“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” Lao Tzu
All nice words, Mr. Tzu, but in practice it takes a tad more to accept that what is. You and me, just like most everyone around us, we were brought up to be resilient, not to quit, to keep on fighting. While this is a possible way of going through life, there are several other possibilities. One is acceptance.
Too many times, when faced with a situation we have the tendency to either fight it, run from it or make something good out of it. All these are ways of avoiding to be with the situation at the very moment, assess it and accept it for what is. Acceptance opens up a number of opportunities. Once you stop resisting or trying to find a solution or transform the current situation, all the focus goes into seeing what else is there that has not yet been acknowledged.
Three paths to acceptance through meditation:
In meditation, we start the session with finding a comfortable sitting position. And from there on, we act as an empty box. We do not create the experience, we do not long or expect anything. We just enjoy the present moment and whatever happens is the right thing to happen. In the beginning, this idea might not be fully embraced. You might think there is something you must achieve, relaxation at least if nothing else. Well, there isn’t. When you stop looking for things or waiting for experiences; when you just give into the present moment and breathe, you understand that whatever happens, happens and that is all there is.
Many people ask “when will I be calm and without thoughts?” Whenever, seems the appropriate answer. Many of us smile in disbelief upon hearing this. We try so hard to control, to manage, to plan, to strategize that this behaviour becomes our norm. When asked to just be and accept, we are confused. In the meditation experience, we are not active through our will, but by slowly letting fade any desire to achieve anything whatsoever. Whenever this stillness of the mind happens, it happens.
What is the better way? Is there a path to that deep inner place of serenity and peace? Is there a receipt, some steps to follow? How can I get there? However. This is not to say that the goal justifies the means. It is to say there are no means. The mere goal is being. Being peace, being love, being acceptance.
Acceptance is the path, not the end. Be present in every moment and see the situations for their reality, for what they are in that very moment, not for what they should, could or you’d like them to be.