“Acceptance” is a very important term, when we want to delve into the workings of the mind (trying to find inner peace and happiness), and one that was brought to life for me during a short retreat to Mother Tara last weekend. During the visualisation there was a phrase that read as follows:

“Tara looks at you, and all beings, with absolute acceptance and compassion”

As I went through the visualisation the true power of the term “acceptance”, in this pure unconditional form, was brought home to me and generated sense of deep inner peace. Tara was looking at me with eyes of complete and unconditional acceptance, without even the smallest sense of judgment and, above all, this acceptance came from a backdrop of ultimate wisdom. Tara, with her Buddha mind of ultimate wisdom – fully understanding the reality of all phenomena and all that is, past, present and future, fully accepting me for who, and what I am, with all my faults and mental obscurations – in the full knowledge of all that I have done, am doing or will do (with body, speech and mind)!

“Acceptance” took on a new meaning and, while it was tempting to think how wonderful it would be if everyone could look at me like that, I tried to imagine what it might be like if “I” could look at the world, and all beings, with the self-same eyes of “acceptance”!!

I knew there would be no sense of falling into the trap of “desiring or expecting others” to look at me like Tara, as any true peace must come from within, not from what others do or say! No, what I needed to do was look at the world as if I had the mind of Mother Tara – fully accepting, compassionate and wise!

Not “acceptance” that is tinged with resignation, judgment or some “condition”, just 100% pure unconditional acceptance of “what is”. Seeing things and people with eyes that simply see phenomena as “being”, with no additional label. “She is”, “they are” and no more! No need to add a label – “good”, “bad”, “nice”, “horrible” etc!! Simply fully accepting, the person, the phenomena – the present moment – unconditionally, with the mind of ultimate wisdom and compassion!

Not easy I know, but one we should strive to implement with strong determination, however many times we mess up, just as we are taught in the Great King of Prayers (also known as The Noble King of Vows of Conduct of Samantabhadra) or by the Indian scholar Shantideva in The Way of the Bodhisattva. The mind is a creature of habbit and it takes great determination and effort to change how we perceive the world. Since time immemorial we have been teaching the mind to judge, to condition to find all manner of ways of protecting us, the “self”, when in reality we need to understand the non existence of the “self” and open ourselves up “acceptance”! Acceptance of all beings, including ourselves, and the acceptance of all phenomena as arsing from the infallibility of  cause and effect, so that “everything is as it has to be” given the causes and conditions of the present moment!

This article contains my humble opinions and thoughts and should not be mistaken for the wisdom of my teacher, the Venerable Geshe Tsering Palden, or any other fully qualified Buddhist teacher or Guru. My only aim in writing this Blog is to try and train my mind in the path of the Buddha and if by so doing I am able to benefit others I dedicate all merits for the relief of suffering of all sentient beings.

Note: Any error in this text is entirely attributable to me, and only to me, and should never be attributable to the perfect teachings of Dharma. I sincerely apologise for any mistakes.