Spirituality in Politics: Questions for our Presidential Aspirants
By Chandi Devi © 2008 All Rights Reserved
As aspirants on the spiritual path, we understand that we have individual karma that we will experience throughout our lives. We also experience the collective karma of the groups to which we belong, such as our country.
It is therefore crucial that we elect a leader who has a true sense of values in his/her heart, and not just in his/her mind. We need a leader who has a developed sense of insight and intuition; one who has control of the ego. We need a leader who is a personification of honesty, humility, integrity and honor.
In other words, we need to select a leader who will mirror our principles— someone who is a reflection of all that we cherish; someone who walks a path of integrity and mindfulness.
Is there any candidate out there who embodies these qualifications? Here are some questions to consider when you go to vote. And by the way, it is your dharma and karma to participate in this process.
We can analyze our candidates by applying the eight principles of action that the Buddha taught:
1.Samyak Darshan—Does he or she have tunnel vision or is he/she short-sighted?
Will he/she consider alternative solutions to the challenges facing our country?
2. Samyak Sankalpa—What is the candidate’s intention for the country and all of humanity? Is he/she committed to the protection of mother earth?
3. Samyak Vak—Is the candidate straight-forward? Do you trust him/her to do the right thing? How do they feel about women and minorities in government?
4. Samyak Ajiiva—Might there be a hidden agenda to cater to the richest, most powerful corporations? Will he/she be a strong advocate for global warming and other environmental issues? Will the candidate stand up for the middle and less privileged class?
5. Samyak Vyayama— As concerns regarding health care mounts, what is the perspective towards a holistic approach to health care?
6. Samyak Karmanta—Do you trust this candidate to clean up the mess he/she will inherit and to reverse or reduce the disarray of the current administration?
7. Samyak Smrti—How does this person conduct himself or herself under pressure? Have you analyzed their body language, speech and answers? Are they defensive or open?
8. Samyak Samadhi—Is this person spiritually mature and tolerant of other persuasions or do they still live in the dark ages when it comes to religion/spirituality?
We welcome you to add to this and share your thoughts!