View this post on Instagram
“Moderators, please delete this post. No politics should be allowed in spiritual groups.”
“Please, no politics. Only positivity here.”
“Why are you being political in this group? Someone delete this, please!”
These are some of the many comments I’ve read in spiritual community groups on Facebook whenever someone simply mentioned their indignation about, for example, kids being put in cages, mass deportation, or mass shootings.
I’ve commented back on these posts many times defending the person who posted: “She’s just expressing her opinion because she’s sad and concerned. She’s not being political, she’s being human!”
On a more personal note, I was sometimes reminded that I was being too negative when I posted too much about politics on social media.
As a Reiki master and a meditation teacher, I feel like there is an obligation for me to walk on a cloud of positivity and happiness all the time and spread my light other than “feed into the negativity” in the world.
I’ve felt bad and out of place for sharing social/political news for the longest time. I’ve felt it was not my place to say many things. I was afraid of being shamed like others have been.
Well, that part of me is finally gone.
For many of us who are in touch with our spirituality, whether we are a yogi, a teacher, someone who meditates daily, a pastor, or just someone searching for a better version of ourselves, it feels like we are 10 times more judged simply for being human.
We are continuously reminded of the spiritual ideas that we have studied and are expected to put them in practice.
Some of these ideas are: the absence of separation between us and the others; that we shouldn’t judge people but try to understand where they have come from; whatever we put out there comes back to us, and that it also influences the collective consciousness; lead by example and by love; spread love and light, not fear.
Let’s say that while all these ideas are true for some and they are the core of basic spirituality, that doesn’t mean we get to live a life free of fear and resentment if we adopt them.
I believe that it is by understanding our fear, our anger, and our own negativity that we also discover the truest aspect of ourselves. Unless you are an enlightened being like Buddha, Jesus, or the Dalai Lama, you are in no position to expect people to ignore their feelings and silence their voices in the name of “positivity.”
We’re not spreading fear by being “political” or sharing negative social media posts—we are speaking our truth.
Those who know me well can testify that I am extremely concerned about social and political matters. Yes, sometimes I share negative news and I take a stance, and I often get a lot of criticism from the spiritual community for being outspoken.
So I’m here to tell everyone who is a lightworker that we are allowed to have a voice, and should we ignore our fears and desires for a better world, we are also ignoring parts of ourselves.
Is it okay to want to feel distant from all this crazy media negativity and just live in peace? Of course, it is! I also take breaks, and you are allowed to take a break forever if that’s what your heart tells you to do. But you are also allowed to want the opposite. The difference brings balance to our world.
After meditating for a few months on that matter, I’ve finally come to peace with my fears and emotions, and I decided not to struggle against who I really am.
Yes, I love discussing political issues and, yes, I’m still a lightworker.
It’s okay for me to be against children being put in cages, and/or being separated from their parents. I am still against mass deportation and the suffering that this act caused, especially to the little ones. I can still be in favor of tougher gun laws. I can be personally against abortion because of my faith, but be wise enough to want the government not to have say on decisions that are based on religious beliefs.
I believe that some of the stances I take go beyond politics, but nowadays, unfortunately, everything becomes a political battle. The media separates people by parties when, in my opinion, we should just be debating the issues at hand.
If being “political” is the only way to be heard, then yes, I will be “political.”
I will do whatever it takes to embrace my calling for justice and peace for all beings. I will do whatever it takes to reinforce that nobody should be suffering because of bad political decisions. I will do whatever it takes to stop bad politicians from being elected.
However, despite not liking the idea that, for instance, seeing kids being separated from their parents angers me, I still choose to turn that anger into awareness. I acknowledge that while that practice is not acceptable, it is okay for me to be mad about it.
That is what the Buddhists call “the first arrow.”
The first arrow shot is inevitable, but as for the second arrow, it’s up to you if you want to swerve or not.
I feel deeply sad about how evil and separate the world has become. I have my moments of tears and deep sadness. Then I snap out of it by doing a Tonglen meditation, or by sending Reiki and prayers to the children in need, for example. My resentment is there for a moment, but it is short-lived. I look for ways to help. I write to my congressmen, I join campaigns, I donate to causes, I do my part. Then I acknowledge it’s not only up to me and I gracefully let it go.
Thich Nhat Hanh has a fantastic life of mindful activism. He even wrote a book called Love in Action, where he talks about being an activist during the Vietnam War. A powerful quote of his book reads:
“We who have touched war have a duty to bring the truth about war to those who have not had a direct experience of it. We are the light at the tip of the candle. It is really hot, but it has the power of shining and illuminating. If we practice mindfulness, we will know how to look deeply into the nature of war and, with our insight, wake people up so that together we can avoid repeating the same horrors again and again.”
How beautiful is that? A Zen Master peacefully spreading his light through his awareness and feeling that he has to “wake people up.” We can meditate, but we can still speak up.
So I’m sorry, my fellow lightworkers who feel like I am sometimes too negative. I won’t jump onto the “You’re spiritual, you shouldn’t talk so much about politics” wagon ever again.
I normally like to think that everything in life is about balance. There are times to be happy, times to be sad, times to be excited, times to be angry and frustrated. By embracing groundlessness we realize that we are never fully prepared for what’s coming next.
So why live a life of denial? Why not speak up when you need to? Why try to be a spiritual person all the time? If being spiritual for you means staying away and secluded, you are granted that right. In fact, I think we all need some time out. But if you feel like you can be a spiritual warrior and fight for what’s right—peacefully!—then join me, dear lightworker!
“Nonviolent action, born of the awareness of suffering and nurtured by love, is the most effective way to confront adversity.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Love in Action: Writings on Nonviolent Social Change