I’ve learned a fundamental lesson from hearing and reading the teachings of the spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle. On his books, he talks about the power of the present moment and how we can use it to overcome any difficulties we face in life. It is tough to believe that just by focusing, by being aware, one’s life can change so drastically in only a few moments. Let’s then proceed to explain the logic behind this.
To be present is to be aware of your surroundings, the sensations of your body, the sounds, to accept the present moment, the current life situation we are facing. That is not to say that one should avoid action or engage in idleness, instead just being okay with whatever happens.
This is all a little bit confusing for everyone. I like the philosophy of Eckhart because it is practical and secular. Unlike Buddhism, which is a philosophy but considered a religion by many, Eckhart takes the practical teachings and shares them with us, without bringing religion into the equation.
By acceptance, we mean surrender. It is said that the Buddha traveled a lot, mainly through India, in search of some meaning, some answer. Fortunately, he found nothing, after many years of searching he just gave up. When he gave up and stopped giving sense to his search and the answers he was seeking, something beautiful happened, he became enlightened. This is what acceptance is.
Now, you won’t become enlightened just by accepting that there’s a lot of traffic and you’re arriving late to work, but it is beneficial to one’s health to do so because stress will go away. When we accept that we can’t change everything, and embrace what can’t be changed, we become peaceful and calm.
Think about something you appreciate, a material possession, a beautiful one, something you like to see and enjoy. It could be a 1950 Gibson Les Paul guitar, or maybe a vintage Rolex watch, or a 1970 Mustang; you love to see it and appreciate the mastery that was required to produce such a piece. And although you enjoy it, you are well aware that your life doesn’t depend on it, you don’t feel identified by it.
Because identifying one’s self with something else feeds the ego and the hunger it has to expand. Now, if the object of your appreciation gets stolen, unlike many people would do, the ideal reaction should be to accept it, and the fact that you may never see it again.
Acceptance doesn’t imply idleness, so, you should still go to the police and report the robbery, and do your best to find what was stolen, but without obsessing over it, because nothing good comes from that. You don’t need it to survive; it was just an extra.
Nothing in this life belongs to us. We have no right over anything. We didn’t produce the materials necessary to build the things we use every day; being here is a plus.
Some say it is absurd to talk about these things, because the one who hasn’t experienced it, had a taste of it, will understand nothing at all. But for those fortunate enough (like me) to have experienced this, maybe just for a few seconds, you will be glad to put a name on it.
This is a beautiful feeling. When you stop resisting that which bothers you, when you totally embrace it, and a beautiful feeling wraps your body, it feels like your whole self is vibrating.
That is acceptance.