Seyed is a deeply spiritual person. He walks labyrinths, reads Thomas Merton, and speaks with the wisdom of a mystic. “I am what I seek,” he says.
Born in Tehran in 1962, Seyed first came to San Jose when he was fourteen. He graduated from Blackford High School and began coursework at West Valley College. “The Iranian revolution in 1979 threw me off balance,” he says. “I kept thinking if I were back in my country, I’d be dead.” Ten years later, Seyed was diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Type, but he says it took another twenty years before he accepted the diagnosis.
A member of Recovery Café San Jose since 2015, Seyed has especially enjoyed Mindfulness classes and the specialty coffee drinks made by members training to be baristas. More than coffee or classes though, Seyed appreciates the friendships. “There’s a guiding force at the Café,” he says. “Members, volunteers, staff, donors—everyone brings an energy here which helps me.”
Two years ago, Seyed had a hypertensive crisis. With his blood pressure 250/140, he was rushed to the hospital. Four days later, doctors implanted a pacemaker to regulate his blood pressure. These days, Seyed still talks about what’s going on in his heart but in a more metaphorical way. “I find joy in simply breathing,” he says. On his face is a smile of palpable peace and contentment.
Article by Cindy McCalmont