Thursday, May 5, 2016


Well, the attack ads for the November election have started. They may have begun some time ago where you are, and maybe even here, but I saw my first one this evening. The good news is that this will encourage me not to watch as much television.

One of my meditative practices, which I suppose I have mentioned before, is taken from the Buddhist tradition: Metta Bhavana, the cultivation of loving kindness. For a more detailed explanation, click here. (You will need to click through several pages to get the whole idea.)

My own version involves ten aspirations, prayers, call them what you will. 
May I be serene and at peace.
May I be free from enmity and danger.
May I be free from ill will and ill treatment.
May my heart be open.
May I wake to the light of my true nature.
May I be free from mental suffering.
May I be free from physical suffering.
May I be healed of all things.
May I be a source of healing for all beings.
May I take care of myself happily.

[In the full meditation, one does this for self, then for a loved one, then for a casual acquaintance, then for an "enemy" and then for all beings. If "all beings" is uncomfortable, do it for all people. Although it is a Buddhist form, it is easily adapted to your own belief system.]

I have taken to inserting the name of the likely presidential candidates into the process. Instead of praying/hoping/wishing that he/she would go away or that she/he would do things the way I want them done, I pray/hope/wish that they may become a person transformed by loving kindness. That they be at peace and not at war with themselves or others. That they be safe from external enmity and danger, but also that they not be controlled by inner enmity and dangers, that they not fall victim to their own ill-willing. That their hearts be open and not closed to anyone. That they come to know fully who they are, so that they may know who others are and respond accordingly. That they be free from any mental or physical suffering that causes them pain and blindness and that leads them to harm others. That they not only be healed but that they become instruments of healing. That they take care of the deepest self happily, not defensively, not arrogantly, not at the expense of anyone else. I think such a person as president might be amazing.

It helps me to do this. I am not sure it changes the universe, but it gives me a bit more of the peace and serenity I seek.

I honestly don't expect to see the attack ads stop. Maybe I need to start including campaign managers in my meditations.


Dave R said...

I got rid of my cable 2 years ago and got myself a smart TV so everything I watch is from the Internet: sans commercials.

Michael Dodd said...

We have a smart TV and I watch a lot of things from the internet, too. Tom watches tons of political stuff on cable -- retired lawyer and political operative! -- but fortunately he doesn't do that in the living room where it would frighten the cats and me.