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I sometimes talk about an aspect of our Zen practice I call "acceptance without acceptance" ...

By that I mean an approach to all the ugly and painful aspects of life and this world which are just so hard (perhaps impossible) to accept.

We can accept and not accept simultaneously, repair what needs to be repaired.

I recall, for example, a dear zen-friend of mine who, facing a serious illness, accepted the condition fully, accepted that it is natural for us to all get sick sometimes - yet fought the good fight for a cure.

That is acceptance without acceptance.

Today, I would just like to add another perspective that makes us the mystics which we are ...

For besides merely accepting while not accepting  ... we might EMBRACE, CELEBRATE and SINK RIGHT IN! (and that includes the worst of it)!

Any garden is flowers and weeds ... life is beauty and ugliness (some of it heartbreaking). Yet we see ALL of that as life's nature. We not only accept and tolerate ... we GIVE THANKS FOR all sides of it.

There are stories of Hassidic Jews giving thanks and praise to their God while standing to march into the ovens during the Holocaust. Simple thanks for the time they had, and all until that moment. Asking nothing, needing nothing more.

Now, don't ever get this point wrong: Praising the weeds and wars and wrongs, and being thankful for all of it ... that does not mean we do not set to pulling weeds, fixing this world, righting wrongs.

Remember that in our Zen Practice, we are often tasting life from many perspectives at once, some downright opposed, some downright so crazy ... that it's as sane as sane can be.

(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)

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