I don’t. But Buddha does.
We need to be clear on our terms here. I do not mean to imply that Buddha is some kind of spiritual entity or God sitting up in Buddha Heaven who holds a partisan opinion about who you should vote for.
Nor do I want to imply that I, as some kind of Buddhist Master, have special knowledge from on high of who the Buddha wants you to vote for, which I am about to tell you.
In this case, “Buddha” means the innate capacity we all possess to know right from wrong, good from evil, and shit from Shinola. What I mean to imply is that you know who you should vote for. Whether you vote for that person or not, though, is a different issue altogether.
We always know what’s right. But we do not always consciously acknowledge what we know. Sometimes we shout it down. We yell and scream so loudly against what we know to be right that we can even end up convinced that we don’t know. But that’s bullshit. We know that too, we know we’re fooling ourselves, but we can shout that down as well.
You may have already decided who to vote for. That’s nice. But decisions are not the same as knowing. Knowing comes first. Decisions arrive later as part of the process of the brain shouting at itself.
Personally I often wonder if voting matters. I often wonder if I make any difference at all. I wonder if the process isn’t rigged so hard already that no one can influence anything. But I vote anyway.
I don’t do it for you, or for my favored candidates and issues. I do it for myself. I hope it has a wider influence. But I only know the influence it has on me. It’s because of how I feel about myself that I vote.
Someone I know said the only thing for certain is that in next week America will elect the least popular president in our history. That’s probably true.
I am skeptical of all the scare-mongering that says if one or the other candidate wins it will be the Greatest Disaster of All Time. Even in this election. They say that every time and it’s never been true.
When election time comes I always feel like I’m being played. The same folks who, the other three years, are trying to get me to buy one brand of Corn Flakes instead of the other are now telling me that the world will absolutely be destroyed unless I pick the guy who is paying them to write slogans and blogs and whatever else. I’m too cynical to buy that.
If you’re American, next Tuesday you’ll have a chance to vote for somebody. When you get in the booth, the right choice will be staring you in the face. Your brain and your ego structure will give you all kinds of reasons to either punch the hole next to that person’s name or punch the hole next to someone else’s.
You can do whichever you choose.
And you will know clearly whether you made the right decision or not. This knowledge may not penetrate into conscious thought. But it will be present and you will feel it.
November 11-13, 2016 Mt. Baldy, California (near Los Angeles) Three Day Retreat
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THERE IS NO GOD AND HE IS ALWAYS WITH YOU is now available as an audiobook from Audible.com as are Hardcore Zen and Sit Down and Shut Up!
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Check out my podcast with Pirooz Kalayeh, ONCE AGAIN ZEN!
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I’ve got a new book out now! Stay up to date on my live appearances and more by signing up for our mailing list on the contact page!
Every Monday at 7:30pm there’s zazen at Angel City Zen Center (NEW TIME, NEW PLACE!) 1407 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90026 Beginners only!
Every Saturday at 10:00 am there’s zazen at the Angel City Zen Center (NEW PLACE!) 1407 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90026 Beginners only!
These on-going events happen every week even if I am away from Los Angeles. Plenty more info is available on the Dogen Sangha Los Angeles website, dsla.info
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