Ignoring Politics? Is It Possible? Or Wise?

Seek For That Which Makes You Strong.
     Is it wise to ignore politics altogether?
     We survived the 2016 elections, in that we are still breathing. Please remember to breathe deeply and mindfully.
     I predict the CIA and mainstream media are colluding against Donald Trump in the name of Russia, Russia, Russia.
     As mentioned in Day #2 of this blog, Ray McGovern came to town, ex CIA operative, now anti-war activist. In the question and answer period, I asked him to elaborate on the Russia mania being disseminated by Main Stream Media and the Corporate Democrats.
     He smiled and said he can imagine Hillary and her team at the Democratic National Convention, after Wikileaks revealed the theft of the election from Bernie Sanders.
     He said they had to blame someone, so the Russia narrative was born.
     Wikileaks also revealed in the Podesta emails how Trump was elevated by the press and The Hillary campaign, thinking the people would naturally vote for Hillary over Trump who presented himself in a hideous manner. Hillary was so confident in this maneuver she stopped campaigning. She did continue raising money from her corporate donors in the Hamptons, however.
     Ray McGovern said if Bernie would have been given the nomination, which was rightfully his, Bernie would have beaten Trump 11/16.
     Here is Ray McGovern and HA Goodman on a recent Crosstalk about the Russia Mania:

     General Michael Flynn is asking for immunity from the FBI in exchange for his recent communication with a Russian Diplomat. Later on today, reportedly the immunity was denied.
     Many of us have given up on Mainstream Media. They feed the frenzy of fear and propaganda the powers that be want you to believe.
     I may not agree with everything these outlets publish, but I respect all of them. And there are many more.
     Independent Media allows me to continue absorbing the news. Twitter is one of my favorites, too, because all of my independent media favorites flash across my timeline. All of these outlets were formally for Bernie Sanders. Many sprung up in response to the strong progressive voice of the Sanders campaign.
     It is up to me to spiritualized the news and in turn, spiritualized my life. I refuse to ignore the state of our union and our planet. We must tune into the life forces overseeing the Universe and we must pray for peace and healing, first of all, within, through prayer and meditation.  The outer world will evolve accordingly.

Waking Up

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
     I was meditating to one of Diana Lang’s meditations on sound cloud, and something she said struck me.
     She said sometimes a person goes to sleep because miracles, like birth or death are not appearing in that person’s experience.
     Then I thought about all the births I am privileged and have been privileged to attend these last 15 years.
     I am saddened to see nurses who become jaded by these experiences: birth, the joy of communing with patients, death, the miracle of life in all its gory details.
     Why do I continue doing what I do? Birth confronts the great mystery of life. Where do these beings come from, what will their lives be like? How will these beings survive all the sorrows and joys in this lifetime?
     In reality, each of us lives many lifetimes in this seemingly one lifetime we find ourselves in now.
     Who I was a 20 is now a figment of my imagination.
     Yet my soul remains changeless, eternal and intact.
     “Your own Self-realization
is the greatest service you
can render the world.”
–Ramana Maharshi
     This is the key to living the great mystery of birth, death and everything in between.
     Who am I? Who are you?
     The answer to these questions heals our separation with the great divine intelligence who created everything we see, experience and love in this reality.
     Don’t allow politics or Trump or human suffering separate you from the Love always available with each breath of appreciation.
     Seek self-realization for the good of the world.

Meditate Simplify Pray

When politics gets you down, meditate-with your dog,
     I’ve been immersing myself in the works of Wayne W Dyer. One thing he repeated over and over again is when you contemplate the conditions you think are missing in your life, it’s like saying God’s plan for you has missed the mark, as if you presume to know better than god/goddess, the higher power, the unseen force that steers the ship.
     What frequency are you generating in your life? If you make a concerted effort to plug into the divine frequency that created everything, you automatically will go from an ordinary to an extraordinary consciousness experience.
     See goodness and beauty everywhere, by first of all seeing goodness and beauty inside your own soul. Drop the dualities. See the unity in everything. Hear the silence which is the sound of God, because by meditating on our divine creator at all times, profound silence results. That is God.
     When the dualities of the world, of war, of politics becomes overwhelming, turn to the inner worlds.
     Depend on the spark of creation that motivates your creativity and originality.
     Listen to the music that harmonizes the soul. Meditate, simplify and pray.
     Tune into the energy that is radiating vibrations everywhere. Choose those that make you feel joyful and productive.
     What are people around you talking about? Do not accept or agree with it when people emphasize what is missing in their lives. You’ll be doing both of you a favor.
     Hang out in nature. Commune with the animals. They are our harmony barometers. Be in silence and meditate with them. My dog Ulysses would make a beeline to the meditation room every day. Now my dog Pearlie is doing the same thing.
     If we taught every child how to meditate, in as little as one generation, there wouldn’t be any more war. That is with the Dalai Lama says, and I firmly know this to be true.
     Let go and surrender to the truth of your existence.

My Mother’s Kitchen

A book setting the stage for meaningful discourse around the kitchen table.
     When I think of “Kitchen Table Wisdom,” I think of my mother’s kitchen as I was growing up– political discussions, social justice, civil rights, the end of all war, spiritual reality all with coffee brewing 24/7, back kitchen door open to reveal bird song and neighborhood bustle.
     My mother had a morning schedule she followed religiously: up to do yoga, a short meditation, coffee, reading, house cleaning once a week with our Amish cleaning person who came from rural Lancaster county to do the work. My dad dutifully picked her up and took her home, again.
     In the summer, my parents belonged to a swimming pool that allowed people of color to belong. My parents participated in a “swimming pool suit” to put an end to discrimination at local swim clubs in the 1960’s.  We won but it took time to see the results.
     I remember a movement of discourse, community and camaraderie happening in my mother’s kitchen. All opinions were allowed, although those who showed up generally agreed on all matters of importance.
     The religious right weren’t banned, nor un-welcomed. Inside that kitchen, magic happened where free thought flowed, laughter erupted, a hint of grand potential was birthed in all who participated. A memory now, a movement then.
     My mother’s kitchen, something I always aspire to, in my own style.

Birdie Sanders Day

My husband nearly died of a massive coronary on my birthday 3/3/17. He was admitted to our local hospital’s Cardiac Unit 3/2 for chest pain, was on a nitroglycerin drip over night.

     The next day at 6am, he experienced excruciating chest pain, the classic text book symptom described as “Feels like an elephant just sat on my chest.”
     Now we going through cardiac rehab together and visiting the cardiologist. We love this doctor. He is a vegan and we have already begun a plant based life style changing diet. Apparently most of his patients are terrified of giving up meat, more terrified of that than dying of a heart attack.
     Tom’s Cardiac Rehab is covered 100% by Medicare. We want everyone to have Medicare. Now that Trump’s health bill collapsed, (Matt Bruenig describes this well),  Medicare for all Universal Health care is the only replacement worth implementing.
     We can’t accept no for an answer. The Corporate Dems want to preserve and improve Obamacare. This is not possible because the Health Insurance Lobby is more concerned with their stock holdings than they are with We The People’s health.
    We must fight for health care for all people. Pennsylvania did an economic impact study showing billions of dollars will be saved by implementing Single Payer.
     California is introducing a Single Payer bill called SB 562, and if and when it passes, we will all have this state by state. It is only a matter of time.
     Bernie Sanders announced on Birdie Sanders day, the day a year ago when a little birdie landed on Bernie’s podium during a huge rally in Portland Oregon, that he will be introducing a Medicare For All Bill to congress in a matter of days.
     Let us not “Resist” mindlessly. Let us pick an issue close to our heart and “Persist.” Let’s face it, giving up meat is the best thing we can do for the heart of our planet. That action alone would reverse the Climate Crisis. But that is a topic for another day.

How Are Refugees Made?

A man for all seasons.
     We had the pleasure of going to a talk today given by Ray McGovern, former CIA operative and counsel to Presidents Kennedy, Reagan and George H W Bush.
     As a result of his experience watching US Imperialism first hand, he is now a committed Anti-War Activist.
     Ray McGovern leads the “Speaking Truth To Power” section of Tell The Word, which is a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Savior in inner-city Washington. He currently teaches a course called “On The Morality Of Whistleblowing,” at the Servant Leadership School.
     He gave us the following statistic: USA holds 50% of the world’s wealth and is 6.5% of its population.
     He said Americans have a responsibility to pay attention to the horrors of war. For instance, in WW2, 27 million Russian people were killed, as compared to 850,000 Americans. You can see why Russia is not buying all the war mongering coming from the Democrats and Mainstream Media.
     The refugee crisis is directly related  to the regime change policies of our country. We created it. No one talks about it, not news outlets, not our elected officials.
     We have a responsibility to help refugees in our communities, and we must do everything in our power to face the suffering they have had to endure.
     We must not turn away.

The Politics and Spirituality Of Health Care Delivery

We have a Single Payer bill in Pennsylvania. We did an economic impact study proving billions would be saved and everyone would be covered. We all want it. The time is NOW!

Americans used to exist exist in a Zombie state because they thought the ACA (Obamacare) and the employer based healthcare system was acceptable or inevitable. Then the insurance premiums skyrocketed and Americans thought Trump could deliver a solution. 

Just because it’s what we’ve always had doesn’t mean we have to continue with an insanity where we keep chipping away at a broken system, thinking that suddenly it will work after 60 years of failure.

Bernie Sanders woke America up to the possibility of a Single Payer Universal Medicare For All system. There were others before him but Bernie pulled this issue front and center.

Polls show the majority of Americans now want Medicare For All, especially now that the Republican healthcare bill presented the truth of a country virtually without any healthcare at all.

My husband used to receive his health insurance policy through my employer. I remember receiving a ten page letter with confusing instructions saying that if I did not provide proper documentation proving that my husband 1) is my husband 2) that he does not receive health insurance from his place of work 3) he will be dropped from our policy at a designated time.

Wading through the language of this letter was time consuming and frustrating. This experience led me to conclude that these jobs where we go and punch a time clock every day are nothing more than indentured servitude, a form of job-lock where you are stuck in a job with no hope of breaking free for fear of losing health insurance, whose coverage was getting less and less adequate every day.

Now my husband and I  both have Medicare and I want everyone else to have that, too.

Wendell Potter, author of Nation On The Take and Deadly Spin, and former heath insurance executive, was radicalized by his epiphany at seeing the health insurance companies for what they are: cold blooded murderers. He too was in a zombie state, answering to stock holders everyday instead of facing spot on the suffering of families who everyday lose their loved ones when health insurance companies deny their claims.

Now Wendell Potter is one of us.

We are the only industrialized nation who does not have a civilized healthcare system. Even South Africa implemented a Single Payer healthcare system, after the collapse of Apartheid. 

The employer based healthcare system is America’s very own brand of Apartheid. We are held down and brutalized everyday here in America by the health insurance companies. 

The corporate mentality, shop until you drop, watch TV until you’re comatose, plus pharmaceutical drug and alcohol abuse has dropped a curtain over the American psyche.

The following is a list of non-violent acts of Civil Disobedience that other movements, such as the American Civil Rights movement, the Gay Rights movement, all the anti-war movements and anti-nuke movements used with great results.

1) Refuse to pay health insurance premiums since they aren’t paying when you get sick, anyway.

2) Start a campaign involving demonstrations every weekday for a year in front of health insurance companies all across America. These demonstrations would showcase caskets and poster pictures of people who died as a result of denied care.

3) Stage sit-ins at insurance companies and outside Capitol Buildings protesting Apartheid of the employer healthcare system in America.

4) Organize boycotts of health insurance and pharmaceutical paid advertising on all the shows that air such ads, and organize teach-ins to educate people to question insurance company tactics of skyrocketing premiums all the while keeping the vision for a Medicare For All system.

Watch Independent Media, instead. More on Independent Media later.

5) Partake in Nonviolent Civil Disobedience training.

6) All acts of violence must be rejected such as physical violence against others, including police and health insurance executives.

7) Practice Nonviolence

Gandhi’s vision on nonviolence is translated as “Truth Force,” meaning both the determination to speak out even when your truth is unpopular, and the willingness to listen to other people’s experience. Gandhi also outlined two other components of nonviolence: the refusal to harm others, and the willingness to suffer for one’s belief.

Practicing “Love They Enemy” is a process of great spiritual power. Adapting an attitude of respect, support and love will prevent verbal violence such as snide and vicious tones of voice, interrupting, shouting down or misrepresenting what people say, which are the antithesis of respectful communication.

Practicing nonviolence includes expanding awareness of the dignity and humanity of self and others, and is the courageous meditation of love and good-will to all living creatures, even health insurance  executives.

Wendell Potter demonstrates that even health insurance executives can have a wake-up call.

Healthcare reform does not mean health insurance reform.

It means Single Payer, pure and simple.

Dealing With Politics

As the new health care bill is being considered for passage, notice the conspicuous absence of women, as these politicians attempt to drop the ax on women’s healthcare, maternity care, maternity leave and reproductive freedom.

 Politics is a reality of our outer lives. We deal with politics in the workplace where hopefully we work out differences for the higher good of the organization.

We encounter politics in our churches, in healthcare settings, at tax time every year, at animal hospitals, in the voting booth.

If we practice cheerfulness and kindness in all our endeavors, we bring our own brand of spirituality to these daily encounters.

I will be reflecting on the convergence of spirituality and politics on this blog. Where does one end and the other begin? 

Do they flow together?

When the two are separate, do we suffer the consequences?

Are there consequences?

Are these challenges remedied when politics of any situation and spirit are integrated once again?

Politics in Washington appears to be devoid of all spiritual connection, of light or transformation. The right wing takeover of America has been happening for many years. Trump is the culmination of a political climate that ceased to care about the people of America.

I’ve come to believe this, especially in light of the recent cabinet picks, the healthcare bill, budget cuts and overall cold hearted approach to all who live in America, except for the Billionaire class.

As this post goes to press, the healthcare bill died without a vote.

Paul Ryan stated in his press conference a few hours ago: “Obamacare is the law of the land.”

To Be Continued…..