Friday, February 2, 2018


I'm watching myself watch the news out of Washington DC and I'm sickened by the cynical opportunism and the mendacity of the men--yes, mostly men, I fear--elected to represent us in the House. I'm sickened by the man in the Oval Office who, one day, makes a speech filled with pieties about protecting Americans and the next recklessly and at "grave risk", according to the FBI, signs off on the declassification of a plainly partisan document designed for no other purpose than to exculpate him from his own criminal behavior.

What's an aspiring Buddhist to do? Await the reaction that karma promises these actions? Disengage from any attachment to the outcome? There is the requirement to use Right Speech, but that does not preclude the duty to call out unskillful and harmful actions when I see them. The metta practice enjoins me to send out thoughts of goodwill and compassion, and I confess I find that hard to do--until I remind myself of the simple wisdom that the world would be a better place if those who poison it with their bad faith and lies could only be enlightened by the source of true happiness--which would exclude all actions that bring harm to others.

Equanimity? Hard to achieve, hard to keep one's head "when all about you/Are losing theirs and blaming it on you", as Kipling had it. But no one ever said that it was easy. It's always a work in progress. When I find myself being drawn into anger, fear, resentment, judgment, condemnation--even nausea!--the work is to recognize what's happening in my mind and step away, not from the truth but from the suffering brought about by entanglement with something I have no means to control.

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