A One-Legged Bull


It’s over. In the United States we have a new president-elect.

I have close family who are elated at the results, hopeful for the next 4 years, and sleeping better at night now that Trump has been elected. I, however, feel the opposite. I see that hatred has been given a prominent place at the table; hunting season has opened on women, the earth, people of color, and non-Christians; and little girls have been left to wonder about their value. For me, walls are not the answer, the religious right is not the voice of morality, and the unwillingness to hold the common good is suicide.

Ancient yoga texts speak of times such as these where unimaginable corruption, greed, and cruelty find their way into positions of power across the globe; times where injustice, fear, and suffering become the norm. They call these times the Kali Yuga, or Dark Ages. Throughout the cyclical turning of time, these ages weave their way in and out of history.

What I find interesting is the symbol the texts use to portray these dark times: a bull trying to stand on one leg. Quite a visual, isn’t it? Since the election I have been trying to find a place to put all the pieces of craziness swimming around in my head. The symbol of the one-legged bull is that place. This image sums up the instability and imbalance I am feeling within and around me. It explains why everything feels wobbly, chaotic, uncertain, and downright crazy.

What to do when things are wobbling all around us? Remember the name of God, the texts tell us, with a constant prayer in your heart and a constant repetition of mantra on your lips. Looking for stability and balance? You will find it in the constant remembering of God’s name. Looking for clarity and courage to act with right speech and right action? You will find it in the constant prayer of your heart.

This turning of our hearts and minds towards the holy, towards beauty, goodness, and truth is not easy when hatred and blame are in the air. But the texts remind us that this is the sacred place where we find our balance and stability, and this is the sacred place where we find the clarity and strength for right action while the one-legged bull wobbles around us.

Scroll to Top