Sharon Salzberg and Danny Goldberg join Raghu for a special conversation about our foreboding political climate and better ways to approach it through practice.
In times like this, of fear and polarization, it is important to find balance and approach others with loving-kindness. The group inspires us not to despair by remembering that even though the past and future are full of darkness, love is beyond time and will carry us through.
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Where Were You? (Opening) – Election night was a rollercoaster of emotion for everyone. Danny and Sharon talk about where they were that night and their reaction.
Balance and Activism (5:45) – Moments in life like this are prime examples of something we all need to help each other with. Which is, how do we balance our reactions, anger, and fear without standing by idly?
“These dark forces that are scary have been with us for a long time, and there are many examples of people who have shown their light in those periods.” – Danny Goldberg
Depolarization (10:15) – The practice of loving-kindness is a valuable way to approach political disagreements without letting our differences polarize us. We can still show compassion and stand up for our beliefs.
Working on yourself with spiritual practice does not mean you will become perfect in all actions. It is doing the best you can with awareness of your reactions and adjusting them. With this mindfulness, you can approach political activism with a greater balance.
An Inauspicious Future (18:35) – Raghu brings up a talk from respected activist and philosopher, Noam Chomsky. One quote, in particular, is especially alarming to Raghu:
“The next generation has a tremendous responsibility that has not been faced in 200,000 years, since the dawn of man.”
Danny talks about the balance between awareness and despair.
Preparing the Next Generation (24:10) – How can this current generation teach the next to approach activism without falling into nihilism? Sharon and Danny share how they feel this can be done. They discuss where they feel young people have been let down and what can be done to change that.
Raghu talks about the millennials he has worked with that are not only pursuing the spiritual path, but have a real interest in carrying that into an activist role.
Passing the Love (39:40) – How do we harmonize with those who demonize others who are different? We must look at them as human beings and realize that there are causes and conditions for anyone’s state. We all have our set of assumptions. It helps to understand the worldviews of others and reach out with that understanding.
“There is nothing we can do except to transmit that love that is deep inside us from heart to heart, to heart. One person to another.” – Ram Dass
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Image via Bruce Rolff