Writings

Dhammalogue no.12


Today's Dhammalogue follows the train of thought from the early entries of the week. That of leadership and meditation.
Dhammalogue no.12
Jenny: This week I've opened up the topic of leadership. In both the entertainment industry and in the world of business, meditation and yoga haveecome valued practices that have been proven to both increase creativity and improve communication which is very inspiring and promising for the future, but it seems that in politics these teachings are still viewed with some suspicion, which to me is a bit absurd, since it seems only logical that the leaders we elect should be amongst the first to implement these intelligent practices. Why do you think this is?

Igor: We've met a few politicians and administrators over the years in our retreats which means some individuals are already recognizing the importance of mindful living. But when one becomes honest with oneself our true motives have nowhere to hide and come up to the surface. Artists and entertainers know they want recogniton and fame, businessmen know they want economic success, there won't be any surprises there. Besides doing their jobs well, their motives are quite clear. Many politicians however are living a lie. They want us to believe that they are doing a service to society while what they are really doing is a service to themselves, sometimes by bending the laws to gain privileges or money for themselves or for their associates in business, sometimes just the for pleasure of getting things their way, power as a way to cover up insecurity. They live very public lives so after a while they probably end up believing their own lie and think themselves as servers or kind leaders while in reality they are much closer to bussiness men dealing in the currency of popular support. Meditating brings all hidden motives up to the surface and playing double games becomes much harder, the same that placing a neon light right in front of the mirrormakes it impossible to ignore the wrinkles of the man looking at you. Meditating would uncover a highly inconvinient truth i guess. Obviously this is not true for all politicians, there are true idealists giving their every drop of sweat to save the last hump whales, or to rebuild a neighbourhood broken with social injustice, crime and drugs, but I am afraid that the majority of our leaders are not there to lead and serve but to gain, even though they migh not even know it.

J: What can we as the people being governed do?

I: I grew up in one of the most politiziced place I've ever seen, the Basque Country of the 70s, 80s and 90s, in a new democratic Spain. With the open wound of Franco's recent memory and ETA still killing, people were trying to decide which should be the relationship of the region to the rest of Spain, while facing the growing pains of this infant democracy. Everything was politics. People argued over lunch, in the bars, on the radio or watching the football game, and everyday life was edgy, often violent. Families got broken, lives were lost and everyone lived with a frawn, taking politics seriously was a duty. I was part of it, holding strong opinions and ideals for a while, but then it came a point when i got fed up. It started to seem clear to me that the same mind that had created the problem couldn't possibly fix it. Something has to change first at a basic human level before we construct a healthy human society. It is unfair to blame our politicians for the same actions and behaviours we carry in our households, our schools or our work environments. At the risk of sounding repetitive I'd say, mind your own mind, love your children and your spouses, have pride in a job well done, stay healthy, you know the basics. And to do all that properly we need to train, to rewire this mind addicted to conflict, addicted to enemies and chronically allergic of truth. We need to meditate, to do yoga and then we need to be courageous to bring whatever we find there onto life, placing common sense at the top of our guru list. Only love and empathy can beat hatred and ignorance. This is obviously terrifying but the results of not doing so are also terrifying, maybe even more so. Eventually a new generation of politicians and administrators will come up, is already coming up, and will set a new course to the world ship... Or not, and in that case, I guess we'll see how long we can hold on before we drown. I want to stay positive...

J: Me too, sometimes it scares me to think of which kind of world we will leave Iomi and coming generations, but that fear gives strong motivation to do my part, to keep working on and off my mat and pillow, to keep teaching and writing, to never give up! Thanks for the talk Love I'm off to the sauna.

I: Enjoy!

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