The Dharma and the 2016 Election

by Peter Carlson on November 10, 2016

The conclusion of the long and arduous 2016 election cycle was surprising, perhaps even alarming for many people.  During the course of spiritual development, it is often the abrupt, unexpected event that can provide the greatest insights beneficial for maturing one’s practice.  Despite any differences regarding political policies, the attitudes and behaviors of the future President Trump restimulated some of the emotionally charged karmic issues for many, whether male or female.  The Dharma isn’t realized just while meditating–the real benefits of the practice come from practicing “Turning poison into medicine”.

Using the Four Noble Truths as a structure for consideration of one’s immediate experience is key to the Buddhist Path towards Awakening.  Peter emphasized the value of mindful investigation of the distress and confusion many experienced to discover the causes and conditions conducive of dukkha; this awareness forms the First Noble Truth.  He commented on many social factors that we’ve all been affected by in the course of living in this culture in this era as examples of what “fills out” craving and clinging, the essential condition described as the Second Noble Truth.  He then suggested how the cultivation of the Fourth Noble Truth provides liberation from dukkha, and this liberation is the Third Noble Truth.

This was followed by a lively and emotionally authentic discussion among those who participated in the meeting.  Here are the notes Peter used in preparation for the meeting:  the-four-noble-truths-and-current-politics

Next week’s topic will be explaining and discussing the Seven Factors For Awakening.

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