The first book in the sequence of courses found in the Ruhi Institute 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”? A group of people progressing through this first book, also referred to as a study circle, develops their capacity to read and reflect on the Word of God, to study prayers, and to shape a pattern of life known for its devotional character.
Book 2: Arising to Serve
Book 2 of the Ruhi sequence explores the nature of a path of service and the manner in which it is to be trodden. An essential feature of community life is unity and fellowship. Participants think about the joy of service, teaching the Faith, and acquire the skills and abilities, knowledge and qualities, needed to enter into conversations with others that are uplifting to the mind and spirit.
Book 3: Teaching Children’s Classes, Grade 1
The second 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. Participants learn to foster the development of spiritual qualities in small children with love and discipline.
Book 4: The Twin Manifestations
Book 4 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 Baha’u’llah, the Author of the Baha’i Faith, and His Forerunner, the Bab. Seeing clearly the elements that characterize the past enables individuals to contribute more effectively to shaping the future.
Book 5: Releasing the Powers of Junior Youth
According to the Baha’i teachings, an individual reaches the age of maturity at 15, when spiritual and moral obligations become binding. The years immediately before this age, then, take on special significance. This is the time when fundamental concepts about individual and collective life are formulated in the mind of an adolescent struggling to leave behind the habits of childhood. Youth between the ages of 12 to 15 have much to say, and whoever treats them as children misses the opportunity to help them form a proper identity. Book 5 focuses on some of the concepts, skills, qualities, and attitudes that experience has shown are required by those wishing to implement a program for the spiritual empowerment of junior youth.
Book 6: Teaching the Cause
People from every walk of life are welcome to explore the teachings of Baha’u’llah and learn how they can apply them to better their lives. All Baha’is, then, share liberally and unconditionally the teachings and precepts of their Faith. Although the propagation of Baha’u’llah’s message is one of the most essential services to be rendered, teaching is also a state of being—a state of being in which one is constantly sharing with others that which one has been so bountifully blessed. The joy of teaching the Word of God, and individual and collective teaching endeavours are covered in Book 6.
Book 7: Walking Together on a Path of Service
Book 7 is dedicated to an act of service crucial to the functioning of the Ruhi Institute itself, namely, becoming a tutor of the Ruhi materials to facilitate new groups of individuals moving through the initial six courses in the sequence. That individuals accompany one another on a path of service to their communities is central to the process of capacity building set in motion by the courses. Participants study the spiritual dynamics of advancing along a path of service, examine some of the concepts, attitudes, skills and abilities needed to accompany a group a friends on this path, and consider the role of the arts in the activity of a study circle.