Yoga allows us to quiet our mind and find balance in the turmoil of a world that is shaken with hatred and bigotry.
It is at these times I retreat inward, silently waiting and watching, hiding in meditation from the politics of the world. Unfortunately, I can no longer use yoga and meditation to hide as I watch Donald Trump spread his poisonous propaganda across various social media channels.
As he focuses on a foreign policy dictated by fear and isolationism, we can no longer retreat to our mats and drink our green smoothies.
When I first watched Trump come into the political sphere, I felt as if he was pandering to the extreme right, but as I watch him progress each day it becomes apparent that he actually has a chance to win.
An American president is a symbol to the world; someone who honors democracy and fundamental human rights, and makes decisions based on rational facts. When we listen to Donald Trump, we see a man unhinged, bigoted and possessing the ability to decimate the strength of pragmatism in the political sphere.
His momentum and possible win for the Republican Party makes a mockery of what the United States is meant to symbolize to many in this world.
One of the fundamentals of a yoga practice is to live and be inter-connected with a world that surround us in mind, body and spirit. How can we achieve this if we turn a blind eye to the events that are unfolding around us?
In the book Yoga for a World Out of Balance, Michael Stone points out that, “Trying to find enlightenment by turning away from the world is not only misguided, but irresponsible in times of such distress. Our materialistic culture alienates us from our existential basis and promotes distraction rather than integration.”
It is at these times we need to rise with a still mind and promote peace. We have a duty to protect the fundamental values of human rights.
Donald Trump defies those values with the slander, hatred and angry rhetoric he spews from state to state. Our yoga culture should not remain passive to what is happening in this world, but rise above it by promoting a peaceful dialogue which opens the channels of communication. It is through rising with the intention to listen and communicate, by becoming politically active in peaceful protest that we can change the dialogue of what is happening in the United States.
It is through engaging Trump’s supporters in a rational dialogue filled with calm and ease that we can win minds.
Thich Nhat Hanh once wrote:
“If we are willing to work together and learn together, we can all benefit from the mistakes of our time, and seeing with the eyes of compassion and understanding, we can offer the next century a beautiful garden and a clear path.”
If we remain passive to the events that are unfolding before us, we will have to work that much harder to ensure the next generation can walk in that beautiful garden and clear path.
Author: Darcie Cameron
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Image: elephant journal/Instagram