Tolerance and Acceptance: What is The Difference?

Tolerance – the willingness to endure, to put up with Acceptance – the action of consenting to receive something offered What is the difference between acceptance and tolerance? Sometimes the line is blurred.  We may think we’re accepting an experience, a feeling, a pattern or cluster of persistent thoughts when we’re actually only tolerating them. Knowing the difference is essential in our practice if we want to reduce our suffering. In his beautiful poem “The Guest House,” Rumi encourages us to welcome and entertain all of the visitors that come our way. The visitors are metaphors for what arises in our

2020-03-31T15:52:41+00:00November 18th, 2019|

Practice Tip: Three Steps to Releasing Difficult Thoughts in Meditation

When we meditate, at times difficult, unresolved encounters with friends, loved ones or co-workers may dominate our thoughts. If we don’t repress them (and normally we shouldn’t) they may instead begin to take over our meditation session as we swing from replaying the encounter to trying to figure out how to address it.  So what to do? How do we find the wise middle way between over-identification and repression?   As an example, let’s say you and your boss were brainstorming how to solve a problem and your boss failed to listen to an idea you felt was important based on

2020-03-31T15:53:31+00:00October 28th, 2019|

How to Recharge Your Practice with a Tried and True Inquiry

Even if you’ve been meditating for many years, you probably encounter old patterns that seem impervious to your mindful awareness. Maybe at times these patterns are dormant, but during challenging moments they reappear and perhaps feel intractable. Often these patterns become entangled in identity – stuck and unfixable with no space between the knots. It may seem no amount of meditation can penetrate this mess. What to do? I suggest bringing out a tried and true inquiry. When you first began meditation practice, you may have engaged the simple practice of asking, “who am I?” Done correctly, this inquiry penetrates and

2020-03-31T15:56:32+00:00September 21st, 2019|

Invisible People: Why They’re Important in Lovingkindness Practice

I’ve been doing lovingkindness practice for 20 years, mostly following the standard formula – starting by offering kindness to myself, then family, friends, teachers and benefactors (people easy to love) and on to indifferent people, difficult people and finally all beings. The practice of offering kindness to indifferent people in particular has completely changed my orientation and perspective. It has led to a deeper exploration of what “indifferent” really means and some interesting revelations. I began to notice in metta instructions that indifferent people are often described as service workers, clerks, repair people, those we don’t see or interact with as

2019-06-25T07:39:06+00:00June 25th, 2019|
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