Sunday, November 23, 2008

Reasons for giving thanks to President Bush

For many weeks, learning more about Tibetan meditative practice has been a goal during my early morning ‘quiet time.’ How to Practice: A Guide to A Meaningful Life, by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama has been my principal resource.

Forgiving enemies is a a theme of many spiritual traditions. However the Dalai Lama’s views regarding enemies are even more demanding. He believes they should be valued as spiritual gifts because of the opportunities to change, grow stronger and practice compassion they provide.

The Chinese Communist leaders who ordered the invasion of Tibet, tortured and killed many Tibetan citizens and drove the Dalai Lama into exile provide an illustration. He acknowledges that the invasion catalyzed needed changes in Tibetan spiritual practices and raised the visibility of those practices on a global stage. He speaks of how Communist outrages compelled a rigorous testing of his own monastic vows emphasizing radical compassion, forgiveness and non violence.

I would not place President George Bush in the same category as the Chinese Communist leaders who ordered the invasion of Tibet. But I believe we must recognize contribution of his administration’s failed economic policies, flawed international policies, corruption and incompetence that even conservative-leaning publications such as The Economist have highlighted. Absent these failures, the transformational election America has just witnessed might well not have occurred. President Bush provides us, too, with an opportunity to practice compassion and to forgive.

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