ridding the mind of Trump

POSTCARD#394: Bangkok: This is a Buddhist (common sense) approach but that doesn’t mean getting rid of him is any easier – Trump has burrowed into our thoughts over the last four years, lurking in the dark recesses of the mind where it’s difficult to get him out. For those of us who don’t know the mind through meditation or who maybe never thought about it before, there may be a perceived fear to be dealt with quickly at first. This has nothing to do with Trump (although he’d like you to think that it has). Practice long easy deep breathing and there’s that awareness of being unsure of it… it’s a familiarity with uncertainty; therefore I know something about that dark place in the mind, I didn’t know before, and I’m not as fearful as I was! 

Fear is created by the heedless accumulation of thoughts joined together any old way, and spiralling up into the mind for no good reason (papanca). Be mindful about fear, ignoring it will only create fear of fear.

One thing I know about uncertainty for sure, is that it isn’t always associated with fear, it’s also associated with joy – uncertainty is what I experience in the moments before receiving a gift, or an award, a discovery, a revelation, enlightenment; any of these kinds of events.

Ridding the mind of Trump is like this, knowing that it is possible and knowing what he is; a comic book character in a TV series; he’s a bit pathetic, the ‘Joker’ in Batman fits the stereotype. He’s not just an entertainer, on some level he poisons everything, he is a force to be reckoned with. He likes to play the part of a thug but we see through it – ‘he’s not a convincing gangster, he is a national disaster.’ (CNN Anchor)

Maybe I think Trump is punishing me because I don’t like him, but that’s not it. He just knows how to play the bad guy, and make me feel like that. The whole thing is an act a piece of high drama, theatre, showmanship … ‘click’ on the remote, and he’s gone. Open the door and chase him out – letting go also of all the causes and conditions that allowed him to come into my mind in the first place. Do it again and again. If I can clean him out of my mind like this, the feeling is one of grateful relinquishment – replaying the story over and over, and taking enough time to experience the immense release that comes from learning how simple it is to get rid of him.

For some of us, it’s difficult to get rid of him completely, be mindful of Trumpian stunts left behind; mindful of the critical mind, conflict, resentment and laying traps for people. Mindful of holding a grudge; mindful of engaging with hate – I need to practice non-hate, thus not caught up in the automatic experience of it.

It’s worthwhile to consider here, an important part of the Buddha’s teaching, Anatta, ‘there is no Self’ (although there is no record of the Buddha ever putting it into these words), rather it’s the sense of ‘I’ that is understated, indirect, and there’s a gentle release of the ‘grip’ on how I (personally) think things should be done, no matter how strong the tenacity of the habit is to hold on.

In this way, there’s no chance of ‘me’ being swept off again today in that Trumpian wave of anger and hurt, because there’s no ‘self’ to whom it’s likely to happen. Therefore, I don’t have to have this edginess of discomfort in the heart today (gratitude for that). The dark cloud of oppression is not hanging over me.

I can see there is suffering (dukkha) in the world, because of the holding on to things we love and hate (or love to hate). If I can focus on my own breathing and let go of whatever it is in my mind that’s causing the suffering then it will all pass away of its own accord.

Compassion for those of us who are holding on unknowingly to the pain and suffering caused by outrageous Trumpist deeds. Let it all go at the first opportunity. All physical and mental events, come into being and dissolve.”

One can feel inspired, motivated knowing there is an end to it… maybe that’s enough. The focus is on acceptance rather than rejection, loving-kindness for the unloved. Focus on doing the right thing, small acts of kindness.

 “The vastness created these human circuitries in order to have an experience of itself out of itself that it couldn’t have without them.” [Suzanne Segal, Collision with the Infinite]


10 thoughts on “ridding the mind of Trump

  1. While needing to be free of the darkness of Trumpian thought in our minds, we also need to turn much of the country from its fear and hatred, which has been so deftly poured on the poor, and channel it into healing, something that means redressing the economic and social inequalities that have been worsening in this country.
    Can we manage to do both?

  2. Very glad you wrote this piece. Need to expunge hate from our hearts. Not just for Trump but also for the 71 million who voted for him again. How could they?!! America is not what I thought it was. Need to expunge hate and outrage. A challenge for sure.

    • It would be good to have a rest from the outrage and hate. Now that it feels quiet for the first time in four years, there’s the sense that he’s gone – and he is gone because there’s only one thing he can do, and we’ve seen it all. Possible he may appear in another form, but the military generals have prepared for that likelihood. The 71 million may be a force to be reckoned with. To be a real threat, they would need a leader and Trump cannot do that job, like there were so many qualities of leadership he failed in and that’s the whole story.

      • Trump broke his silence today and white supremacist groups are getting ready to do God knows what. Meantime the virus is overwhelming hospitals and medical staff in so many red states that listened to Trump. And blue states, too. Greed and/or desperation keeps them from shutting down. People are dying by the thousands. The situation is dire. I find it hard to combat this onslaught of news. Biden may be hampered by Republicans if the two Democrat senators don’t win in Georgia. I am paralyzed with fear. Trying to be present.

      • Hi Ellen
        Hope you are feeling better today. Something I’ve learned these last few days, free of the involuntary daily Trump ‘hit’ is that I don’t have to watch the television news, I choose to do it and thus the Trump hit is not as involuntary as I thought. Trump is a media act and the media facilitate the Trump event or whatever associated act and shape it to form maximum impact. My feeling is that it’s not helpful to think about these hot topics like white supremacist groups, virus overwhelming hospitals, Biden hampered by Republicans, and so on. Harmful to my mental state.
        I know how difficult it is to switch off or over to another channel. It’s the only way out. It poisons the mind. More and more I’m able to ignore it as long as it’s not in the centre of my vision.
        Take care

      • Thanks for Diwali view of rooftops in Lucknow. It reminds me of Delhi. The indomitable human spirit and it looks like Trump is stretching out this issue beyond belief. Still, I say don’t get even slightly involved with the thought. It’s a media show intended to give you pain or praise depending in which side of the fence you’re on.

  3. I decided that continuing to stay in the disharmony caused by virtually ANY interaction with news or outside world not only isn’t good for ME, it actually feeds all that negative dualistic energy. So now I’m not getting too much done except: BREATHE, again, again, and again. I feel more hopeful now but there IS a long, long way to go. But I notice that the more I can stay in this..spectrum? the more others calm and relax around me and that seems like a good first step at this point. Thank you, as always for your clarity and generosity! xx

    • Thanks Kelly, I feel the same way, distressing is not the word. After reading this, I felt inspired and started to think how much I could get done without watching the television news channel and how much better in the heart and mind I’d feel. I have to admit quite often I’m a couch potato, using the headaches as an excuse. Selective TV exposure in advance programming is what’s needed. Have the day divided clearly into these two periods of time. It’s something that needs to be a conscious decision.

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