We make experience belong to a “self.” When this becomes the core of our experience, we lose sight of the wholeness of life. All suffering or dissatisfaction arises from a mistaken understanding that we are a separate and distinct self. This self imprisons us in our desires and fears. This self often judges itself poorly and begins to develop a trance of unworthiness. So says Tara Brach, the author of “Radical Acceptance” which the Wednesday night class is studying.
Our release from this great story is to radically accept the experience of our life exactly as it is in this moment. This requires two things: awareness of what is happening and unconditional friendliness in accepting the human predicament. Clear seeing and compassion.
Tara Brach has terrifically practical ways for staying in the present moment and accepting life on life’s terms, which helps our freedom arise.
How do we do this?
1. The sacred pause: stop and breathe.
2. Name what you are aware of.
“I see you Mara,” the Buddha said.
Inquiry into “what is” with unconditional friendliness.
3. Go to the body sensation.
“Because with the thought, there’s also a sensation. You must not miss this root.” — Goenka.
Embodied presence awakens us from the trance.
4. Have compassion for the human predicament with all its ups and downs.
5. Say “yes” to our actual experience.
Let things come and let things go.
Invite all of our experience, good and bad, to Tea.
6. Noticing our desires or cravings as a universal experience and not personal.
Not getting lost in pursuit of substitutes for wholeness
7. Say, “This too.”
8. Notice the huge system of karma that produced this moment. This moment is not produced by an isolated “you.” To avert the shame that might arise when you think that “you caused everything,” say, “It’s not my fault, It’s never been my fault.”
9. Reconnect with the fullness of our being. “This moment is complete.”