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July 16, 2010

I heart Dick Cheney: a true test of spiritual practice.

Dick Cheney.

That pairing of words causes hives to break out for many and anaphylactic shock to be induced in not a few. Associations with Hitler, The Grinch, the Architect from The Matrix, Darth Vader and the Sith Lord from Star Wars, and even Barney are made in the minds of many who consider themselves to be “conscious, spiritually awake” persons and practitioners of numerous religious traditions.

He’s also a gift.

You see this loathed, despised, and hated man (whose very image has helped many men reduce blood flow to a certain part of their bodies when trying to not go too far in the heat of passion) is now facing serious health problems.  His heart is failing and his days are numbered.

How one reacts to this news says a lot about where we’re really at in our spiritual or yogic practice.  It says volumes about the health of our own hearts.  It’s where the rubber hits the road and where the proof may, or may not, be seen in our pudding.

Try taking “The Great Dick Cheney Empathy Test” and see how you do.

I passed…but if I’m being honest, I had to cheat a little bit.

As John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, once put it, “preach faith until you have it” – which was essentially the origins of “fake it till you make it.”  There’s something to be said for that.  Trying on and mimicking that which we aspire to become is in fact a tried and proven method for spiritual growth.  This may well be one of those times for a lot of us.

Less judging, more unconditional loving; less damning, more grace and mercy; less vengeance, more forgiving; and less excluding, more reconciling…at least for this wanna be follower of Jesus.

Thank you, Vice President Cheney for providing this mirror for us to gaze into and for this opportunity to check our pulse.

May God’s amazing, transforming, healing, strengthening, and comforting Grace, Peace, and Love be with you and your loved ones during this difficult time.

I (gulp…can’t believe I’m saying this.) love you.

{Hug}

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