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 cannot. 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.
By accepting the apparent negativity, you are actually accepting the Greater Good within you that is trying to emerge in your life through apparently harsh experiences. Tell yourself: “I totally accept that which is trying to emerge through me,” or “I totally accept Greater Good that is emerging through this situation.”
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:
Total Acceptance Meditation – The Regular Practice for Permanent Transformation
The meditation technique which relies on Total Acceptance consists of these main stages:
1.Relaxation and Entering the State of Presence
Relax completely, using either the Relax to Reintegrate technique described on this website or some other procedure that works for you.
As with all other kinds of meditation, I recommend that you sit with your spine straight up, whether on a chair or in one of the “lotus” positions.
Whether you keep your eyes open or closed depends on your preference, but I would suggest doing the meditation with half-open eyes, to keep yourself awake more easily.
2.Total Acceptance of Your Environment
Now Totally Accept the main elements of your environment, i.e.:
3.Total Acceptance of Your Inner Body
Attend to your inner body. Feel the energy and presence of your body as a whole. Totally Accept that feeling. Repeat this at least 10 to 15 times (or more, depending on the scheduled length of your meditation sitting).
This is a very beneficial exercise on its own. It heals both your mind and body, and you can also practice it whenever you want in everyday life.
4. Total Acceptance of Your “Temporary I”
Now pay attention to your “Temporary I". It is the subtle feeling of your own "I" at this moment. This feeling should not be confused with the true center of your being, which is usually in the heart. The Temporary I is simply the feeling of your current center, the focal point of your being from where you are observing or experiencing some internal or external content. It is usually located in the head, neck, while some people can sometimes locate it in other parts of their bodies.
In any case, Temporary I is the source of many superfluous thoughts, emotions and experiences. The concept of Temporary I is described in more detail on this page.
So, in this phase of meditation the only thing you need to do is to locate your Temporary I and accept it - without reservation, completely, wholeheartedly. After that, you may feel that you have simply disappeared as a separate being. You will be in a state of Pure Presence.
Just to note that if you find it difficult to locate your Temporary I or that this concept is incomprehensible to you, simply skip this phase of the meditation and go straight to the next step.
5.Total Acceptance of Any Distracting Mind Content
You are dwelling in the state of Presence now. When the first thought or emotion arises, just accept it, wholeheartedly, without any resistance. Note that you are accepting the situation or person which that thought or emotion is related to. You are not only accepting the very notion of the thought or emotion, but also what they represent, what they are related to.
Simply abide in Pure Consciousness. Dwell in it. Accept it. Stay in this thoughtless state as long as possible. If any new mind content arises, just accept it totally.
If any of the mind content is very strong and/or repetitive, write it down and return to your meditation. Deal with it later, using the Inner Triangle method or some other RS technique.
6. Self-Acceptance and Love
When your time for meditation is almost up, conclude it with this critical step: fully accept yourself, your whole being, as you feel it at that moment.
Then feel love for yourself. Tell silently: “I love myself.” Finally, feel love for your closest ones, your whole family, your pets, your colleagues, and toward all living beings.
In the long run, the benefits of meditation are huge and versatile. It will release huge “amounts” of inner obstacles to any of your life goals, and will gradually erase all your negative tendencies, including laziness. What’s more important, the steady meditation practice will bring love, deep peace and harmony into your life. It can heal many diseases and give you additional creativity. You will transform your life.
Steady meditation practice will bring love, deep peace and harmony into your life. It can heal many diseases and give you additional creativity. You will transform your life.
Upon finishing the meditation sitting, you might want to take a walk outside. I encourage you to use that time for applying the technique of Total Acceptance to that walk. You will genuinely enjoy it.
During your walk, just Totally Accept everything you see around you, one by one thing or entity. From time to time, feel your inner body and your movements (of legs, arms and whole body). Totally Accept all of that, one by one. Whatever distracts you from that process, just accept it, too.
After some time, you will enter the state of Pure awareness, i.e., Presence. You might get a deep impression of a complete merger with your surroundings, or even find yourself in the middle of an apparent movie, unfolding before your eyes, with your as the main protagonist!
You may do the walking meditation whenever you get a chance for a walk. It is deeply transformative.
Total Acceptance in Everyday Life
Remember, whatever you resist, will persist. On the other hand, acceptance leads to freedom. It is easy to conclude that your life circumstances, especially the unpleasant ones, are persistent and recurrent due to your various habitual reactions to specific people and situations. But if you could deeply and completely accept all your experiences, your suffering would have been ended, and you would have reached Nirvana.
 Be aware that some painful experiences in our lives are reoccurring merely due to our resistance to them. But there are also many kinds of experiences that are arising because of many other reasons, such as subconscious response to big life changes or learning valuable spiritual lessons. In those cases Total Acceptance is not able to remove the experience. It will rather transform it or at least abate their subjective unpleasantness.
Whatever you resist, will persist. On the other hand, acceptance leads to freedom.
Yet, we are still vulnerable human beings, full of anger, fear, resentment and other kinds of resistance to the world. If only we were able to accept everything…
However, we still can do so much with our lives. Not only to accomplish significant goals or create masterpieces of art and science but even more - to live in the present moment. One of the most effective approaches to that way of living is to Totally Accept whatever arises in the Now, as often as possible, as much as you can.
Try to Totally Accept every single experience you encounter in your everyday life. Accept yourself, accept your body, mind, your headache, accept the sensations, sounds, patterns, tastes, smells that you are experiencing right now. Accept your desires, emotions, thoughts… Accept also every person around you as they are. Accept your steps and all other movements. Accept your job, your chores, commutes… Accept the vast space within and outside of you, the earth, the sky, clouds and the sun, accept the pesky mosquitoes and mild gale, accept the traffic jam and the attractive person passing by…
Accept ALL - totally, truly, wholeheartedly, honestly, with no effort and no trails of resistance!
Of course, you will be able to accept only when you remind yourself to do so. And also if you are strong enough to accept some painful experiences, after all.
In fact, the problem with our practice will always be twofold: we regularly forget to be present, and every so often we are overwhelmed with strong experiences.
We merely too often forget to live in the Now, to Totally Accept our countless experiences. The power of the habit of unconscious living is immense, and it’s not easy to break free from it.
Moreover, even when we remind ourselves to become present, we may succumb to enormously strong experiences, such as emotions, so we again throw ourselves out from the hard-achieved peace.
The way out of that is slow and treacherous, but it’s the only choice we really have: to work on ourselves. The Reintegration System has covered all essential ingredients of this inner work: Meditation, mindfulness, loving-kindness, Total Acceptance, self-observation… Of course, there are many other useful psychological and spiritual methods for this work, so it’s up to you which direction is the most suitable for you.
However, there is an attitude that is very important in this work: each of us is entirely responsible for our own life. That is the way of regaining the enormous, yet humble and silent, inner power. That is the way to the final awakening.
Happy inner work!
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