I would like to say with at least some certainty, that we are in for some interesting and challenging days ahead. But, this is where we are. This is our reality, fellow Americans and global citizens. For centuries, human history has gone through its glorious and inglorious days. What has been absolutely true for either episode, is the concept of impermanence. These days have come and gone. Nothing is forever and this presidency will only be a speck of our human history. Although it seems that four years out of our lifetime is a large percentage (and it is) to have to go through something, which half of this country did not choose or want. But, then again this is where we are now and this is our reality. It is important to remember that today.
I want to offer three different meditation topics that might prove useful during the next four years: acceptance, loving-kindness (metta) and impermanence. If you’ve been thinking of bringing a meditation practice into your life, now is the time.
Acceptance: By meditating on acceptance, one comes to term with their (challenging) reality and begins to shift the mindset and reaction to said reality. Whether or not it’s the Trump presidency or life (career, relationships, etc.), finding ways to accept what we are given in this world and how we react to said roadblocks may shift our anger and disappointment to contentment and happiness. Each challenge becomes a lesson and a teacher. By not accepting it, we become more resentful and unhappy.
Loving-Kindness (Metta): I was first introduced to this type of meditation last year and needed it most to develop compassion towards someone who was causing me harm. Somehow, I found a space in my heart to forgive her. This meditation will strengthen your capacity for empathy and increase compassion. What better time to try to understand that Trump, himself, is human and is suffering.
Impermanence: From a Buddhist perspective, impermanence meditation is usually helpful when it comes to dealing with a human constant, death. However, in this scenario, it would be useful to come to terms with the fact that the Trump presidency, just like death, is now part of our truth. Whether we like it or not, we are faced with this truth. Again, why not develop ways to accept, with loving-kindness the impermanent nature of our reality.
All this said, I am not suggesting, to become passive citizens who sit in meditation and take no action. It’s easy to misinterpret Buddhist teachings on acceptance as passivity. During the next four years it is important to realize that the reality is here, but move forward stronger and bolder in making sure we shift the reality and see the changes we want implemented in our lives with a healthier and more focused mind. Meditation will help you deal, but will also empower you to bring changes that will benefit not only yourself, but those around you.
A great place to begin is an application I’ve been using called Insight Timer. You may download it for free by clicking here.
The app is designed for beginner and advanced practitioners alike. You may choose to sit quietly by setting up your timer, with interval bells which will serve as breaks. You may also choose to do 1 minute to 2 hour long meditations. One may also join groups and chat with others who are doing the same guided meditations. The search option will help you put the above meditation topics which will find our of the 3500+ meditation one that suits you best. The app also keeps track of your activity in your profile page. Check it out and let me know how this goes.
And to all of us out there who are finding it difficult to cope with today, finding solace and peace in meditation might just help.
Happiness can only exist in acceptance.