I have been working a lot with acceptance lately. From a professional standpoint, the members at the weekly sit requested a session with the practice of RAIN, or the meditation on acceptance created by Tara Brach, then I modeled the RAIN practice when I was teaching on the MBLC Teaching Skills retreat and I will be giving a teaching on acceptance and RAIN in Poland this weekend. However, I have also been working with acceptance in my personal life.
I mean the reality is that acceptance comes into every and any given moment, and it is my ability to accept the moment that decides whether I am at peace or not. For it is in the resistance that struggle and discomfort arises.
Thankfully, my external environment has become quite stable and a wonderful place to be. Earlier in the summer, I was not only globe-trotting, but getting ready to move house: one of the most stressful things one can go through. There was this strong sense that I was straddling all sorts of worlds. However, I am now settled into my new house and have found myself landing into this new place of non-straddle. I am here. I have arrived.
But what does that mean? Does that mean that all will be sunshine and rainbows? Does that mean that all of my problems or imagined problems fade away with these new walls?
The answer is quite simply no.
In fact, what I have discovered is that when all the dust settles, and the distraction of ‘doing’ or ‘moving’ fades away, I am left with the quiet, and in the quiet I can hear and see all of those delicious, destructive thoughts that can colour my experience- like ‘I miss my family in Canada’; ‘Man, it always rains in this country’; ‘How am I going to get through the stress of the ‘back to school’ moment with the kids?’ etc…
These thoughts don’t go away because I have landed- they just become a bit more louder in the quiet.
So how can I move towards simply being with them?
I can Recognise them: maybe even name them.. Allow them to be part of my present moment experience: turn towards them…spend some time giving them Intimate attention or getting to know the thoughts, emotions and sensations that make up this melody of discomfort… and then acknowledge that, actually, they are only a part of my experience. Or, I spend some time Non-identifying: coming to the understanding that they will pass, and that there is more to me than these worries.
Through the practice of RAIN, I have been able to sit through some moments of sadness, excitement, worry and impatience. All of this happening in the landing.
This week’s challenge is to see what it might feel like to apply this acronym of RAIN to your own moments of challenge. Can you move towards, RECOGNISING, ALLOWING, spending some time in INTIMATE ATTENTION, and NON-IDENTIFICATION?
What happens when you move through the process of acceptance? How does it affect your moment to moment living?
Let us know how you get on!