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Acceptance and Rejection

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  • Jeff Belyea
    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
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 9, 2004
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      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
      meditation.

      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
      engaging emotionally,
      as though the noise
      were an intrusion or
      distraction, is to more
      easily maintain the
      inner quiet out of which
      the many benefits of
      meditation come.

      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
      (reaction).

      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
      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.

      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.

      (ΓΌ)
    • Nina
      Interesting post, Jeff, ... I ve read of this technique used for hypnobirthing. Essentially, that one becomes more and more relaxed with each surge (as they
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 9, 2004
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        Interesting post, Jeff,


        > 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
        > (reaction).

        I've read of this technique used
        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,
        > 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.

        Yea, like the other day, when
        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
        > 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.

        :) Oh Jeff, the image that comes
        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 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.

        Hmm. That's worth submitting to the
        thinking machine.

        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
        enlightenment.

        > Those who have come from
        > despair into enlightenment
        > can offer authentic testimony
        > and encouragement, not bland
        > prescriptions of acceptance.

        That's a pretty precise turn of words:
        bland prescription of acceptance. Fits closely
        with what I was trying to describe above.

        Nina
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