Some of the best work I've ever done is choosing to do nothing.
- Beth Hemmila
In challenging situations, choosing radical acceptance can feel like sitting in the middle of a fire being burned alive. I don't know if everyone feels these intense sensations, but when confronted by uncomfortable circumstances, one of the most difficult things for me to do is to sit still, do nothing, and remain emotionally, physically, and mentally present.
I've been practicing this choice of staying put in the safety of my home. In a meditative state, I intentionally recall challenging situations from my past and sit with the discomfort, imagining I'm being burned alive and doing nothing.
The other day I had an insight while sitting in the middle of my imaginary fire -- there is natural sense of ease within the pain of this emotional inferno and it's a place of awakening.
How do you open to this place?
You must have the WILLINGNESS
to sit in the fire of your SUFFERING
ACCEPT EVERYTHING that arises
and truly believe NOT MINE.
In the practice of Buddhism, you willingly submit and make yourself available to the naturally occurring pain that enters your life (e.g., losses, challenges, discomforts, shame, etc.). You attempt to accept it all with no reaction or resistance while encasing the experience in the tenderness of your gratitude.
At the same time, Buddhism asks you to acknowledge that nothing you cling to is yours to possess. The pain and ease are not yours. People, objects, and events are not yours. This moment is not yours. Everything changes and cannot be possessed by you in the fire of your suffering. And in the moment of your letting go to clinging, you'll feel millions of tiny threads knotted to your skin graciously unravel, freeing you into the unknown.
This experience of staying with your suffering while also acknowledging "not mine" is a death blow to your ego, and the more ego death you experience the more you are at ease with the acceptance of your suffering and letting go.
One of the ways to cultivate more radical acceptance in your life is to confront your fear of death so that you become comfortable with experience of dying. In this way, your ego will become more comfortable with its own death. To work with your fear of death, check out my earlier post by clicking here.