A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Countdown To Christmas (8): Acceptance

On the Buddhist path from 'dukkha' (pain, suffering, anger, conflict, craving and other afflictive states)) to 'nirvana' (peace of mind, freedom from 'dukkha') you arrive at a stage of acceptance...

... acceptance of the mystery, of the unanswerable questions...

Everybody's wonderin' what and where they all came from.
Everybody's worryin' 'bout where they're gonna go when the whole thing's done.
But no one knows for certain and so it's all the same to me.
I think I'll just let the mystery be...

Iris Dement: Let The Mystery Be

... and acceptance of the self (which goes hand in hand with knowledge of the self)...

One finds that no matter how sincere one's intention to be attentive and aware, the mind rebels against such instructions and races off to indulge in all manner of distractions, memories and fantasies....The comforting illusion of personal coherence and continuity is ripped away to expose only fragmentary islands of consciousness separated by yawning gulfs of unawareness....The first step in this practice of mindful awareness is radical self-acceptance.

Such self-acceptance, however, does not operate in an ethical vacuum, where no moral assessment is made of one's emotional states. The training in mindful awareness is part of a Buddhist path with values and goals. Emotional states are evaluated according to whether they increase or decrease the potential for suffering. If an emotion, such as hatred or envy, is judged to be destructive, then it is simply recognized as such. It is neither expressed through violent thoughts, words or deeds, nor is it suppressed or denied as incompatiable with a 'spiritual' life. In seeing it for what it is - a transient emotional state - one mindfully observes it follow its own nature: to arise, abide for a while, and then pass away.

Stephen Batchelor: The Awakening Of The West

... and Taoism teaches us awareness and acceptance of the all-encompassing, inexpressible unity of the Tao...

The Tao is like a well:
used but never used up.
It is like the eternal void:
filled with infinite possibilities.

It is hidden but always present.
I don't know who gave birth to it.
It is older than God.

Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching

1 comment:

am said...

Iris Dement and friends are wonderful! A magical mystery song for December.