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Good morning!  Welcome to the DKos Sangha weekly open thread.

This is an open thread for members of the DKos Sangha and others who are interested in discussions concerning how we integrate our progressive political activism into our spiritual practice.  If you have observations about the political discourse of the week, or about practice, or about anything else related to walking a spiritual path through the political world, if you wish to share, or if you seek support, or if you simply want to say hello, please do; this space is for you.

If you would like to host a weekly open thread, please let me know.

If you care nothing for spiritual practice and only wish to denigrate and disparage, please do so elsewhere, and respect that this is a community diary for the DKos Sangha.

This morning I read a short message by the Dalai Lama entitled The Medicine of Altruism.  I think perhaps this brief piece gets to the heart of who we are as progressives, Democrats, or whatever labels tend to describe our involvement in the political process.  And that heart is compassion.

Some excerpts ...

In Tibet we say that many illness can be cured by the one medicine of love and compassion. These qualities are the ultimate source of human happiness, and need for them lies at the very core of our being. Unfortunately, love and compassion have been omitted from too many spheres of social interaction for too long ... In my view point, the practice of compassion is .. the most effective way to pursue the best interest of others as well as our own. The more we - as a nation, a group or as individuals - depend upon others, the more it is in our own best interests to ensure their well-being.

Practicing altruism is the real source of compromise and cooperation; merely recognizing our need for harmony is not enough. A mind committed to compassion is like an overflowing reservoir - a constant source of energy, determination and kindness. This .. gives rise to .. forgiveness, tolerance, inner strength and the confidence to overcome fear and insecurity. The compassionate mind is .. capable of transforming bad situations into beneficial ones.

Whether a conflict lies in the field of politics, business or religion, an altruistic approach is frequently the sole means of resolving it ... both sides should recall the basic human nature that unites them.

... despite the rapid advances made by civilization in this century, the most immediate cause of our present dilemma is our undue emphasis on material development alone. We have become so engrossed in its pursuit that, without even knowing it, we have neglected to foster the most basic human needs of love, kindness, cooperation and caring. If we do not know someone or find another reason for not feeling connected with a particular individual or group, we simply ignore them. But the development of human society is based entirely on people helping each other.

To me, it is clear: a genuine sense of responsibility can result only if we develop compassion.

I think that the Dalai Lama's message here is that when we involve ourselves in the political process for the purpose of making our world a better place for all of us, the most important part of this work is the work we must do within, the opening of the heart.  It is not enough, as he says, to just recognize the need for harmony among peoples; our ability to bring about real change is directly related to the degree to which our own hearts are open, the degree to which selfless compassion guides our actions, speech, and thoughts.

Whatever your spiritual path or practice, ultimately it is not something you do for yourself, but for all of us.

Enjoy your Sunday,


Originally posted to DKos Sangha on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 07:33 AM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  Kids these days. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davehouck, bythesea, Darryl House

    I am so proud of them.

    Here's a link to ABC's story about kids protesting Abercrombie & Fitch's clothing sizes policy (just a link because embeds often autostart).  Make sure to read the signs the kids are holding:

    A couple snippets from the transcript:  

    I honestly believe that we will hear from them and that there will be a next step. I'll be highly disappointed if there isn't. If there isn't, we'll take action.

    Not against them but if nothing changes and if another comment comes out from mike jeffries similar to the one he made before that's not okay.

    Thank you for hosting this space, David.  Have a good week!

    Dwell on the beauty of life. ~ Marcus Aurelius

    by Joy of Fishes on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 08:57:50 AM PDT

  •  The idea of a DailyKos Sanga is intreging (3+ / 0-)

    Reading the Dali Lama's message, reminds me that anger is destructive.  I will try today to open my heart..After an hour on DK I need to deep breath and look at the clouds.  

    •  Yes, anger is destructive (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Darryl House

      It is understandable that we react when we see economic injustice, when we see bigotry, when we see the harm being done to our planet.  But you are right, though we may react in anger, that anger often hampers our ability to act to rectify these wrongs effectively.

      Over the years, we've seen folks get burned out from the frustrations of engaging in the political process to bring about change.  The more we educate ourselves as to what is happening, the more injustice we see; the more we engage, the more we are stifled.  The frustration can become overwhelming.

      Letting go of our attachment to outcomes, and just being open-heartedly present to whatever is arising, can be very healing; allowing us to act through selfless compassion, allowing us to see clearly what needs to be done, what can be done, what we can do now.

      There are a number of folks here on Daily Kos that are integrating their spiritual path with their engagement in the political process.  As progressives, the calling we heed to work for social, economic, and environmental justice comes from the heart; from a deep felt recognition that all of us are sisters and brothers, that all of us share a common humanity; that at our core, we are all one.

      And to the degree that we are able to open the heart, to shed the layers of conditioning that separate us one from another, to the degree that we recognize ourselves in each other, to that degree we are better able to work effectively to change our world, to preserve resources rather than waste them, to work cooperatively with each other rather than selfishly against each other, to foster a move towards a peaceful coexistence rather than a mistrust accompanied by saber-rattling and armed aggressiveness, to move towards a global community characterized by love rather than hate.

      So yes, I agree; it is very helpful to accompany our work here on Daily Kos with time on the meditation cushion, or the yoga mat, or on a hiking trail through the woods, touching the earth, reconnecting with our true nature, and yes, simply breathing.

      Thanks for the comment!

      Love one another

      by davehouck on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 12:00:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  getting closer to volunteering to host but perhaps (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davehouck, Darryl House

    in a month or so...

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 11:49:25 AM PDT

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