Saturday, February 27, 2010

Acceptance Before Meditating

The flip side of suspending judgment involves learning to accept things just the way they are. You don’t necessarily have to like what you see, and you’re welcome to change it — but first you need to experience it fully and clearly, without the overlays of judgment and denial. For example, you may have lots of anger bubbling up, but you may believe that this particular emotion is bad or even evil, so you refuse to acknowledge it. In meditation, you have an opportunity to observe the anger just as it is —recurrent angry thoughts, waves of anger in the belly — without trying to change or get rid of it. (For more on meditating with challenging emotions and mind-states, see Chapter 11.) The more you welcome the full range of your experiences in this way, the more space you create inside yourself to contain them — and the more you defuse those old familiar conflicts between different parts of yourself.

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