Overcoming Divisiveness

We were overwhelmed by the positive response to the previous post. Many people seem to be suffering with regard to the election and need a bit of compassionate sanity. I am happy to offer something into the blogosphere that can have a beneficial effect. But many folks remain fearful and anxious.

A great division exists in our corner of illusory existence (aka, planet earth) and it mirrors the division in our minds. Buddha taught a basic truth: When we establish a “self” as opposed to another, we will experience suffering. In other words, when we see our version of existence as superior to another’s, we eventually feel the need to defend our territory. This is the result of ego-clinging and the root of all suffering.

Whether we identify our ego as race, gender bias, political/religious/philosophical ideology, (fill in the blank)-orientation, or simply being full of ourselves, we establish a separation between our “self” and those who have a different look, view, or lifestyle. This often degrades into negativity and judgment. If it remains unchecked, we descend into war. We seem to repeat this cycle over and over—but it is crazy.

My prayer is for a moment of mindful reflection—to recognize we all walk beneath the same sun and moon. We breathe the same air, drink the same water, and essentially share the same wish for love. We just need to settle down and truly hear each other’s story. It is possible to experience the stirring of a shared but dormant compassion. The energy released in remembering our fundamental interconnection helps dissolve schisms and provides the insight necessary to heal the planet.

Some possible practices: Maybe take someone with whom you disagree to lunch and spend more time listening than talking. Feed someone who is hungry or offer water to one who thirsts. Take off your coat and give it to someone shivering from the cold. Most of all, remove the blindness from your own eyes before calling someone else blind.

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