Waking Up After the Election
Waking up today, I knew there would be work to do.
Electing the president of US Empire is always only one step in our political process – “choosing the terrain on which we want to fight in order to win” as Alicia Garza said recently. No matter who won, today was to be a day to regroup toward crafting campaigns and organizing ourselves. A day to make plans to pressure our elected leaders to pass policy that will build a new, more loving, compassionate, and inclusive world.
Yet my body is in shock today, unable to take in a Trump presidency. As a survivor of sexual abuse, I wanted to believe that our people would be disgusted by a man who brags about sexual assault of women. I wanted to believe that enough people would be appalled by his unveiled racist hatred of immigrants, of Black youth, of Muslims. As people fighting for justice, last night’s vote told us just how much more work we still have in front of us.
You are needed for that work.
Your body will need to be placed in harms way, to interrupt the rising wave of devastation toward our people and our planet.
Your hands and heart must be ready to rebuild fractured communities, striving to nurture and embolden those most vulnerable under a Trump presidency.
But before Blocking and Building, it’s okay to take time for your whole presence to just Be. Be with our grief, with our rage against patriarchy and white supremacy, with our fears about how our families and communities will be directly harmed by Trump’s reckless policies.
Draw on whatever practice helps you stay connected to your experience — mantra, breath, feet on the ground, body in nature, leaning on ancestors. Today, I’m remembering I have a backbone — long and curvaceous, holding my parts together with its steadiness.
Our practice can assist our steadying of mind and heart — not as passive acceptance, or an attachment to comfort, but as needed balancing to safely traverse the challenging road ahead. This is no ordinary post-election path, and we will need not only our spiritual practice, but our sharpest political analysis and strategy as well.
We are living through the collapse of an empire. This is what it looks like. Let’s hold each other, love each other, listen to each other, fight like hell for each other’s dignity and survival, and let’s turn to our peers around the world who know terrains of proto-fascism, and know how you build powerful social movements in conditions that seem impossible.” – Clare Bayard, Catalyst Project
In these times, I need BPF more than ever — a place where I can mourn the political state of the world before engaging my dharma superpowers and political wisdom to navigate seemingly insurmountable challenges. I need this — we all need this — if we are to have any chance of liberation.
This season, we at BPF have been dreaming up offerings that can help build up this network of skilled Buddhist activists, embedded in winning movements for racial, economic, gender, and environmental justice.
We’re curious to hear — what do you most need, not just in your grief and rage, but in the days ahead when you’ll be called into action? Do you want support to:
- Strengthen your skills in nonviolent direct action & movement building?
- Connect with others steeped in dharma and politics, to keep you inspired and grounded during the long, sometimes lonely days?
- Sharpen your political analysis and spiritually-informed strategic vision for what it will take to build a new future?
- Dig in to dharma study and practice to stay steady in the chaos?
If you are like me, you want it all — spiritual support and skills, community and clear vision, direct action and dharma together. And BPF is ready to offer an even broader range of support, after these last few years of a radically shoestring budget.
If BPF is a spiritual-political home you’d like to count on in the coming years, your support is deeply needed! Can you pledge $25 a month to help expand BPF’s offerings? We’d love to count on your reliable support, so we can build more-responsive, less-reactive offerings that sustain us all in these times.
Whether you can give financially or not, we appreciate all your support and care — for yourself, for each other — during these challenging times. Sending you love, and please take extra good care of yourself.
In love and ever deepening solidarity,
Co-Director, Buddhist Peace Fellowship