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Good Advice From the Buddha For President Obama

Good Advice From the Buddha For President Obama

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. -Buddha

Yes, he did it! Despite oceans of money and hours upon hours of backbiting, slander, and lying, the power of the people won out. Now President Obama has the time and support to make good on his vision for a caring and humane nation. But it appears it will not be a smooth ride. The opposition, at least in the Congress, is virulent.

To keep him focused on what is right for the people, we looked at what the Buddha said that might advise him at this time.

When people speak badly about you, you should respond in this way: Keep a steady heart and do not reply with harsh words. Practice letting go of resentment, and accept that another’s hostility is the spur to your understanding. Be kind, adopt a generous standpoint, treat your enemy as a friend, and suffuse your world with affectionate thoughts, far-reaching and widespread, limitless and free from hate. Buddha

The Buddha spoke these words, or some just like them, 2,500 years ago, yet they are just as relevant today. His teaching is based on our intrinsic interdependence and interconnectedness. In a very broad sense, the role of the president is similar — to recognise how we all affect each other: our basic interconnectedness. As the President said four years ago: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue. Buddha

But the differences between us can be huge. Although Obama pledged bipartisanship, in the last four years we actually saw the worst partisanship ever, with the Republicans determined to say no to whatever was proposed and to make Obama a one-term president. To find unity, we have to go beyond those differences; we have to surrender our own needs for the benefit of all. In the process, our enemies can teach us great patience and even compassion!

Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule. Buddha

It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways. Buddha

There have been some great achievements in the last four years as well as promises that haven’t been kept. But perfection is knowing ones own imperfections, which gives us the ability to get up each time we fall.

Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things that renew humanity. Buddha

The President’s support of gay marriage is an example of this, as it reflects the desire that all beings be treated the same. We all breathe the same air, drink the same water, eat, sleep, and want to be happy. Love is not determined by gender. Why should anyone be denied the right to live the life they want, as long as they are not creating suffering for another?

When we first met with the Dalai Lama at his residence in northern India we bowed to him, as is the custom. He quickly lifted us saying, “We are all equal here.”

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. Dalai Lama

One of the reasons that President Obama probably won this election was because Mitt Romney was unable to relate to or inspire the middle classes, as well as his infamous closed door 47% speech. And so the one thing President Obama can be inspired by in the next four years is the equality of all.

A good motivation is what is needed: compassion without dogmatism, without complicated philosophy; just understanding that others are human brothers and sisters and respecting their human rights and dignities. That we humans can help each other is one of our unique human capacities. Dalai Lama

We recommend, as the Buddha does, to meditate, in order to pacify the negative aspect of our egoic monkey-like mind. Meditation is becoming a part of many peoples lives as it alleviates stress, clears the mind, and inspires us to be kinder and more compassionate, even to people we have difficult times with. It could be a great friend to President Obama.

****

See our award-winning book: BE THE CHANGE, How Meditation Can Transform You and the World, forewords by the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman, with contributors Jack Kornfield, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Byron Katie and many others.

Deb is the author of the award-winning YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND, Decoding the Emotional, Psychological, and Spiritual Messages That Underlie Illness.

Our 3 meditation CD’s: Metta—Loving kindness and Forgiveness; Samadhi–Breath Awareness and Insight; and Yoga Nidra–Inner Conscious Relaxation, are available at: http://www.EdandDebShapiro.com

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Ed and Deb Shapiro

You can learn more in our book, Be The Change: How Meditation Can Transform You and the World, forewords by the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman, with contributors Marianne Williamson, Jane Fonda, Ram Dass, Byron Katie and others. Our 3 meditation CD’s: Metta—Loving kindness and Forgiveness; Samadhi–Breath Awareness and Insight; and Yoga Nidra–Inner Conscious Relaxation, are available at: EdandDebShapiro.com

42 comments

+ add your own
1:55PM PST on Nov 29, 2012

Don't the Shapiros ever think that slander works both ways? Aren't they attacking Romney unnecessarily? Yes, his 47 percent comment sounded harsh--but no one ever bothered to put it into context. It was an expression, a thought, not a mandate. Romney has done a lot of good in the past and even President Obama is willing to give him some credit. All of you regard Obama as being so popular -- yet he only got 50 percent of the popular vote! That's no landslide.

I'm tired of the Democrats blaming Bush for what happened years ago!!! As Buddha would say, forget it and move on. Bush had his own set of insurmountable problems to deal with
and I feel he tried to do his best especially after the tragedy of 9/11. He didn't get a lot of cooperation from Democrats at first--that's typical politics--so the voters kicked the Democrats out of Congress. How soon we forget our own history. Bush never blamed Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter for his troubles Obama had four years to work on these problems and it wasn't just because the Republicans stood in his way. That's a convenient excuse. The Democrats have positions that I don't agree with--but I have to accept the results of the election.
I don't know why Care2 can't be more balanced.There are two sides to every story!

7:25PM PST on Nov 16, 2012

Don S. and Dot A. said it for me and said it well!

6:51AM PST on Nov 14, 2012

This is not just good advice for President Obama, but for all of us. I love the triple truth, and will meditate on that alone.

4:30AM PST on Nov 14, 2012

If all the word could work on keeping a steady heart in the face of evil and adversity, what strength we could give each other

3:41AM PST on Nov 14, 2012

Good advice for us all.

2:49AM PST on Nov 14, 2012

I am happy that Obama won the election. I admire his courage and his hard work to help Americans. It is not an easy job to rebuilt America after many years of destruction and wars under Bush. It will take many years to recover just like after the storm. He also faces opposition from Congress who is against many policies including health care. Rich Americans don't want to part with their Money. Rich and poor should work together to built a strong economy.Disasters are for a reason for people to come together and help and love one another. Love is the answer not GREED and CORRUPTION.

1:23AM PST on Nov 14, 2012

Nice corrolations, thank you.

11:58PM PST on Nov 13, 2012

Advice *everyone* could use.

9:09PM PST on Nov 13, 2012

Even Buddha might be exasperated with REpugs.

4:33PM PST on Nov 13, 2012

Good article

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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