Greetings, I am a beginning learner of Buddhist principles. This podcast disappointed me because politics was inserted.
Hello Carole - I am sorry you had a reaction of disappointment. If you listen closely to the narrative of the podcast, you will notice that was my personal story. It was about my perception of disappointment and loss. My "cows." It was a narrative of my reaction. The teaching is in how I learned to respond to the reactions in a more positive way.
You will also notice that I released my reaction to politics. Politics is part of life. So is other peoples' opinions of politics. So is mud. So is loss. The teaching is how we react. If we react in an angry and negative way, then it indicates we have some cows to release. That is the lesson you should take from it, otherwise you are reacting to my reactions and separating yourself. ;) I wish you peace.
I have copied the pertinent sections below.
The last of my eight “losses” was not so much personal, but more of what I would consider a worldly loss, when Trump became President of the United States. My point is not to bring political opinions into this talk, but this was a major perceived loss on my part—and on the part of many. And it was one that I was attached to—addicted to—thanks to my devices allowing me to find a comfortable network of people raging with me on social media echo chambers.
It was like my bottled emotional response to the series of losses was finally able to discharge when the country and the world responded to the results of the election in shock, disbelief, and anger.
But, thanks to Thich Nhat Hanh, who triggered a digging deep into the mud, I came to realize that, in many ways, my clinging to the anger, rage, and resistance against Trump and his administration was how I hid from some of the more personal and painful losses. And in that digging, I realized, just as Thich Nhat Hanh taught:
“…You continue to suffer until one day you are capable of releasing the idea and right away you feel happy…. Every one of us has an idea of happiness that can become too entrenched, too rigid. Every one of us has cows to be released.”
I suddenly felt a freedom over the losses. All of them. Not just a freedom from suffering over the losses, but a freedom FROM the loss of those people and associations themselves.
On that day in mid-March, I took a vow to disengage from social media for 21 days. I took a vow to disengage from the anger, judgment, and reaction that social media and the news offers continuously. And the peace that came from my vow stretched beyond 21 days.
I am still disengaged from political and other angry, judgmental, reactionary discourse on social media. I read more of the books piling up around me. I treat myself and those around me more tenderly. I started to notice the world that was right in front of me again.
Thich Nhat Hanh teaches that we can make peace with our suffering by “coming home to ourselves.”:
“It requires that we make peace with our suffering, treating it tenderly, and looking deeply at the roots of our pain. It requires that we let go of useless, unnecessary sufferings, release the second arrow, and take a closer look at our idea of happiness. Finally, it requires that we nourish happiness daily, with acknowledgment, understanding, and compassion for ourselves and those around us.”
Thich Nhat Hanh says that letting go takes a lot of courage. This is the nobility inherent in the Noble Truths. But, once we let go, happiness comes very quickly. You don’t have to search for it, because it’s always there.
I released the cow of anger over life doing what life does. It separates us from people and things.