  Many consultative meetings were held to try to discover the
reason.  As a result, it was realized that the main difference lied in
the believers' relative consciousness of the source of the joy one
derives from teaching the Faith.  Those who found satisfaction in
momentary excitement, or sought recognition or praise for what they did,
would usually not persevere in their efforts.  The friends who were
consistently visiting families found joy in the act of teaching

Unit 3:  Introducing Baha'i Beliefs

Purpose:  To acquire the ability to introduce Baha'i ideas into a conversation.

Excerpted from "To the Collaborators":   The third unit of
this book, "Introducing Baha'i Beliefs", is concerned with some of the
skills related to teaching the Cause.  As one gains experience in
teaching the Faith, one acquires a number of skills and abilities.  At a
first simple level, this unit is concerned with helping the students
develop the ability to introduce Baha'i ideas into a conversation.  To
do this, the unit presents them with a number of short passages on
various subjects, which, though not exact quotations of Abdu'l-Baha, are
based on His talks and Tablets and contain many of the words and
phrases He used....It is hoped that, by studying these passages, the
participants will develop a pattern of thinking in harmony with the
Teachings.  This unit should help them acquire the habit of looking
towards Abdu'l-Baha's mode of expression as the example of how to teach
the Faith.  Again, as with the second unit, putting their new skills
into practice will be an essential component in the students' learning


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