Duration/ 3 weeks
December 5, 12, 19
10am - noon Pacific
Registration closes at noon on November 27.
Before your mind starts to work and you want to run away, accept every moment as an opportunity presented to you to practice facing reality as it
— Dainin Katagiri
Mastering the art of paying attention is the foundation of training to be an awareness practitioner. To pay attention is to notice; to notice is to be aware. As a practice of awareness deepens, the very way we “see” is transformed. We begin to see Life as it is; we begin to see our self as we are, and gradually we come into the mysterious experience of awareness as Unconditional Love and Acceptance.
Between the banks of pain and pleasure the river of life flows. It is only when the mind refuses to flow with life, and gets stuck at the banks, that it becomes a problem. By flowing with life I mean acceptance, letting come what comes and go what goes.
— Sri Nisargadutta Maharaj
Acceptance is often confused with passivity or quietude. Even when we practice awareness, acceptance is “hard to grasp,” perhaps because it is so antithetical to the deep conditioning that prompts action from a place of something wrong. Encountering something that isn’t the way “I” thinks it should be means “I“ have to do something about it—fix it, change it, control it, ignore it! While we can intellectualize acceptance for some situations, it becomes a real spiritual conundrum when it is offered as a possible answer for how to be with the pain of watching one’s child suffer or deal with the impotence of a beloved dying or endure the despair of living in a world of planetary desecration, political indifference, and social injustice.
You have to be spiritual in order to truly be able to accept what the world is about.
— Mary Oliver.
In this email class, we tackle the practical and spiritual questions that arise regarding acceptance. What is acceptance? If it is not resignation or avoidance, if it isn’t the opposite of resistance or opposition, what is it? How is acceptance the bedrock of spiritual wisdom? How do we dissolve the illusory duality between acceptance and action? How do we apply the process of acceptance in the darkest depths of identification and pain?
The timing of this class may cause the voices to try to talk us out of participating. As we wrap up the daily practice support of the yearlong retreat and head into the holidays, we hope this email class will continue to be the thread of practice that sustains us through what traditionally can be a challenging time for many.
As with other recent email classes, the format includes recorded class assignments, individual submissions from all participants that are anonymously posted so we can benefit from everyone’s insight and process, general group responses from Practice, group processing in Sunday workshops, and, in this new iteration, Cheri’s individual responses to the first fifty submissions to each class.