Acceptance and Rejection
- In many of the traditions
that include meditation
or sitting quietly, there is
the instruction to just
accept what is happening
while you are practicing
This reference is to both
internal and external noise;
sounds from outside and
internal chatter from inside.
To simply allow what is
happening rather than
struggling with it and
as though the noise
were an intrusion or
distraction, is to more
easily maintain the
inner quiet out of which
the many benefits of
A suggestion is to be of
the mindset, as you enter
meditation, that any noise
you experience will deepen
your meditation. This simple
choice will not only allow
you to experience a ringing
of the telephone, or a quick
reflection on something you
need to take care of later, as
beneficial to your meditation,
it will keep you from a
negative energy impact
At some point in meditation,
a sense of dread or fear
may (and according to many
reports does) arise. This is
the ego-identification (as we
popularly use the term), our
socially coerced and limited
sense of self that seeks to
preserve its dominance by
"protecting" us. And while
the rational, logical
abilities do protect us in
great part, when we shifted
our entire identity to
a thinking machine, we
suffered a disconnect
and accepted a limited
view and experience of life.
This ego tactic makes its
appearance at the threshold
of awakening (enlightenment)
and a return to natural
enlightenment - the natural
awareness of being that we
brought into the world.
If our commitment, our
mission in meditation, is
awakening to, returning to
our natural enlightenment,
we will resist and reject
Though misinterpreted by
some, the sense of dread
or fear (or even a feeling of
impending death), is what
is sometimes referred to
in Zen as "the stench of
enlightenment". It is not
that enlightenment stinks.
It is the ego-identification,
the false self, the little self
that fears annihilation, that
feels (smells) the stench
of enlightenment. And the
more invested one is in
intellect and logic and
rational thinking as "all
there is", the greater the
stench. Those so invested
find claims of personal
because it threatens to
dethrone their intellect
from its lofty ivory tower.
The idea that there is
"enlightenment", that a
sudden and surprising
wisdom can come like
a thunderbolt and brilliant
light (enlightenment) is
repugnant to them because
it would mean that there
is "something" greater
and grander than they are
as an individual in their
limited ego-identified being.
Equally misinterpreted by
the effete intellectual "teachers"
who parrot fuzzy philosophies
is the concept of "Acceptance".
Acceptance of what "IS", while
good advise, is not the end
product, it is part of the process.
For those who are responding
to an intuitive stirring that
there is something more, some
sacred and divine "place"
that is calling them to return,
and especially those who are
in despair, "acceptance" is
not the answer. That would
only mean more despair.
If there is a darkness (dark
thoughts of despair) in our life,
then hope for light (enlightenment)
is something to be pursued.
Those who have come from
despair into enlightenment
can offer authentic testimony
and encouragement, not bland
prescriptions of acceptance.
Acceptance is process, as
is meditation. At their supreme
summit is enlightenment.
All is well. And this can
be directly experience.
So, you can accept or reject
this little visit to the pulpit,
or satsang seat, from your
friendly neighborhood guru.
- Interesting post, Jeff,
> A suggestion is to be ofI've read of this technique used
> the mindset, as you enter
> meditation, that any noise
> you experience will deepen
> your meditation. This simple
> choice will not only allow
> you to experience a ringing
> of the telephone, or a quick
> reflection on something you
> need to take care of later, as
> beneficial to your meditation,
> it will keep you from a
> negative energy impact
for hypnobirthing. Essentially,
that one becomes more and more
relaxed with each "surge" (as
they call contractions). Mommas
who practice this can wind up
pretty well blissed out by the
time the baby comes.
I've also used this to recover
quickly from injuries, telling
myself that with every sensation
of pain or panic, I become more
and more relaxed and the wound
heals faster and better.
> At some point in meditation,Yea, like the other day, when
> a sense of dread or fear
> may (and according to many
> reports does) arise. This is
> the ego-identification (as we
> popularly use the term), our
> socially coerced and limited
> sense of self that seeks to
> preserve its dominance by
> "protecting" us. And while
> the rational, logical
> abilities do protect us in
> great part, when we shifted
> our entire identity to
> a thinking machine, we
> suffered a disconnect
> and accepted a limited
> view and experience of life.
I nearly cut the tip of my thumb
off (remains to be seen if I did
or not). I had a bit of dread and
fear, mainly based on my identification
with the tip of my thumb and my
notion that I like to keep all my
body parts attached. But you know,
it was my thinking machine in the
end that kept me from losing it
entirely - rationalization came to
the rescue when I decided that if
I only lose that much of the tip,
I could still accept that. What is
that Timbuk 3 song where the singers,
not long before losing their careers
to joint heroin addictions, sang about
how humans can get used to most anything?
Reminds me of Job. Just how much can you
lose and still feel like, yea, this'll do.
> This ego tactic makes its:) Oh Jeff, the image that comes
> appearance at the threshold
> of awakening (enlightenment)
> and a return to natural
> enlightenment - the natural
> awareness of being that we
> brought into the world.
> If our commitment, our
> mission in meditation, is
> awakening to, returning to
> our natural enlightenment,
> we will resist and reject
> this tactic.
> Though misinterpreted by
> some, the sense of dread
> or fear (or even a feeling of
> impending death), is what
> is sometimes referred to
> in Zen as "the stench of
> enlightenment". It is not
> that enlightenment stinks.
> It is the ego-identification,
> the false self, the little self
> that fears annihilation, that
> feels (smells) the stench
> of enlightenment. And the
> more invested one is in
> intellect and logic and
> rational thinking as "all
> there is", the greater the
> stench. Those so invested
> find claims of personal
> enlightenment repugnant,
> because it threatens to
> dethrone their intellect
> from its lofty ivory tower.
to mind is from the biography of
Addison Mizner, a man who came to
be well-known for his early 20th c.
architecture in Florida. He had
injured his shin as a child, and lain
in bed with infection for a long time.
You know what happened in that case,
at that time. Yep, the doctor came,
lanced the infection, and let loose
something I won't describe, except
to say it hit the ceiling. Pee-yew.
Your profound to my profane, ;).
> The idea that there isHmm. That's worth submitting to the
> "enlightenment", that a
> sudden and surprising
> wisdom can come like
> a thunderbolt and brilliant
> light (enlightenment) is
> repugnant to them because
> it would mean that there
> is "something" greater
> and grander than they are
> as an individual in their
> limited ego-identified being.
> Equally misinterpreted by
> the effete intellectual "teachers"
> who parrot fuzzy philosophies
> is the concept of "Acceptance".
> Acceptance of what "IS", while
> good advise, is not the end
> product, it is part of the process.
> For those who are responding
> to an intuitive stirring that
> there is something more, some
> sacred and divine "place"
> that is calling them to return,
> and especially those who are
> in despair, "acceptance" is
> not the answer. That would
> only mean more despair.
> If there is a darkness (dark
> thoughts of despair) in our life,
> then hope for light (enlightenment)
> is something to be pursued.
Recently there was a posting on one
of my yoga lists from a woman who
was pregnant, unable to practice yoga
as much as she had become accustomed,
and experiencing the resurgance of a
great many old feelings of anxiety and
depression that she thought she had
taken care to vanquish. The curious
thing is, that while her practice of
yoga managed to quiet her mind and
make things feel more 'acceptable',
it clearly wasn't addressing the roots
of those feelings. Pregnancy has a way
of stirring those old feelings, anyway,
and then to not have the yoga practice
to 'mute' them as they arise, well, she
was quite distraught thinking she was
doing something 'wrong'. Turns out, this
is a great opportunity for her not to
just 'sit and observe' her feelings until
they get tired and submerge again, but
to learn to express them and get to know
them and their origins better. That's a
deeper form of acceptance. Not just that
you accept a pain, but that you can be
strong enough to understand it.
To change contexts, you can think of this
pain as a person. What is acceptance?
It is quite a curiousity to me when I see
people calling each other sister, brother,
telling each other 'I love you' in a sort
of all-inclusive way, as in, 'I love everyone,
dude'. What is it they are loving? More
likely than not, they are loving the idea of
loving. What do they know and accept about
the person they profess to love? Do they love
their anger? Do they love their bad habits?
It is one thing to get blissed out and happy
about a somewhat contrived feeling of unity
with another person, it is another to operate
closely with that person, to come to know
them more fully, and still accept the burden
of relating with them. That's the work of
> Those who have come fromThat's a pretty precise turn of words:
> despair into enlightenment
> can offer authentic testimony
> and encouragement, not bland
> prescriptions of acceptance.
bland prescription of acceptance. Fits closely
with what I was trying to describe above.