I said I would post about consciousness and examining our thoughts, and I will. In fact, I want to begin with my own obsessive political thoughts. Even though I know it’s unhealthy and damaging to my spiritual practice to get so wound up about the upcoming US Presidential election, I often cannot control my compulsion to tweet about Trump. I can’t seem to refrain from name calling, basically reverting to his childish behavior, when watching CNN or other news updates. After all, he is all they’ve talked about for the past YEAR!
His obvious manipulation of the media was driving me crazy. Trump was able to garner around 2 BILLION dollars worth of free publicity, thanks to the ratings grab and greed by the network and cable corporate executives. Talk about “quid pro quo” and “pay to play” schemes! Enter my solution: #TeamGov — the Libertarian team of two former governors, Gary Johnson from my state of New Mexico and Bill Weld, the admired former Massachusetts governor. I never thought I would support a Republican, but both guys agree that Libertarian values are socially liberal and fiscally conservative. I can go for that. Johnson is less hawkish than Hillary, and light years beyond Trump on every issue.
Best of all, I want to support Gary, and that’s so much better than voting against Trump. That’s how I felt about Bernie Sanders. I admired his honesty and integrity and enjoyed his campaign. I wanted to contribute to Bernie’s cause. I feel the same about Gary Johnson. He is not hypocritical, certainly not racist, and Libertarians are not into controlling our behavior. I fear Trump would impose HIS values on everyone and what could be worse? His values are a confused mess. Hillary and hubby Bill are not much better. There has always been a cloud around them, something that is not the case with Gary. I don’t know much about Bill Weld. I suspect he’s had some personal battles, but who hasn’t?
And that’s a perfect segue to the topic of consciousness. It’s a pretty deep subject to tack on in a paragraph or two, but perhaps I can offer a tease and elaborate next time. The most significant insight Buddha had (under the Bodhi Tree in India 2500 years ago) was how our thoughts rule us. He realized that demons, torments and even pain can be banished by gaining control of our thoughts. We don’t have to be slaves to every crazy, impulse that pops into our head. “Seeing Clearly” is when we realize we are more than our thoughts. My own “ah ha” moment came when I realized meditation is not a technique to purge our thoughts immediately, but rather we start by observing them and finding the gap between them.
It’s enough at first to notice that we are not our thoughts. If we are aware of our own ideas and thoughts, then who is the observer? This is where the discussion can get deep and lengthy. So, this is the place to stop for now and leave you with this: in quiet and stillness (meditation) you become mindful. Mindfulness reveals the way. It’s the same with any practice or trade, in doing you learn. Artists and authors were once dabblers, and professional tradesmen were once tinkerers.
Oh, I didn’t explain the image. Trekkies/ Trekkers will recognize the scene where Frank Gorshin (best known for playing the original Riddler on the TV Batman series) on the left, played the bigoted half-whiteface, half-blackface. The half-whitefaced hated the half-blackfaced. It was satire about left/right political arguments. Enough said 😉