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Why Donald Trump (Gasp!) Is My Spiritual Teacher

Rev. Arvid Straube Atencion

By Jon Sievert

At this week’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Service, the Rev. Dr. Arvid Straube explores the emotional impact of the poisonous political campaigns being waged in the upcoming US elections.

UU Service
“Why Donald Trump (Gasp!) Is My Spiritual Teacher”
With Rev. Dr. Arvid Straube
Sun, Apr 17, 10:30am
La Posada de la Aldea
Ancha de San Antonio 15

The great rabbi Hillel said, “In a world where no one is behaving as a human being, you must behave as a human being.” By examining our reactions to people we despise, we can identify and heal parts of ourselves that are less than healthy. Why should we do that? How can we do that? The Buddha said that the three poisons of mind—greed, hatred, and delusion—cause us the most suffering. Growing as a human being means recognizing these poisons in ourselves and replacing them with generosity, compassion, and wisdom.

In this political season in the United States, candidates are waging campaigns that exploit these three poisons in our citizens and amplify them. It is a very challenging spiritual practice to remain engaged as citizens and not get caught up in this downward moral and spiritual spiral. How can we behave as human beings? How can we avoid being caught in the negativity and be a part of the healing of the body politic that is so desperately needed?

Rev. Straube received his MA in Divinity from the University of Chicago Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry from Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago. He was ordained to the Unitarian Universalist ministry in 1979. In 2013, Meadville Lombard awarded him an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. After serving a church in Washington State for three years, he began a 21-year ministry at the Eno River Fellowship in Durham, N.C. From 2004 to 2014 he was Lead Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego, California. He is currently pursuing a ministry of spiritual direction and meditation instruction as an affiliate faculty member at Meadville Lombard.

He has practiced and taught Buddhist meditation in the Vipassana or Insight tradition for more than 40 years, studying with many prominent Buddhist teachers, including Joseph Goldstein, Thich Nhat Hanh, Tsoknyi Rimpoche, and Shinzen Young. He was trained as a spiritual director at Shalem Institute where he became familiar with Christian contemplative prayer traditions. While he does not call himself a Christian, he is a disciple of the rabbi Jesus of Nazareth. Dr. Straube is fascinated by perennial philosophy that runs through all the great religious traditions of the world.

The UU Fellowship meets every Sunday at 10:30am at the La Posada de la Aldea , Ancha de San Antonio 15 and welcomes people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Visitors are invited to attend the service and then join the UUs for coffee and snacks afterwords. The room is wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit our website at


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