Those who have read many of my words know that I often talk about accepting what is. It’s the Zen idea of accepting reality (what is). In so doing, life gets easier. And one more time let me quote Buddha: “It is your resistance to what is (reality) that causes your suffering.”
We resist the way someone else is, and get upset by their actions or inactions, their words or deeds. Just when I think I have learned this lesson, I seem to come face-to-face with a new test, often resulting in some form of suffering. Someday, I am going to “get it.”
If every time you touch a hot stove, you burn your finger, eventually, if you have any intelligence at all, you will learn to stop touching hot stoves. The idea is to learn through love and wisdom, not through pain.
And if the base premise of accepting what is were not difficult enough to deal with, there is a lot more to the concept that I do not normally communicate. Accepting what is, is a matter of living in reality -- not in a world of assumptions, interpretations, judgments or conclusions.
To live in reality allows you to become aware of what you want and don’t want. You would no longer get together with friends out of any feeling of obligation -- only because you would truly enjoy the time shared. You would not allow what someone else thinks to keep you doing what you are drawn to do.
In her book, “If The Buddha Got Stuck,” Charlotte Kasl, Ph.D. says, “When we live in reality we simply hear what people are saying without adding or subtracting any interpretations or meanings. We take note of those nagging feelings that say, ‘don’t do it,’ or the bright feelings that say, ‘why not, it could be a great adventure.’ If someone is harming us, we don’t make up excuses or reasons; we see the harm. Conversely, we also are open to the incredible care, beauty, kindness, and love that is all around us.
“Being in reality helps us make wise decisions about jobs, relationships and lifestyle changes, as well as all the little decisions that pepper our lives. We feel an internal resonator instead of a critic and censor. Rather than being confused by thoughts such as, ‘I don’t deserve something so good,’ or ‘What will my parents think?’ we ask ‘Is this job realistic for me, does it fit with my relationships, my goals, desired lifestyle?’ It feels much simpler.”
Living in reality is also a positive force for loving relationships. Krishnamurti says that when we look at each other without the barriers and screens of our prejudices we come into true communion with each other -- heart, mind, and spirit.
If you want something new to happen in your life, look at life without the filters and accept what really is. Kasl says, “You can ignite the spark of fresh ideas and aliveness within your body when you step out of the shadow of the past. You take off a veil of tired old reactions and patterns and step into the reality of the moment. It might be to see unhappiness; it might be to see a new possibility or realize someone cares about you. It will definitely broaden your view and free you to experience awe and wonder at this incredible universe.”