rEVOLUTION: Consciousness, Politics, & Community
By Colleen Crowley
As someone who has swung from the rough and tumble world of San Francisco politics to ashrams, the zendo, and meditation halls from California to Colorado to New York to Mexico, I am always pondering how to bring more consciousness into our politics and our communities. This blog is about pondering that together. Nice as it would be to say I have mastered this skill, all I can claim is that it is a constant practice. Maybe we can call ourselves “Eckhart Tolle Activists,” or “Pema Chodron voters,” we who keep at least one eye monitoring our inner state while taking outer actions of protesting or campaigning or Facebooking. As Marianne Williamson says, people in the yoga community are the last ones who should be sitting on the sidelines right now given the state of our world and our political atmosphere.
So, who better to consult for our first blog than Sharon Salzberg? The New York Times bestselling author has been teaching meditation for 40 years, and written several books including Lovingkindness. Doesn’t that sound like something we could use a little more of in our political sphere and community? I caught up with Sharon recently after a talk she gave in Berkeley. As current topics go, I asked her if she had any tips for us to keep in mind as we are passionately hopping on Facebook with “Hillary this…” or “Bernie that…” or “%#^ Donald Trump!” She passed on that she was really dismayed on her flight out, checking her Facebook feed, and seeing several friends saying that if Bernie doesn’t win, they’re not voting for Hillary.
She said that when people feel despair, the best thing to do is take action. Getting locked into despair is not helpful. To give our vote away, she noted, is to give our power away, and to give in to despair. She passed on that she had just given an interview to the Washington Post, and the reporter’s question was, “How can mindful people get involved with politics, something so dirty?!” This makes me laugh, as I have sworn off politics and headed to a remote ashram more than once! But I seem to keep coming back. I hope you will join me.
In light of Sharon’s sage advice that, when we feel despair or overwhelmed by the state of things, the best thing we can do is take action, here are two possibilities:
If you fancy yourself more of a national player, check out Marianne Williamson’s free online Progressive Candidate Summit. Marianne is doing some amazing political consciousness work, and has partnered with Blue America to find us some solid progressive Congressional candidates who can win. She wants to create a revolution in Congress, and I would not underestimate her, especially if we join her! Follow her at @marwilliamson or on Facebook for sage spiritual contemplations and lively political discussions. I find her a good tuning fork to keep my tone and approach in line when knee-deep in political activities and discussions.
To find out more about Colleen Crowley visit her website at www.colleen-crowley.com.