As I write this, Donald Trump has just named David Friedman, a Long Island born bankruptcy lawyer with no diplomatic experience to the hot-spot position of Israel where he hopes to reverse decades of US policy as the Ambassador. This attorney ‘s expertise with the President elect comes from filing Trump’s casino bankruptcy with the courts.
Earlier this week, Trump has acknowledged Putin’s intervention and simultaneously denied that same Russian intervention in the US Presidential elections. Meanwhile his son-in-law Jared Kushner is negotiating media access to the President-elect and his kids attend policy meetings daily.
He’s been busy meeting with celebrities like Kanye West, who was recently released from an asylum, talking to Sly Stallone about becoming head of the NEA, and arguing with Vanity Fair over their review of the Trump Grill
I suspect that he is doing all this by design -- wanting to keep us off balance, supporters and detractors alike -- so that it is impossible to even keep track of what is fair, legal, or just part of America’s sense of morality and rightness.
How could I begin to make these assessments? Trump and his staff’s constant media pronouncements, are like a tornado trying to blow me over.
Friends have suggested I should try and maintain a sense of equanimity by not reading the papers, not getting incensed, and by realizing that all is impermanent. But that is not my nature, not my dharma.
So, in yoga I have been practicing more balancing postures. They are particularly challenging now. In tree pose I stand on one straight leg with the other bent. I wobble side to side. My knee wants to buckle but I resist. I notice how I handle asymmetries. In Warrior 1 and Pyramid my weight shifts and I become aware of tension and unevenness in my feet. Attention to one leg overtakes another. And then when I stand on my right side and extend the left leg up and out in front of me I feel like I will topple over so I focus on a point straight ahead, but when I add the challenge of a twist and am forced to look behind me I fall and am forced to begin the sequence all over again. After working with these asana I find a sense of calm and strength in Tadasana.
Lately I am watching my practice become more like a martial art, fending off aggression and absorbing positive energy from the elements. In a Vinyasa sequence I go from Eagle to Half Moon, changing the distribution of weight and earthiness. I sometimes flow smoothly, without disruption like a body of water or gust of air. The practice both informs my steadiness, my resolve, my fire and allows me to move with the forces of nature. It also helps me regain equipoise when it is lost.
No doubt I’ll need to cultivate more balancing techniques in the days, weeks and months ahead as I battle a perceived adversary whose words and actions keep me looking to the left, right and over my shoulder. For me, there’s no “losing myself” in this practice. No sticking my head in the sand. My yoga is about finding the true way to act in what I perceive to be a very unsteady and uncertain world.