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Seeing Clearly in an Age of Confusion

To say that it’s strange times is a bit of an understatement, wouldn’t you say?
From the climate emergency to the war in Ukraine, a global pandemic and an opioid epidemic, we are living in a time of great confusion.
The Buddha spoke of the three poisons of greed, hatred, and delusion. David Loy has pointed out that these have become institutionalized in the modern age – greed in the form of consumer capitalism, hatred in the form of militarization and war, and delusion in the form of misinformation. 
I invite us to focus on the last of these: ignorance or delusion. In the Ukraine war, we are seeing misinformation and propaganda play out. We live in a topsy-turvy world in which those most responsible for “fake news” are accusing others of the same. A time when hackers intentionally sow seeds of doubt about democratic processes. Deep fake technology is advancing to a stage where it will be increasingly challenging to tell what is “real” and what is not.
I don’t want to portray Buddhist practice and meditation as a panacea or cure-all for this complex and layered state of affairs. I do know that I’d be in a much more confused and conflicted state without my practice.
Early in the pandemic, my colleague Rachel Lewis and I co-created a weekly meditation group online, based out of British Columbia, and the consistency and clarity that has provided has made all the difference.
In the insight tradition, we have the practice of vipassana, sometimes translated as “seeing clearly” or “super seeing”. By learning to train our minds, we can more clearly identify what is and is not true, have clarity on what is and is not important, and know our values and how to operate from them.