Deconstructing Trump Mania

For months I’ve mumbled and bumbled over the millions falling head over heels for the rants and raves of Donald Trump. How could this dark force have taken over the minds of so many? What is it he offers that makes this megalomaniacal, attractive?

Rebbe Nachman, the 19th century Hasidic master, said: Free will means you do what you want to do, and you don’t do what you don’t want to do. Thus, these many millions, including the heretofore blustery Chris Christie, who stood silent guard this past week behind Mr.Trump while listening to him proclaim himself king in waiting, have become his willing subjects, filled with enough hate to say yes, to his every whim, no matter how heinous .

When I read Dana Milbank’s Washington Post column: “Trump’s Captain Underpants Campaign,” I got it. Milbank assigned grade levels to the candidates’ speech. Accordingly, Trump’s is at third grade level, Hillary’s at 7th, and Bernie at 8th. Thus, he’s easy to understand. No pressure brainwise. And just right for  a nation of spoiled, angry  children, stamping their feet, and run amuck.

What a Mess

This past week, a dear friend emailed me his take on this mess:

“The Republican candidates are a travesty. What disturbs me more are the many people supporting them. They represent the mindset of a great number. It seems to me that coarseness and a lack of civility is tolerated and applauded in the public square. I find it to be a sad situation.”

Yesterday, I saw the following in Richard Cohen’s column in the Post:

:“Today, we live in Kardashian country. . . When it comes to decorum, it’s always Casual Friday in America.”

 Where have refinement and manners gone?

Indeed. Coarseness has become the norm. I notice it in my own speech as well. Words I never heard from my parents, sister, brother in law, or even my friends, come out of my mouth too often. Where has refinement gone off to? Perhaps it’s just around the corner and I’m too weighed down with my own Casual Friday belief system to notice. How did it become so rare, so discredited?. I recall how my mother would question me when i started to date someone. “Is he refined?” she would ask. I thought it didn’t matter, that she was being silly. I was wrong.

Though coarseness can make what we say sound funnier, more  dramatic, the loss we suffer by giving it free rein does us in. And our careless disregard has resulted in  the full blown birthing of this unapologetic madman, who in many ways is our own creation. Can he be stopped . . . Who knows? But the one thing we can do is to start this reformation within ourselves.

Here’s an image that makes a correction I’m ready for.You may choose to use it as well. And yes, perhaps the custom of washing a nasty mouth out with soap isn’t  such a bad  idea.

 Brain Bath

Intention: To get rid of habitual, devitalizing thoughts that deter you from living a clear, refined  and balanced life.


Close your eyes and breathe out three time. See yourself kneeling beside a clear flowing stream. Unzip your head and carefully remove your brain. Place it gently in front of you and submerge it in the stream. See and hear the bubbling, waters surrounding and permeating your brain,cleansing it of all debris. Now find beside you a golden brush and with it scrub away anything else that may be hidden there which keeps you from being calm and clear. Take it out of the stream and dry it in the sunlight. Put it gently back inside your head. Now zip up your head and go on your way, noticing how you look and feel.Then breathe out and open your eyes.


A Tale of two orchids

I have no particular talent with plants. Sometimes I’m lucky. Other times not. But  I’ve developed a love for having orchids in my home. It started with Cymbidiums, those tall long leafed showy bursts of longitudinal color, that a friend turned me on to 20 years ago. Currently it’s the common strain of orchid I find at Whole Foods that fills the need. Generally they bloom for several weeks, and then go by. But over the past ten months or so, there’s been one that keeps on strutting its stuff, while its sister plant, which I got at exactly the same time and place, stands beside it, budless and bloomless. An orphan orchid. Barren. Sad. Alone.


With nothing to lose,  I decided to experiment. I moved them closer together so their branches were touching. I told them they were sister plants, and encouraged the bloomer to teach the non bloomer its tricks. I spoke to them about loving each other and sharing their gifts (the non bloomer had beautiful unblemished deep green foliage) as I moved my hands around them — the way my mother used to do with the shabbas candles on Friday nights— and advised them to bloom in tandem. A week later, I noticed tiny buds forming where none had gone before. And lo! I now see five new buds, growing larger each day

No Expectations

Encouraging this relationship took little effort, and the results have been amazing. I expected nothing. My only intention was to give them a chance, to see what would happen. And voila! Rebirth. Resurrection. And so forth.

Heaven knows why we’re so self-centered as to believe that this is it. That we’re the alpha and omega. The peak of the mountain. The star on the tree. With our logical minds leading the way, we play the game of life, only by by our limited rules. But suddenly, here’s living proof that the invisible world exists. That there’s stuff going on unaccounted for. Beyond our ken.


For, imagine, how it might be if we could rebud and rebloom like these orchids in whatever way we needed.. Perhaps we can. Perhaps all we need is someone to speak to us in loving tones, To remind us that we have the power, the gift, to repair and revive ourselves,—  to burst forth with new vitality. New life. Over and over again. And that this gifted magician is us. You and Me. Reclaiming ourselves in one endless loop of life.

* See my Face book page for photos

Here’s an image you may enjoy using to this end.

Close your eyes and breathe out one time. Imagine yourself as the gifted magician. See and sense your power  to co-create new life, know this power is sparked by loving words and grateful thoughts. See what needs revitalizing, both in yourself and others. Speak words of loving encouragement, and express the gratitude that is called for.  See these words and thoughts manifest as light that emanates from your heart. Notice what happens. Then breathe out and open your eyes.

Stormy Weather

It’s 5:30 a.m. Too early for me to be up.  I have a cough and a stomach ache. The cough I’ve had for the past six weeks. The stomach ache is something new.

It’s dark outside. I’m nervous about the upcoming storm. I’ve got a few more hours before it hits.

I live in an all electric building. If the power goes out that means no heat. No way to cook. No Wi fi. Thus, no phone, computer, iPad or TV. And of course, no lights.

I bought a lantern and eight batteries. Something I’ve meant to do for years. It’s supposed to light up an entire room. I feel good about it. But not that good, since I can’t figure out how to get the batteries to fit.

My worst storm was when I lived in Vermont. We had a micro blast. A what?  I’d never heard of one either. It swept up Tweed River Drive and mowed down everything in its way. If you lived on the right side of the road you were safe. The left, you were in trouble. The power lines came down. Fires broke out. Part of my roof lifted up and flew away. It sounded like a train coming through. I was in  shock. No time to feel scared.

When it hit, I was on the toilet. I sat there hoping to wake up from what seemed like a dream. It took a few seconds for me to get that it was real. In five minutes it was over. I went outside to see the damage. It looked like a monster-mower came through, giving the wild flowers and grasses a flat-top. I went up the hill to check on my friend’s house. His rocking chair sat, still as stone on his deck. It hadn’t moved an inch. He, of course, lived on the right side of the road.

I don’t expect this  blizstorm to be that dramatic, but who knows? They’re saying its the worst Washington blizzard in 95 years. But, perhaps we’ll get lucky. It could shift out to sea before it gets here. We could have sun, with mild temperatures, and balmy breezes instead. I’d like that. I’d also like to believe there’s no global warming. I’m trying to think how I can get that to happen. So far nothing . .. But I’m not giving up. As Rebbe Nachman tells us:

“Never despair. Never. It’s forbidden to give up hope.”

Here’s an image to use at troubled times like this. Far more useful than flpping out.

 The Color RX

Close your eyes and breathe out three times. See and know the color of your anxiety.Sit in the middle of this anxiety without complaining and breathe out this color, seeing  it drift away, vanishing into thin air. Now imagine the color of calm. Sit in the middle of the calm and breathe in this color. See, sense and feel the color of calm filling you and spreading through your entire body, flowing like a river. When it reaches your fingertips and toes feel it encircle and enfold you. Know and live how it is to be clear and relaxed. Look at the world around you now, through calm eyes, and know that all is well


* * *




Whose idea is this, anyway?

My favorite TV ad features a big eyed, sad faced, muppet-like creature that nobody wants around. Ignored by all, left to sleep next to the trash bin in a dirty back alley, it wanders from place to place, dragging its scraggly tail behind it ,until one kind soul finally opens a door and invites it inside. As it walks out of the darkness and into the light its raggedness gradually transforms, until, behold! It is magically reborn, sporting luminous rainbow colored plumage, while an audience of admirers generously cheers it on.

This heart rending spot is about ideas 

How we fear, resist and ignore them, leaving them to find their way up through the cracks of our lives far too often., I’m surprised at how good we are at doing this. And how ignorant we are of what we’re doing, most, if not all of the time.

 I’m equally surprised at how easilly we get caught in this trap ,ignoring even a brilliant  idea whose time came, so many years ago, when we first opened our doors to people, from around the world, desperate  to escape horrendous conditions, seeking comfort upon our safe, un-war torn  shores.
In a comment in the November 9th edition of The New Yorker on line
George Packer reminds us that “In the Second World War, Congress passed legislation that made resettlement in the U.S. harder for Jewish victims of Nazism than for Germans uprooted by the war Hitler started. The chairman of the Senate’s immigration sub-committee presented the problem with a loathsome flourish,  stating, ‘Many of those who seek entrance into this country have little concept of our form of government. Many of them come from lands where Communism had its first growth and dominates the political thought and philosophy of the people.’  Does this sound familiar?  Why doesn’t he just say what he means. (Too many of them are Jews. We thought that problem was disposed of)
Only the angry persistence of President Harry S. Truman got Congress to expand the numbers and remove the discriminatory provisions. so they too could live and flourish.”
New and foreign people (like new and foreign ideas) scare us.
Who knows what beliefs they harbor. What harm they might do? Do they hate us or love us? Will they adapt, or will they flounder in the thick soup of “American exceptionalism?”
At first, I was torn. But after slogging through my future- based fears the choice became clear: its time for our compassion challenged* country, which gives such easy lip service to “freedom and liberty for all,”  to do what it was created to do, by honoring the highest of its ideas and ideals.
 I hope that’s not too much to ask. Or is it?
Here’s an image to move this idea along:
Coming Home
See before you the Statue of Liberty.
See her raising her lamp higher, and beckoning the lost and homeless to Freedom’s Shore.
Become as one with her, as you sense, feel and live how it is to walk the talk of liberty and, freedom for all.
Then breathe out and open your eyes, knowing all is well.
*The “Idea” ad is from GE.
* Compassion challenged is a term used by Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak, in her November 3rd column on the plight of the homeless, as exacerbated by the law.




Obama does the Tao

  Early in the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama said he’d be willing to talk to Iran. Other candidates, news organizations and people “in the know,” called him  naive. Said only a fool would do that. They laughed at his “youthful folly.”  But they’re not laughing now. They’re either cheering the Iran deal or they’re adding it to their hate pile. And, oh, what a hate pile it is.
   FDR once said: “They hate me. They really hate me. And I welcome their hatred.” Obama isnt into hate.. He neither welcomes nor avoids it. He does what he believes in, and keeps on moving. He’s a man of the Tao.
  So here we are. Health care for all. Same sex marriage. A nuclear deal with Iran. And we’re not done yet.
 .At certain moments, there’s an opening in the waves, a rent in the cosmic curtain when the impossible  becomes possible. The unseen becomes visible. And lead is transformed into gold. Perhaps this is that moment. But, what is it that makes this distasteful enough to so many that they resist it with every ounce of their being, while for others, it lights the way and spurs them on to the next opening, change, possibility?
  Click on the link below and see what we can accomplish despite the limitations imposed by ourselves and others. Change your belief in limitation to one of possibility, and watch what happens. You may be pleasantly surprised.