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Another long but very true story... 

Again once again thank you all for this space....

I posted this elsewhere, but thought it might be nice to archive it here as well....

Over 30 years ago, when I lived in Albuquerque, NM (ABQ), finishing grad school... coming out, divorce... it was a tough time. I was really like a lost rowboat on a stormy sea... I even attempted a suicide one or twice on my bike in traffic... dumb, I know.

A professor of mine, Rafael, was one of the first openly gay role models I met. He was a former Jesuit, turned Zen practioner, and let me stay with him and his partner until I could steady myself. I owe a lot to them. Strike that, I owe everything to them... Until then, my only contact with gay people, was, well unsavory and not very well together types. They introduced me to strong, together, professionals and good decent people. Saturdays we went to a Gay men's meditation group, and then we went to brunch. It was there that I first met Gay men who were working on their spiritual sides. At that time, I was still going to feasts and wearing a Bahá'í ring. One morning a very, very odd man came to the group, his energy field was really off, and at brunch he sat next to me. Early on he noticed my ring, and began ranting about the Guardian... come to find out he was a big cheese in the Covenant Breakers near ABQ. Sigh... he began a wacky rant... I remember, turning to him and saying,

"My friend, this is hardly the place for such a discussion, I do not agree with you, and we will not continue this discussion. Period".

He started in again, and as he did, his plate lifted off the table, and dumped into his lap...

The group just stared at him, our Zen teacher and leader turned to Rafael, and said...

"The force is strong in this one" and we all laughed...

Soon after, I took a faculty position in Sacramento, and Rafa, got a job at Stanford... he is since retired, and still a great mentor. I owe him a lot, he taught me that I could be gay and follow a spiritual path, and could ignore all this nutty Bahá'í administrative homophobic community dysfunction. He introduced me to the idea of service and tools that helped me deal with the anger I had with Bahá'í. I volunteered with the Sacramento AIDS project when things began to explode in SMF. Again I met a lot of good, decent, service oriented people. His mentorship planted the seed in me that allowed me to eventually meet the other great people here on Tman.

It is also why I get very, very frustrated with all this Bahá'íness... it doesn't want to look at what works, or adapt. And why I no longer feel the magic with it or have any sense of Sangha in it.

So maybe, just maybe Baha'u'llah was looking out for me after all, and showed me a place where I could be loved, where I was welcome, where I could serve with out fear…

Namskar dear mentor and teacher Rafa!

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