Tara, embodiment of the goodness within all of us, you exist in the nirmanakaya as the rising full moon. Help me to see clearly and to communicate goodness to suffering beings.

Gently

“I look at you all; see the love there that’s sleeping…”

I watched the debate tonight. Along with many of my friends, I reacted with the expected horror at the continued inability of our would-be leaders to understand the implications of their behavior. And yes, as a socially liberal New Yorker, I think you know who I was rooting for, and also at whom I spent that two-hour span throwing my derision. Yes, I had fun exorcising my horror at the current state of political affairs. My friends and I bolstered one another’s sense of humor in the face of circumstances that seem incredibly horrible.

But today is John Lennon’s birthday, so if only in honor of him, I feel ready to calm down and look at the situation. What I see is suffering beings. On all sides of the Hillary (and/or Bernie) v. Trump situation, I see fear. I don’t understand all the causes and conditions for this, but I do know that those who would cause suffering are themselves suffering. It’s sort of like the physical property of equal and opposite force: the pressure inside a structure must be equal and opposite to the pressure applied from the outside or a structure will not maintain coherence.

Think about it for a moment: the suffering we feel inflicted on us is equal in force to the suffering we would cause in turn upon beings around us. That some of that suffering actually comes from within doesn’t matter; we still react to it, and those reactions cause suffering.

All I know for sure is this: I am afraid. And the people on the “other” side are afraid. And the people who seem to be egging on the people of whom I am afraid are themselves afraid. And if we are afraid, then there must be something we think we must protect. We love our children, our way of life, our connection to the divine. We all have a sense of something good; something worthy of our care.

As we enter the last few weeks of the election cycle, I feel that it is important to contemplate the suffering of those who seem frightening to me, and to realize that this suffering joins us together in basic goodness.

Please get out there and vote. But please also try to be gentle in spirit towards those who frighten you.

Nothing else really helps.

*****

Not Much Going On

It’s a beautiful day, and I am out walking around near the George Washington houses- this old old stone tunnel and then the view of the Bridge, and the steep hill on Lexington Ave. And I can see myself looking at all the special things as if somehow I could hold onto them- as if life’s meaning were answered by all the special things one could observe and really notice.
What’s it like to drop that? To not be looking for or at anything in particular but to be somehow seeing everything?

And now sitting here near my home, noticing the aversion to that asshole walking down the Grand Concourse with his loud stereo. Fuck him, you know?

I wonder if it’s ok somehow- all this averting and grasping. Maybe that’s the spice in the meal of life. But even that seems like something I could grab onto.

Perhaps just to let it all go- the grasping, the averting, the thinking about the grasping and averting- perhaps that would just leave me sitting here on a bench near the bus stop on the Grand Concourse, doing it all and somehow not doing anything.