- The Baha’i Faith
- Australian Baha’i Community
- What Baha’is Do
- Building vibrant communities
- Engaging in social action
- Participating in public discourse
- Spiritual life
The Ruhi Training Institute develops our capacity to contribute to building more vibrant communities.
The nature of the Training Institute can be understood by imagining an ongoing conversation taking place among friends in thousands upon thousands of social spaces—neighbourhoods, villages, schools, universities, and workplaces—concerned with contributing to the advancement of civilisation through the application of the Baha’i teachings. As the number of participants in the conversation grows, processes to achieve collective spiritual and material goals in each space are set in motion.
The materials and courses produced by the Training Institute are studied by people all over the world. They offer a structure for participants to deepen their understanding of spiritual concepts explored in the Baha’i writings and to gain practice in the skills required to contribute to community building efforts.
A core component of the Ruhi Training Institute is a ‘study circle’: the gathering of a small group of people to study materials based on concepts relating to individual and collective spiritual development. Some of the main concepts explored are how to:
- foster a devotional character within a community through prayer and meditation
- strengthen bonds of friendship among all people
- make the education of children an integral part of community life
- maintain an environment that helps young people develop their intellectual and spiritual capacities
Study circles are conducted in informal settings and are facilitated by a tutor whose primary role is to guide discussion between the participants and ensure the environment fostered by the group is one of inclusion, respect and unity.
In response to the materials they study, participants in study circles arise to carry out specific acts of service relating to the themes discussed, including organising devotional gatherings, spiritual education classes for children and youth groups.
As participants complete the sequence of Ruhi Training Institute courses, they have the opportunity to tutor and accompany others along this path of service. As people engage in study circles, they develop a common vision of individual and collective transformation and they undertake related acts of service. This gradually builds the capacity of the community to reflect a pattern of life that places social transformation and fellowship at its heart.
Anyone aged fifteen or older, whether a Baha’i or not, is welcome to take part in the Ruhi Institute.