Total Acceptance is such a powerful practice that its regular utilization in everyday life can profoundly and irreversibly transform our individual reality.
What is Total Acceptance? (I’m writing these words in capital letters to point to the specific meaning of this term.) It’s a state of the complete openness to any experience. It means to fully embrace all arising impressions, without a slightest inner resistance. Here, the word “Total” is maybe even redundant, but I have added it just to emphasize the absence of any resistance.
We can say that Total Acceptance is Pure Awareness and, at the same time, the state of Not-Knowing, which signifies an absolute openness to the Unknown. It is a temporary absence of mind and its habitual thoughts. In other words, it is the state of Presence.
However, Total Acceptance is not a dry, cold indifference. Somehow, it’s filled with deep love, as it requires not only the stillness of the mind but also the openness of the Heart.
Here is an excellent quote from A Practical Guide to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy by Steven C. Hayes and Kirk D. Strosahl: “Acceptance should not be confused with tolerance or resignation, both of which are passive and fatalistic. Acceptance involves taking a stance of non-judgmental awareness and actively embracing the experience of thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations as they occur.
Total Acceptance is not a dry, cold indifference. Somehow, it’s filled with deep love, as it requires not only the stillness of the mind but also the openness of the Heart.
Another important aspect of acceptance is the strong inclination to cope with all experiences, to face everything, either pleasant or unpleasant: “Acceptance refers to an attitude of nonjudging or openness about experience, and refraining from attempts to avoid or escape it.” - Fabrizio Didonna, Clinical Handbook of Mindfulness
Everything we resist, persists. Even more, it’ll grow up over time. Therefore, the remedy for any unpleasant state or content of the mind is to accept it completely. Whenever we entirely and honestly accept any thought, emotion or sensation, we become free of it. It will not bother us anymore. It will disappear from our individual universe, as we have learned that lesson.
Total Acceptance has a transformative power virtually in every field of our existence – spiritual, mental, emotional and even our physical life. For example, its strength is fully harnessed in one of the most effective methods for overcoming physical pain, “Accepting and Dwelling in Pain,” described in this article: 5 Powerful Pain Relief Techniques.
The bottom line is: whatever you Totally Accept, it disappears from your field of consciousness. You become free from it.
What’s also important is that this practice will not take you into passivity and non-action. On the contrary, the fruit of a regular practice of Total Acceptance will be your perfect action, whenever needed, just at a right moment. It will also yield a great deal of creativity.
Nevertheless, the balance between action and non-action will be naturally achieved.
Whatever you Totally Accept, it disappears from your field of consciousness. You become free from it.
Could It Be Dangerous?
When we Totally Accept something, we have embraced it wholeheartedly. But there is a troubling question that naturally arises: Is it dangerous to embrace negative, or harmful things? Can accepting an aggressive person’s behavior, ugly gossips or our friend’s problems jeopardize our security?
It can not. If it does, that only means we haven’t accepted it completely.
By accepting the negativity, we are removing the negative burden on our mind and heart which has been attracting those circumstances. Moreover, the very fact that our heart is open and our being is filled with peace and love, deeply ennobles and transforms everything we do and anything we embrace. That indeed makes us safe and leaves us unharmed.
The very fact that our heart is open and our being is filled with peace and love, deeply ennobles and transforms everything we do and anything we embrace. That indeed makes us safe and leaves us unharmed.
Yes, for the beginning, you can accept apparently evil, harmful or dangerous things and situations with your mind only, without opening your heart. You can say something like “OK, that’s it, I don’t care.” That means you can simply become indifferent and neutral toward the experience. No repulsion, and no attraction. No warmness, no embracing, no “risk.” It is an entirely disinterested position which blocks the experience to reoccur in your personal reality. But that’s only temporary. Without opening your heart completely, you cannot fully face the experience. Therefore, it may come back to you one day.
Remember, your Essence, or True Self, cannot be hurt or endangered. Ever.
Without opening your heart completely, you cannot fully face the experience. Therefore, it may come back to you one day.
Ultimately, you will have to open both your mind and heart to all experiences. It’s similar to the state of Not-Knowing – total openness to the Unknown is also a genuinely transformative attitude.
If you are still concerned that Total Acceptance of negativities could open your inner door to those things to happen to you, the solution is to Totally Accept its opposite, too. But first accept that very concern, your fear of any negative reperccusions. Then accept the negative thing itself. Finally, accept its opposite – a normal state, or a wanted, positive thing.
If you cannot accept any of these, you might be dealing with a complex subconscious structure. Those structures should be thoroughly reflected and processed with some of the main Reintegration techniques (preferably the Inner Triangle), or with some other psychological or spiritual method.
Finally, with both polarities Totally Accepted, while being free from the ingrained fear, we’ll be able to act from Presence genuinely.
How to Totally Accept
The skill of Total Acceptance should be learned progressively. It is always easy to accept something you like, or you are being neutral to, but accepting unpleasant or painful experiences is a completely different story. Therefore, we should start learning acceptance on neutral things first (because you have no intimate relationship with them), then on positive ones (although you have a positive relation toward them, it is still a kind of attachment), and lastly on the negatives.
Here is an exercise for learning this skill thoroughly:
Life is a mystery and most of us are from time to time fascinated by that mystery. Unfortunately, many people come across the fundamental questions of life after periods of hardships and suffering. They inevitably pose questions like ‘Why is life so tough?’ or ‘Why should we live such a painful existence here on Earth?’
On the other hand, we are all curious beings. Some people get to similar questions through sheer curiosity. “Who am I?” “Why do I exist at all?” “Why there is something rather than nothing?” “Is there a creator of this world?” These and similar questions can shake the core of our beings.
Here are some answers to most of those fundamental questions. I hope you will find that this quest for finding the ultimate answers is not pretentious, presumptuous or a kind of ego-play.
Additionally, I am sure that these answers are limited by the mind’s natural inability to experience the Truth (including, of course, my own mind). Also, any intention to express a deep idea or concept could be severely damaged by the natural inadequateness of language.
Therefore, some of the concepts and ideas expressed in this article I tried to convey through analogies. In fact, all these ideas are analogies. They can only point to the Truth, as they are certainly not the Truth itself.
Who or What is God?
Over the centuries, the word “God” has been charged with many negative or conflicting meanings, so I will try to use other terms, such as “Primordial Oneness,” “Being,” or “the Source.” Consequently, I will use the pronoun “it,” with no intention to derogate God’s existence and innate attributes.
The Source is beyond any mind concept. Thus, everything we think or write on it is inaccurate and insufficient.
As the Primordial Oneness is beyond any comprehension, we can talk about it only through analogies and symbols, so we might get merely a vague sense of its main attributes.
Primordial Oneness is the source of everything. It is infinitely greater than everything and yet infinitely lesser than nothing.
It is the only True Reality, True Existence.
Once again, its nature is Oneness. As this universe is founded on apparent separation, anything or anyone in it cannot truly experience the presence of the Source, except when all the physical, emotional and mental senses and activities are completely transcended.
Yet, the Source is present everywhere and is the only foundation of this apparent existence. It subtly and invisibly carries and transforms all beings, things or activities. We can get a glimpse of that process and be an active part of it only if we are in the state of Pure awareness, or Presence.
Primordial Oneness is the source of everything. It is the only True Reality, True Existence.
Primordial Oneness is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent.
It is omniscient because it’s beyond space and time, beyond any subject-object relation. Acquiring any information or knowledge is characteristic of the spacetime continuum. As the Source is beyond it, it knows everything instantly. This kind of knowledge is the only natural kind of knowledge. On the other hand, our type of knowledge is restricted to the process of acquiring information within many limitations imposed by the nature of space-time.
It is omnipresent simply because it’s beyond space, time, matter and energy. It doesn’t have any limitations of physical laws or any other rules.
It is omnipotent as it is the only true reality. It is the source of every single matter/energy entity and also of every single action, deed or activity. However, it expresses its omnipotence subtly and invisibly to our limited senses of perception. Big and visible miracles are extremely rare, but in fact, subtle and invisible miracles are present everywhere and are happening all the time.
The Primordial Oneness is in us. As it is the source of Love, Joy, and Peace, our true Essence is actually the Primordial Oneness and we can only find it within ourselves. Love, Joy, and Peace are its signposts.
The “I” has to leave. Then, what has left is the Source.
In the meantime, this was an answer to another big question: does God exist? Although the answer depends on the definition of God in the first place, the final answer undoubtedly is “Yes.” God does exist, maybe not in a religious sense of a “personal” God, but there is God, as the Source of everything that exists, inside and beyond everything.
Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing?
In the beginning, there was only Oneness (God, Emptiness, Nothingness, Source, True Reality…).
From the point of view of our limited minds, the primordial Oneness could only exist in some sort of eternal space and time continuum, as we cannot otherwise comprehend any existence. That being said, the mathematics of infinite numbers says that if anything exists within infinite space and infinite time span, there is a 100% chance for any change, disturbance or imperfection to occur, as there are no laws or limitations which could prevent such an occurrence.
That disturbance was the primordial polarity which was the beginning of this whole world. In accordance with that logic, there is a 100% chance to have an infinite number of varieties of imperfections or disturbances in that Oneness, and, subsequently, we might say that there are infinite worlds with infinite varieties of laws out there.
Again, “within” the Primordial Oneness there were no physical laws or any other limitations at all. Since there were no limitations, anything could “happen,” so the Creation of this and many other universes has happened and is still happening (if we can use this term whatsoever).
Yet, from the point of view of our limited mind, the eternal emergence of the primordial polarities is a whim of God.
Why Do I Exist?
In order to experience itself, Primordial Oneness has apparently separated itself into myriads of dynamic, yet limited viewpoints, each of them having the experience of “I” and “not-I.”
So, the primordial polarity has emerged out of Primordial Oneness: “I” and “not-I.”
 The section “Why Do I Exist?” is actually part of my article “A New View on Fine-Tuning of the Universe”
These two primordial entities were only conscious of the opposite entity. “I” was conscious of the existence of “not-I,” while “not-I” (that was experiencing itself as “I”) was conscious of the other polarity.
As Oneness is inherently indivisible and cannot really split itself into something, these apparent entities were, in fact, the Oneness itself. Consequently, each had complete information on its opposite, as it was inherently whole and one with it and with Oneness.
The primordial “I” was a simple entity, without any measures or qualities. It could be compared only to the “not-I.” Correspondingly, the “not-I” was also simple and without any inherent qualities. It also had a simple consciousness of the existence of the first entity (“the I”), which was, in fact, the “not-I” to that (“second”) entity.
Then, these two polarities divided themselves again. Each of these new entities was a new “I,” and the three others were the “not-I” to that entity. The composition of that “not-I” was, in fact, a primordial structure of the external world to “I,” with its simple “laws” of the world. These “laws” were their simple interactions that became habitual.
 As this is obviously the universe of polarities, which is visible on all levels of existence, the first apparent existence was the primordial polarity. It seems that Oneness in this universe tends to “divide” into pairs (rather than triads, for example), so it is the nature of all subsequent entities.
All entities tend to either divide themselves into pairs or merge into one entity.
Once again, as it is impossible to divide the Oneness, all its apparent “entities” or offspring are still the Oneness itself, the Oneness that is, say, “shrunk down” to a seemingly limited size. As each of them is the Primordial Oneness itself, we can say that it’s the holographic principle in action. That’s why every “I” has a complete information on the corresponding “not-I” or the rest of its world, and the other way around.
These entities are continuing to divide themselves an enormous number of times. The evolution continues.
Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life. Be the light that helps others see; it is what gives life its deepest significance. ― Roy T. Bennett
Helping others is a noble idea, but a very sensitive one at the same time. Despite the mistakes we may make in our life, almost all of us actually have good intentions and just want to be happy. We also want our family, friends, and other people to be happy. We have a deeply ingrained urge to help others.
Unfortunately, this urge doesn’t always yield good results, because we have limited perception and often don’t know what is truly good for us or the people around us. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to know if we really should help someone or not.
Yet, we are not omniscient beings, until we fully awaken to our true nature. Accordingly, we cannot know all possible consequences of our deeds. But our true nature, which is a kind of divine unison of Love and Pure Consciousness, is the source of perfect intelligence and innate wisdom that can lead flawlessly all our actions.
Diversity of motivation
There are many ways of helping people, but we could outline a few basic forms that differ in their motives:
The Inner Source
First, we have to ponder the source of the situation that demands our help. Our approach here will rely on the Holographic principle, which assumes that our whole individual reality is essentially contained within ourself.
So, concerning us, the source is within our being. The situation which involves the person who needs help is a symbolical projection of a specific part of our own personality. That may be our suppressed victim mentality, a trauma from the childhood, a limiting belief, or anything else.
Concerning our friend who is asking for assistance, the source of her miserable situation is within herself. One of the elements of her personality has attracted the challenge she finds herself involved in.
Ultimately, each person is fully responsible for their own life. This assumption is radical and staggering but leads us to reclaiming our inner powers. However, how can we really help another human being if they are completely responsible for their own life? Think about this: ultimately, they are part of our own being, and we are also fully responsible for our own life. If we help others, we help ourself, too. And vice versa. But we need to know what the true help is.
Ultimately, each person is fully responsible for their own life. This assumption is radical and staggering but leads us to reclaiming our inner powers.
Help from Love and Presence transforms both involved beings. These kinds of help are indeed noble.
What actually happens here? We help another being sincerely and honestly, and that very action subtly changes both of us. The element of our personality that corresponds to the problem is being transformed by our pure Love or Presence, and at least one of its partial goals is accomplished. Consequently, the overall negative emotional charge of that element is being reduced.
Nevertheless, a number of its partial goals will likely remain and will be manifest next time. That is why a proactive approach is very important: to recognize the corresponding part of the personality and to reintegrate it completely, best by using some of the chain techniques of the Reintegration System (RS).
If we miss out on doing this, a similar situation will inevitably reoccur. This applies primarily to help from Love because people are often unconsciously drawn into a chronic rescuer-victim relationship. Almost all people who are repeatedly helping the same persons, whether out of pure love or from selfish reasons, sometimes get caught up in this relation. It becomes a habit.
Every habit has three components which make the so-called habit loop: trigger, routine and reward. The routine behavior is always triggered by a specific situation. But to keep the behavior going on perpetually, it has to be “fed” by a reward. Those three elements make the habit loop.
Related to helping others, the habit loop is also common. As the triggering situation appears, perhaps our friend shows up asking to borrow some money from us, one of our previous decisions on such sets is activated (say, ‘I will always help people in need’). We immediately respond and give our friend a hand. We also receive a reward – the friend’s gratitude and our sense of satisfaction that we have helped him. Moreover, a framework belief can be activated – ‘All good or bad returns,’ so we might even get something in return from the universe.
However, the overall benefits of this behavior are short-lived, as there are no fundamental changes in either our being or the one we help.
The point is in raising awareness at those moments. We leave the habit loop when we are in the state of Presence, where there is no habit. We act from the Heart, through the pure intelligence of our True Being. In this way, through each act of genuine kindness, we partially transform our inner part that corresponds to this situation.
We leave the habit loop when we are in the state of Presence, where there is no habit.
Sooner or later, we will have to face this part of our personality completely and to reintegrate it, which will permanently resolve such conditions.
So, our approach should be twofold: first, in situations when someone seeks help, we should enter the state of Presence and respond spontaneously. Second, we must discover which part of our personality created this situation and other similar circumstances from the past and to reintegrate it.
Rescuer and Victim Relationship
Now, let us examine the so-called victim mentality. It’s a chronic attitude of being a victim of something in life, whether it be a person, harsh circumstances or injustice in general.
Typically, we develop it during childhood when we needed more attention or love from parents. However, it has lost its positive function now, when we are adults. Needless to say, it is a very dangerous attitude, which attracts real troubles in life.
The person who is recurrently asking for our help probably has a strong victim mentality. But that also means that somewhere deep inside us there is a victim aspect of our own being, too.
Yet, there is even more to this story. Every victim has her own rescuer and bully. It is not surprising that the rescuer is a person or situation which often saves her from the troubles, while the bully is a person or situation that apparently puts her in the same trouble again. The victim needs both of them. It’s a vicious and unhealthy cycle that gets ever stronger over time.
As the topic here is help, we, as the helper, will often take the role of rescuer.
The person who is recurrently asking for our help probably has a strong victim mentality.
What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size. – Carl Jung
There are so many mental techniques for physical pain relief. Indeed, our mind has proven to be powerful enough to cope with any pain. The question is which technique we should use in our struggle to overcome suffering.
You can find on the internet so many methods. Some of them work for some people, but for others, they don’t.
However, it’s important to know that methods which involve any kind of ignoring or suppressing a painful sensation can work temporarily, but they fail in the long run and can bring about its frequent reappearance with even increased intensity. The reason is suppression. Anything we suppress will re-emerge one day. So, the suppression is the cause of pain’s reappearance.
Methods which involve any kind of ignoring or suppressing a painful sensation can work temporarily, but they fail in the long run.
And the real cause of pain is our resistance to that particular sensation. So, we must accept it.
Therefore, effective pain relief techniques must have two aspects: facing the pain and accepting it.
Five Exceptional Techniques
Here I’ll describe five techniques that have been proven to be really helpful to me and to many other people as well. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean they work for everyone. Also, you should always consult your physician.
Before and after applying any of these techniques, it is highly recommended that you quantify the intensity of your pain on a zero-to-ten scale. By doing this way, the change will become obvious and measurable, you’ll much easier accept the true power of these approaches, and your subsequent practice will get strengthened and deepened.
Before and after applying any of these techniques, quantify the intensity of your pain on a zero-to-ten scale.
1. Dissolving the Temporary I
As one of the basic Reintegration techniques, the Dissolving the Temporary I (DTI) is a powerful method for integration or removal the unwanted emotions, thoughts and sensations. As physical pain is typically considered to be a sort of bodily sensation, this technique, if applied correctly, is extremely effective for this purpose.
The technique is based on the relationship between the subject (our transient sense of self, of the “Temporary I”), and the object (in this case, the pain). The core concept is quite simple, and it works perfectly: if your transitory “I” disappears, so will do the object you were experiencing.
To learn this 5-step technique, you will have to do some introduction exercises first, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Here you can find the detailed instruction for learning the method.
If your transitory “I” disappears, so will do the object you were experiencing.
2. All-Inclusive Attention
The concept of “open focus” or “diffuse attention” was thoroughly researched and developed by American neuroscientist Les Fehmi.
Normally, our focus is too narrow as we are trying all the time to concentrate on only one thing, missing everything else. We are typically “lost” in anything we do – in thoughts, emotions, conversations, sensual pleasures, anxiety, fear, and so on. It is an involuntary process, a habit of trying to focus on a single object as though we are continually in the living conditions that demand our “fight-or-flight” mode of functioning, which leads us to a constant accumulation of stress and subsequent suffering.
 Fehmi, Les. The Open-Focus Brain: Harnessing the Power of Attention to Heal Mind and Body. Shambhala Publications. Kindle Edition.
Normally, our focus is too narrow as we are trying all the time to concentrate on only one thing, missing everything else. We are typically “lost” in anything we do.
We should definitely change this habit, not only to release stress and overcome pain but to the benefit of all aspects of our lives.
First, we should learn how to extend and diffuse our attention. Here’s how:
Open your eyes (if they are closed), look at the wall in front of you and pick up one distinctive point on it. (This we will call the ‘physical attention,’ as opposed to ‘mental attention,’ which means to focus your mind externally or internally on something.) Concentrate on that point for 15-30 seconds. If any thought arises, just accept it and return your physical and mental attention to the point on the wall.
Then, while keeping your eyes fixated on the point, extend your mental attention to a circular area around the point. Gradually extend the area of your mental attention more and more, while keeping your physical attention at the chosen point.
Wander around the room for a while with your mental attention. If your eyes unintentionally move, simply return them to the first point of the physical attention, and continue with the other parts of your eyesight, that are preferably more away from the physical point of attention.
You may even try to become aware of the things behind your physical eyesight or to include sounds and other sensations.
After several minutes of shifting your mental attention around, try to immerse yourself into a unified attention - be mentally attentive of your physical point and everything else, including yourself.
Now, after some initial practice of the all-inclusive attention, you will be able to do the pain removal process.
First of all, you need to locate the small area within your body that represents the pain. Even if your pain is all-encompassing, permeating your whole body, you should first pick up one part of it where the painful sensation is most intense.
Next, concentrate on the most painful area. Let it be your starting point for the similar process of extending the attention, as described above. This time, include into your awareness not only the whole visual area, but also all sounds you are hearing, all other sensations you are sensing at the moment, everything else you might be experiencing, and space which is behind all of that.
Notice that your pain is only a small portion of your whole experience now. Allow it to spread, diffuse and dissipate into your wide field of attention, to merge with your whole experience, awareness, and space beneath everything. It will dissolve.
Do this for about 30 seconds to one minute. Repeat the process from the beginning (locating and concentrating on the pain, then diffusing it through all-inclusive attention), as long as there are any traces of the pain.
3. Accepting and Dwelling in Pain
This is a straightforward and also very effective way of coping with pain. It is based on the fact that everything we resist, persists. Even more, it’ll grow up over time. Therefore, the remedy is to accept it completely. And that is not only applicable to physical pain but to virtually anything in our lives. Whenever we completely and honestly accept any thought, emotion or sensation, we become free of it. It will not bother us anymore. We have learned that lesson.
Thinking is only a small aspect of consciousness. Thought cannot exist without consciousness, but consciousness does not need thought. ― Eckhart Tolle
Thoughts are mysterious and elusive entities which so frequently appear in our heads that they are considered to be an essential part of our identity. Moreover, we are so identified with them that many of us have completely accepted the famous quote by Descartes: I think, therefore I am.
But that is not true.
Our true nature is not determined by thoughts. In fact, they obscure it, as clouds obscure the Sun.
It’s unquestionable that the practical value of thoughts in our lives is immense. Their role in analyzing and structuring a huge stream of data flowing into our minds is indispensable. Their power of generalization and abstract contemplation, of ‘seeing the wood despite the trees,’ is also of utmost importance to us. The mankind has made great advances in science and technology, and, of course, that wouldn’t be possible without the thinking process.
Thinking is one of the essential stages of our spiritual evolution. In the first phase, conscious beings are thoughtless, enjoying the calmness of pure presence in the Now. They are partially conscious of their surroundings, but they are not conscious of themselves. Such beings are animals, for example. In the next phase, thanks to the thinking process, conscious beings are able to become self-aware and to intentionally expand their consciousness. In the final stage, they become thoughtless again, because they don’t need thoughts anymore. They don’t need to analyze or generalize, as they simply know. The subject and the object, the inner and the outer reality merge, and they don’t need any intermediary between them.
Are Thoughts Obstacles to Spiritual Enlightenment?
Therefore, if we want to achieve the final spiritual awakening and inner freedom, we should transcend thoughts. Or at least some spiritual traditions teach us so. Accordingly, the main question related to our spiritual growth could be: what to do with thoughts in our practice? Or, should they be considered as obstacles to spiritual enlightenment?
 A similar thing can be said for emotions, but they are not within the scope of this article. However, emotions can also be regarded as the ‘thoughts of our body,’ so they can be dealt with in like manner.
If we want to achieve the final spiritual awakening and inner freedom, we should transcend thoughts.
So…let’s say we are meditating. Perhaps we are simply trying to focus on our awareness. Or we are concentrating upon a candle, or praying, or doing a mantra meditation. Maybe we are trying to consciously breathe. Or doing loving-kindness meditation. No matter which kind of spiritual practice we are engaged in, we will be repeatedly and inevitably dealing with some distractive thoughts. We’ll get immersed in them, each time, until we become aware of the fact that our practice has actually been interrupted.
It seems that thoughts are obstacles to a smooth spiritual practice. Are they really? Should we be fighting them?
No matter which kind of spiritual practice we are engaged in, we will be repeatedly and inevitably dealing with some distractive thoughts.
Ways of Dealing with Thoughts in Meditation
The vast majority of meditative techniques all around the world deal with apparently distracting thoughts in these ways:
During our mindfulness practice, we are trying to consciously experience the present moment. Our mind is calm as we stay fully conscious of our breathing, of each movement of our body, of visual textures and patterns in the surrounding, of sounds, tastes, smells or anything else that is entering our senses.
However, when a thought or emotion arises, our mindfulness practice essentially breaks down. We get immersed in the thought and completely forget to be consciously present. Only when we become aware that we’ve forgotten to be mindful, then we are able to accept the thought and return to the present moment.
But is this a right approach? Thoughts are coming back again and again. Just when we think we succeeded to calm down our mind for several minutes, hours or even months, and have entered a state of deep and apparently irreversible inner peace, a surge of thoughts, emotions and other mind content rushes into our being and destroys our peace completely.
Aren’t we subtly suppressing our thoughts and emotions by simply ignoring or acknowledging them before returning to the present moment? It seems so, as everything we suppress must emerge again, sooner or later. That’s the case with thoughts and emotions, too.
Spiritual enlightenment is one of the most elusive ideas in our lives. Nobody actually knows what it is, apart from a few people who are indeed enlightened. We don’t know who they are, as we don’t know what enlightenment is, and whether those people are honest or not, after all. If they are truly enlightened, they don’t talk about it, as there is no need for that, or it’s simply indescribable.
We could even say that every attempt to explain enlightenment or talk about it is rude or presumptuous. Maybe it is, but sometimes we simply are too curious and bold to do such things.
Nonetheless, if we want to talk about enlightenment, we have to define it in the first place. It’s not an easy task, however, and in this article I will use two sources: enlightenment as considered by some of the eastern spiritual traditions (as western traditions can have a completely different understanding of this term), and spiritual symbolism that can be found in modern physics.
If we want to talk about enlightenment, we have to define it in the first place.
The idea of spiritual enlightenment is present in all of the eastern spiritual traditions. The main four of them are Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, and Jainism, which offer these terms:
Although differing greatly in their views on enlightenment and one’s supposed path to it, these ancient spiritual traditions seem to agree upon this: enlightenment is a permanent, irreversible state of highest happiness, perfect stillness, inner freedom, liberation from suffering and rebirth, and realization of the highest truth.
Ancient spiritual traditions seem to agree upon this: enlightenment is a permanent, irreversible state of highest happiness, perfect stillness, inner freedom, liberation from suffering and rebirth, and realization of the highest truth.
Stages of Becoming Enlightened
In my opinion, it is not possible to distinguish any levels of enlightenment itself, as it is the final stage of awakening, the absolute liberation (whatever that means) and as such unequivocal and definite.
However, as there are many paths leading to it, there are numerous stages leading to that state, too. For example, in Theravada Buddhism, there are four stages of enlightenment. In this case, I would re-formulate this overview as the stages to enlightenment, except the fourth stage, which refers to the attributes of an enlightened human being.
These stages represent signposts on the gradual path of expansion of consciousness that leads toward the final goal, liberation.
Some spiritual traditions, however, like Zen Buddhism or Dzogchen, have a rapid or sudden approach to attaining enlightenment. Through their practices, they are trying to swiftly leave the mind behind and realize the Truth. While that approach is simpler and seemingly faster, it has its traps and may easily lead to a false sense of enlightenment.
 Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_stages_of_enlightenment
Some spiritual traditions, however, like Zen Buddhism or Dzogchen, have a rapid or sudden approach to attaining enlightenment.
There are also people, for whom the spiritual work is not necessary for achieving the final liberation. These relatively rare individuals apparently have mysterious inherent abilities and pre-conditions for attaining enlightenment. They usually achieve liberation suddenly, with little or no effort at all.
Here is an amazing story of Eckhart Tolle’s awakening:
“One night not long after my twenty-ninth birthday, I woke up in the early hours with a feeling of absolute dread. (…) ‘I cannot live with myself any longer.’ This was the thought that kept repeating itself in my mind. Then suddenly I became aware of what a peculiar thought it was. ‘Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the ‘I’ and the ‘self’ that ‘I’ cannot live with.’ ‘Maybe,’ I thought, ‘only one of them is real.’ I was so stunned by this strange realization that my mind stopped. I was fully conscious, but there were no more thoughts. Then I felt drawn into what seemed like a vortex of energy. It was a slow movement at first and then accelerated. I was gripped by an intense fear, and my body started to shake. I heard the words ‘resist nothing,’ as if spoken inside my chest. I could feel myself being sucked into a void. It felt as if the void was inside myself rather than outside. Suddenly, there was no more fear, and I let myself fall into that void. I have no recollection of what happened after that.
I was awakened by the chirping of a bird outside the window. I had never heard such a sound before. My eyes were still closed, and I saw the image of a precious diamond. Yes, if a diamond could make a sound, this is what it would be like. I opened my eyes. The first light of dawn was filtering through the curtains. Without any thought, I felt, I knew, that there is infinitely more to light than we realize. That soft luminosity filtering through the curtains was love itself. Tears came into my eyes. I got up and walked around the room. I recognized the room, and yet I knew that I had never truly seen it before. Everything was fresh and pristine, as if it had just come into existence. I picked up things, a pencil, an empty bottle, marveling at the beauty and aliveness of it all. That day I walked around the city in utter amazement at the miracle of life on earth, as if I had just been born into this world.
Would you like to have a wise life guide, available with their reliable answers all day long, 24/7? Wouldn’t be great to ask him or her any question related to your life challenges, relationship issues, important decisions, or virtually anything else that your curiosity might demand? Yes, it is absolutely possible with the ancient Chinese book of wisdom, called the I Ching. You can communicate with it pretty easily using various tools which I will present later on.
The process of consulting the I Ching is not some mumbo-jumbo. It is a serious process of learning in which we are facing our own responsibility for life. We are also learning to open our minds, to question everything, to embrace both our excellence and vulnerability, and, most importantly, to open our hearts. It’s an ancient practice of tapping into a vast field of wisdom and knowledge, the knowledge which is already present in ourselves and in the collective consciousness of the Mankind.
The process of consulting the I Ching is not some mumbo-jumbo. It is a serious process of learning in which we are facing our own responsibility for life. We are also learning to open our minds, to question everything, to embrace both our excellence and vulnerability, and, most importantly, to open our hearts.
I was convinced in all of this repeatedly for the last twenty-five or so years. When I encountered the Book for the first time, I was suspicious and even derisive of it. However, after some time, I realized that “there was something to it.” Not only that, I had been increasingly amazed at the depth and profoundness of its symbolic guidance. Over time, it has greatly contributed to my spiritual and emotional maturity and I’ve seen that same effect on other people as well.
So, the Book of Changes or I Ching is not a usual book. In fact, it is a comprehensive philosophical system which covers virtually all aspects of life and existence in general, with its 8 basic “trigrams” (compositions of three different horizontal lines) and 64 “hexagrams” (each consisting of six lines). Therefore, it is not primarily intended for divination. It is a deep and complex philosophical and spiritual teaching. You can do both – read it and ask it for answers.
Nevertheless, its coaching power is immense. Its symbolical responses are intricate and multi-layered, with both direct meaning related to the question and the description of the overall situation, its various aspects, and advice what to do and how to behave. The Book’s answers consist of one or two hexagrams, each with a symbolic meaning that can be applied to virtually every life situation.
I know that many of you are eager to find out how to get these wise answers, but still, I would strongly recommend that you first delve a little bit into the Book’s metaphysical foundations, in order to adjust your subconscious mind to its powerful collective energy. By doing this way, you will more easily establish an effective communication, pose the best questions and understand the Book’s responses.
The Book’s answers consist of one or two hexagrams, each with a symbolic meaning that can be applied to virtually every life situation.
Fundamental Concepts of the Book
The I Ching is based on the Taoist understanding of changes of the two basic aspects of existence - Yin (female, passive principle) and Yang (male, active principle), and their dynamic relationship. Yin and Yang are seemingly two opposites, but essentially, they are two complementary images of the same underlying reality. In ancient China, this reality is called Tao.
The I Ching is based on the Taoist understanding of changes of the two basic aspects of existence - Yin (female, passive principle) and Yang (male, active principle), and their dynamic relationship.
The Tai Chi symbol usually represents their dynamic interrelationship:
The Tai Chi symbol tells us that these two basic forces are always interconnected and fluctuating. When you go around the circle of the symbol, you will see that one of them is getting stronger, while the other is decreasing, and vice versa. The dots inside each of them represent the seeds of the other force, arising within it.
The message is deep, yet quite simple: life is based on two complementary, indivisible principles, active and passive. They are always changing. When one of them is at its peak, it will inevitably transform into its opposite. The other principle arises.
The message of Yin and Yang to all of us, in all circumstances, is simple, yet enlightening: This, too, shall pass.
Characteristics of Two Basic Principles
The following characteristics are attributed to Yin and Yang:
Yin: Female, Passive, Dark, Material, Earth, Negative, Low, Smooth, Warm
Yang: Male, Active, Bright, Spiritual, Celestial, Positive, High, Strong, Cold
Above stated features never imply anything bad or wrong. Even the “dark,” “cold or “negative” do not really mean something bad. They are simply neutral attributes that can be considered as “good” or “bad” only by the limited human mind in specific conditions.
The two fundamental principles are being represented by two types of lines: broken (yin) and solid (yang) line, as shown in the figures below.
These two types of lines may form the so-called “trigrams” (compositions of three successive lines) or “hexagrams” (combinations of six consecutive lines). Here is an example of trigram:
Now, let's take a look at a hexagram:
Many people just don’t like meditating in a sitting posture, as they prefer a horizontal position instead.
Some practitioners also want to meditate or practice mindfulness in every possible situation and bodily posture, from sitting to lying in bed, to walking, to exercising, and even to sleeping. Here you will find some ideas, backed with great feedback of numerous practitioners, that might be helpful to all of you wanting to meditate even while lying down.
But first, why should we do the meditation in a horizontal position in the first place?
Benefits of Meditation Lying Down
There are so many benefits. As all other types of meditation and mindfulness, this kind of practice will bring you:
These are not claims, these are the facts. They have been confirmed by countless scientific researches and explorations, and you can check it out on the Internet and numerous scientific magazines.
Lying Down Meditation as Preparation for Sleep
One of the most reliable methods that can lead you to a conscious and deeply relaxing, rejuvenating sleep is Yoga Nidra. It is an ancient practice which can bring you exquisite results.
One of the most reliable methods that can lead you to a conscious and deeply relaxing, rejuvenating sleep is Yoga Nidra.
Nidra, which means “yogic sleep,” is a meditation that deals with deep sleep consciousness. During this meditation, through which you are typically guided by an instructor, you are scanning your body and entering a very deep state of relaxation. During this process, your body will slip into a deep sleep, and yet your mind will remain fully aware.
How to Meditate in Horizontal Position
First, if you are tired, do not close your eyes, as you will dive into sleep soon. If you feel fresh and energized, and still don’t want to, for example, do a walking meditation outdoors, then you may close your eyes.
It is advisable that your lying posture is similar to the ‘savasana’ pose in yoga, which basically involves lying down flat on the back with your palms facing upward.
There’s no law of physics that hasn’t been transcended. In the end, the only law is that there is no law. - John Wheeler, theoretical physicist
Modern science has reached the point where it is inquiring the very foundations of the universe. Was it created by a conscious creator? Or did it simply pop out from nothingness, by a mere chance?
There are countless debates now whether the physical laws of the universe are finely tuned to support biological life or not. There is a good reason for that: they indeed seem to be tweaked for life.
As you probably know, many laws of physics are deeply dependent on various constant numbers that are parts of equations describing these laws. Those numbers are called the universal constants – the speed of light (c), gravitational constant (G), electric constant (ε0), Planck's constant (ħ), the mass of an electron (me), two parameters of the Higgs field potential, etc. Moreover, there are also even more fundamental constants that are dimensionless (i.e. not dependent on the unit system used to express the quantity). Those are, for example, the fine-structure constant (α), which defines the strength of the electromagnetic interaction between elementary charged particles, or proton-to-electron mass ratio, or the cosmological constant, which is the density of dark energy in the universe, and so on.
There is a strong notion among scientists, backed by many extrapolations, that if any of these universal constants were only slightly different, the Universe wouldn’t be supportive of any kind of biological life. For example, if the gravitational constant were smaller, the stars couldn’t be formed. If it were too large, the stars couldn’t survive or their life span would be much shorter, so in either case, life wouldn’t be possible. Similar conclusions can be deduced for all other universal constants.
If any of these universal constants were only slightly different, the Universe wouldn’t be supportive of any kind of biological life.
One of the solutions could be that we live in a multiverse, consisting of a huge or even infinite number of universes, each having different internal laws of physics.
Hence, the possibility of the emergence of a universe out of nothing, which is suitable for biological life and/or development of conscious beings, is practically equal to zero. There must be a conscious creator of this world.
Or is it so?
One of the solutions could be that we live in a multiverse, consisting of a huge or even infinite number of universes, each having different internal laws of physics.
In a normal, “waking” state, we are almost always completely immersed in whatever we are doing at the moment. We might even say that we are fully absorbed in here and now.
However, If the point of mindfulness is to be here and now, doesn’t that mean that we are meditating every time we are completely immersed in some activity? Whenever we exercise, play football, listen to music, watch TV, talk with our friend, think, or even fight – we are fully in the present moment, right?
The tricky question
Thinking this way, can we say that activities which typically consume our attention are also a sort of meditation?
Well, no. We are lost in such activities. Usually, we are totally absorbed in playing the game, listening to music, exercising, whatever…and we have become that activity. Our consciousness is focused completely on it.
Moreover, the answer to the previous question also depends on how we define meditation. Let’s use the broader meaning of meditation, that includes mindfulness. It means that we are meditating here and now, whatever we are doing, without any redundant contents of mind, aware of our surroundings and ourselves. When thoughts or emotions arise, we simply become aware of them, let them go and return to the Now.
Can we say that activities which typically consume our attention are also a sort of meditation?
To live in the Now means to live consciously, to fully experience ourselves and our surroundings without redundant thoughts and distractions.
One could say that deep sleep is also a thoughtless state. That’s true, but it cannot be regarded as the living in the Now because it is not a conscious state.
One could also say that while we are immersed in unnecessary thinking, we are in the Now too because we are experiencing those thoughts in the present moment. But that is also not a fully conscious state, as we are identified with those thoughts, so it’s not really being present in the Now.
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