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What The Buddha Would Say To Mr. Trump

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New York, NY USA - July 16, 2016: Donald Trump speaks during introduction Governor Mike Pence as running for vice president at Hilton hotel Midtown Manhattan
New York, NY USA - July 16, 2016: Donald Trump speaks during introduction Governor Mike Pence as running for vice president at Hilton hotel Midtown Manhattan

If a bull goes straight when the herd is crossing a road, then they will all go straight because he leads the way. The same among people. If the one who is thought to be the highest lives in goodness, the others do so too. The whole realm lives happily if the ruler lives rightly. The Buddha

This is true when the leader is virtuous and honest. But Donald Trump is leading his followers into a quagmire and they don't even know it. He is using the most destructive of qualities--greed, hatred and delusion--to gain power and prestige. This is the behavior of an egomaniac who thrives at others' expense.

We are not presuming to know what the Buddha might say to Mr. Trump, just as we don't presume to know what might be said to any of us. But the Buddha clearly taught about the dangers of greed, hatred and ignorance, what he called the three poisons, that Trump displays frequently. Where greed grabs our desires, hatred uses fear to incite insecurity and then blames everyone else, while ignorance clouds our vision.

The three fires of greed, hatred and ignorance destroy the mind from which they are born. The Buddha

The mind is everything. What you think you become. The Buddha

Greed has many relatives, such as ambition, self-centeredness, pride, grasping and clinging, giving rise to dissatisfaction, irritation, frustration and anger. The craving to have and possess stops us from giving; it generates a fear of not having. Donald Trump personifies greed in his desperate desire to win at all costs, no matter how he does it. For instance, he insists on flying aboard his luxury jet, rather than a more practical airplane, at a cost to taxpayers of millions of dollars.

Hate is destructive, indiscriminate, like a snake it can rise up out of nowhere and attack. It is most seen in prejudice, whether against different races, political beliefs, or sexual preferences. When we are fixed in the belief that we are right, then anything that questions or threatens that belief becomes the enemy and must be eliminated. Hatred's many bedfellows include criticism, sarcasm, misogyny, and racism. Need we say more?

The Buddha pointed out that such hatred becomes our own worst enemy for no matter how much we try to annihilate the hated one, the hate remains inside us, slowly destroying and eating away at our own happiness.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; while you are the one who gets burned. The Buddha

Abhorrence towards others is based on the belief that we are all separate from each other, that I am more important than you. This breaks friendships and families, while creating self-righteousness and arrogance. Prejudice closes our heart and shuts down our sensitivity.

The moment that you think of doing harm to someone, that thought harms you first. Unless you hate yourself, you can't hate others. If you love others, that means that you create the feeling of love within you first, and then you offer the love to others. Your thoughts pass through your entire system, and are expressed through your mouth and through your hands and actions. Without thinking, you cannot speak or act. So the harmful thought, from its very origin, spoils your system. In other words, you can't hit anyone else without striking yourself. Sri Swami Satchidananda

Where hatred closes our heart, delusion makes us believe there is a permanent, separate and fixed 'me' so that we take ourselves very seriously. It belies a lack of awareness, especially of anything outside ourselves. This is the ignorance of our essential connectedness with all others.

The heart is like a garden. It can grow compassion or fear. What seeds will you grow there? The Buddha

Ed & Deb are the authors of many books. Deb is the author of award-winning Your Body Speaks Your Mind, now in 21 languages. They have three meditation CDs. See more at