I love Donald Trump.
There, I said it.
I love The Donald.
I love his presidential candidacy. And I love his supporters.
Does my love make you angry?
Are you thinking, “How the f**k can a Zen teacher possibly love Donald Trump?!?”
If so, then please keep reading. This article (and the free guided meditation at the end) are perfect for you.
No, I’m Not Joking
If you think I’m somehow joking about loving Trump, then you’re going to be disappointed.
I’m not joking. I do actually love him.
The more he opens his bigoted, hate-filled mouth, the more love I send.
Early this morning, I sat on my meditation cushion and sent loving kindness toward Donald Trump using an ancient Zen technique called Metta.
I did the same thing yesterday.
It looks like I’ll probably be doing it again tomorrow.
Why Loving Kindness is the Answer
Trump’s candidacy is running on a platform of hatred, mistrust, fear, and anger.
Do you stand against those things?
If so – and I’m assuming that you do if you’ve read this far – then it is critical that you do not become that which you stand against.
If you respond with hatred, then hatred wins.
And when hatred wins, Trump wins.
Your outrage against Trump’s bigotry is 100% justified, but your hatred is not.
This might be a good time for a quote from a little green Zen master:
What Trump is Teaching Me about Zen
Listening to Trump makes me want to scream.
Not very Zen, I know. Perhaps you can relate?
I know that anger and hatred are not the solution. And yet, I know that I have to do SOMETHING.
This quote comes to mind:
“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” – Albert Einstein
Thanks to Trump, I’m learning that there is something I can do — something important, something that will not only have a positive effect on the world, but also on me.
Here’s what Lao Tzu said 2500 years ago:
“If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.” – Lao Tzu
You want to awaken all of humanity, right?
I bet you want to wake up Trump supporters, shaking them until they come to their senses.
It won’t work. It never works.
If you want to awaken them, if you want to show them that hatred is not the answer, then start with yourself.
Why I’m Taking a Stance
Let me back up a bit.
Let me explain why I’m taking a stance on this issue:
Because my wife is brown. She was born in Venezuela, she is beautiful, and she is brown. Trump didn’t specifically say anything about Venezuelans, but he might as well have insulted all Latin Americans for all the bigoted comments he made about Mexicans.
Because I want to stand in solidarity with my Mexican friends and students. I’ve been to Mexico, and I love my friends and students there. I want them to know that I don’t agree with what Trump has said about Mexicans.
Because I want to stand in solidarity with my Muslim friends and students. Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric is dangerous, and unacceptable, and I want that to be clear to everyone. Below is a picture of me and my wife at a Muslim wedding a year ago. If I’m slightly scared to post a picture from a Muslim wedding, what must it be like for all my Muslim-American friends?
Because of what a middle-eastern Jewish Rabbi once said. He said that we should love our enemies, that we should bless those who curse us, and that we should do good to them that hate us. I think those are pretty wise words. [Matthew 5:44.]
Because of what an Indian monk said 2500 years ago. He said that hatred does not cease through hatred, that hatred only ceases through love. [Verse 5 of the Dhammapada.] He also gave us a technique for practicing this, which I’ll share with you below!
Because…science! Meditation can change the world. Here’s some proof.
What Happens if We Don’t Take a Stance
They say that those who don’t learn from history are bound to repeat it.
Well folks, we are watching history repeat itself. It’s happening right now.
Normally, I cringe whenever someone compares a politician to Hitler. It’s usually just hyperbole.
Trump’s comments, however, rightfully deserve to be compared to Nazi Germany. And to McCarthyism. And the Jim Crow laws. And to the unconstitutional internment of Japanese Americans during WWII.
Recently, Trump called to have a special database to identify Muslims in America.
And then the other day, Trump called to block all Muslims from entering America.
It’s tempting to dismiss Trump.
And yet, he is the leading candidate for a major political party, running for the highest office of the most powerful country in the world.
Resist the strong temptation to dismiss him and his supporters.
What You Can Do
Below is an audio file with a 10-minute guided meditation that you can practice right now.
There are no gimmicks here. You don’t need to buy anything. You don’t even need to give me your email.
The audio is free.
I give it to you in the sincere hope that you will actually practice it.
Remember – it takes practice to be a master of loving kindness.
If you practice this meditation, and find it difficult – congratulations! You are human!
It is sure to be uncomfortable and awkward for you to practice loving kindness toward Trump and his followers.
But you know what? You are already uncomfortable! Every time you read about Trump in the news, you cringe. Right?
The discomfort that you experience during Loving Kindness Meditation is no worse than what you feel when reading the news.
And it gets easier. The more you practice, the easier it gets.
Loving Kindness Guided Meditation (10 Minutes)
To save this audio file to your computer for future use, just right-click here and then choose “save as”.From the heart, Sifu Anthony