Yes, after almost two years of campaigning, speeches, commercials, and social media frenzy, election day has finally arrived. And no, I am not going to insinuate or infer who you should vote for.
But I am thinking about all of the observations that I’ve had during this tumultuous time.
Ego, attachment, desire, clinging, aversion, dogmas, and often times a complete lack of mindfulness and equanimity. And this includes myself more often than I am happy to admit.
This has often lead me to wonder if there is a conflict between being a Buddhist, and American, and an activist. Is it possible for one to be all three?
I only have one example of someone like that, and that is Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi. And in my experience, I have never heard him speak politically. But he is a Buddhist Monk, and American, and a very powerful activist for human rights and putting an end to hunger. With all of these actions being done every day in the most mindful way. And this is likely why he does not speak about politics. With politics being something personal, that each of us has to decide on our own just like our path of practice. It is not for me to tell you to be Buddhist, nor is it my place to tell you which party affiliation you should choose. These are individual choices, and ones that we should make with a clear awareness and applying as much wisdom and understanding as possible. And perhaps even to embrace our differences of opinion. For isn’t that what creates friendliness and peace in our society.
I hope that today, election day, each of us can give some thought to our connectedness. As human beings who experience joy and sadness, physical pain, dissatisfaction, and decay. We all come and go from the life, and only have such a brief time that we can demonstrate and share loving kindness for each other. Starting with love and gentleness for ourselves, let us each reach across the aisle and hug someone from the other party. Because remember, they are your Family too.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.