The shockwaves from the election have dissolved, and while the feelings of heavy heartedness, bewilderment, and dread continue to visit me, the feelings are not as intense as they were several weeks ago. As a student of astrology, I am grateful for the full moon in Taurus and the Sun in Scorpio on November 14th. I feel this constellation is supporting us in focusing our intentions. Taurus is compelling us to reflect upon what we hold most dear, to ground ourselves in our bodies, and to take a stand. The vibrations of Scorpio are urging us to dig deeper, to look beneath the surface, to step out of our bubbles so that we may understand truths that have been buried. We are doing this on an individual and collective level. I am heeding the urges of these planetary callings in ways that resonate with me: mining for truths in my personal and planetary history, expressing my love of the mysteries of life in my art, and creating safe-enough spaces for people, especially people targeted by oppression, to share their voices.
The Dagara people of West Africa believe that every human being is born with innate gifts that if nurtured, can support the healing of imbalances. What’s your calling and how might you bring it to the world during this time of great change?
A couple of nights ago, I went to see Venerable Dhyani Ywahoo give a talk at a local spiritual center. She is a 27th generation lineage holder in the Cherokee Nation. She is also a Zen Buddhist teacher from the Vajrayana tradition. She beautifully blended the ancient wisdom traditions of the Cherokee with the Dharma. Her talk resonated with me, especially when she said that politics is a way to argue about what we already know is true. I agree. At times politics seems like a distraction from the truth, designed to confuse and entangle, keep us separated, and in our intellects instead of our hearts.
Political debates about building walls feel like the macro reflecting the micro. All of us build walls within our own hearts: between the parts of ourselves we like and dislike; between the parts we are proud of and the parts we are ashamed of. These walls get projected outwardly on larger scales. What walls are erected in your heart? Dig deeper…. When we begin dissolving these inner walls perhaps different kinds of people will be elected to public office. Our elected officials are embodiments of the nation’s collective consciousness.
The Dakota Indians have an ancient tale that says evil people keep their hearts in a secret place, separate from the body. The heroine or hero must find this secret place and destroy the heart that perpetuates harm through ignorance, greed, violence, bigotry, and deception.
During these politically divisive times, I find myself donating to causes that reflect my values. How might you be the heroine/hero who destroys the hidden heart by deepening the heart of love, kindness, generosity, and compassion?
I have been relying on my meditation practice to steady me during these turbulent times. My breath and body have been my ground in a world that feels groundless. Being able to meet my worry and fear with loving allowance, has helped me to know that this awareness is bigger than whatever it is holding. I feel into its subtle currents of calm, gentleness, and equanimity and know I am held in love.
When I reflect upon the recent battles lost and won, truths repressed and raised, I am reminded of how layered and complex this life is, how long the arc of justice is, and how when we turn away from what we already know is true about justice and injustice, history repeats itself over and over again.
A couple of weeks ago, the mantra, Gate Gate Paragate Parasumgate Bodhi Swaha, began to ring in my ears. Reciting it has comforted me during moments when the struggles of life have felt overwhelming. It expresses an ever-present movement toward awakening that has no endpoint. We never arrive, but are always on the way to greater awareness. Knowing there is nowhere to get to; that this life is about the awakening of my heart, gives me some measure of peace, dropping me into the present moment and into One Heart.
Perhaps opening to the wisdom of this mantra will offer you comfort whenever the journey feels arduous and long.