Philosophy, spirituality, and sociology are fascinating topics. To study them leads to more understanding of ourselves and our world, and hopefully how we can reduce suffering and increase wellbeing. Wanting this, of course, leads to politics. The organizing power of people can encourage and support wellbeing for everyone.
Politics, for many, also leads to a struggle. There is the pain of sitting on one side of a political viewpoint and hearing the hateful tone and words from the other side. How do we create wellbeing while noticing this?
The Buddhists have an answer. Non-attachment. Suffering, according the Buddhist tradition, is caused by our thoughts and desires and our attachment to them. This attachment can be to a reality that is other than what we see, an attachment to an idea, a relationship, or thing other than what it is, etc.
Also, in the yogic philosophy, the practice of balance in all things adds to the likelihood of finding wellbeing — eliminating the extremes, staying centered, non-violence in thought and deed.
Since paying attention to politics sent me out of balance and caused me to feel stress, I’ve intended for a few years now to use this as part of my spiritual practice. Here is my intention:
1) To see all views as valid.
2) To forge an understanding of all sides
3) To loosen my attachment to one viewpoint.
This does not mean I don’t carry my own opinions and vote. This just means I don’t feel emotionally off balance. I have compassion and understanding for all views and am not affected by the vitriol that is thrown around by those who are unconsciously so attached to their own views that they cannot see any others.
My practice has created a shift within me. I sense new energy surrounding commerce and politics. I realize it isn’t obvious out in the world, yet. But it all begins with each one of us.
It doesn’t matter where you are on the political spectrum. When we learn to listen to one another with love and understanding, we will be able to heal the societal landscape.