Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Hey, I voted for the guy. But read the following editorial commentary from the Bangkok Post:

Looking at Obama's historic campaign, what strikes us most is how consistently mindful this candidate has been. By mindfulness, Buddhism refers to the ability to be totally aware of the nature of things as they are, in the present moment, without pre-formed judgment or emotional partiality...

...From a Buddhist point of view, it is because Obama has a firm grasp on the fundamentals of dhamma, the nature of things, as well as karma, the law of cause and effect of action. Obama himself stressed throughout his campaign that he himself was not perfect and that he expected to make mistakes as president. This is a fundamental understanding of human nature and of dhamma...

...Want to be like Obama? It's not beyond our human capacity. To be able to achieve this level of maha sati, Great Mindfulness, Buddhism prescribes vipassana practice with a detailed step-by-step guidance for anyone who cares to learn.

The entire article is here.

On one hand, I can't say I'm entirely bothered by the Obamasattva perspective. McCain and Obama debated thrice, with neither side gaining a huge advantage in the process. McCain is no ninny, but even his strongest supporters must concede that Obama offered something McCain couldn't...a fresh start with the rest of the world. Does anyone imagine for one moment that the above superlatives would be flowing from Thai pens if McCain had been elected?

On the other hand, the author might want to step back from the whirlwind of recent events, gather up his own mindfulness, and put things in historical, emotional, and spiritual perspective. Jimmy Carter may have been a saint, but he won't go down as a great president. Oil prices and nefarious actions in Iran conspired against him, but it doesn't look like Obama will have it any easier. For every leader who cuts Obama some initial slack, there will be another trying to push the boundaries.

Above: Profound absorption or ordinary languor?

I just hope the world's expectations for Obama aren't too high.

More over-the-top gushing is found here.

No comments: