The Bahá'ís of Ottawa come from a variety of backgrounds, brought together by a common belief in the oneness of humanity and the unity of religion. We work alongside others to become a force of positive change by applying insights from the Bahá'í teachings to bring about a more just, peaceful and unified community.
In addition to personal prayer and meditation, Bahá'í communities hold regular devotional gatherings for collective worship. These gatherings unite people in prayer and awaken their spiritual susceptibilities. more...
Study circles bring groups of people together to deepen their understanding of the Bahá'í teachings through systematic study. This involves structured group discussion of passages from the Bahá'í writings that encourage reflection on one’s moral purpose and capacities for service. more...
Bahá'í children’s classes are offered to all children between 6 and 10 years old for their spiritual education and moral development. The aim of these classes is to inspire in each child a love for our diverse human family and to cultivate a praiseworthy character. They are guided by the Bahá'í belief that children are noble beings with great potential to develop into upright and active participants in their community. more...
Junior youth – or those between 11 and 14 years – are at a crucial stage in their lives when they are defining their identity and values. Junior youth groups offered by the Bahá'í community address the needs of these young people by helping them to develop a strong moral identity and to empower them to contribute to the well-being of their communities. more...
Big Ideas is on summer vacation.
Check back this fall for more of our engaging and thought-provoking presentations.
Have a great summer!
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Ottawa Bahá'í Centre
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm - (closed on Bahá'í Holy Days and civic holidays)
Ottawa Bahá'í Centre's online Public Events: click here.
June 20, 2022
Mind, Body and Spirit: The Journey of the Soul
Speak thou no word of politics; thy task concerneth the life of the soul, for this verily leadeth to man’s joy in the world.”
Prior to drinking the hemlock as punishment for impiety and corrupting the youth of Athens, when the philosopher Socrates stood before the judges, in his defense he stated that death was either total annihilation and a release from worry or a promotion to a higher plain of existence. He said that he looked forward to meeting with the great departed figures of Ancient Greece such as Homer, the poet Hesiod and the hero Odysseus.
Bahá’í scholar and author Jack McLean prefaced his talk on the nature and journey of the soul by stating his belief in the soul, and that to him, if there’s no immortal soul, what ‘s the point of the journey (of life)? He delved into the teachings on the nature of the soul by the three great ancient Greek philosophers (Socrates, Plato and Aristotle), whose teachings are the foundation of so much of Western philosophy and the sciences today. Bahá’ulláh, the prophet-founder of the Bahá’í Faith, wrote that Socrates was the most distinguished of all philosophers. more ...
May 17, 2022
Lighting Up the Territories: Bahá’ís in Canada’s North
“Attach great importance to the indigenous population of America… should they be educated and guided, there can be no doubt that they will become so illumined as to enlighten the whole world…”
— ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, Tablets of the Divine Plan, April 9, 1916
The “Heroic Age” of the Bahá’í Faith – spanning the missions of its central Figures, including ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, the founder Bahá’u’lláh’s son and interpreter – lasted from 1844-1921, the year of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s passing. Last year, Bahá’ís marked the centenary of the “Formative Age” of the community as it established institutions worldwide and emerged from obscurity. Amid whispers of spring, as part of the Big Ideas series, Ottawa’s Leslie Cole surveyed a remarkable facet of the Formative Age: the growth of the Faith in Canada’s territorial North. Ms. Cole embraced the Bahá’í Faith in Yukon, and has studied, lived and worked in domestic and international Arctic territories for years. Her talk, titled ‘Under One Tent,’ was the fruit of her research for a forthcoming book.
Late in His life, ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá wrote a series of letters to the North American believers, then a tiny group, outlining his “Divine Plan” for the spread of Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings. Among His many instructions included the inestimable value of teaching the Faith to indigenous peoples. Letters to the Canadian Bahá’ís specifically named five Northern territories in Canada (Yukon, Mackenzie, Keewatin, Franklin and Ungava) and repeatedly emphasized the importance of the Indigenous and Inuit peoples in the development of a future Bahá’í community. more ...
April 27, 2022
Grow or buy local – serve your neighbourhood and the planet
A core element of a strategy of sustainable development is the reform of agricultural policies and processes. Food production and agriculture is the world's single largest source of employment [....] malnourishment and food insecurity suffocate all attempts at development and progress [...] The farmer must be accorded his or her rightful place in the process of development and civilization building: as villages are reconstructed, the cities will follow.
— (Bahá’í International Community, 2008)
In a recent talk, Bahá'í ecologist Arthur Dahl listed resource depletion, loss of biodiversity, climate change and mass population displacement as interrelated crises that must be addressed both at an individual level as well as through global governance. One of his starkest warnings was the statement from the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization that if we continue our current methods of agricultural production, we have only 60 harvests before the system collapses.
Dahl suggests that the pandemic offers us an opportunity for fundamental transformation. As individuals in Western society, we must limit our consumption and develop smaller, simpler, and more local economic activities. He says we need to develop a more distributive approach to food production, with food grown sustainably and harvested closer to where it is consumed. One of the easiest ways to do both is to make food consumption more local – either by buying more food locally, growing your own food, or a combination of both. more ...
"Episodes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá" is a series of articles Commemorating the Centenary of the Passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá November 28, 1921.
Dawn of the Light portrays several individuals from different continents as they relate their own personal search after truth and meaning. They share their discovery that God has sent two Divine Manifestations —the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. Watch or download the film here.
The Bahá'í world eagerly anticipated the second historic bicentenary in Bahá'í history. October 2019 marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Báb, the forerunner and herald of the Bahá'í Faith. Visit the website here.