Saturday, May 21, 2016


Via LGBT INCLUSIVE / FB: True love, acceptance and Equality.


Via Grants Pass Daily Courier: FIRED UP: GP Grad carries the Olympic Torch in Brazil

Via Justa a Baha'i: Should I still call myself a Bahai?

May 21, 2016 
“I am a 2nd generation Baha’i who is also gay. For the last 21 years, I have been happily “married” to the most loving and amazing man in the world – easily and without question my Soulmate. During this time, and for a number of years prior, I have been inactive in the Faith. I still consider myself a Baha’i – but I find it increasingly difficult to abide by the current stance of the Faith toward gays. (I am not “sick,” “unnatural,” or “handicapped.” I was made this way. And our Creator does not make an imperfect creation. I am perfect just the way I am. But enough on the truth it’s taken me my lifetime so far to realize.)

On to my question…

Is there any reason for me to continue to have any affiliation with a faith that questions my inherent and God-given perfection? Is it finally time for me to just throw in the towel with the Baha’i Faith as an organization and seek spirituality and nearness to my Creator on my own (something I’ve been doing for the past 25+ years anyway)?

To be completely honest, given the Faiths stance toward gays, I’m ashamed to tell people I’m a Baha’i. I feel much more love, acceptance, support, peace, unity- and even spirituality! – within the Buddhist community. What has happened to the Baha’i Faith? Has it already failed less than 200 years later?

I see that I have asked more than one question. I suppose I’ve always believed that the only bad question is the one not asked. Reading over what I’ve just written, some of you may get the impression that I’m angry. I’m not. Just frustrated – and wanting to know your thoughts.”

A: Only you can decide if the Baha’i Faith is still right for you. I have chosen to go it alone. I can not be part of a religion that doesn’t fully accept us and I don’t see any chance of them accepting us in the future. 

B: It is the question that I have been struggling with for over 30 years since my administrative rights were removed. It helps to voice the question, and the frustration. I can see a time when I will be able to completely disassociate myself from the Faith, but that moment hasn’t arrived. I keep hoping that there will be a positive change toward embracing all. It defies reason that it hasn’t happened yet, but I keep hoping.

C: I have similar questions, myself. I usually tell people I’m an ex-Bahá’í, even though I haven’t removed myself from the Faith, only stepped back for 10 or 11 years. I still have some lingering hope somewhere that if enough voices within the Bahai community speak up for LGBT+ acceptance (not this strange sort of tolerance where we’re seen as having an affliction to be cured), then the Faith will move forward. I’m a 3rd generation Bahai and I’m trans and mga (multiple gender attracted), and I’ve been in a same-gender relationship with my partner since 2007.

D: I’m a transwoman – I was in the Faith for 32 years but finally had to leave because it wasn’t working for me on a number of levels. But I think the big one was that it did not give me a way to understand myself that I could accept or live with. And by that meaning that God had made me a man outwardly and inwardly given me the heart and soul of a woman. When I left to find something else – I wasn’t sure what – it was the beginning of a huge awakening still going on today. And one of the first things I learned was that God loved and accepted me far more than I had ever realized before. But I guess I haven’t entirely cast the Faith aside, as I am here reading what others say and making comments.

E: It all depends on if you believe Bahaullah is who he said he is. If so you are a Bahai whether you have rights or not. If you believe that in the big picture the Bahai model is best for the future then support the faith. I disagree with the UHJ not doing their job in modifying the social teachings for the current age. I believe that the continuance of the covenant through the UHJ was to provide a body to bring the faith through 1000 years, updating the social principles of the faith as humanity matures. They seem reluctant to do that. I believe that our spiritual journey is our own and we are responsible to listen to others then prayerfully make our own conclusions.

F: I agree with the Faiths basic belief that we as individuals are responsible for our own spiritual health and growth (hence, no clergy – which I couldn’t agree with more). But I never thought that would include rejecting the “clergy” of the UHJ. (I suppose they are just fallible men and women, after all, but…) I’m all for self discovery, exploration, and personal truth seeking, … but I never thought as a gay man that I’d have to “boldly go where no one has gone before” (to coin a phrase) with my own faith! The prospects are both lonely and scary. And exciting.

G: Gandhi was excommunicated by the Hindu religious authorities for travelling overseas. His friends and family would have been excommunicated as well if they saw him off at the wharf. These days, however, nobody thinks of him as a bad Hindu. I’m hoping the conditions Bahais face within their religion are also temporary, but I won’t hold my breath. I don’t regret my time as an active and involved member of the Bahai community, but I vastly prefer being unaffiliated.

Unaffiliating, whether you remain a believer or not, is enormously disruptive in the short term. But it may be better in the long-term. In the short-term, you're closing a door, but in the long-term, it may well re-open. For example, the 25-year Ruhi program has only five more years to run. Only the individual can decide what to do — but I think it's important to think both short and long-term when making the decision.

Read the original and more here

Love is the New Religion (The Spiritual Conspiracy) -Brian Piergrossi

Spiritual Conspiracy via FB:

News of violence and dark times abound.Yet at the same time,something quiet is happening unnoticed by the media: A silent, inner revolution — inside out, grassroots. It is a global operation, a spiritual conspiracy, with sleeper cells in every nation. We "conspirators" don't seek glory or control or personal gain. We come in all shapes and sizes, colors and styles; most of us work behind the scenes in cities large and small, mountains and valleys, in farms and villages, tribes and remote islands. One may pass by any of us on the street and not even notice.

We do not seek to stand out, It is of no concern to us who takes the final credit but simply that the work gets done. Occasionally we spot each other in the street and give a quiet nod then continue on our way. Many of us have normal jobs, but the real work takes a place in our kind words and deeds.

Little things that make a big difference.With the power of our minds and hearts, we're patiently contributing to an awakening world. Some call us the Conscious Army; we follow our orders come from Central Spiritual Intelligence. We drop secret love bombs: Poems, hugs, music, photos, movies, smiles,meditation and prayer, dance, social activism, websites,blogs, random acts of kindness...

We express ourselves in our own unique ways, with our own gifts and talents. "Be the change you want to see in the world" is the motto that fills our hearts. We teach by example, knowing it is the only way that real transformation takes place. Our work is slow and meticulous, like the formation of mountains— not even visible at first glance.

Love is our religion and method. You don't have to be highly educated or have special knowledge to understand. Our work comes from the intelligence of the heart. Perhaps you will join us. More likely, you already have. All are welcome. The door is open.

~ Edited version of original work by Brian Piergrossi

Via Sri Prem Baba: Flor do dia - Flor del día - Flower of the day 21/05/2016

“Ansiedade, angústia, depressão, vergonha e sentimento de desencaixe são sintomas de que há uma máscara atuando. Mas a máscara está tão colada no seu rosto que você não consegue imaginar fazer diferente; você não consegue lembrar quem está por trás dela. Então, como remover a máscara? O autoconhecimento é o único caminho para isso. E você começa esse caminho identificando suas insatisfações e contradições. Por exemplo: Ao usar a máscara da vítima, você acusa o outro pela sua infelicidade e se coloca numa posição de submissão. Porém, ao observar com profundidade, você verá que, na verdade, é você que está manipulando o outro.”

“Ansiedad, angustia, depresión, vergüenza y sentimiento de desencajado son síntomas de que hay una máscara actuando. Pero la máscara está tan pegada a tu rostro que no puedes imaginar actuar diferente, no puedes recordar quién está por detrás de ella. ¿Entonces, cómo remover la máscara? El autoconocimiento es el único camino para eso. Y comienzas ese camino identificando tus insatisfacciones y contradicciones. Por ejemplo: Al usar la máscara de la víctima, acusas al otro por tu infelicidad y te colocas en una posición de sumisión. Sin embargo, al observar con profundidad verás que, en verdad, eres tú que está manipulando al otro.”

“The feelings of not belonging, anxiety, anguish, depression, and shame are all symptoms of wearing a mask. This mask is so glued to our faces that we can’t even imagine being any different and we don’t remember who actually exists behind this mask. So how do we remove this mask? Self-knowledge is the only way. We begin walking this path by identifying the dissatisfactions and contradictions in our lives. For example,when we wear the mask of the victim, we accuse the other for our own unhappiness and we appear to put ourselves in a submissive role. However, if we observe this phenomenon more deeply, we will see that we are actually the ones manipulating the other.”

Via JMG: BREAKTHROUGH: Temple University Scientists Remove HIV From Living Animal Tissue For First Time


The Independent reports:
Scientists have managed to remove DNA of the HIV virus from living tissue for the first time in a breakthrough that could lead to an outright cure. At the moment, treating the disease involves the use of drugs that suppress levels of the virus so the body’s immune system can cope.
Now researchers in the US have revealed they used gene-editing technology to remove DNA of the commonest HIV-1 strain from several organs of infected mice and rats.
In April, the same team reported that they had successfully eliminated the virus from human cells in the laboratory, but a paper in the journal Nature Gene Editing revealed they had managed to do the same thing in live animals for the first time.
The researchers’ team leader, Professor Kamel Khalili, of Temple University, said: “In a proof-of-concept study, we show[ed] that our gene-editing technology can be effectively delivered to many organs of two small animal models and excise large fragments of viral DNA from the host cell genome.”
A more extensive report on the technique is here.

Read the original and more on JMG here

Via Daily Dharma / May 21, 2016: Liberation from Self-Consciousness

The more you can free yourself from your internalization of the gaze of others, the more liberated you feel. As you bring more humor to issues of the body’s appearance, the more you will unleash the healthy energies of the mind.

—Thanissaro Bhikkhu, "Under Your Skin"