Burning Hope

Michael McAlister Blog 1 Comment

What will her eyes see in this life?

This election process has taken a toll on so many around the world. In our sangha, the choices have been at the forefront of several discussions and has ultimately proven itself to be a dharma door for many of Infinite Smile’s members.

It’s also a dharma door for me. Listening to Obama’s acceptance speech broke something wide open in me. I hadn’t realized how much I’d become hooked by the whole process; by the last eight years; by war and economic catastrophe. So often I can hide in my role as teacher, or on my cushion as a meditator. As Obama spoke, I simply held my daughter and wept.

But I worry about the egoic projection of “savior” onto this man we’ve elected. Doing so only distracts us from our journey along the Path. Successful navigation of the Path involves a committment and a practice of no longer clinging to the activity of the mind. The conscious expression of this non-clinging into our day-to-day lives is Awakening.

So when I see comments from people like French intellectual and America-watcher, Bernard-Henri Levi, I worry a little:

“Junk politics and immorality have come to an end.”

Let’s hope. But let’s not get caught by our hope. What kind of attachment must be going on in the hearts and minds of people around the world? Getting hooked by our elation, just like getting hooked by our disappointment, douses the flames of insight. Meeting our elation, or our disappointment, with our full heart and mind, in each moment burns up what we no longer need.

Comments 1

  1. Tom Steuber

    Yes – viewing Obama as the “savior” will eventually lead to disappointment among the faithful and alienation of the “non-believers”. However, I think that there is a useful aspect to the spirit that drives the wish. How many times in your life have you wished that you could vote for a presidential candidate whom you were excited about instead of the lesser of two evils? Isn’t Obama finally that man? Many people who view Obama as the savior are not passive about the process. I think that they want to be involved in the system and want Obama to lead them. It is this groundswell of excitement that will allow changes in our society to happen because people are buying into the process and dropping their cynicism. I actually think that McCain nailed it in his concession speech when he said that Obama’s greatest achievement was to bring back into the political process people who felt they could never be included.

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