Friday, May 27, 2016

Via BuzzFeed: American Baha’is Struggle With LGBTQ Issues

In recent years, American Baha’is have felt a dilemma between their identities as Baha’is and their desire to support members of the LGBTQ community. 

Why are some American Baha’is leaving their faith?

Why are some American Baha'is leaving their faith?

In the past two years, three written pieces by Baha’is who left, or considered leaving their faith have gained publicity on social media. All three people who published such pieces left or considered leaving the Baha’i faith due to the faith’s stance on homosexuality. The Universal House of Justice, the Baha’i authority of the world, describes homosexuality as similar to issues such as drinking and doing drugs. While Baha’is are encouraged to be sympathetic toward LGBT members of the faith, the UHJ considers homosexuality immoral if expressed in sexual acts. Since April of 2015, three prominent Baha’is have expressed their struggles and disagreements with this stance. 

In recent years, the first person to come forth so publicly on this issue was former Baha’i Sean Rayshel. In an April 2015 interview with the Huffington Post, Rayshel discussed his journey leaving the Baha’i Faith due to feeling that the official Baha’i stance on homosexuality “debased” him, and claimed that he was part of the world’s disintegration. Just one month later, out gay Baha’i radio talk show host Jake Sasseville published a statement titled, “Baha’i Curious? Religion and Sexuality” in which he mentioned that he considered leaving the Baha’i Faith. Sasseville stated that being a gay Baha’i makes him feel “unlovable” in what is otherwise “the most accepting, loving, and global community I’ve ever known.” In February of 2016, Baha’i actress Anisa George published her letter of resignation from the Baha’i faith to the Universal House of Justice on George expressed her sorrow in leaving the faith, however she also stated “when it comes to civil rights issues pertaining to the LGBTQ community, Baha’is are so woefully behind the curve.” 

Rayshel and George express a sentiment that Baha’i holy texts condemn pederasty, and not homosexuality, as the Universal House of Justice has interpreted them. 


This post was created by a user and has not been vetted or endorsed by BuzzFeed's editorial staff. BuzzFeed Community is a place where anyone can post awesome lists and creations. Learn more or post your buzz!

Via Daily Dharma / May 26, 2016: Attachment Awareness

In the meditative process, sometimes all objects seem to disappear, and all that’s left is consciousness, the knowing mind. But care is needed here, because there can be a subtle attachment to this state, an identification with awareness itself.

—Joseph Goldstein, "The End of Suffering"

Via Sri Prem Baba: Flor do dia - Flor del día - Flower of the day 27/05/2016

“Você pode deixar a família para seguir um caminho monástico, acreditando estar em busca da iluminação, mas pode estar apenas tentando fugir da sua responsabilidade. Você pode não estar dando conta do aprendizado que é estar nesse lugar. Porque uma coisa é sentar para meditar dentro da caverna ou no alto da montanha; outra coisa é meditar enquanto troca a fralda do bebê. Uma coisa é praticar yoga na hora que bem entende; outra é ter que acordar de madrugada com o bebê chorando. Talvez a melhor prática de yoga para você seja estar em família, pois é ali que o seu ego será constantemente provocado e você terá a chance de superar seus padrões negativos; é ali que você aprenderá a sustentar a presença e o coração aberto diante dos desafios da vida e onde poderá exercitar de verdade a renúncia e o perdão.”

“Puedes dejar la familia para seguir un camino monástico, creyendo estar en búsqueda de la iluminación, pero puedes estar solo intentado huir de tu responsabilidad. Puedes no estar haciéndote cargo del aprendizaje que es estar en ese lugar. Porque una cosa es sentarse a meditar dentro de una caverna o en lo alto de la montaña; y otra cosa es meditar mientras cambias el pañal del bebé. Una cosa es practicar yoga en la hora que te plazca, otra es tener que levantarte de madrugada con el bebé llorando. Tal vez la mejor práctica de yoga para ti sea estar en familia, pues es allí que tu ego será constantemente provocado y tendrás la chance de superar tus patrones negativos, es allí que aprenderás a sustentar la presencia y el corazón abierto delante de los desafíos de la vida y donde podrás ejercitar de verdad la renuncia y el perdón.”

“We may leave the family in order to follow a monastic path, believing that we are in search of enlightenment, whereas we are actually attempting to escape our responsibilities. We may not be taking into consideration the valuable lessons being given to us from this life experience. It is one thing to sit and meditate in a cave or on a mountaintop, but it is another thing to meditate while we are changing a diaper. It’s one thing to practice yoga at anytime we choose; it’s another to wake up in the middle of the night with a crying baby. Perhaps the best yoga practice is to be in a family, because it is precisely in this place that our egos will be constantly provoked and we get the chance to go beyond our negative patterns. From this point we learn to sustain presence and an open heart while facing life’s challenges. From here we can truly exercise renunciation and forgiveness.”

Via Daily Dharma / May 27, 2016: Heart, Broken Open

Disbelief of snow, suspended. So sudden
the plum blossoms
cannot close and hang instead
like broken parasols. As the heart, un-steeled
against pain, is broken.

—Paula Bohince, "Birds, Beasts, Blossoms, and Bugs"