Oakville Zen Meditation

#352: Unfolding the wings of acceptance by James Feb. 14 21

Unfolding the wings of acceptance

We often talk about mindfulness and leave out compassion. In today’s talk I will talk about acceptance and how mindfulness and compassion work together.

We create suffering when we are caught in the trance of life. We often don’t clearly recognize or feel, what is happening inside of us. Our view of who we are, becomes our narrative. This results in our heart becomes hardened and our view of who we are becomes narrow. We turn sharply against ourselves. We thus cause pain.

We begin to become free when we let go of our stories of what is wrong with us. Acceptance from the heart and mind is the essence of the spiritual life.

So, what is acceptance? ------ Genuine Acceptance?

Genuine acceptance is seeing clearly, by touching and holding our experiences with compassion, and mindfulness.

In Buddhism, mindfulness is being with what is, moment by moment, seeing it as it is.

Mindfulness is unconditional and open. Even if we wish the pain to go away. We cannot honestly accept an experience, unless we see clearly what we are accepting. It’s seeing and feeling the tingling in our body, the stress, the anxiety and recognizing all there is, without trying to manage the experience.

Compassion on the other hand is genuine acceptance. Compassion is the capacity to relate in a tender and sympathetic way to what we perceive. Instead of being or restricting pain. We embrace the pain with kindness, like a mother, holding a child.

Compassion honors our experience and allows us to be intimate to life as it unfolds. Its honoring acceptance and compassion. Its inseparable and essential in liberating us from the trance. The very nature of our awareness is to know what is happening. The nature of our heart is to care.

Genuine acceptance helps us heal and move on, free from the unconscious habits of self.

The prerequisite to true freedom is to decide that you do not want to suffer anymore, period.

One must decide that you want to enjoy your life, that there's no reason for stress, inner pain, or fear. We fear that we are not good enough and that we will fail. As a result, we experience insecurity anxiety and self-consciousness. We create pain.

We are either feeling it or we are protecting ourselves from feeling it. When Buddha said that all of life is suffering. This is what he was referring to.

People don’t realize how much they are suffering, like a fish in water, because they have not experienced what it is not to suffer. Compassion helps us cultivate our capacity to hold with kindness, painful or intense experiences that are arising within us.

In summary, we look at compassion, and mindfulness, like the two wings of a great bird. They are interdependent so they can allow the bird to fly. This is when we begin to touch with our hearts what is happening with clear and kind attention. This is where compassion and mindfulness join to create acceptance.

Thanks, James