On the day after the election, I was in a state of shock and incomprehension, but I found a way, thanks to my spiritual teacher Devaji, to view things from a higher vantage point, seeing it all as an egoic play of consciousness that gave me an opportunity to root myself in the stillness and peace that is at the core of my being rather than being pulled away by external events, no matter how concerning. That sounds pretty high-falutin, but it worked and I stayed in my heart and grounded..
Unfortunately, that perspective has not been inconsistent. My response to this election has been like the unexpected death of a loved one.. One minute I am fine, and then I am hit with a wave of grief, then disbelief, then fear, then confusion, then anger and then the mind goes into overdrive, wanting to figure it all out. It’s a cycle that tends to repeat itself.
Although I have been watching it all with some dispassion, I realize that I have been holding something at bay -- riding the surf but somehow not letting it really touch me..
Today, however, is another matter. I am awash in grief and anguish and helpless against the force of it. I have been talking to a friend on an off all morning wrestling with the feelings and searching for some deeper meaning. Subtly and not-so-subtly I have been trying to make this discomfort go away.. Why can’t my years of meditation and spiritual practice allow me to move through this with more equanimity?
I finally came to the conclusion that I just need to let it rip.. I need to feel this tidal wave of grief because on the human level it is about things that matter, and it is an authentic expression of who I am and the kind of world I want to live in. I feel things deeply, and that's good. The perceived challenges to everything I hold dear -- freedom, honesty, tolerance, compassion, kindness, understanding, fairness, equality, justice and tikkun olam (Hebrew for care for the Earth), now that's something to be gravely concerned about. And I am..
The outcome of all this in the long term, may turn out to be positive, but the short-term consequences are uncertain.. There are going to be casualties along the way, and I don't know whether I will still be here when the tide turns.. At this moment, I am digging to find the heart, the courage, the fortitude, the resiliency to face this because (a) I don't have a choice and (b) how I respond makes a difference.. How each and every person responds will make a difference.. Right now I can’t find my highest and best self because it is awash in a flood of emotions that cannot be suppressed, nor should they be.. Today I am going to weep and wail, and tomorrow I am going to pick myself up and see what emerges out of the emptiness left behind after this storm subsides..
I don’t know what form that might take, but like countless others I am going through a deep soul-searching that eventually will lead to some kind of action.. But I do not want to act when I am overtaken by swells of emotion.. If I do that I will only contribute to the polarization that’s come to the surface in this election.. I need to open completely to this tsunami and let it be the vehicle to a deeper realization of the inherent wisdom that lies beyond the mind’s limitations.. Even though it’s hard to access when the mind is spinning its story of imminent disaster, it’s always there and is always a refuge, providing what we need to know, when we need to know it.
I am clear that I will spend more time in meditation than I have been, and I would predict that my form of action will be to encourage others to do the same so that we can collectively calm the waters.. If each of us follows our heart’s imperative, if we act from love rather than fear, hate and reactivity, if we do the things that we are deeply called to do, then we can be powerful counter-agents for good..
True power is not force, as Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, so clearly demonstrated.. True power emanates from soul-force, from alignment with our spiritual essence, which is pure love, peace, joy and wisdom.. When we are centered in that then no power on earth can imprison us.. Let’s see what we can do when we come together and harness this mighty force of love to liberate all beings from the chains that bind and the ignorance that separates us..