Whatever level of success each of us enjoys in our meditation and spiritual journey, it no doubt seemed originally to be hard won. We all tend to be challenged by similar things along the way such as work issues, family challenges, romantic relationships, and the list goes on. One that has been a personal challenge for me is politics, and specifically election year politics. Maintaining a walking state of samadhi during this part of the political cycle seemed like an insurmountable task for a long time. It isn’t…
Overcoming this for many means completely removing themselves from politics as a part of their life’s concerns. If that is you, then go with what works for you. May of us have chosen not to do so. Neither path is right or wrong, they are simply different choices. Many will switch back and forth over time between these. As always, my own advice here is to go with what works for you. Here is your litmus test: Are you at peace?
The rhetoric that pervades politics will seem antithetical to achieving or maintaining the quality of life experience we seek. The key word there is seem. Balance and understanding will be what gets us past this.
For nearly twenty years I chose NOT to engage in the political process, as it didn’t resonate with my journey as I understood it at that time. Beginning with the 2012 elections and again this time in 2016, I was motivated to be involved once again. I admit, doing so while seeking to maintain inner peace was not an easy undertaking.
Here are a few things that allowed me to do so with increasing ease as time has gone on…
- Select candidates in harmony with the core values that resonate with your own spiritual journey – This may seem pretty basic. If you skip this step, your efforts will come to nothing. Your core identity (your consciousness) will be in conflict (an illusory state) and cannot do so and be at peace.
- Decide in advance to argue with absolutely no one about the elections – The populace as a whole is not able to have a civil discussion let alone be open to influence from discussion with others. Plus, arguing is a conflict based medium and therefore doomed from the get go.
- Accept that even those seeking a path of enlightenment as you are may disagree as to what candidates reflect enlightened values – Each of us is on a different path. We may be striving to get to the same place, but since we started at wildly varying points those paths may have little in common.
- Accept and Allow that even those with fear and hate based motivations and conflict based methods are serving a purpose in moving all of us in a positive direction – How can this be? The contrast of their speech and actions acts as a counterpoint that helps others identify who they wish to be aligned with. Many times, it’s not even a conscious decision as much as it is a core revulsion from what they too could slide into that will move people away from positions not harmonious with enlightened values.
- Likewise, candidates with fear and hate based motivations and conflict based methods will sometimes win elections – This can serve to bring us all closer to where we wish the world to be faster than if they had not. There is almost always more that we don’t know, that we do. Does this mean our own enlightened efforts are useless? Far from it. They are a vital part of the process and necessary if those candidates that win regardless of their worthiness are to serve their purpose.
- Never forget that everyone you come across is doing the best they can with the resources available to them – There are a great many wrong minded people out there that honestly believe that the people they support are the only answer to what we all face on a daily basis. Not to worry, if their motivation is good, they will find the way to the right answers.
These six principles can and will help you to maintain a zenlike or peaceful state as you go about your life this political season.
Your candidate may win, and your candidate may lose. Regardless of the outcome of this or any other election the rising tide of consciousness can and will move all of us closer to the world we wish to see emerge.
If these guidelines are beyond your current abilities to apply, then it would probably be better for you to pull away from political involvement at this time. Maintaining a state of peacefulness adds more to all of our efforts than any political activity could anyway.