In my opinion: Meditation and the Trump presidency



U.S. Marine Sgt. James Bernard, 25, meditates during a yoga class at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, California, on June 10, 2013. Bernard suffers from PTSD and a traumatic brain injury after deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. The one-hour yoga class is designed to calm the mind, increase flexibility and improve physical strength. (Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times/MCT)


By Reed Wilson, Former Loyola Music Industry student, Ladera Ranch, California

In the age of information, instant gratification and a divided nation we need to slow down and face reality. True progress depends entirely on our ability to see how things actually are. Reality will always be here no matter what pundits say about “alternate facts,” and meditation is the key to best understand this.

The first reality we can face is that Donald Trump is the president of the United States. You are outraged by this or you are outraged that they are outraged. Either way, the emotions are high and you feel as though you must do something right now. You don’t and you shouldn’t do anything.

This does not mean that we look away and ignore these feelings of anger and dismay. Not at all.

It means that now is by far the most important time to sit and do nothing, but only so that we are able to more calmly and skillfully
do something.

To meditate is to sit and face reality. It is about facing the reality that the only thing that we have control over is ourselves. Meditation allows you to deal with the present moment and continue to do so at
all times.

The first step in this process is to face our foundational realities first, the most basic being that we are breathing in and out at all times.

These are beginning meditation practices you can incorporate
right now:

Two ten-minute meditations once in the morning and once at night. If you are a beginner, I can pretty much guarantee that you will not be able to do it. This is exactly the problem and the reason why you must do it.

Start by simply slowing down your attention and reading a book for ten minutes.

From there, find your own methods of mediation where your attention is focused on the present moment.

Now watch. With no judgments, just try to watch yourself and your thoughts. Let these simple meditations flow into the rest of your life.

Once you start stepping back to watch reality, continue to step back.

Watch your agenda and your ego as it plays identity politics. Watch as you jump to an opinion before getting all the information. Watch as you react and become consumed in your emotions. Watch as you run from engagement back to
party lines.

By simply watching, you are no longer identifying with these thoughts, which is half the battle
in itself.

Once you find meditation in your everyday life, you can build the most effective resistance for the changes you want to see in the world.

Now, I want you to try one thing. This will be difficult, but I think that it is an important step. I want you to love Trump. Not a blind, happy hippie love, but a love based off genuine compassion.

Through truly understanding why Trump is the way he is, we are able to generate a genuine compassion for him.

We must love him because he is the most misguided one of us all. He is lost in his own ego and has been for his whole life. We must love him because he, more than anyone, needs to meditate. We must love him because we understand that he lives off the acceptance and judgments of the external world and because we understand how this creates a very dark and lonely internal world.

It is through understanding and loving Trump that we will find the ultimate form of resistance: seeing our own egos within our new president and dropping them.

This is the most difficult step back because our egos often cause us to mistake our great intentions for great actions. But if we are able to learn from ourselves and our president, we will see the most effective way to resist is to essentially live the complete opposite life of Trump.