Trump’s Remaining 1340 Days: Spiritual Strategies
We have survived the first one hundred days. The good news is that the apocalypse has not yet occurred. The bad news is that one hundred days is a mere 6% of a presidential term. There are 1340 days left in this term. And a great deal of hateful, dark, regressive work is going on. The immigrant ban, the wall, repeal (and mostly don’t replace) the ACA, dismantling of the EPA and the FDA along with vast restrictions of all civil rights are in the process. And they have 94% of their time to inflict it. These are troubling times in our country and world.
My personal perspective on this involves six points.
1. We are the people we have been waiting for. AND these are the times we have been waiting for. I have always liked the first sentence. It is well known and important. We are now the leaders. We can’t afford to wait for others. But it is important to embrace the second sentence also. These are the times we have been given. There is no other time for us. It is up to us to engage in the world and to be present to it all. (Please see the beautiful article by Clarissa Pinkola Estes which is linked below.) We have been made for these times; trained, schooled and prepared for exactly what is occurring. For years, decades and lifetimes we have been in training to engage mindfully with the world on exactly this plain. Our ancestors dealt with the Huns over running the Roman Empire, the plague, the inquisition, WWII, American racial apartheid, etc. It is now our time to face this. When it was Rosa Parks’ time to refuse to give up her seat on the bus that is exactly what she did. If she could do it then we can do it now. This is our equivalent to a march in Selma. The cosmos has given us this time because we can handle it.
2. The real issue is hate, racism, sexism and homophobia. It is important to remember that President Trump and his administration are the symptom of the problem not the cause. These energies have always been powerful in our country. It is time for America to face its own very powerful and dark shadow. To the extent that we successfully do this we will mature and evolve. To the extent we do not the future appears filled with contraction and violence.
3. Sometimes it is crucial to engage in the political arena. This administration embodies and emboldens the dark energies. It is vital to combat the administration’s specific political agenda with direct political action. This has been occurring in the woman’s march, town halls, local marches, letter writing and joining political campaigns.
4. Sometimes it is in daily activity that we engage. We meditate about the world, we talk and express love. We watch out for the vulnerable people in our communities. I have taken to writing letters to people who have been bullied or mistreated in this environment and by the administration. I’ve sent letters to Meryl Streep, John McCain, Linsey Graham, the Worcester Jewish Community Center (after bomb threats) and the local mosque. I do this as an individual citizen expressing my sorrow at the events and support for their presence in the community. One of the best examples of taking action in daily life occurred at Fenway Park when Baltimore Oriole outfielder Adam Jones protested that he had encountered racial slurs while playing. Apparently there were a few moronic fools in the crowd of over 30,000. Some 20 or so people were ejected from the stadium. Officially the Red Sox organization vigorously condemned the behavior. More importantly the next night when Jones came to bat there was a lengthy, standing ovation from the crowd of 32,932 individuals speaking in unison that such action does not define them. When we take individual action we light candles in the world. The energies of hate and division appear to be emboldened in this time and it is important to speak in alternative ways. These are actually meditative spiritual actions.
5. It is important to stay close to Spirit. The source of our strength comes through practices like meditation, being in nature, music, dreams and inner dialogue. These actions connect us to the energy of light and will help sustain us in these complex times. As we find the energy of light we can then return it to the world through engagement with the struggles. The more we connect the less afraid we are. Some people use loving kindness as part of their meditation bringing the world into their practice. I begin each meditation with the following affirmation which I found in Andrew Harvey’s book The Direct Path.
By the power and truth of this practice
May all beings have happiness, and the cause of happiness;
May all beings be free from sorrow, and the causes of sorrow
May all never be separated from the sacred happiness which is sorrowless:
May all beings live in equanimity, without too much attachment or too much aversion;
And may all beings live believing in the equality of all that lives.
I have also found comfort in the ritual of lighting a candle for one hour every day as a way to metabolize the darkness and show light.
6. It is also ok to withdraw at times. Occasionally, I get sick of all of this and want to simply rest and enjoy life. There are days when I turn on the news and simply can’t stand one more outrageous statement from our so-called leaders. On those days it is clear I need a retreat from the daily onslaught. I shut the news off and read a good science fiction book to distract. Then in a day or two I come back to it.
Our spiritual journey is not separate from our lives in the world. As our culture contracts in upon itself we seek to expand in ways that bring inclusion. As we attune to what is happening across our entire planet we seek to bring light. As we do this we become the new energy, we join with the energy of the cosmos embodying inclusion, love and compassion. In these times the future is being born and everything that is happening is part of the birth process. Can we continue to relentlessly stand our ground armed with love and light? Can we be the affirmation of Oneness? It is a big task to which we are called. We are not alone in it. We have those who are like hearted and the Grace of Spirit is with us constantly.
www.awakinweekly.com is the sight for the essay by Calarissa Pinkola Estes. Go to the site and click on readings. The site in general is very good and this essay is fabulous.
The Direct Path by Andrew Harvey.