Central Saanich Bah' BC Community

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"At the gate of the garden..." (above quote by 'Abdu'l-Baha to Inez Greeven during her 1921 Pilgrimage)

(Reference: http://bahai-storytelling.blogspot.com/2010/02/principles-of-bahai-storytelling.html)

Remarks from Kiser Barnes on SERVING THE CAUSE THROUGH THE ART OF STORYTELLING

(Reference: http://bahai-storytelling.blogspot.com/2010/02/serving-cause-through-art-of.html)

......In the Bahá'í world, a great storytelling tradition exists. Whenever believers attained Bahá'u'lláh's presence, they treasured whatever He said. There are soul-stirring accounts of stories He told the friends of Himself, the Báb, of outstanding believers, and of the greatness of the Cause. In the Holy Land, He continued this practice. Thus, it is not surprising that at the Bahá'í World Centre the storytelling tradition continues. Individuals relating how they became Bahá'ís is a fascinating part of our social life here. When we hear these stories, when we tell stories of our Bahá'í experiences, the love for Bahá'u'lláh and the Faith that is expressed penetrates the heart. Our stories may expand consciousness of spiritual realities. They deepen bonds of affection and love....

......Storytelling is an art. It's one of the oldest arts. One scholar described it as a deathless art. It exists in all cultures. It is one of the finest forms of communications. It brings people together. It will never die. It refreshes. It makes experiences come alive. Therefore, no one should feel that he or she can't tell stories for the advancement of the Faith. Acquiring skills in telling tales is achieved through practice....

......It is also meaningful that believers everywhere are sharing anecdotes in their homes, in children and youth classes, in deepening classes, and in study circles. Perhaps in the Bahá'í Dispensation, it will be more fully appreciated that storytelling is one of the best ways to convey religious truths. Through them, one feels the power of spiritual insight. One senses that stories have an important role in the advancement of religion. They feed the flame of enthusiasm that glows in the heart of every Bahá'í....

......You may have heard this old teaching story. "Truth, naked and cold, had been turned away from every door in the village. Her nakedness frightened the people. When Parable found her, she was huddled in a corner, shivering and hungry. Taking pity on her, Parable gathered her up and took her home. There she dressed Truth in story, warmed her and sent her out again. Clothed in story, Truth knocked again at the villagers' doors and was readily welcomed into the people's houses. They invited her to eat at their table and warm herself by their fire." (Annette Simmons, The Story Factor, Perseus Publishing, Cambridge 2001, p.27) Wherever Truth went, the people welcomed her with joy. Truth, dressed in story, thrills all hearts."

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......Wikipedia definition: "Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, images and sounds, often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and in order to instill moral values. Crucial elements of stories and storytelling include plot, characters and narrative point of view."

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