Meeting hatred, anger, and fear with wisdom, compassion, and power

October 24, 2016 | 17 Comments

The meditation begins at 9:21
Audio only version is here.

Hello dear meditators. I hope you are well!

As you may be aware (who isn’t?!) this election cycle here in the US is fraught, polarizing, and basically insane. This is not meant as a commentary on anyone’s politics; no matter what side you are on, we all feel this. There is a lot of hatred. Anger. Fear. The more hateful, angry, or fearful we are, the less able we are to listen to each other–and this compounds the situation terribly.

As meditators, you are cultivating the single most important skill for combatting these imbalances and returning a sense of decency to any situation you find yourself in. You are learning how to be sane. Before today’s sit, I explain exactly what I mean and how you are doing this already.

Thoughts? I’m always interested to hear, especially during times of greater craziness. It is good to connect with each other and realize that you are not alone.

With love,



  • Posted by:  June Stamper

    Hi Susan, really enjoyed hearing your thoughts on this and yes meditation for me has made me aware of the gap between my thoughts and actions, from someone who used to be very impulsive and reactive, it has made a positive difference in my life when dealing with events I find incredibly stressful and rage inducing! To just stop and notice and separate the thought from the action is very empowering. Following events in the US with great interest (and lots of other emotions!), from the UK. (p.s. loving your elephant pendant) x

  • Posted by:  Joan Whitmire

    Thank you so much for reiterating the humanness of our practice. And pointing out the validity of our feelings while stressing the importance of “minding the gap” between feeling and action. Wisdom, compassion and power.
    Thank you for being here at this time.

    • Posted by:  Annie

      Thank you beyond measure for addressing the “elephant in the room” and how we can stabilize our sometimes raging emotions. This election year has brought me to my knees, so to speak. The anger, disrespect, and vitriol being spread like wildfire is disturbing and divisive. I find it difficult to discuss even among family and friends. I am flummoxed much of the time and have been intending to write you to ask for some emotional guidance. You just provided me and others with a wonderful and helpful teaching and practice. With huge gratitude and a deep breath, I thank you! Thank you also to those across the pond and around the world who are also sending love and support. I am appalled and ashamed for some of our country’s actions. We are all trying to do what we can to remain positive and to be beacons of light and hope. Namaste.

  • Posted by:  Warren Burrows

    Right on!

  • Posted by:  Sharron

    Susan, I’m grateful for all of the wisdom thoughts you share before our practice and your words today are some of the best…….connecting “just sitting and breathing” with real life situations, particularly the hard, difficult stuff, and how what we are doing can be applied in a good way. So true about fear and anger speeding one up…….the need to separate, think, slow.
    I live in Canada (Saskatchewan) and everywhere I go people are talking about your election. It’s absolutely mind boggling to me, more like a nightmare than an actual presidential campaign.
    In gratitude with prayers and trying for good energy,

  • Posted by:  Kristina

    I started reading The Sacred Path of the Warrior yesterday, which, just as your words Susan, make me know even more in my bones the only way for me to stay sane in this world! So grateful for all of you warriors out there practicing too!
    Peace from Kristina

  • Posted by:  Sarah Chauncey

    Yes, yes, yes! (To, um, make a judgment about it 🙂 ) “We have a special responsibility for using that work to bring more sanity into our world.” That’s the crux, isn’t it? For me, it’s been a two-part process: Going inward to heal myself, then realizing this is something that can help heal the world. The image that comes to mind is a closing-in, then unfurling. I’m a dual citizen (left the US for Canada 21 years ago, as a disillusioned activist), and I can’t remember an election like this in my lifetime. I’ve tried to limit social media, but the hatred is pervasive (and “avoiding” isn’t exactly “meeting with presence”). It’s horrifying, yet I’d rather it be out in the open–where it can be addressed directly–than hidden behind closed doors. (To be clear, I’d *prefer* the racism, misogyny, homophobia, etc. didn’t exist at all…) Thank you.

  • Posted by:  Lilyan de la Vega

    As usual, very inspiring and powerful. Thank you, Susan. It is easy to relate with your talk in a country like Mexico, where politics are so outrageously indecent and keep us polarised, fearful and angry…
    thanks for this amazing key to peace even in turmoil.

  • Posted by:  Angela Bursua

    Always on point! Thank you for sharing your heartfelt wisdom. This is such an important message….not just related to the election but a life lesson in general. I’m going to look at adapting this (with full credit to you) for the kids I teach. I bow to you with deep gratitude to you.

  • Posted by:  Mary Lou

    Again, I listened at the perfect time this afternoon. I live in Florida. This state has a battleground feeling, and it makes one wonder about the neighbors.
    I voted today- early voting. While voting, I felt moved nearly to tears. Truly a first. I felt hope and faith and trust in our process. As I looked around at the wide variety of races and ages, I felt hope that “we the people” are better than what has been portrayed via social media and paid pundits. I think that perhaps during the 15 minutes I was at the voting site, I was practicing loving kindness without being consciously aware of it. I’m appreciative of a few moments peace on the subject. I wonder how I’d feel if what I consider unacceptable prevails? Let’s hope that I don’t get to find out!

  • Posted by:  Maria

    Thank you, Susan… this was very helpful in re-framing my thoughts on what is going on in our country at this time. It has felt insane for sure… and remembering the vast difference between thought and action is so important to reflect on.

  • Posted by:  Tom

    First let me state my credentials; namely, I’m an old man. With age you discover that you can trust the American system of Government to work (and especially, over time, self correct.) Those who created the Constitution and Bill of Rights installed a means of “Checks and Balances”. It’s works — over time things DO even out. So my advice is “just relax”. We Americans have a good system and it’s functioning well. So, everyone, take a deep breath…and many mindful breaths in quiet meditation (and that goes for you too, Susan) and go with the flow. Believe me, you (plural) and the U.S. — and our Earth — will survive and be OK.

    • Posted by:  Mary Lou

      Thanks for the welcome dose of perspective. All is well, indeed.

  • Posted by:  Margaret Sloan

    Thank you, Susan. This was a wonderful talk.

    I take a deep breath and I say to myself, “I am a being of peace”. Somehow, that grounds me and reminds me to stay present, open and kind when I’m dealing with difficult emotions or situations. Sounds a little corny, but it works, and I don’t have to shut off from others or from myself – it reminds me to come back to my center and to my dignity. I make better choices because of that practice, too. It is important to acknowledge strong feelings and it is important to pause and take that breath and a step back (if only mentally) – to remember that thoughts and emotions are like clouds – temporary. Most negative emotions stem from fear, so slowing down to let the thinking brain have a chance to choose sanity is really a good idea.

    • Posted by:  Margaret Sloan

      PS – I loved your talk for the “Science of Meditation” summit!

  • Posted by:  Renee Jones

    Meditating has truly changed my perspective on life and anger. I’m older so I am humbled. The string anger has almost disappeared. The hate has gone. I thank the universe and people like you fit turning my life around. I am with you all for this divine journey. Renee

  • Posted by:  jane

    Awesome. Very happy to be a warrior with you.
    You rock. Greatly.
    Love from the UK,

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