Recently, I listened to an audiobook called Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach, renowned American psychologist, author, and proponent of Buddhist meditation. She is a guiding teacher and founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, D.C.
It was nothing short of life-changing. One nugget that stuck with me even after days of listening to it is the following (not verbatim):
It is rumored that when Buddha was meditating, a satan named Mara (read anger or any other destructive emotion) came to disturb his peace and wreak havoc in Buddha's life. Buddha very calmly replied "You can do whatever you wish to, Mara. But first, come and have tea"
I am repeating this is not exactly the story that Tara recited in the audiobook but the gist is the same as the great Sufi mystic Rumi said many thousand years later:
Welcome, entertain them (sadness, frustration, anger) all because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
You do it to yourself
And then you regret it
And later, you can not forgive yourself.
How twisted we are by design!
The hardest thing, I think, is to accept your own self, with all your flaws, unconditionally.
Love, respect, care will automatically follow.
Writing with great warmth and clarity, Tara Brach brings her teachings alive through personal stories and case histories, fresh interpretations of Buddhist tales, and guided meditations. Step by step, she leads us to trust our innate goodness, showing how we can develop the balance of clear-sightedness and compassion that is the essence of Radical Acceptance. Radical Acceptance does not mean self-indulgence or passivity. Instead it empowers genuine change: healing fear and shame and helping to build loving, authentic relationships. When we stop being at war with ourselves, we are free to live fully every precious moment of our lives.
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