What is Ruhi?
Ruhi Books are a series of educational books, normally led in study circles, designed by the Ruhi Institute to enhance the capacity of individuals walking in the path of service to humanity.
The sequence is has three cycles, each one concerned with the spiritual and moral empowerment of individuals from a particular perspective.
Books 1 to 7 are centered on the practice of the freedom the individual enjoys to undertake acts of service within the framework of the teachings of the Bahá’í Faith and the guidance provided by its institutions. Book 8 begins a cycle of courses dedicated to the individual and the community, which are followed by the third cycle focusing on the individual and society. The main sequence of courses is suitable for adults 15 years of age or older.
Reflections on the Life of the Spirit
The first book in the sequence of courses is largely concerned with the question of identity. What is the real identity of the “I” in the sentence “I walk a path of service”? Three aspects of individual identity are explored in the book: “The reality of my existence is my soul which passes through this world to acquire the attributes it needs for an eternal and glorious journey towards God. My most cherished moments are those spent in communion with God, for prayer is the daily nourishment that my soul must receive if it is to accomplish its exalted purpose. One of my principal concerns in this life is to study the Holy Writings, strive to increase my understanding of the divine teachings, and learn to apply them to my own daily life and to the life of the community.” The book consists of the units “Understanding the Bahá’í Writings”, “Prayer”, and “Life and Death”. It encourages those who study it to take a first step on the path of service by hosting a meeting for prayer and worship in their home.
Arising to Serve
Book 2 of the main sequence considers what it means to walk a path of service. It consists of three units. The first explores the nature of the joy one derives from serving others, while the next two focus on the knowledge, abilities and qualities needed to enter into conversations that are uplifting to the mind and spirit. The ability to elevate day-to-day conversations by introducing spiritual principles, when the occasion calls for it, is addressed in the second unit. The third, then, turns to community life. Visiting friends and neighbors in their homes to discuss themes central to spiritual and social existence—the second act of service encouraged in the main sequence—strengthens ties of unity and fellowship, so essential to collective life. The three units are entitled: “The Joy of Teaching”, “Uplifting Conversations”, and “Deepening Themes”.
Teaching Children’s Classes,
The third act of service addressed by the Ruhi Institute is in the area of the spiritual education of children. The education of children is essential to the transformation of society. Book 3 focuses on some of the knowledge, skills and qualities necessary for those wishing to enter this important field of service. It consists of two units, “Some Principles of Bahá’í Education” and “Lessons for Children’s Classes, Grade 1”. The first unit examines certain principles and concepts inherent to education from a Bahá’í point of view. It also discusses how a teacher can manage a class with a great deal of love and understanding and, at the same time, with the discipline necessary to create a proper learning environment. The second unit offers a set of twenty-four lessons intended to foster the development of spiritual qualities in small children—qualities like honesty, generosity, and trustworthiness. Some preparatory material for teachers is also included.
The Twin Manifestations
Book 4 in the main sequence returns to the question of identity, the “I” in the statement “I walk a path of service”. History shapes much of the identity of individuals, as well as entire peoples. The second and third units in the book are dedicated to the study of the life history of Bahá’u’lláh, the Author of the Bahá’í Faith, and His Forerunner, the Báb. In the first unit, the significance of this Day is briefly examined. Seeing clearly the elements that characterize the past enables individuals to contribute more effectively to shaping the future.