Mindfulness Activity #16
Radical Acceptance Mindfulness
People say there are things that should never happen like children dying before their parents.
It’s true that almost any terrible, sad, painful, unjust action causes immeasurable pain. Large
and small injustices create discomfort in the form of despair and anger.
If you read the news or search your personal memory banks, you can find no shortage of
painful things. Today’s mindfulness practice cannot take away injustice. It can’t erase things
that were done to you or that you witness hurting others. However, what it can do is to help
people move from the pain of any injustice to accepting the pain and moving on, without
prolonging it, getting stuck in it, or amplifying the pain.
I have seen poster that say pain is part of life, suffering is optional… I do not think it is that
simple, because escaping suffering requires effort, a lot of effort…I do think it’s possible though
with effort to let go of suffering and to work through pain.
The very best way I know how to do this and how to help people I have worked with to do this
is to teach them the skill of radical acceptance. It is making a choice to accept a situation, your
feelings about it, and to plow through it rather than avoid or throw our hand up…
We can’t just yell at ourselves and bend our feelings into submission. We can, however, make a
decision to that we will strive to accept. The easiest way to strive for this is to sit and practice
accepting with our body and then our brain and heart will follow. The following script walks you
through radical acceptance.
Try this experience. If you cannot access, there is a posture called the half smile. Many of you
know it. You can choose to do half-smile instead. Here is a brief half smile instruction if you do
not know the half-smile and if you prefer to do this practice.
If you remember turning the mind from yesterday, whenever judgment or refusal to accept
arise, you can turn the mind back to half smile or accepting with your breath and body.
I hope it relieves suffering and I wish for everyone as little pain as possible.