What The Buddha Might Say To Christine O’Donnell

Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill. The Buddha

These words are depicted in a story of an old monk sitting happily in the sunshine outside his cave when suddenly a beautiful young woman comes running up to him, obviously very scared. “Please,” she cries out, “a man is after me who is going to kill me! Let me hide in your cave!” Without waiting for a reply, she runs in and hides in the darkest corner. A few minutes later a man on a horse comes riding along. He is brandishing a sword and looking very angry as he asks the old monk, “Have you seen a young woman? She was running this way.” Now, the monk was taught never to touch women or to tell a lie. So he calmly says to the man, “What would an old monk like I be doing with a woman?” The man accepts his answer as true and rides off. The monk did not tell a direct lie, but in this way he saved three lives: the woman, himself, and the man who would surely be killed for killing them.

No one is comfortable telling a lie. We usually feel more at ease when what we say is honest and truthful. But, as we see above, there are times when telling a lie, or at least not being entirely truthful, can protect someone’s life.

Christine O’Donnell has vowed never to tell a lie, even if it means harm is caused to another, such as when she was asked on the Bill Maher show in 1998 if she would tell demanding Nazis if she were hiding any Jewish people in her house. O’Donnell refused to even entertain the notion of concealing the truth, because “you never have to practice deception.”

And yet she has, according to recent news, deceived her followers about two colleges she has said she went to. Claremont Graduate University, a school that O’Donnell claims she attended, told Talking Points Memo that they have no record of her being there. She has also said that she attended Oxford University, when she was just a student of a Phoenix Institute course that had simply rented out space at the school.

Along with her other misconceptions and sweeping statements—about masturbation and de-sexing America, or how come monkeys are not evolving into humans—none of this would really matter other than it shows us how deeply deluded O’Donnell really is.

I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their own happiness or satisfaction. The Dalai Lama

When ignorance and ego-centeredness are displayed in such an overt way, it creates the perfect reason for this blog: the opportunity for us to develop ever-greater compassion. As the Dalai Lama says, If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

Obviously compassion in O’Donnell’s case is not so easy as such ignorance can be extremely damaging: ignorance invariably begets delusion and further ignorance. However, we all contain some measure of dark and light, of good and bad; we all have the potential to hurt each other as much as we have the capacity to love. Within each being is also the potential for kindness, generosity, and selflessness. It may not have manifested yet, but it is there! And, ultimately, compassion is the most useful response.

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

As she seems to have no idea what she is doing, the one thing we can do is to hold Christine O’Donnell with compassion. She is immersed in her own self-centeredness and lost in “me-ism.” In such a state the “me” stops us from being real and compassionate to others. There is a reservoir of basic goodness in all beings, but it is easy to lose touch with this vital expression of caring and friendship.

“We have taken a number of journeys to the monasteries in the highlands of central China and Tibet,” says Gregg Braden in Be The Change. “In one monastery, we had the opportunity to have an afternoon audience with the abbot and I asked him, ‘In your experience, in your teachings, and in your world view, what is the stuff that holds the universe together? What is it that connects us all?’ I asked the translator, and he asked the abbot, and they had this banter going back and forth about how to answer this question. Finally, the translator turned to me and he said one word. That was his answer, one word. I thought it was a mistranslation, that I had heard him wrong, so I asked again. And he came back with the same word.

“He said that the force that holds the stuff in the universe together is compassion. ‘Wait a minute,’ I said. ‘Are you telling me that compassion is a force of nature that exists everywhere in the universe, or are you telling me that it is an experience that we create in our bodies?’ The abbot and the translator went back and forth again, and then the translator just said, ‘Yes.’ He was telling us that we have the capability to create within our own being the very experience that aligns and attunes us with our world. It opens the doors to the truly miraculous experiences of healing and peace, because they are all linked through this field of compassion.”

What would you say to Christine O’Donnell? Do comment below.

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Erica D.
Erica D.5 years ago

Christine O'Donnell is the type of politician who truly scares me. I hope that, one day, she will realize the errors of her ways.

Beverly L.
Beverly L.5 years ago

Just another dumbbell that makes me happy we have choices. People like her make me appreciate honest and upstanding folks.

Jewels S.
Jewels S.5 years ago

Lucky for me I believe all this crazy stuff has to happen before sane change happens. When change is resisted the change that NEEDS to be in motion gets louder and faster. We need to embrace the changes that are needed but our egos want things to stay the same. It makes the ego feel safe and in control but it is an illusion. Just let her words float over you. You are not required to listen to everyone. If you don't agree don't vote for her. At this stage I expect nothing less from anyone that wants to be a politician. If they come to it with pure intentions doesn't mean that they are strong enough to resist corruption. Worry about nothing, pray for everything.

Mike Masley
Michael Masley5 years ago

She should take deep breaths and think before she speaks.

Robert B.
Robert B.5 years ago

O'Donnell, bless her heart, is just NOT competent to run for office and the people putting up the money to try to "buy" her election know this and know they will have a naive controllable puppet in office. Read John Grisham's book "The Appeal" and you'll understand how special interest money works to finance puppets.

Naga Choegyal
Naga Choegyal5 years ago


Some can't even get her NAME right!

Naga Choegyal
Naga Choegyal5 years ago

1) WE can only know what she says she believes: not the truth of what she really believes. .....
2) All politicians tell lies; some are more blatant, some get found out....some are more plausible, as she is, apparently, to her party.
3) Nobody has a monopoly on the Truth.
4) There is relative truth and there is absolute Truth.
5) You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time BUT you cant fool all of the people all of the time.
6) One things truth and the rest is lies; we each lives once and then we dies.
7) To my mind, as a disinterested by-stander on the other side of the pond who has had a very superficial look at reports of this lady ( as superficial, it appears, as anybody posting in this thread); to my mind she is simply more honest than the average politician about her past and her present personal views ; her religious views are somewhat unpopular to a certain sector of the populace who are anti-religious yet claim to be "spiritual". She has stated that her policy is not based on her personal sentiments but is constitutionally based, and as American citizens, that is what should be of concern to you. IMHO.
The lady must, absolutely must, have certain qualities or charisma that have enabled her to stand on such a prominence where she can be assailed by the mindless invective I see here...the posts here say much more about the posters, than they they say about Christine O'Donnell. Some of them can't even get her NAM

Ed And Deb S.

Sue H

you are having compassion for the person not the act

The compassion is about the ignorance that the person is confused by -

Christine is lost in a self-serving need to be in the limelight & in a place of power.

She believes that god (or her faith) is telling her what to do

Ed And Deb S.

Hi Naga Choegyal - Do your best & leave the rest!

Tashi deleg

Naga Choegyal
Naga Choegyal5 years ago

Who said Compassion is easy?

Buddha spent something like 50 years giving "84,000" teachings on the rationale for compassion and you think it should be easy?

Do not confuse Compassion with mushy-wushy sentiment.