January 8, 2021

Feeling sad, right now, beneath all the news and strife? Let’s learn from this.

In Buddhism (more properly called Buddhadharma), we remind ourselves that seeking to escape reality—whether it’s facts, or truth (literally, Dharma means truth), or how we feel…

…leads to more pain.

Don’t try to escape this feeling. Never forget it.

Like life itself, democracy is fragile. Just as death gives us the inspiration in “carpe diem,” this moment gives us perspective. A year from now Twitterati will be obsessing about a President Biden “gaffe,” a tan suit moment.

Remember this feeling.

Feeling sad, right now, beneath all the news and strife. Sadness ain’t badness, it can inspire us to make peaceful change, and waking up. Sadness is trustworthy, it’s real, it’s the beginning of empathy.

I feel sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, today. And I know many, many, many, many, many, many, many of you do.

Let’s explore what we have in common, right now. We love our country. We know it can be, and must be, better, too.

By better, we mean more consistent with its democratic ideals. We are the land of opportunity. Free and fair elections. A beacon of freedom.

We feel sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad right now.

We don’t know how to come together, and we have serious issues with “the other side,” but too we want to come together, somehow, in integrity, without overlooking those issues.

We know that “our truth” is less important than “the actual truth.” Facts matters. We know that if all we do is listen to folks on Parler or MSNBC or Twitter or Facebook/instagram/Whatsapp who we already agree with, we’re nurturing weakness. At the same time, we know that listening to others’ lies is unhelpful. We know that finding truth—not “doing research” on youtube, but actual truth, matters. A reminder: this is what journalists do. So when we threaten journalists we desecrate the foundation upon which our democracy rests.

We know that better days are ahead—but only if we work for them. We know that “fighting” for something is not as effective, if happiness and peace is the goal, as working for it. We know that peaceful protests matter, and that violence, no matter how we justify it, leads to further division.

We know that divisive leadership might be fun, and exciting, but that, at the end of the day, we want to live our daily lives with joy and family and love and meaning—not drama.

Okay. I tried. ~ Waylon


“In the Buddhist tradition, we often say, the upsetting things in life—they’re not bad. Hopefully, if we’re awake, we can use them to wake up further. And by waking up we’re about caring.”

“Mindfulness is not about being calm. Mindfulness is about caring.”

Watch the replay of our community forum addressing this moment, below:

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Waylon Lewis  |  Contribution: 1,405,975