Post-Election Reflection: Stay Positive and Never Give Up!

I have been spending more time with the lovely students at our New York entity, Shantideva Meditation Center, and they asked me to write some words about the recent election results…

To My Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Shantideva Community,

While the recent US presidential election had astonishing results, I believe it’s so important to continue going forward with positivity and hope.

On election night, I went to bed feeling somewhat stunned and ill. Oddly, I woke up with HOPE in my mind. There was also a sense of relief that the previous divisive year of the campaign was finally over. It needed to be. It felt like it was creating a deep irreparable chasm in the core of our national being.

And while it seemed a year dominated by ignorance and hatred, I prefer to believe people wanted something better than they were experiencing. So perhaps we just got a giant wake up call. So let’s wake up as best as we can by, as His Holiness the Dalai Lama says, “never giving up.”

I have decided not to let this take me down or interfere with my making everyday as worthwhile as possible. Continuing to be mired in disconnection and negativity serves no one. I actually have found the election result a great motivator for my spiritual practice. If we want to experience a better result, create the positive conditions needed so the reality we want to experience can manifest.

Continue to show up and bear witness to pain, in all its intricate manifestations, yet work to keep your heart open to those and concepts you may label “other.” We must also never give up hope in our fundamental goodness and remember – things are always changing. So while things may seem to be changing now in a direction with which you may not agree, at some point they will change again. Isn’t this samsara’s (cyclic existence’s) very nature?

So continue to choose kindness, open mindedness, empathy, and love. This is what benefits most and is a wonderful way through more challenging times. Even in the face of Mr. Trump, perhaps if we let go of our holding him as “other,” we may realize there is another human being there who suffers much like ourselves from the pain of confusion. In this space, my practice is to keep the heart open toward him and others like him. This is where the real healing can begin. This is certainly an opportunity, as well, for tremendous growth for him. I like to think he is up for the task.

Sending much love and prayer,


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