Acceptance

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4 weeks 20 hours ago #117704 by Kate Gowen
Acceptance was created by Kate Gowen
Reality is a vast expanse, containing EVERYTHING— things seductive, invigorating, illuminating, provocative, antagonistic, deadly, and bewildering. And any sequence or combination of these characteristics, like the rainbow sheen on oily water under shifting lights.

What I post here are fragments of my “notes to self”, records of the flotsam and jetsam I’ve filled my mental pockets with as I’ve wandered my way.

Four shiny pebbles from the shores of “acceptance”—

Ramana Maharshi’s awakening story.
Overcome with the terror of death and his conviction that it was taking place, he lay and noted its progress, as each of the fragments of his identity fell away. Until only the irreducible light of awareness was left.

Much like the story of Gautama, having exhausted every yoga he had learned, sitting down under a tree. The morning star rose, neither because of nor in spite of his previous efforts— and who can say what part those efforts played in his seeing it.
In both cases, onlookers could see the transformation, and neither sage was keen to make claims.

An unusual poem of one of my bardic heroes, William Carlos Williams, containing the lines “that which I have suffered was for me to suffer…”

The story of a Zen lay teacher named Sonam, sought out by a despairing and struggling monk, after years of strenuous practice. “What can I do attain enlightenment?” he begged. 

“Respond to everyone you meet, “Thank you for everything you have given me. I have no complaints whatsoever.” she said. “Practice thus for a year, and come back to me.”

A year later, the monk returned. “I did what you said,” he complained, “and it didn’t work! I still haven’t attained enlightenment, and I’m less at peace than ever!”
”Thank you for everything you have given me,” replied Sonam. “I have no complaints whatsoever.”

Hearing this, the monk’s mind was opened and he was at peace.

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4 weeks 20 hours ago #117705 by Shargrol
Replied by Shargrol on topic Acceptance
From the book Inner Game of Tennis, one of my favorite not-dharma dharma books ( The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey — Book Summary, Notes, and Takeaways — Dickie Bush )

The new relationship to be established with ourselves must be based on the maxim “Trust thyself.”

The trick is not to identify with the backhand. If you view an erratic backhand as a reflection of who you are, you will be upset. But you are not your backhand any more than a parent is his child. If a mother identifies with every fall of her child and takes personal pride in its every success, her self-image will be as unstable as her child’s balance.

Don’t I need someone to tell me how to do it? If I’ve never played tennis before, can I just go out on the court and ‘let it happen’?” The answer is: if your body knows how to hit a forehand, then just let it happen; if it doesn’t, then let it learn.

and

The difference between being concerned about winning and being concerned about making the effort to win may seem subtle, but in the effect there is a great difference.

Thus, for the player of the Inner Game, it is the moment-by-moment effort to let go and to stay centered in the here-and-now action which offers the real winning and losing, and this game never ends.

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4 weeks 17 hours ago #117710 by Ona Kiser
Replied by Ona Kiser on topic Acceptance
I love these! Thanks!

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4 weeks 16 hours ago - 4 weeks 15 hours ago #117712 by Kate Gowen
Replied by Kate Gowen on topic Acceptance
A mother shiny pebble—
(interesting Freudian typo for “another”)


The Third Patriarch of Zen Verses on the Faith Mind

”The Great Way is not difficult 
for those who have no preferences. 
When love and hate are both absent 
everything becomes clear and undisguised. 
Make the smallest distinction, however, 
and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart. 

If you wish to see the truth 
then hold no opinions for or against anything. 
To set up what you like against what you dislike 
is the disease of the mind. 
When the deep meaning of things is not understood, 
the mind's essential peace is disturbed to no avail. 

The Way is perfect like vast space 
where nothing is lacking and nothing in excess. 
Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject 
that we do not see the true nature of things. 

Live neither in the entanglements of outer things, 
nor in inner feelings of emptiness. 
Be serene in the oneness of things and such 
erroneous views will disappear by themselves. 

When you try to stop activity by passivity 
your very effort fills you with activity. 
As long as you remain in one extreme or the other 
you will never know Oneness. 

Those who do not live in the single Way 
fail in both activity and passivity, 
assertion and denial. 
To deny the reality of things 
is to miss their reality; 
To assert the emptiness of things 
is to miss their reality. 

The more you talk and think about it, 
the further astray you wander from the truth. 
Stop talking and thinking, 
and there is nothing you will not be able to know. 

To return to the root is to find meaning, 
but to pursue appearances is to miss the source. 
At the moment of inner enlightenment 
there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness. 
The changes that appear to occur in the empty world 
we call real only because of our ignorance. 

Do not search for the truth; 
only cease to cherish opinions. 
do not remain in the dualistic state. 
Avoid such pursuits carefully. 
If there is even a trace of this and that, 
of right and wrong, 
the mind-essence will be lost in confusion. 

Although all dualities come from the One, 
do not be attached even to this One. 
When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way, 
nothing in the world can offend. 
And when a thing can no longer offend, 
it ceases to exist in the old way. 

When no discriminating thoughts arise, 
the old mind ceases to exist. 
When thought objects vanish, 
the thinking-subject vanishes: 
As when the mind vanishes, objects vanish. 

Things are objects because of the subject (mind): 
the mind (subject) is such because of things (object). 
Understand the relativity of these two 
and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness. 
In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable 
and each contains in itself the whole world. 
If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine 
you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion. 

To live in the Great Way is neither easy nor difficult. 
But those with limited views are fearful and irresolute: 
the faster they hurry, the slower they go. 
And clinging (attachment) cannot be limited: 
Even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment 
is to go astray. 
Just let things be in their own way 
and there will be neither coming not going. 
Obey the nature of things (your own nature) 
and you will walk freely and undisturbed. 

When the thought is in bondage the truth is hidden 
for everything is murky and unclear. 
And the burdensome practice of judging 
brings annoyance and weariness. 
What benefit can be derived 
from distinctions and separations? 

If you wish to move in the One Way 
do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas. 
Indeed, to accept them fully 
is identical with enlightenment. 

The wise man strives to no goals 
but the foolish man fetters himself. 

There is one Dharma, not many. 
Distinctions arise 
from the clinging needs of the ignorant. 
To seek Mind with the (discriminating) mind 
is the greatest of all mistakes. 

Rest and unrest derive from illusion; 
with enlightenment 
there is no liking and disliking. 
All dualities come from ignorant inference. 
They are like dreams or flowers in air - 
foolish to try to grasp them. 
Gain and loss, right and wrong, 
such thoughts must 
finally be abolished at once. 

If the eye never sleeps, 
all dreams will naturally cease. 
If the mind makes no discriminations, 
the ten thousand things are as they are, 
of single essence. 
To understand the mystery of this One-essence 
is to be released from all entanglements. 
When all things are seen equally 
the timeless Self-essence is reached, 
No comparisons or analogies are possible 
in this causeless, relationless state. 
Consider movement stationary 
and the stationary in motion, 
both movement and rest disappear. 
When such dualities cease to exist 
Oneness itself cannot exist. 
To this ultimate finality 
no law or description applies. 

For the unified mind in accord with the way 
all self-centered striving ceases. 
Doubts and irresolutions vanish 
and life in true faith is possible. 
With a single stroke we are freed from bondage: 
Nothing clings to us and we hold to nothing. 

All is empty, clear, self-illuminating, 
with no exertion of the mind's power. 
Here thought, feeling, 
knowledge and imagination are of no value. 

In this world of suchness 
there is neither self nor other-than-self. 
To come directly into harmony with this reality 
just say when doubt rises "not two". 
In this "not two" nothing is separate, 
nothing is excluded. 

No matter when or where, 
enlightenment means entering this truth. 
And this truth is beyond extension 
or diminution in time and space: 
In it a single thought is ten thousand years. 

Emptiness here, emptiness there, 
but the infinite universe 
stands always before your eyes. 
Infinitely large and infinitely small; 
no difference, for definitions have vanished 
and no boundaries are seen. 

So too with Being and non-Being. 
Don't waste time in doubts and arguments 
That have nothing to do with this. 

One thing, all things, 
move among and intermingle without distinction. 
To live in this realization 
is to be without anxiety about non-perfection. 
To live in this faith is the road to non-duality, 
because the non-dual is one with the trusting mind. 

Words! 
The Way is beyond language, 
for in it there is  
no yesterday 
no tomorrow 
no today. “


Translated from the Chinese by Richard B. Clarke
Last edit: 4 weeks 15 hours ago by Kate Gowen. Reason: Noticed a typo

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4 weeks 15 hours ago #117716 by Shargrol
Replied by Shargrol on topic Acceptance
so good, in so many ways

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4 weeks 13 hours ago - 4 weeks 13 hours ago #117717 by microbuddha
Replied by microbuddha on topic Acceptance
If it is better for me to be ill,Give me the energy to be ill.
If it is better for me to recover,Give me the energy to recover.
If it is better for me to die,Give me the energy to die.

- Tokme Zonpo
Last edit: 4 weeks 13 hours ago by microbuddha.

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4 weeks 3 hours ago #117725 by Tom Otvos
Replied by Tom Otvos on topic Acceptance
You had me with "The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences".

-- tomo

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4 weeks 2 hours ago #117726 by Shargrol
Replied by Shargrol on topic Acceptance
Just as an anecdote, Hokai quoted me that line and then continued “… but we have preferences, so it’s difficult.” :)

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4 weeks 1 hour ago #117728 by Philip Stone
Replied by Philip Stone on topic Acceptance

To return to the root is to find meaning, 
but to pursue appearances is to miss the source. 
At the moment of inner enlightenment 
there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness. 
The changes that appear to occur in the empty world 
we call real only because of our ignorance. 

speaks to me at the moment. 

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4 weeks 1 hour ago #117729 by Ona Kiser
Replied by Ona Kiser on topic Acceptance
@Philip - I was taken by "Thank you, sir, may I have another" - I mean, "Thank you for everything, I have no complaints." :D

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4 weeks 1 hour ago #117731 by Philip Stone
Replied by Philip Stone on topic Acceptance

Ona Kiser wrote: @Philip - I was taken by "Thank you, sir, may I have another" - I mean, "Thank you for everything, I have no complaints." :D

More Zen whacks please!

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3 weeks 6 days ago #117739 by Kate Gowen
Replied by Kate Gowen on topic Acceptance
For some inexplicable reason, after I posted that, the next “greatest hit” I remembered was from Master Cohen—
https://youtu.be/DngaLm5fAvk

(there are millions of ways to stop the mind)

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3 weeks 6 days ago - 3 weeks 6 days ago #117740 by Kate Gowen
Replied by Kate Gowen on topic Acceptance
“ The light came through the window
Straight from the sun above
And so inside my little room
There plunged the rays of love
In streams of light I clearly saw
The dust you seldom see
Out of which the nameless makes
A name for one like me
I’ll try to say a little more
Love went on and on
Until it reached an open door –
Then love itself
Love itself was gone
All busy in the sunlight
The flecks did float and dance
And I was tumbled up with them
In formless circumstance
I’ll try to say a little more
Love went on and on
Until it reached an open door –
Then love itself
Love itself was gone
Then I came back from where I'd been
My room, it looked the same –
But there was nothing left between
The nameless and the name
(Nameless and the name)
All busy in the sunlight
The flecks did float and dance
And I was tumbled up with them
In formless circumstance
I’ll try to say a little more
Love went on and on
Until it reached an open door –
Then love itself
Love itself was gone
Love itself
love itself was gone”
Last edit: 3 weeks 6 days ago by Kate Gowen. Reason: Correct line breaks

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3 weeks 6 days ago #117742 by Kate Gowen
Replied by Kate Gowen on topic Acceptance
“Acceptance” doesn’t imply passive quietism.

When we are offered gifts, it is up to us to accept them. Or not.
Of course, the first skill required is to recognize what’s on offer.

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3 weeks 6 days ago #117749 by microbuddha
Replied by microbuddha on topic Acceptance
thanks for starting this nice thread, Kate. 

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3 weeks 6 days ago #117750 by Kate Gowen
Replied by Kate Gowen on topic Acceptance
My pleasure.
Everyone is invited.

Hmm.
Invitations are another thing we accept.
or not.

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3 weeks 6 days ago - 3 weeks 6 days ago #117753 by Philip Stone
Replied by Philip Stone on topic Acceptance
The Killers - Human (Official Music Video) - YouTube

I did my best to notice
When the call came down the line
Up to the platform of surrender
I was brought, but I was kind
And sometimes I get nervous
When I see an open door
Close your eyes
Clear your heart
Cut the cord

Are we human
Or are we dancer?
My sign is vital
My hands are cold
And I'm on my knees
Looking for the answer
Are we human
Or are we dancer?

Pay my respects to grace and virtue
Send my condolences to good
Give my regards to soul and romance
They always did the best they could
And so long to devotion
You taught me everything I know
Wave goodbye
Wish me well
You've gotta let me go

Are we human
Or are we dancer?
My sign is vital
My hands are cold
And I'm on my knees
Looking for the answer
Are we human
Or are we dancer?

Will your system be alright
When you dream of home tonight?
There is no message we're receiving
Let me know, is your heart still beating?

Are we human
Or are we dancer?
My sign is vital
My hands are cold
And I'm on my knees
Looking for the answer

You've gotta let me know

Are we human
Or are we dancer?
My sign is vital
My hands are cold
And I'm on my knees
Looking for the answer

Are we human
Or are we dancer?
Are we human
Or are we dancer?
Are we human
Or are we dancer?
Last edit: 3 weeks 6 days ago by Philip Stone.

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3 weeks 6 days ago #117762 by Kate Gowen
Replied by Kate Gowen on topic Acceptance
Ooh, I like this.

Reflecting on my personal trajectory, I think “thus have I heard” could serve as the tag line. The poetry and the stories and the music that caught my ear and became part of how I see and interact with the world.

For a while , a couple of decades ago, I was hearing Dylan Thomas’ line, “Hands of the strangers  and holds of the ships— bring you poison or grapes?” like a self-repeating koan.

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3 weeks 6 days ago #117764 by Chris Marti
Replied by Chris Marti on topic Acceptance
The importance of poetry, wonder, and curiosity is a vastly under-rated part of the dharma. Thanks for starting this topic, Kate.

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3 weeks 5 days ago - 3 weeks 5 days ago #117768 by Kate Gowen
Replied by Kate Gowen on topic Acceptance
VERSE 2 - TAO TE CHING
When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.
Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.
Therefore the Master acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she lets them go.
She has but doesn't possess,
acts but doesn't expect.
When her work is done, she forgets it.
That is why it lasts forever.

2nd Verse - Tao Te Ching
Stephen Mitchell translation 
Last edit: 3 weeks 5 days ago by Kate Gowen. Reason: Correct line breaks

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