The world is a mess.
Wars rage in Africa and the Middle East
Devastation and nuclear disaster in Japan
Economic peril across the globe.
Widespread poverty, hunger, sickness and violence.
A rapidly changing global climate is wreaking havoc with weather patterns and livelihoods.
Corporate greed reaping huge profits at the expense of the well-being of people.
Even privileged citizens in the excessively wealthy industrially-developed nations find it at least stressful to be a human being in such times.
Many of us feel the moral obligation to do what we can to raise awareness and change policies which perpetuate the injustices.
We study, analyze, confer, criticize, publicize, organize.
But what of our spirits? What of the intangible part of the human experience that binds us together across politics, religions and geographical boundaries? How many Western politicians, advocates, lobbyists and activists regularly attend to this cosmic reality, incorporate it into our political lives? Especially here, inside of the Beltway in Washington D.C. where so many policies which affect not only our nation, but the global society, are made.
Oh, I know that for better or for ill, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and countless other specific belief systems feature quite prominently in the daily lives of most people, even in the lives of politically-oriented Western folk. But, I guess I mean something more.. well…universal… than creed and religion. Something less divisive, less prescribed, less volatile. I think I mean the human spirit. Or, to be even more expansive, the undeniable life energy which moves our planet and all sentient beings:
Qi (chee). Breath. Energy. Life. Balance.
I practice an ancient Chinese form of spiritual excercise called qigong. I battle with a potentially degenerative health condition and this form of spirituality and excercise helps to heal the body, and the mind.
I also battle with a potentially degenerative policy-making body, the U.S. Congress. I can tell you that it needs healing of its own body and mind. The devasting proposed budget cuts, excessive military spending, purposeful privileging of profits over people domestically and abroad are more destructive to humanity than my health condition is to my often fragile body.
Something about the alarming state of the nation and the globe in the face of so many recent disasters compels me to feel especially recommitted to incorporating a more spiritual approach to my political work in hopes that such an approach makes my work more effective. At the very least, it can’t hurt.
I invite my stressed out, over-worked, embattled colleagues inside and outside the “Beltway” and inside and outside the U.S. to join me in incorporating the unconditional love of each other and our shared life energy into our political work. And to please share with me your own experiences of working this way.
In the words of my qigong teacher, Master Li JunFeng:
The relationship between human beings in society can affect nature. If the family is happy it affects the community. If the community is flourishing, it affects the country. If the country is healthy, it affects the world. This, at the end is what leads to peace and harmony. Unconditional love is the root, is the key.