Hey guys, don't forget to breathe

This is just a hello to any of you who are stressed about the US election in a couple of days. Which I’m guessing is most of you. Me too! It’s gone from being funny to scary to just depressing. :scream:

But anyway! Meditation is your friend. Don’t forget to breathe. Try reaching out to friends and relatives and bringing them together for a sit. :couple_with_heart:

You might think you’re stressed; but at least you’ve got the Dhamma to help. Maybe you can help those around you, too. When your mind is clear, the right decision will become clear.

If you’re a US citizen, please vote. Participating in your social contract is important, and you should think of it as part of your Dhamma practice. And when you vote, remember that people all round the world will be affected. The forces of greed, hate, and delusion have become strong in the world. You have a chance to speak for kindness, love, and wisdom. You’ll know that you did what you could. There is a certain solace in that. And I for one will appreciate that you tried. :bow:

Hopefully unnecessary message: Please don’t argue about politics in the comments. There are many other places for that. This thread is for reaching out & helping people deal with the stress, not adding to it. Thanks! :anjal:


In seeing the title of this post I immediately took a breath. Thank you, Bhante, for these words. They are much needed.


No, this is something very important.
I have a annual meditation programme in my house (this is the celebration of my birth day) and invite my friends to participate. The fourth one will be end of this month.



Sage advice, bhante. One other thing I have recalled a lot lately is that the commentaries say that the Buddha taught the Karaniya Metta Sutta as an antidote to fear. Directly and vividly contemplating the objects of one’s political fears - death, violence, loss, disorder - in meditation, and permeating the scenes and objects contemplated with metta, can help one put down the burden.


Absolutely @DKervick! In Italy we had a similar crisis years ago when our former premier came to power… and I did just what you suggest, encouraging others to do the same. Of course if mettaa fails there is always equanimity to fall upon. Democracy need open confident minds. We cannot afford fear hatred and despondency they are the direct road to disempowerment.


I know that my practice has significantly helped my mental well being this election cycle. Quitting the boob tube has insulated me from all of the ill will these two have felt the need to direct towards one another, which has also helped tremendously! I often direct metta towards the more aggressive of the candidates, just in case, and towards all living beings in general, as the world needs it more than ever. Ajahn Achalo was saying that, because of group Kamma, we get the leaders we deserve, and being an American, I can’t help but agree. The upside is that I feel even more urgency to practice, to watch my mind ardently, and generate as much metta as I can so that I may always have the chance to practice the Buddha Dhamma.



I’m sorry, but there’s no such thing as group karma. In democracies, we get the leaders we deserve because we vote for them.


The thing that has worried me the most about this campaign season has been the kind of discourse and level of rhetoric being modeled for our children. So my resolution is to speak as kindly and courteously as I possibly can. And thank you Bhante - remembering to breathe is the first step in being able to do that.


That is a really beautiful and important point, thank you. Sometimes it seems that we’ve become so intent on free speech, we’ve lost sight of what makes right speech.


Great advice, Bhante.

Agree with all the comments. Remember the story of Anger Eating Monster that Ven Ajahn Brahm so colourfully presents in his discourses which I think is from SN11:22? Also, we could express our Metta in many a ways. We could pass our Metta to those who live in USA & personally known to us, then to all those who live in that country, including Donald T & Hilary C and then to all other beings elsewhere.

As much as Metta is important, I think, we should practise Karuna, too. As I understand, Trump has promised to scrap Obama’s plans for climate action, stop funding UN climate change programs, and has threatened to ‘withdraw’ from the Paris climate agreement. We need to help the voluntary organisations like Climate Council, Oxfam etc. that are in the forefront of climate change action. So, I practised my Karuna/Cāga this morning & made a contribution to Climate Council. I will practise Metta, more formally, later this evening,

May all beings be well & happy!


Thanks for pointing me the interesting SN11.22! I really enjoyed reading it.