Posts Tagged ‘acceptance
Sometimes my quiet time surprises me – like when I observe what arises in the silence and realize that I’m attached to the feelings that are standing before me – up in my face as if to say “What about this Bitch?!”. And then that’s where it ends. No enlightenment. No “letting go”. No “moving on”. No flow. Just “here I am”. Me and my feeling – going nowhere fast.
I like what Sharon writes below about living in a world where we still speak out; we take action – but not without also paying attention to ourselves, listening from a place of acceptance and nonjudgment about our own feelings. Because unless I do this first, how can I ever be in a place to acknowledge someone else with all their varied feelings and perspectives?
If I cannot acknowledge and accept the darker side of myself and am always in a rush to change it “quickly” without listening to it – then I’m doomed to rush others and not accept where they are. I’ll never listen to them.
Kindness and Understanding begin at home. Cultivating a compassionate listening ear begins with the Self. There is no sense in speaking out unless you can also listen to yourself first. Why bother even trying to listen to another without doing this step, cause you’ll never even hear them.
– Sharon Salzberg writes:Mindfulness enables us to cultivate a different quality of attention, one where we relate to what we see before us not just as an echo of the past, or a foreshadowing of the future, but more as it is right now.
Making the effort to truly see someone doesn’t mean we never respond or react or take very strong action. . .
We can and do attempt to restore a failing marriage, protest loud cell phones in public places, or try, with everything in us, to rectify Injustice.
But we can do it from a place that allows people to be as textured as they are, and that admits our feelings to be as varied and flowing as they are. A place open to surprises. A place that listens. . .
If you don’t get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don’t want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can’t hold on to it forever.
Your mind is your predicament.
It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death.
But change is a law, and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.
The universe is sacred. You cannot improve it. If you try to change it, you will ruin it. If you try to hold it, you will lose it. (from Tao Quotes)
Such great words for me. This captures a snapshot of my place of “letting go” .
Sitting still and going beyond mind – touching the place of grace – this void is almost always sweet for me (even if the process of getting there appears bitter sometimes).
In some ways this is the easy part.
Easy in that, I get wrapped up in my day to day shit. I do my stress over paperwork at the office, client issues, talking story with friends, car repairs, medical bills, traffic, the news . . .blah blah blah. Sitting lets everything just be.
It is the other practice, when I am not sitting, that is more difficult (although less so than 10 years ago – yay for discipline – and the gifts of compassion and kindness in my life).
This other practice is “mindfulness”. It is a moment to moment “letting go” and letting things be as they are – as I engage with my perception of things as they arise. Being with the paperwork, issues, friends, traffic, etc – and less so than with my perception, less attached to my judgments of these things. It is a breath that softens the hard and tight places within me. It is the wonderful insignificance in what “I think”.
I call this place in my life – Grace.
And for this I am thankful.
I have been privileged enough to have some great people and opportunities in my life to practice and develop a sense of self kindness. I cannot express more, how I wish that everyone has the chance to practice self compassion. It has made such a difference not only on how I view myself, but also on how I see the the world and treat others. It has been life changing.
I’ve got a ways to go yet in cultivating this stance; however, I am so grateful for what has awakened in me thus far.
Here’s a post from Tricycle on the subject:
Open Yourself to Yourself
When you don’t punish or condemn yourself, when you relax more and appreciate your body and mind, you begin to contact the fundamental notion of basic goodness in yourself. So it is extremely important to be willing to open yourself to yourself. Developing tenderness toward yourself allows you to see both your problems and your potential accurately. You don’t feel that you have to ignore your problems or exaggerate your potential. That kind of gentleness toward yourself and appreciation of yourself is very necessary. It provides the ground for helping yourself and others.
Chögyam Trungpa, The Sanity We Are Born With (Shambhala Publications)
Someone asked me about why I practice meditative processes such as sitting and mindfulness when things in life don’t really change, don’t get better or worse – that to live is always having to deal with the good, the bad and the ugly. His question reminded me of Albert Camus’ take on the Myth of Sisyphus where Sisyphus pushes a boulder up the mountain only to have it role back down in which he begins the task again. The ability to embrace the absurdity of life as it is, according to Camus – allows a sense of freedom (btw, I am not an existentialist – I just find value in some of its teaching)
Camus is interested in Sisyphus’ thoughts when marching down the mountain, to start anew. This is the truly tragic moment, when the hero becomes conscious of his wretched condition. He does not have hope, but “[t]here is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” Acknowledging the truth will conquer it; Sisyphus, just like the absurd man, keeps pushing. Camus claims that when Sisyphus acknowledges the futility of his task and the certainty of his fate, he is freed to realize the absurdity of his situation and to reach a state of contented acceptance. Camus concludes that “all is well,” indeed, that “One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” (taken from Wikipedia)
Meditation practice for me has in its beginnings an acceptance of the absurd, which is at the same time a “letting go”. It is being present with the boulder as I push it up the hill or aware of my thoughts and feeling as I watch it roll back down. Not dwelling on past walks up the mountain or future walks down. I don’t see certain forms of existentialism as pessimisstic; I find their views kind of honest and refreshing and a nice counter balance to pollyana optimism (although there are time I embrace the latter too).
Daily – I am NOT present. I get lost. I resist against the task of the boulder. So I meditate. Here is a passage from Thubten Chodron, from Taming the Mind (Snow Lion) that explains the task of meditation for me . . .
The Value of the Present Moment
Recognizing that past turmoil and future rhapsodies are projections of our mind prevents us from getting stuck in them. Just as the face in the mirror is not a real face, the objects of our memories and daydreams are likewise unreal. They are not happening now; they are simply mental images flickering in the mind.
Reflecting on the value of our precious human life also minimizes our habit of ruminating. Our wondrous potential becomes clear, and the rarity and value of the present opportunity shines forth. Who wants to ruminate about the past and future when we can do so much good and progress spiritually in the present.