Accepting Life through Clear Seeing and Compassion

Peace arises from the acceptance of life for all its glory, pain, suffering, joy, and happiness. This momentary peace won’t last. No one lives in a constant state of peace. Next will come sadness, loneliness, confusion, longing, and wanting. But they too, shall not last. Nothing last forever, unless with God. It is God that created eternity that already resides in us. God created an eternal longing in our hearts that manifests into a million different sensations and emotions. The vast darkness overlaps the light that dwells in the eternal time- but like solar eclipse, the lining of the light shall shine forth, and soon enough, we shall witness the presence of the light that can never be put off, never be disguised, never be hidden.

Looking at life through the telescope of eternity allows us to live with dignity, wisdom, peace, and lovingkindness. This ocean of awareness cannot be disturbed with a mere pebble. Human life is filled with uncertainty and no one can expect what is waiting just around the bend. That is the basic truth that no one can escape from. So how do we embrace the uncertainty of life when it causes so much confusion and suffering in our unprepared minds and hearts? We embrace it by preparing our minds and hearts for the unexpected circumstances. Live as if the change is coming straight ahead. Charge forward to the very object of uncertainty even though you cannot see its real face. Uncertainty is often associated with fear rather than excitement and hope. The timing of death is uncertain and many people harbor unmeasurable and unexplainable fear because of it. Embracing death and its unknown timeline is achieved, ironically, by accepting the present moment and choosing to be fully engaged with the Now. More ultimately, this fear of death can be eased and put to death itself by accepting the Gospel, the Good News.

In order to become fully present in the moment, any trace of fear must first be addressed and resolved. As a matter of fact, being present, is about facing fear, confusion, and any negative emotions for most of us. By agreeing to consent to the nagging issues we have been avoiding, we welcome the unpleasant yet valuable guides and teachers into the door of our unprepared hearts and minds. As we gradually process our inner experiences without resistance, we slowly experience the implanting of new hopes in place of the old hurts and fears. When the seed of new life reveals its fullness in Christ Jesus, death will have no place to enter. Death will take on a new meaning and become the gateway to the Eternal Light. The union of life and death dissolves all dualistic thinking patterns that cause suffering in the limited human minds. “At the higher levels, we can teach things like compassion, mercy, forgiveness, selflessness, even love of enemies” writes Richard Rohr. The non-dual mind, the highest level of consciousness becomes the breeding ground of “compassion, mercy, forgiveness, selflessness, and even love of the enemy”.

The two parts of genuine acceptance —seeing clearly and holding our experience with compassion—are as interdependent as the two wings of a great bird. Together, they enable us to fly and be free.

– Tara Brach

This seeing clearly, mindfulness, is possible when we live moment-to-moment in its fullness. Mindfulness allows us to see things as they really are. For example, when we experience fear, bodily awareness tells us that we are experiencing tightness of chest, racing heart, trembling legs and fingers, and so on. This quick body-scan is one of the ways of living in the moment with fully attentive mind. Then one will soon realize that fear was a temporary sensation and that it was based on an old fear that had no real foundation. It is at this point that fear stops dominating us.

The second wing of Radical Acceptance, as Tara Brach teaches, is to hold our experience with compassion. Compassion arises from non-dual mind that originates from the Godly point of view. God accepts and embraces all human souls on their journey to the life beyond death. This is a grave task, indeed. We cannot achieve it alone, only through Jesus that God has sent as a redeemer. This is a real face of compassion- to sacrifice one’s Son in order to save great many. When we extend this ultimate compassion to ourselves, to our family and friends, and to strangers, we become the vessel of God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love. Fear would have no place to present itself because compassion will override it.

Clear seeing and compassion are two wings of a great bird which symbolizes freedom. With these two wings, we are free to fly as the wind of the Holy Spirit guides us wherever that may be.


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