Someday, I may get over this fiasco of a presidential race, but right now, I am heartbroken over what I see it doing to the people of this nation. It’s only March and I sense the level of chaos and hatred rising exponentially. It’s wreaking havoc as eons of unresolved rage rises to the surface. Collectively, we are moving towards a tipping point and to be honest, I don’t have a clue what that will look like.
Suddenly, this weekend, A Return To Love crept into my meditation. Specifically, where Marianne Williamson writes about the Garden of Eden and God causing man to fall asleep and no where do we find him waking-up. I began to soften instead of polarize and what rose to the surface was, “The world changes when we change, the world softens when we soften.” and “We’re asleep.”
Asleep! SAMSARA (asleep to reality, separation) which arises out of a misperception about reality or AVIDYA (Ignorance or delusion). It is characterized by DUKKHA (suffering, anxiety, dissatisfaction). Samsara enables a person to think s/he is an autonomous, separated being instead of recognizing the interconnection between one’s self and the rest of reality. Believing in the illusion leads us to act in ways that perpetuate the illusion. We begin breaking through this illusion by maintaining an open mind and walking the world with curiosity, wonder, and a willingness to consider the unity of all.
In the The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Sogyal Rinpoche writes, “Sometimes I think that the greatest achievement of modern culture is its brilliant selling of samsara and its barren distractions. Modem society seems to me a celebration of all the things that lead away from the truth, make truth hard to live for, and discourage people from even believing that it exists. And to think that all this springs from a civilization that claims to adore life, but actually starves it of any real meaning; that endlessly speaks of making people “happy,” but in fact blocks their way to the source of real joy.”
“This modem samsara feeds off an anxiety and depression that it fosters and trains us all in, and carefully nurtures with a consumer machine that needs to keep us greedy to keep going. Samsara is highly organized, versatile, and sophisticated; it assaults us from every angle with its propaganda, and creates an almost impregnable environment of addiction around us. The more we try to escape, the more we seem to fall into the traps it is so ingenious at setting for us.”
It’s now abundantly clear to me (I hope) that I will need to largely bow out of this current political conversation and attend to equanimity, for myself, for others. This is the time to “guard our hearts” by maintaining a practice that brings us home into our hearts. Never underestimate the power of the thinking, egoic mind to land us right in the middle of where we don’t want to be.
Quoting Marianne in, How to Stay Sane During the Presidential Election, “We’re all living at the effect of a constant bombardment of stimulus which is meaningless at best and genuinely vicious at worse.”
walking with you, waking with you, Susan Rees
Resources for lovingkindness/metta and breathwork practice…