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Real Happiness Challenge - Week 2 Political Bodies

The New Hampshire primary ended last night, with Bernie Sanders pulling in the Democrats  

 and Donald Trump atop the Republicans. 

What a world!

I admit to feeling less than real happiness about the 2016 primary season, for a lot of reasons.

What was really interesting to me this morning was using Sharon's instructions about body scans and physical reactions in my meditation. Resting with my breath, scanning my body, I felt tight shoulders, an agitated throat, and a huge surge of irritation emanating from my chest. My heart was speedy. Basically, it was fight-or-flight, and the adrenals were pumping.

And all I'd done was look at the news summaries on my iPhone. I was sitting, on a cushion, in a darkish apartment, with some cats and a husband nearby.

Bringing my attention back to the simple sensations in my body rather than the stories they were ready to spin off, I recognized them, named them, and rested. They didn't disappear, any more than Trump or Sanders will, but they moved and changed. I knew what they were, and what they did--and didn't mean. It made it a little easier to understand why I felt extra pissy in the coffee line today when someone bumped me, and it made it easier to forgive that in myself, to forgive them, and not to act on it. 

Whether I can forgive New Hampshire....Well, there's a few more weeks of the 28-day Challenge, right? 

In the context of The Donald, both Sharon herself and Susan Piver, another great contemporary Buddhist teacher have some good instructions, in a wonderful Guardian article this week: 

"To learn to sit with the discomfort of your own rage and hatred is to master it."

--Susan Piver

That'll take at least 14 more days...

“Compassion training isn’t what it appears to be on the surface,” Salzberg told me. “It sounds like you’re just going to give in and be sweet, not take a stand on things. But it’s actually a really daring kind of political vision: that this is a completely interdependent universe, and everybody counts” – even the people who don’t themselves believe that everybody counts. “That doesn’t mean you don’t -take strong action against people.”

--Sharon Salzberg

And everybody counts. Especially when they vote. 

IDP is participating in lineage mentor Sharon Salzberg's REAL HAPPINESS Meditation Challenge.  This 28-day practice follows the the program outlined in Sharon’s New York Times bestseller, Real Happiness for the entire month of February. We encourage everyone to join us; since 2011, thousands have participated in this challenge which will help you develop your meditation with support from the entire community.

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