Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Via Reddit: R/Baha'i - I hate but love the Bahai Faith

Grew up a bahai, felt immense love from the community and loved the teachings. Started having homosexual thoughts at 12 and now 10 years later the still haven’t left me. I have prayed so much that I don’t even know if I want to live anymore. I am clinically depressed and the thought of my family or the community finding out I’m gay would make me want to commit suicide.
This is all as a result of the Bahai Faith which is supposed to be a ‘progressive’ and ‘accepting’ religion which teaches about the unity of mankind. I feel isolated and repressing this part of myself is truly AWFUL for gay bahais. I have no one to talk to about this except for my therapist and even telling her has caused me so much pain because I hate associating the Faith with the reason for my depression. It should be a solace and a source of comfort in my life but the past few years has made me doubt everything I truly believed in before. I wonder why I am ‘spiritually diseased’ as Shoghi Effendi wrote. I think about how Bahaullah taught about the harmony between science and religion yet Bahais do not see homosexuality as a natural thing. I just feel like this is too much for me to handle and I am gradually drifting away. I don’t pray anymore, I just go to activities to support my family and friends and for the social interactions because otherwise I would be a disappointment to people. 

I’ve turned to bad coping mechanisms to help escape the reality of who I am. I am so ashamed and feel horrible guilt over the person I am that I wonder how I’d ever be able to overcome this ‘spiritual disease’. Conversion therapy? No thanks. It’s detrimental to anyone who engages with it. I’m so heart broken that I believe in Bahaullah and everything he taught except for this ONE thing which is a part of who I am. I’m sure there are may gay bahais out there like me who also feel the same. We can’t just be expected to stay in the closet and not get married or stay celibate our whole lives. I’d rather die.

Sorry for the rant I’m just super upset and feeling a lot of mixed emotions around the faith.

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Via Lion's Roar: Tina Turner: What’s Love Got to Do With It?

She’s the Queen of Rock ’n’ Roll. An unwanted child. A believer in the power of love. A longtime Buddhist. Andrea Miller talks to Tina Turner.


Tina Turner. Photo by Alberto Venzago.

Tina Turner—I’ll never forget my first glimpse of her. It was when I was ten years old and watched Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. She had killer legs, impressively large shoulder pads (even by eighties standards), and the most incredible raspy, sexy voice I’d ever heard. What happened to me is what, at that point, had been happening to audiences for more than two decades, and now has been happening for more than half a century: I was awed.

The Queen of Rock ’n’ Roll is not just a powerhouse on stage. She is also a longtime Buddhist, having begun her practice in the 1970s while struggling to end an abusive relationship with musician Ike Turner. Soka Gakkai, the tradition to which Tina Turner adheres, is like other schools and subschools of Nichiren Buddhism; it focuses on the Lotus Sutra and teaches that chanting its title in Japanese—Nam-myoho-renge-kyo—ultimately enables chanters to embrace the entirety of the text and uncover their buddhanature.

Turner chanting the Lotus Sutra is featured on Beyond, an album that weaves together Buddhist and Christian prayers, and also features the singers Dechen Shak-Dagsay and Regula Curti. “Bringing together corresponding pieces from Christian and Tibetan Buddhist traditions as has been done here,” wrote the Dalai Lama in the liner notes, “will allow listeners to share in these prayers, stirring thoughts of deeper respect and peace in their lives.” All revenue from the CD goes to foundations dedicated to spiritual education or helping children and mothers in need.

In this interview, Turner speaks about the power of song and practice, and the meaning of love.

All religions speak about love, and it sounds easy to be loving. But people so frequently fail to love. Why is loving so difficult?

Some people are born into a loving family. For example, everyone in the family greets everyone else in the morning, they sit at breakfast together, they give each other a kiss when they leave. There is harmony and love in the house. When you are born with that, you take it with you.

But some people are born into situations where they’re exposed to everything but love. The world is full of people that are born into such situations, and they are traveling through life in the dark. No one has ever explained to them that they need to find love, and they have no education for love except for falling in love with another person, for sexual love. I believe that the problem with the world today is that we have too many people who are not in touch with true love.

Via Tina Turner Blog / Tina Turner - Lotus Sutra / Purity of Mind (2H Meditation)

Get 'Beyond' Featuring Tina Turner chanting the mantra chanting 'Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo' here:

The meaning of the Lotus Sutra is 'I devote my life to the Mystic Law of the Lotus Sutra'. It is the royal sutra of Nichiren Buddhism in Japan (1253). Coming from India to China and then to Japan, the prayer was translated from the Sanskrit word ‘Saddharma-pundarikasutra » first into classical Chinese as ‘Miao-fa Lien-hua Ching’ and then into an ancient form of Japanese as ‘Myoho Renge Kyo’. 
The word 'Nam' derives from the Sanskrit ‘names’ and means ‘devotion’. It is placed before the name of all deities when worshipping them. ‘Myo’ is the name given to the mystic nature of life and ‘Ho’ to its manifestation. ‘Renge’ means lotus flower. The beautiful and undefiled Lotus blooms in a muddy swamp with all the obstacles against it. It symbolizes the emergence of our Buddha nature from the everyday problems and desires of ordinary life. ‘Renge’ stands also for the simultaneity of cause and effect, because the lotus puts forth its flower and seedpod at the same time. ‘Kyo’ literally means sutra, the voice and teaching of the Buddha. It also means sound rhythm or vibration and therefore it might be interpreted to indicate the practice of chanting. Since everything in the universe is connected through sound waves, ‘Kyo » refer to the life activity of universal phenomena and indicates that everything is a manifestation of the Mystic Law. ‘Myoho-Renge-Kyo’ is the Mystic Law of the Lotus Sutra. 
An explanation can help you understand, but the Sutra can only be fully appreciated through chanting it. TINA: ‘However you must do it, to truly understand. 

When you say ‘Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo’ it will slowly remove all of the bad decisions you have ever made. 
The more you repeat the words the more you make your life clearer. The more you chant it the closer you get to your true nature. Your true nature is the right way of thinking and the right way of acting. The longer you go on this path, the more you avoid making wrong decisions. The Lotus Sutra helps me in my daily life. It is indeed mystical! And my life has proven this!’ 
GET 'BEYOND' (2009): GET 'CHILDREN BEYOND' (2011): GET "BEYOND 'LOVE WITHIN' (2014): Video: Xaver Walser Music: Regula Curti & Roland Frey (NJP Studio Zurich) Album Producers: Erwin Bach & Beat Curti Video Editing & Upload: Ben ( ALL RIGHT RESERVED BEYOND FOUNDATION ‪#TinaTurnerBlog #TinaTurnerMantras

Via Tina Turner - Nam Myoho Renge Kyo (2H Buddhist Mantra)

Via Daily Dharma: What to Give Up

We need to give up something. We can’t have it all. We can’t try to layer wisdom on top of confusion. The spiritual path is about what we give up, not what we get.

—Interview with Tim Olmsted by Helen Tworkov, “The Great Experiment

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - February 20, 2019 šŸ’Œ

If you keep examining your mind, you'll come to see that thoughts of who you are and how it all is are creating the reality you're experiencing.

 - Ram Dass -