The Perfection of Acceptance

Ksanti (kshanti): Patience, acceptance; to suffer or allow things to happen with perfect equanimity. In its highest perfection it means to welcome all events, good or ill, with the knowledge that events take place only to help us to gain our liberation, and have no other purpose or significance.


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

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 cut of meat that is not the best.” (Zen koan)

If you don’t like the world, change your consciousness. Your consciousness is all there is out there, and it’s the only thing that you can change—the only thing that you should try to change. Make the world perfect by perfecting your consciousness, and all will be perfect. – Lester Levenson

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

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)

Be a passerby. – Yeshua (Gospel of Thomas)

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 (Walshe, Vol. II, Sermon Fifty Seven)

If you truly walk the Way,
You are blind to the faults of the world.
If you attend to others’ faults,
Your fault-finding itself is wrong;
Others’ faults I do not treat as wrong;
My faults are my own transgressions.
Simply cast out the mind that finds fault,
Once cast away, troubles are gone;
When hate and love don’t block the mind,
Stretch out both legs and then lie down. – Hui-neng (BTTS)



Those who know that coming and going are not under the control of the self know that that which the ego takes as real are illusory phenomena that cannot be grasped. If one stops resisting the illusion, one becomes unlimited. If one stops resisting changes, then one is not disturbed by anything that happens.

* * *

The sage has patience with things and does not have patience with himself and with him there is no grasping and rejecting, disliking or liking. The stupid one has patience with himself and does not have patience with things, and with him there is grasping and rejecting, disliking and liking. If you can empty your mind, be unhurried and free and completely forget the world, this is having patience with things and going along with the times, which is easy. Opposing, resisting and changing things is difficult. If something wills to come, let it come and do not resist it; if it wills to depart, let it go and do not chase after it. Whatever you have done is past and not to be regretted. That which you have not yet done (or that which has not yet happened), let go of it and do not think of it. This is to be a practitioner of the Way. Having patience, one leaves the world to its own devices, and gain and loss do not arise from the self. If you have patience and do not oppose, if you let go and do not resist, where and when will you not roam in the remote? (Bodhidharma’s Method for Quieting the Mind)

Lester Levenson: “When we want to change the world, it is the ego playing God.”

Q: I really couldn’t care less about politics or all these things which at one time seemed so important. Is that bad?
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.
Q: So, I should just do everything with a desire to help, and that is love.
Lester: Yes, just feel love–you don’t necessarily have to do anything. 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: Sometimes 1 think it’s easier to go along with the crowd.
Lester: If you think it’s easier, just go their way and you’ll have more misery as they do. Desire for ego approval makes it seem easier; you’ll find out otherwise. You’ve been one of the crowd, 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)

M. O’C. Walshe (1987). Meister Eckhart: Sermons and Treatises Volume II. UK: Element Books Limited.

Useful resources for the practice of acceptance:

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