Loving the People You Hate/Donald Trump

March 7, 2016   |   85 Comments

During this election cycle in the US, I find tremendous cause for hate. Spoiler alert: I HATE Donald Trump—hate him with a passion I would otherwise reserve for terrorists, power-mongers, fundamentalists of any stripe, baby slappers, and puppy murderers. HATE. I fucking hate that guy. He is a liar. A charlatan. A cheat. Someone who degrades others. An egomaniac who would put his personal power-lust at the top of the world agenda. He is a big, fat, bald, idiotic bully and my future could be in his hands and I HATE HIM.

This morning while I was meditating, I pictured myself punching him in the face. I wished he was dead. I found myself hoping that someone would kill him.

While I was meditating, y’all. As lame as I may be as a meditator and a Buddhist, I recognized that this was the wrong way to go. Even though I know I am “right,” I also know that whatever hate I put into the world (and allow to take root in my own heart) will only worsen that which I deplore. A cursory glance at the entire scope of recorded history proves my point: Hate leads to hate. Killing leads to killing. The hatred I feel for my enemies further fuels the hatred they feel for me. This is unavoidable.

Someone has got to put an end to it.

But how? There is no way I can or will try to cajole myself into feeling anything whatsoever soft for Donald the fascist dictator wannabe dickhead creep Trump. No.

Please listen to this important point: In order to be loving, there is no need to feel love, if by love, we mean “kindly-disposed toward”, “considerate of”, or “being nice to”. To love does not mean to treat each other like babies.

When we encounter a wellspring of fear and anger in our hearts that is clearly prompted by another’s very existence, it is fruitless to try to talk ourselves out of it. It may actually be dangerous to do so. Some people represent very real threats. Mobilization against them is appropriate and good. Action must be taken, and it should be swift, decisive, and unrelenting until the threat has subsided.

It is very complicated to do this without engendering more hate. To take right action against someone or something takes a lot of vision and maturity, more than most of us possess, myself included (obviously). It would be so much easier to take the anger and vitriol in my heart as fuel for my actions but this is an exceptionally short-term view. Long-term, it is akin to bitch-slapping myself. I don’t want to do that.

How can we take powerful and potent action against what we know is wrong (and hateful) without hate and anger in our hearts?

This is the question. This is the key question. This is the important question that every single person must entertain. Our entire future as humans depends on it and I am in no way exaggerating. (If you think that this is some kind of lily-livered, new age, kumbaya wuss talk, then I’m calling you out for taking the easy road. Get off that road. Think bigger. Come back to Planet Earth and reclaim your dignity for god’s sake. We really, really need you.)

Okay, now is the time when I tell you that I don’t know how to answer the question myself. I’m sorry. However, I do have some clues and here they are.

1. Begin by examining your own personal view of humanity. Do you believe, or, more important, do you feel, that, at our core, we humans are A. good or B. bad? By A, I mean, do you trust us? Do you trust yourself? Do you believe that underneath it all, we care about ourselves and each other and are full of tenderness and grace? Or, B, do you believe that underneath it all, we are craven, self-centered asshats who are only out for ourselves and are incapable of seeing past our own small viewpoint?

Okay, I’m going to be straight-up with you here. If you choose “B”, please, please go back to the drawing board. Find where that belief came from. Look at it extremely carefully. Examine various viewpoints on the issue. Most important, sit down, be quiet, and look very, very closely at your own heart, at who you are. Don’t get up until you glimpse something true that is also beyond your fears. If you still choose “B”, so be it.

If you choose “A”, either naturally or through this exercise, we can now move on to suggestion #2.

2. If “A” is true, then all of the heinous, vicious, violent, hate in the world is actually a form of extraordinary, wrong-headed, deep, and vile confusion—but not of evil. To hold this view does not make anything better, not at all. However, it does create a whit of space in our hearts and minds, some sense of okay, this is totally not the way things are supposed to be, how can we fix it…rather than, until these people (or this person, stupidly coiffed and vastly ignorant) are wiped out, there is no hope. What I’m trying to say is that choosing “A” is akin to choosing a sense of unification with our fellow humans, some of whom are profoundly, vastly fucked up. Choosing “B” means only one thing: there is “Us” and there is “Them” and until They are gone, We are screwed. As alluded to above, this does not work. The problem is not whether we agree or disagree on certain positions or values. The problem is that we hate and distrust each other.

3. With some sense of sorrow and rage for the confusion of our world rather than icy, dismissive, degrading disdain for our opponents, we could take this view: Hating Donald Trump is okay, no problem. Finding him to be unforgivable, laughable, and stupid is fine. Wishing he would take a permanent powder is completely acceptable. (I’m sort of exaggerating to make a point.) There is only one thing that is not okay, dear reader, and it is to think that you and I are any different than him. Given choice “A” from above, if our basic substance as humans is goodness, there are no exceptions. However, some of us are subject to factors of nature and nurture that lead to exceptional, horrible, dangerous confusion. You could have been Donald. I could have been Donald. So, rage with revulsion. Keen in horror. Be repulsed and mercilessly unforgiving. I repeat: No problem. However, don’t think for one second that you are any different than him.

4. Here is a practice you can do to help you contain (as opposed to dispel or dissipate) your hatred in sensible way. When you find yourself engulfed in rage and terror, take a pause. Instead of fueling it with thoughts such as, “I can’t believe he talks about periods and penises” and “If he is elected, it will mean Civil War II,” take a look at what is just beneath your anger and fear. Given that “A” is true, here is what I believe you will find: Sadness. Bottomless, searing, human sadness. Unremitting care about Planet Earth and its inhabitants. Supreme protectiveness of what you hold dear. These things are beautiful, workable, expansive.

Fear shrinks your mind. Tenderness expands it. Know that your opponents are exactly this way too. You may think they are idiots, but that’s okay. They think you’re an idiot. We could all examine going beyond this.

The slightest softening of “us and them” into “us with a scary lunatic in our midst” actually helps. So, the first thing we could let go of is the unwillingness to acknowledge a fellow being as a fellow being who may also be an enemy.

5. This is where it gets real. You could experiment with Loving Kindness practice for Donald and the Donalds of this world. Here is how:

  • Sit quietly for a few moments, which doesn’t mean feel peaceful, by the way. It means sit with what is without trying to change it.
  • Think of yourself and how desperately you want the world to be okay. How much you want happiness for yourself and those you love and how deep your feelings go. Acknowledge your own goodness. Wish for yourself relief from suffering and fear.
  • Okay, now think of the Donald. In his own dangerously wrong way, he is motivated by what motivates you, some kind of (grievous, stupid) wish to finally feel happy. Wish for him relief from suffering and fear. Try to really mean it. (You can do this and still hate him.)
  • Think of everyone in the world who does idiotic stuff in the name of wanting happiness for themselves and those they love. Wish that they find relief from suffering and fear.
  • Finally, think of everyone on Planet Earth, good, bad, ugly, and beyond categorization. Know that since the beginning of recorded history (at least), we humans have struggled to release ourselves from our fears, sometimes in noble ways and sometimes through violence and hatred. All beings of the past, present, and future have struggled and will struggle in this way. Wish for all beings everywhere relief from suffering and fear.
  • To close the practice, let all wishes go and simply sit with yourself for a few moments or as long as you like.

I wish you well in your struggle with hatred and fear. I have great, great faith in you, you, you, and you, and also in myself, even though I am obviously a bad Buddhist.

Fie! Hate and rage on. But use it as fuel for love. This is totally possible and I will be trying right alongside you

PS To do any of this, it is extremely helpful to know how to meditate.

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85 Comments

  • Posted by:  Chris Elias Costa

    Wow. Hate and rage as fuel for love. I will try with my heart open and see if the shift is possible. Thanks for your honesty. Best.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      I stand beside you!

  • Posted by:  D J Littleboy

    Thank-you, Susan.

    I am about to share this post on my facebook timeline and will be interested to see if any of my friends are brave enough to respond.

    Blessings and love xxxx

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Thank you for wanting to share it with others.

  • Posted by:  cati

    THANK YOU! Can’t wait to share this. SO IMPORTANT. thank you!

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Thank YOU.

  • Posted by:  Lama Lodro

    Chagdud R. once said hate is really self love of an ego pushing others out of its space to confirm itself. Disolve the self and only love remains. Best we start at square zero.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      That is beautiful.

  • Posted by:  Jen

    This is wonderful. I call myself a Christian, but dang, do I struggle with that whole “love your neighbor” part sometimes. Thank you so much for this. I will keep it at the front of my mind, particularly during this election year. (Although can I still love the phrase “big, fat, bald, idiotic bully”?)

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Yes, you may own that phrase! Luckily, you have so much to draw on as a Christian about loving kindness. Maybe you can love your neighbor by wishing him well, but still hating his actions? Hate the game, not the player? That sort of thing. xo S

  • Posted by:  David

    I have been reading your article for years. My ultra liberal daughter who unfriended my for my “insane right wing” ideas, sent me your link. I seldom agree with your leftist slant, but like the way you write and that you don’t degrade opposing views, but explain yours clearly.
    This time however; I find the cursing far below you, and I suggest you reread the entire article. If you do I think you will see ,as I have, that you ended in the very same place as you started

    With my best regards,

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Thank you, David. I stand by my cursing, although I know it is offensive to some. I apologize if I offended you. However, I don’t think that my language places me in the same category as those who anger me. This is just the way I talk.

      Also, I don’t perceive myself as having a leftist slant. I am not really political, but I do care about our planet and the people on it. I don’t think that makes me a leftist. If you would, what leads you to label me as such?

      I hope you and your daughter are faring well during this painful election season!

      • Posted by:  Billie j

        Susan your swearing lets me understand the depth of hate you have for Donald. It lets me know I am having a similar response to this very same person. I cannot control the expletives that pour out of me and the lack of self control when I think about the Donald. He is so blatantly ignorant, unkind, bizarre shallow creature, I can barely consider him human. The fact that there are so many other ignorant people cheering for him frightens me beyond words. I could feel myself calming reading your article as I moved down the list. We must know humans are flawed creatures… But he takes this to a new level. I still hate his f@&x$ing guts and everything he stands for, but I realize he’s human. I hope the democrats wipe the floor with him. And he runs away from politics forever with his tail between his legs.
        My wish is that karma kicks in soon and he dissappears but I also know the good die young. And his sorry stinkin ass will probably be around for a long time, so I better get used to it. Live & let live I guess.
        Thanks for the swearing. I loved it.

        • Posted by:  Susan Piver

          Billie, I totally appreciate your point of view! Even more, I appreciate your willingness to work with it to find a more reasonable and sane approach. This means everything. IT IS NOT EASY. I admire you for trying. I am too. Your sister in the fight against stupidity while also sometimes cussing, Susan

          • Posted by:  Hank

            This is certainly a good time to take a break and sit back! I like this time of year! Thank you with respect to the efseftlors read. I shall be definitely back concerning extra.

          • Posted by:  http://www./

            Hey Marc, why don’t you think about hard money lending. You get these credit line. Rent them out. Most hard money lenders get 8%- 18% of their money. That is a bigger return. Just a thought. Let me know if you need me to explain it differently.Deana

      • Posted by:  Donna Anuszczyk

        Susan, I only found you and your blog this week. This entry sunk my opinion of you, while I was enjoying and inspired by other entries I have read. I am not a Donald Trump supporter or fan, but I do know all this hatred you are sending out on your blog is giving energy to him not against him. Like the “war on drugs” seemed to give us more of it and the “fight against cancer” seems to spread it, wrapping thoughts of love and healing around such circumstances may be a better way to go. I know that was your bottom line, but it was difficult to feel your benevolence through your hate and swearing. I’m just sad and disappointed because I thought I found in you real inspiration, but you are like all of us, which I know that also was your point. I send you a deep bow and love.

        • Posted by:  Susan Piver

          Donna, I can’t think what i have said that makes you feel that I am sending out hatred, but I’m fascinated to hear this. If you could point to what I said that made you feel this way, I would appreciate it. In this post, I thought I was trying to work with my hatred. I feel hatred. I’m not ashamed to say so. I am a human being, not a saint. What I would be ashamed of is acting it out blindly or pretending to be someone I am not.

          Indeed, I am exactly like you. If I said anything to make you (or anyone) believe that I thought I was better or more advanced or higher, I must apologize. I have no wish (or ability) to be seen as an inspiration or a model of benevolence. If you would like examples of inspiring models of benevolence, I can share some names with you.

          BTW, you have made some hard and fast (and shaming) judgments of me (including advice for how I could approach my life’s work more appropriately), all based on reading my blog for a week. This is silly! Also, it hurts and angers me.

          I say all this to point out the cycle of aggression and how real it is.

          Do respond, if you would. I would appreciate it. Thanks! Susan

          PS I curse and swear sometimes. That is just me.

  • Posted by:  Shari Hunt

    Funny. This morning I was hoping someone would kill him. Thanks so much Susan for this wonderful way to deal with all this anger energy I couldn’t figure out what to do with. Know some others who will benefit from this too.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Sending love, Shari!

  • Posted by:  Jenny

    Oh thank you SO much for writing this! I too have hoped that someone would take him out, and I didn’t know what to do with that. I’m so grateful for these ways in that I can explore. Because I also didn’t know what to do with the parts of me that I discovered that were like him.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      We are in the fight together, Jenny. xo S

  • Posted by:  Heather

    So interesting–the first thing I ever read about loving-kindness meditation involved a group of people trying very hard to offer it to George W. Bush without screaming! I have a much harder time with things on the scale of tiny, personal slights. Trump can have anything I’d want for myself, but a rude supermarket checker? Oh, no, they can just suck it. No idea why or how these lines are drawn.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Me neither. But we each have our angers to deal with…

  • Posted by:  Catherine Morgan

    Bless you for writing what so many of us have been thinking, Susan. The toxicity of the energy around this election is almost unbearable for empaths like me. This structure you suggest gives some sanity in a world gone insane. How did a batsh-t crazy reality TV loonie get to this point? It boggles the mind. And the rest of the world, for that matter. *sigh*

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Agreed.

  • Posted by:  Bootsy La Vox

    Hi Susan,

    What a powerful piece. Thank you! I’ll be sharing it with (selected, ha ha) friends.

    Now this will probably seem like nit-picking, but I can’t leave you without one big, fat critique. And that is the use of fatness (or bigness or baldness, for that matter) in your breathless and self-mocking reasons for hating Trump. I get that you were chanellng the elementary school-aged complainer in all of us. It makes for an amusing read. But seriously, there is so much fat-shaming going on in this culture right now. I won’t be sharing your article with my obese pals, because if they’re like me, they will feel a little “bitch-slapped”, just when they thought they were listening to an ally.

    Very best,
    Bootsy

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Thanks for this, Bootsy. My use of the word fat was not to indicate his weight but was used in the same way a person might say, “I got a big, fat raise at work” or “I’m throwing some big, fat steaks on the grill.” I hope no one would confuse these things (or what I said) as fat shaming. Just saying the word “fat” does not imply a judgment, I don’t think.

  • Posted by:  Gretchen Saule

    I love this … It is beautiful advice. I also wanted to mention that I share your feelings about Trump, but I had an epiphany the other day while speaking with a Trump supporter. The sad truth is, that as much as Trump is a convenient target for our frustrations about the racism, sexism, Islamophobia and overall xenophobia that is running more and more rampant in our society, I’m afraid that even if we were able to “Dump Trump” another symbol of our lowest common denominator would rise up to take his place. What we need more than the demise of Trump is an educational system that fosters critical thinking. We need voters who are capable of thinking for themselves and who are not so easily manipulated. I think the public school system has always been deficient in this regard, but with the irrational emphasis on standardized testing, it has gotten much worse. I am an educator, so maybe I’m seeing seeing the “nail” as education since it is the hammer I hold. But I think throughout history there have been those who see an educated population as the key to a true democracy. I see Trump’s success so far, as further evidence of the failure of public education.

    I also see a difference between being “educated” (having various degrees) and being a “critical thinker”(which doesn’t require any degree, but describes the ability to think outside the box). Nowadays, you can get an “education” or a “degree” through the ability to pass multiple choice tests, but this does not measure your ability to think creatively and critically. I think the development of “critical thinkers” is the vital responsibility of parents and teachers. But parents can’t pass on what they don’t have, and teachers are being forced to “teach to the test” in order to keep their jobs.

    Gretchen Saule, English Teacher, Pendleton, SC

    • Posted by:  MV

      I so agree with you, Gretchen. Donald Trump would never get to where he is in this election cycle with an electorate made up of educated and/or critical thinkers. The idea that enough people in this country seriously see him as a viable president concerns me just as much if not more than the idea of him being elected. It says a LOT about the failure of our educational system, and is sad and troubling.

  • Posted by:  Katherine Reynolds

    Thank you for having the courage to write what many of us are thinking. And thank you for giving us a way to resolve this as difficult as it may be. I’ve struggled with hatred and learning to forgive a young man who tried his best to murder me when I was 29. I’m now 58 and am writing a memoir about it and essentially telling the spiritual gifts I got from the experience, but it took me thirty years to find them. One day the burning hate in my belly just dissipated and I was shocked to see I had written it and talked it out of my body. You give us wise tools to use to deal with the situation at hand and it’s straight talk. So again, thank you. Hatred does breed hatred and I can tell you I spent many nights fantasizing about what I would do to that man if someone put me in a room and told me I could do whatever I wanted. The images weren’t pretty, but they were real and my responses were honest.

  • Posted by:  rob

    Youre a sick person.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Me? Not sure who you are talking to or what you mean.

  • Posted by:  Norma

    Thank you for sharing your angry and hateful thoughts. I never knew how to think about my strong negative feelings. I feel as tho I was given a life line.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      So glad it was useful, Norma.

  • Posted by:  Len Scotto

    Susan, I have such a hard time when I think about Donald Trump and his ideology, he’s even scarier than Sarah Palin was to me. I also know a number of intelligent people who believe his message “To make America great again” and we all know who that sounds like. They think the country is going down the tubes and can see no other way out. He’s a master manipulator and I imagine one who truly believes in his message. But from a Buddhist perspective, it is a reaction to the fact the we walk on shifting sand every moment of every day and people want certainty. His message is based on fear and it taps into the fact that when you think deeply about it there is no certainty in life. We think we have a modicum of control over the things that happen to us but in reality, we really don’t. To live in “only don’t know” mind is one of my toughest tasks. I’m no different than anyone else. I don’t have a problem with most of what you wrote Susan because I could relate to it on a deep level and I do Tonglen and loving kindness practice, but when you stated “You can do this and still hate him.”, I found myself questioning that statement. Hate begets hate as you and your readers well know and we certainly don’t need any more of that in the world, there’s plenty to go around. So even though Trump scares the hell out of me, I don’t hate him. He is a misguided soul who thinks he’s doing the right thing and I just hope our country is wise enough not to elect him.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      I agree that hate begets hate. However, when you are full of it, what do you do? Try to not feel it or try to work WITH it? That is my question to myself and to everyone, really. And that is what this peace is about.

      • Posted by:  Len Scotto

        I guess I don’t have that hate inside of me and I’m not full of it concerning anyone or maybe circumstances haven’t taken place yet to evoke that kind of hate (like if someone killed a friend or family member) but I have certainly been extremely pissed off at people about one thing or another. And yes the idea is to work with all of our feelings, whatever emerges.

        • Posted by:  Susan Piver

          Yes!

    • Posted by:  Sandra Pawula

      Of course, we all have negative emotions that arise and it’s so helpful to have a practice to work with them. But I too feel odd when I hear you say, “You can do this and still hate him.” It doesn’t feel like a Buddhist perspective to me. The Dalai Lama says to disagree with someone’s actions, but not necessarily to hate them. Of course, your feelings of hate may not be eradicated immediately and I’m not suggesting submerging them. But I think the first step is separating the person from his actions as best we can and moving into Loving Kindness. Maybe we need to start by sending the loving kindness to our own anger and hate before we start trying to fix Donald Trump.

      • Posted by:  Susan Piver

        I am not trying to fix Donald Trump. I am also not trying to fix myself.

        I am a Buddhist. This post is my perspective. I don’t know that there is a “Buddhist perspective” or, if there is one, I’m not insinuating that I represent it. Rather, I am trying to find ways to keep my heart open and soft while also being an extremely confused, torn, shocked, terrified, overjoyed, goodhearted, self-absorbed, enraged, kind person who, yes, feels all sorts of things, including hate. Including love. Including everything.

        It is all so very personal.

        • Posted by:  Tommy

          Just bought chia seeds, i have never heard about them before. Can yoï»Âu¿ just drink water with them in it? and whats the limit per day?

  • Posted by:  arthur wilson

    Susan, nice to find you are here.
    As you noted in the piece, “He” is motivated by a wish — maybe to feel “happy” [or healthy or “in-control” or “good”]. Are we different from “him?” He may well have bottomless, searing human sadness.
    Can we choose a sense of unification with our fellow humans, some of whom are profoundly confused? Can we act in “self” preservation regardless of our identities?
    As an egomaniac who would put his personal power-lust at the top of his agenda, would “your” future be in his hands? I hope your future is in your hands.
    Best wishes,
    arthur

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      That we are no different is the point of the piece, exactly. But, no, I don’t believe that my future is in my hands solely. Our elected officials and their policies have tremendous influence over our future, especially when hatred, aggression, and fear-baiting are part of their policies.

  • Posted by:  laura

    “You could have been Donald. I could have been Donald” We all ARE Donald or have some “Donald” in us. And for some people more than others this is NOT okay. We can’t accept that part and want to annihilate it even to the point of wishing another human being death. But aren’t we really wishing that part of us not to exist? If something gives rise to our emotions – that’s something to stop & examine what about it mirrors ourselves?

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Definitely. 100%. But while we are doing that, we should also take a stand against what threatens us with aggression and ignorance.

  • Posted by:  faith Fotta

    Dear Susan
    As a devoted OH Sangha member I am once again pleased and proud to be part of your community.
    Thanks for speaking your truth
    Faith

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      And I am pleased and proud to be a Sangha member with you, Faith.

  • Posted by:  Elizabeth

    A few weeks ago I saw an Abraham (Hicks) video where someone asked what they thought of Trump. They pointed out that he had really figured out the whole “manifest the reality you want” thing better than almost anyone. I know Buddhism doesn’t really focus on that particular philosophy, but for me that turned out to be the toehold I needed to start finding some love in my heart for the guy.

    Great post. Congratulations and all love to you, Susan.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Love to you, too, Elizabeth. And glad for any toehold you find that brings more love into your heart.

  • Posted by:  Luna jaffe

    You are so brave and honest and fierce. I listen to your meditations every week and know I can trust you to be wise and humble, real and kind. I respect you for naming this issue and I stand beside you in hating and living and wanting a world that is sane and healthy.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Very happy and honored to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you, beautiful Luna.

  • Posted by:  James H

    Thanks Susan.
    Spare a thought for those of us outside the US who can only look on helplessly as Americans line up to make such a huge mistake. Please guys. Don’t do it!
    As I struggle with my own Donaldophobia I find it helps to step in close and look at him bit by bit. The whole may be loathsome, but that laughable ‘hair’, the tubby belly, those chubby little legs (I imagine he wears sock suspenders) that permanent grumpy baby expression and the constant need to say outrageous things to get attention. He’s just a lost little kid in a grown-up’s body. (Just like the rest of us.) So, in a sense, what’s not to love?

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Ha! Love this.

  • Posted by:  John Prehn

    What a zinger! This is teaching right up front, so valuable to us would-be meditators. I pick both A and B. Your argument for A is surely right for plenty of people. However, there seem to me to be some “B’s” out there, who clearsightedly and without conscience, perform acts they well know are evil. Some were hanged at Nuremberg; the Italians hanged Mussolini. I can’t find disapproval in my heart.
    Of course, Trump. But what about Cruz? Then, Reagan, Mrs. Clinton, her husband, Albright, W, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rice, Blair, Netanyahu, and on and on? All hateful, all responsible for thousands of deaths. All, Reagan excepted, fully cognizant of what they were doing.
    You are right, we do have to come to terms with ourselves on the cushion. But, honestly, this does not do it as to preserving Earth and humanity. Some more political direct actions–not very gentle–are surely needed. We, and the mass of humanity globally, are in the grip of monsters, either A or B, who will not easily let go…
    Your teaching is a breath of fresh air, and provocative, as it should be, and I obviously have a long way to go! Thank you.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Yes, directly political action is required, certainly. My hope is that it can be undertaken without hatred and aggression, but with open-heartedness, intelligence, and profound discernment.

      And very glad you found this piece useful!

  • Posted by:  Linda Xochitl Avalos

    Thank you 🙂

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      You are very welcome.

  • Posted by:  Jeffrey Davis

    There is a very rare practice of the Yoga of Hatred. I came across it around 2003 when I was very angry toward a certain someone in the US, and I kept dreaming he send I were friends.

    Anyway, I read your piece on a day, oddly, when for the first time in this election cycle I have felt real anger toward the Trumpness specifically because of the recent violence and overt racism that has ensued at his rallies. Before that, I just found him dumbfounding, annoying, laughable. I will try to absorb your suggestions as they do remind me of what I tried 13 years ago. And that guy 13 years ago seems benevolent compared to this one’s menace.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      This is so interesting.

      And, yes, this menace is truly terrifying.

      Let’s keep practicing together…

  • Posted by:  John Prehn

    If choice A is an axiom, that’s it. If A vs. B is an empirical question, we must contend with the sociopaths among us and in history. They seem to be missing something even the worst of us “A’s” have. I think of Kissenger, Johnson, Nixon, Assad, “W” Bush, and the millions of unnecessary deaths they caused or are causing. Kissinger is now an “elder statesman,” mentor to Mrs. Clinton, already herself responsible for a massive, gristly death-toll in Libya, Honduras, and elsewhere, solely in the interests of US business hegemony.

    There is no way to forgive, excuse, or get around such acts, for me. I don’t see how even a Buddha could find a way to extend some reprieve of judgement to such monsters. A terrible conflict for us who try to follow the way.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Truly. But I don’t think forgiving, excusing, or getting around are necessary. It’s about, I think, our view and intention as we take action against what is abominable.

      • Posted by:  John Prehn

        Susan, your responses induced me to take a deep breath or two, which I have now done! Thank you. (I have often wondered how Thich Nhat Hanh remained so openhearted in the face of what was done in his country. Perhaps right view and intention are the answer….) Will continue to follow your honest and open blog. JP

  • Posted by:  Kathleen Willard

    For the first time today I was able to take a lovely deep long breath after reading this post from you. Oh, this is why I pay attention to all that you share, this is why I believe with all my heart and soul that you are a true pure teacher. No denial ever, just the plain truth of how we ALL can feel “exactly” the same about something or someone.

    It appears every last bit of ugliness and horror is being revealed throughout our world so it can finally be HEALED. The Donald needs healing as much as any of us and by the look and sound of it, perhaps more. Today I was wishing he could be just taken out and now I can release this and say instead, Donald I wish you true pure healing, as I wish it for everyone and myself. Never change Susan, PLEASE, never change. With great love and deep respect. Kathy

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Ditto, Kathleen! Thank you for being so good-hearted.

  • Posted by:  Laura Castor

    This is brilliant, Susan, thank you for your clarity and genuine love!!!

  • Posted by:  Tom

    In addition to what’s written here I suggest sitting quietly and pondering the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. And for those offended by a little street talk, the prayer does not include the word fuck or any of it’s forms

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Hee! Wonderful suggestion. Thank you, Tom.

  • Posted by:  Rosie

    This is the first blog post of yours that I’ve read and WOW! You are no-nonsense! I love that! I heard one of your talks (on youtube) and loved your story about getting cut off at a rotary and going berserk (despite being Buddhist and a meditator). I’ve totally succumbed to road rage (when I got the “hand” and “tough luck” comment from some girl that took my parking spot – yes, at Whole Foods). I had politely, but obviously annoyed, told her that I was waiting for that spot and she snuck in and took it without regard to me; she basically told me that was my tough luck and to get over it. I would have totally kicked her ass if she hadn’t walked away but importantly, I was shocked at myself because I realized that I’m an adult – like, an OLDER adult, and that I was behaving extremely aggressively and hatefully – someone I totally did NOT wish to be….and I too, tend to “cuss”, BTW…. It feels real to me sometimes. 😉 You’re spot on about negativity begetting negativity. About the Donald, while I don’t like how he comes across (I’ve never met him) I work with a gentleman that knows him and suggests that he’s actually a nice guy in private – the public Donald being a different persona. I suppose his family loves him. Good tip on the loving – kindness meditation; I’ve found it challenging to do toward a co-worker that made my life miserable for way too long, but I shall try.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Nice to meet you, Rosie. And I admire your restraint about the parking space!! That happened to me like TWENTY years ago and I still remember it… And I love contemplating the notion that the Donald may actually be something else in private…

      Sending love! Susan

  • Posted by:  Gee

    This blog post reminds me of my husband and my 8 years in Portlland, OR.. Arriving from a poor neighborhood in a large Midwestern city we were blinded by the natural beauty.
    What a paradise of nature to live in. How lucky these people are!
    As we went about our days we kept meeting (privilaged)
    people who were enraged on a daily by ‘politics’ of the day. I had an epiphany of sorts in observing peoples lives and emotions crippled by rage and hate .it was sad.
    We began describing such indulging in hate as their ‘luxury’ of sorts. When we returned to our midwestern metropolis and I had a whole new perspective of people who lived with violent crime on their blocks, incredible poverty all their lives but still glowed with happiness and love Cognizant people who against all odds cultivate life and love in the most adverse conditions and reach out to their neighbors on a daily.Those people are the greatest spiritual examples for myself and my husband. Life is fleeting and politicans even more so.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Beautiful.

  • Posted by:  Catherine Marquis

    Hi Susan,

    From the other side of the border, what is happening with this absolutely vile creature in your country scares me. It makes me swear, it frightens me for all the Americans who are good people and have a peaceful vision of the world and who may (I shudder at that thought) have to live with this guy as President!

    I love that you let it all out in this post! I have used the same expletives myself and find nothing good to say about him. Ever. But I try to imagine that someone may actually care for this freak. I think it would be sad if in his private life, there was no one. No one should be totally alone. That reconciles me a little with my totally hateful, “wish he could be swallowed up in a deep hole” feelings.

    Thanks for always bringing it back to our basic goodness. You are wonderful!
    Catherine

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  • Posted by:  Genevieve

    Is the opposite of love, hate? Maybe the opposite is indifference. Not non-action, but not getting into the spirals of absurdity that are there challenging us at every turn. After all the conventions and the fall out from them, I have decided to hold Mr. Trump in my meditation each day and do metta for him(until the election, anyway). Not for his actions, his behavior or his personality, but for the human being that lies within all that.

    I hope this helps my own internal talk and feelings.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      This is lovely. Truly what the world needs.

  • Posted by:  Kathleen Willard

    To anyone who is disappointed that Susan is “justlikeus”. All because she wrote about Trump with total honesty and this takes courage, lots of it, which happily she has in abundance. Nor does she need anyone to defend her. Were she NOT this honest I would not follow her. It is exactly this trait that I do follow her.The fault with any of us is that we seek to find perfection in people and it does not exist. Thank goodness for that. I call Susan my young Pema Chodron for both these extraordinary women speak truth and do not put themselves on a pedestal. Both women have given me permission to be more honest myself, and thus less judgmental. The trick for me was to embrace my darker side if you will; this results in freeing me more and putting that part of me where it belongs, nowhere on anyone. Have not achieved perfection heh heh, but it works most of the time. Hard to do but it gets easier with practice. It’s more about being gentle with myself too. It appears The Donald is putting himself in a straight jacket these days. Good for him!

    Meanwhile all of us Susan included are working on being more positive and loving. Susan is a most loveable person, with true grit. May she never ever change.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Thank you for your kind understanding and support, Kathleen! Glad we are practicing together.

  • Posted by:  Tracy

    The struggle for me is: How do I explain it to my children if Trump is elected? It’s very upsetting ~ I live in Texas and I’m surrounded by Trump voters.

  • Posted by:  Mary McInnis Meyer

    Yes yes and yes and yes. Oh, and fuck yes. Thank you.

    This took me back to something Richie Davidson and Matthieu Ricard taught at a workshop: Loving Kindness with the following words “I wish you happiness, and the CAUSES of happiness.” It was a Tergar Center deal. And dang, the Donaldfucks of the world ain’t seen true happiness, and are totally ignorant of the true causes of happiness. But they keep doing the same things. Grasping at more empty happiness to add on to their empty happiness. 0 + 0 = 0, but let’s get a little more 0 why don’t we?

    Ok. So. Back to the causes. Doesn’t it end up kinda like wishing CHANGE on the person, which is the only way the person can see and seek the true causes of happiness? So doesn’t that then delegitimize the whole shebang?

    Meanwhile, I’ve got a whit of space in my heart thx to u. Power on.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Loved reading this. Yes, we wish change on the person. We wish they would change from being unhappy to being happy. The catch is, we have no idea what could cause that. So it’s a not-knowing wish. There is also some self-interest, speaking for myself. I wish them happiness at least in part so they would stop making me and everyone else miserable. <3

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