Long Walk to Freedom


No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

— Nelson Mandela

Long Walk to Freedom

These are mighty trying times; they call upon us in the same ways that war, natural disasters, loss of loved ones, economic poverty, and lack of health care do to seek answers and find solutions to situations that are rationally confounding.

Who can make sense out of our current president who constantly changes his mind, tweeting away as different whims of mind spew contradictory words forth from one moment to the next. Is he trying to drive everyone “crazy” so we all fall apart and fall subject to his irrational mind states and, in turn, fall apart as well —the ultimate in demagoguery?

Trump and his cohorts are cunning men, secrecy is their ally, spinning mind webs is their modus operandi, vitriolic speech their style of communication, creating chaos is their veil, and openness, honesty, civility, ethics, and caring is their enemy.

Some of us cannot deal with it and we avoid news; many do not believe, and cannot accept, the possibility that the Trump side can win. I recently taught a class in Denver to a different sangha. We began by dedicating the meditation to Heather, the thirty-two-year-old woman who lost her life in the Charlottesville anarchy. With words of deep compassion and phrases of loving kindness, we opened our mind and hearts to the tragedy.

Many participants had been affected and yet could not find a way of being with all of these circumstances to cope. One woman came up to me afterword’s and asked me if I really believed that the “Trumpites” could keep brewing their hateful plans and not be stopped. I said yes this was possible and we have to look this situation directly in the face, with all its untold outcomes. She could not accept this was possible. Others, this week, have mentioned this is what happened with fascism and in World War II with Hitler.

Our practice instructs us to “see clearly,” to be awake, to use both discernment and wisdom, and to see what is possible in this life we cannot control. More than ever, we must remember to not fall asleep, to stand up for harmlessness, to bond with like-minded people, to not hate the other but to see how they have been mentally corrupted and conditioned by the legacy of deep South brainwashing.

If you can please attend one of my upcoming class series, “Real Kindness: Love and Compassion” beginning on Wednesday, August 23, or a day of practice at TCMC , “Moving into Stillness: A day of Sitting and Walking Meditation” on Saturday, September 9, beginning at 9:30 am. May they be of benefit to you.