Practicing Acceptance

The world out there is only our collective consciousness. If we don’t like what’s happening to us in the world, all we have to do is change our consciousness, and the world out there changes for us. – Lester Levenson

Someone who truly walks the Way
Is blind to the faults of the world.
If I point out others’ faults,
This fault-finding itself is a fault.
Others’ faults I do not fault;
As for my own faults, I blame myself.
Just get rid of the fault-finding attitude;
Once cast aside, the passions vanish. – Hui-neng

If you consider something that is right to be right, then there is something that is wrong. If you consider the wrong to be right, then there is nothing that is wrong. – The Ta-ch’eng Ju-tao An-hsin fa

God is All and God is Perfect; therefore, anything that we see as imperfect is within us. – Lester Levenson

Without a breath of censure or criticism, he surveyed the world with eyes long familiar with the Primal Purity. His body, mind, speech, and actions were effortlessly harmonized with his soul’s simplicity. – Yogananda

God gives to all things alike and as they proceed from God they are alike. . . . A flea, to the extent that it is in God, ranks above the highest angel in his own right. Thus in God all things are the same and are God himself. – Meister Eckhart

Be very charitable; when one of your eyes sees what is not right, shut it and then open the other one! Change everything into good. – Saint Mariam of Jesus Crucified (the Flying Nun)

One day Banzan was walking through a market. He overheard a customer say to the butcher, “Give me the best piece of meat you have.”
“Everything in my shop is the best,” replied the butcher. “You cannot find any piece of meat that is not the best.” (Zen koan)

Be a passerby. – Yeshua (Gospel of Thomas)

Be not the doer: be the witness. – Lester

Let your enemies win.


Bodhidharma said, “When hardship arrives, willingly accept it.” He advises one not to seek anything, and to “agree with the rabble to guard against vilification.” (Jorgensen, p. 175)

Lester Levenson:

Q: I really couldn’t care less about politics or all these things which at one time seemed so important. Is that bad?
Lester: How does it feel?
Q: I haven’t analyzed the feeling; I’ve just seen that all these people think what they’re doing is so important. Maybe I’m wrong in that I don’t feel that way.
Lester: No, you are right. The higher you go the more you see the Perfection and therefore the less you see the problems. The more one sees problems, the lower one is. What you’re talking about is problems. The people who see them want you to be the way they are, and will tell you that you’re wrong. This is one thing you must be on guard against; as you grow those who are not up to you will try to pull you down to where they are. Let them think you are wrong. You know you are right. Don’t argue; it’s fruitless.
Q: I find that the people try to make me feel selfish because I feel that way.
Lester: It’s this way: when you don’t think the way they think, they call you selfish. Just check it out. This is what’s going on, this is the way they think. When you don’t think the way they think you are selfish. No, it’s not how much you recognize a problem that shows unselfishness; it’s how much you see that there is no problem and help others to see it that shows unselfishness. This way you offer help; you’re very constructive and unselfish.
Q: Just do everything with a desire to help and that is love.
Lester: Yes, just feel love, you don’t necessarily have to do. Love, and your thoughts, are positive. Thought is far more powerful than action. It’s the basis of and effects action; it’s the initiator. It comes before it and determines action. A realized being sitting in a cave somewhere all by himself is doing more good for the world than organizations of action. He is aiding everyone, his help being subconsciously received by all.
. . .
Q: So, it’s sort of a proving ground, or a testing, to see how much those things bother you.
Lester: Yes. It tests your conviction. Where is your conviction if you go with them? If you go with them your tendency is to believe more the way they do.
Q: Which is easier, I know.
Lester: No, try it: if you think it’s easier, just go their way and you’ll have more misery as they do.
Q: Sometimes 1 think it’s easier to just be one of the mob.
Lester: Desire for ego approval makes it seem easier; you’ll find out otherwise. You’ve been one of the mob, haven’t you? You’ve been like them. It’s not easy. No, the right way is easier. Do you see that? The right way is letting go and letting God and then everything falls into line perfectly–no effort. But when I have to do it, it’s not God, it’s me, the ego, wanting to do, to change things, correct this world, and so forth.

* * *

Jorgensen, John A. (1979). The Earliest Text of Ch’an Buddhism: The Long Scroll. The Australian National University.

Levenson, Lester (1993). Keys to the Ultimate Freedom. ( keys-to-the-ultimate-freedom)

Useful resources for the practice of acceptance:

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