I was going through my files of dharma doodles last week and came across an image that stopped me in my tracks.
The image, which I created five years ago, bears a striking resemblance to the current President of the United States, and what it suggests is uncanny in light of the present political moment. Here’s the doodle:
For me, this dharma doodle is an invitation to bring loving awareness to the most challenging experiences and people—including the horrifying 45th president and all the reactions his image, words, and voice evoke.
It’s an invitation to face it all.
To not turn away. To not sugarcoat.
Instead, we can look deeply through the surface display and into the tremendous suffering that is (always) the source of violence and indifference. We can see through the destructive outbursts and pseudo-policies to recognize how they arise from hundreds of years of fear, oppression, ignorance, and self-protection. And we can choose to see, to feel, and to bring loving awareness to all that is revealed.
It’s a fierce practice for these ever-intensifying times.
This loving awareness is fierce. It’s not about wearing rose-colored glasses. Loving awareness does not preclude—in any way—the choice to protest, to protect, to take action in the face of injustice.
It’s an invitation to pause before reacting.
To enter generative stillness without knowing how we will be guided into action.
Waiting in this generative stillness burns through conditioned beliefs, fears, and certainty. It burns and burns in order to purify reactivity and more deeply align our motivations with a truly generative wisdom.
It’s not always easy to pause. It takes strength to reside in the fire of stillness—strength that we can cultivate through spiritual practice. It’s the strength to be with all that arises and to face the most horrifying realities, both “out there” and “in here.”
It’s an invitation to be a healing presence in this fragmented world.
As difficult as it often is, this is a choice available to all of us in all moments. Choosing anything else just dials up the suffering. There’s no upside for me or anyone else if my actions are driven by unprocessed, unredeemed, unacknowledged suffering, grief, or anger.
Even though today’s headlines announce new forms of ignorance, violence, and suffering, the choice to be a healing presence is perennial. It’s the timeless choice spoken of in the great wisdom traditions.
How can we be a healing presence in the current madness?
There’s no one way, but a wonderful guide to this way of being is the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred manual for anyone who wants to embody wisdom in a world gone mad.
We’re diving into this teaching now in the Wisdom Heart Community in a program called “Face Fear—Live Free.” It’s a powerful journey into the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. Join us if inspired, and may it be of benefit.
Author: Eric Klein
Image: Author’s own
Editor: Callie Rushton
Copy Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis