Thursday, November 10, 2016


To Every one grieving, angry, or fearful,
l offer understanding.
To Every one rejoicing, relieved or hopeful,
I offer understanding.
(The Daily News decides on this full page gut-grabbing Headline)
Don't be caught by crass attempts to manipulate your emotions. Some disappointed folks are wading in the muck of what looks to them to be the worst disaster of all ages, forgetting in the passion of this moment the massacre of indigenous peoples at the start of the enterprise we call America, forgetting the lives sacrificed during our War for 'Independence', the Civil War that turned neighbor against neighbor and left farms and plantations with rows of mutilated corpses instead of crops, even neglecting to recall that, although abolition of slavery was a part of it, States rights was the major issue of contention. They've forgotten the bloodbath that was the First World War, as well as the unfinished business left over from World War ll, the displaced millions of innocent victims even though Germany was defeated. What I'm pointing to is that this election is not necessarily the worst thing that's ever happened, and I'm suggesting this same set of reminders for all those who feel they've won the day. Some simple facts and by no means the whole story, nonetheless worthy of a moments pause; nothing material lasts forever, not humans or creatures, plants or planets, and certainly not political systems, governments, parties, or policies. I take comfort in that knowledge so the prompt for me is "stay aware and informed, keep events in perspective, and be kind whenever possible". The same prompt might be useful to 'winners' and 'losers' alike.

("Gems of Wisdom", Firehouse Buddha, Bird Goddess)
I met Shree Ma and Swami Satyananda briefly while spending time at Ananda Ashram upstate in the nineties, and this little book 'Gems of Wisdom' was a gift from her: "Many people say this is the Kaali yuga, the age of darkness. But the yugas are a mode of perception...we choose to live in the Saatwa Yuga, the age of truth."  We can choose how we respond to whatever system or place we find ourselves in at any point. The situation we find ourselves in today is intense and grave, even dangerous no doubt about it.


 (Roses at the Zendo tonight)

One of my Zen teachers says his response is to dig deeper in to his practice.  Another yogi friend is running for local office to see what she can do to improve things for others.  Another is helping with efforts to elect candidates more in line with her values. Every thought and every gesture matters. Doing something positive is 'being' what you want to have happen. May we be that.


deemallon said...

(Michelle) -- this is the best thing I've come across since the disastrous news became apparent on Tuesday night. Truly full of a lifetime's wisdom. Full of the kind of kindness that you practice. Full of YOU. and today, I bow down to your thoughtful, heartfelt words.

Marianne Wmson says ('Course in Miracles' - I don't follow, but a good friend does and reports to me now and then) -- that America is having a necessary nervous breakdown. ('Course when I heard the statement, I thought it was referring to the campaign and not DJT's election). What do you think? Is this necessary to get to some new and more unified place? It's been clear to me since starting research for my book that slavery is a continuum (argued beautifully by Ava DuVernay in her documentary, "The 13th"). Then the Black Lives Matter movement rose up, really hammering home that point -- continually (painfully) pointing out how violent the lingering hatreds formed by our history of human bondage are. If this election is the 'last gasp of white supremacy', how will it be borne such that we heal?

'Digging into practice' is something we can all do, and immediately.

Please keep me filled with your images of New York and your prayers, poetry and wisdom. Thank you, Michelle.

(PS I will continue to spittle with rage. This, I know).

Deb G said...

It is so important to look at the bigger historical picture with this election, so very important, and then look closer to home too... to take responsibility for our on actions and thoughts. Thank you for this Michelle. Like Dee I wonder about this being a necessary part of our development, it opens the doors for so many conversations.

jude said...

i woke up today, done with grief.
Let's keep going.

Doris Perlhuhn said...

Thank you Michelle, your words helped me a lot.

Mo Crow said...


Dana said...

This post is a balm and a shelter. Thanks Michelle.

handstories said...

"Perspective" what a beautiful word. Thank you.

Saskia van Herwaarden said...

as I mentioned in Grace's post: I remain hopeful

we are all worth it

Peggy said...

Your first two lines say it all, dear Michelle, WiseWoman who I love and adore from afar.