Sovereign Earth 9 – Acceptance

Sovereign Earth  9 – Acceptance
“”Life is series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow . Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward, in whatever way they like” – Lao Tzu.
 Chant – John Bell- Iona community.
“Take oh take me as I am 
Summon out what I may be
Set your seal upon my heart
And live in me”
JJ Poem
We turn the key the clock to wind
Then find time turns all humankind
For clocks turn us and not us clocks
Its time to which we are in hock.
We turn the key the car to fire
Hoping that it will drive us far
And sure enough since cars steer us
We’re driven insane in the rush.
We turn the key to log into
Computers which should be our tools
Yet we’re the tools in every way
For they drive humans every day
We turn the key, the lock to pick
Hoping that it will do the trick
And open doors, instead of which
In chains it leaves us – there’s the hitch
The key we need cannot be seen
The lock and chains all lurk within
The way to open up the mind
Is loves acceptance – then we’ll find
The way to open up the mind
Is love’s acceptance, then we’ll find.
Longfellow: “After all, the best thing one can do when it is raining, is to let it rain.”
Zen quote from my ‘Book of Shinings’
“If you understand, things are just as they are. And if you don’t understand, things are still just as they are. Acceptance is not passivity. It is a courageous step in the process of transformation”   
This accords with my own life experience.  Fully letting go into a place of seeming death and destruction, through a process of radical acceptance, resulted in a deep peace and a total transformation of my life – one of the fruits of which is this series of Sovereign Earth. Here’s a poem which sums up that process of ultimate acceptance – something I only came to fully appreciate with the benefit of hindsight. This was written about a decade ago:
‘I have relinquished
I now accept
I am surrendered
Without regret
I’m blown wide open
I’m stripped quite bare
I stand in silence
Beyond despair.
Reduced to nothing
I have it all
Forsake illusion
Embrace the fall’
In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling writes the following words:
“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery”, hinting at similar process in her own experience. A common experience at some point in life for all of us perhaps?
Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation – Acceptance is a way of deeply honouring the natural flow of life.
Let’s share an insight into the essence of acceptance – the loving craft of self acceptance – one of the keys to a contented life I would suggest.
This short extract from story is about the love of an old toy – a childhood friend – deeply loved and cherished. Most of us had such a toy I suspect. This tender story illuminates a beautiful lesson of acceptance.  Dwell in the story as you close your eyes and I read you through it, sinking into the very best of your inner child – the eternal flame of wisdom that glows within us all.
After that I will sing a song – still with eyes closed – about deep acceptance, followed by a period of silence when I will ask you to dwell in the beauty of who you truly are and the acceptance of your deepest Self.
So,first of all, here’s the story.  Its from a book called the Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams Bianco. Some of you may already know of it. Close your eyes…. breath deeply…. and listen in…..
 “Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.’Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”



 “How could anyone ever tell you, that you’re anything less than beautiful
How could anyone ever tell you, that you’re anything less than whole
How could anyone fail to notice, that your being is a miracle
And how deeply we’re connected through our souls”
Period of silence and reflection………..
Walt Whitman:  from ‘Leaves of Gold’
“ I am larger, better than I thought.
I did not know I held so much goodness.
All seems beautiful to me.
Whoever denies me, it shall not trouble me.
Whoever accepts me, he or she shall be blessed
And shall bless me.”
A few moments silence: …..
Lets reflect for a minute or two on a couple of the benefits of acceptance:
Lao Tzu wrote: (in the 6th century BCE I believe – but certainly a very long time ago:
‘Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try and convince others.
Because one is content with oneself, One doesn’t need others approval.
Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts you.’
John Green wrote these words which resonate especially at this time of crisis in the world.  As the fires rage in Amazonia and the first iceberg has its funeral and gravestone in Iceland, here are words of deep acceptance to give sustenance and perspective:
“Nothing can last forever – Not even the earth. As Buddha said; the cessation of desire leads to the cessation of suffering.  So when you stop wishing things wouldn’t fall apart,  you’ll stop suffering when they actually do”.   Deep acceptance is part of the key to dealing with what is unfolding in our time.
Song to finish:
 “I step into the flow, and then I let it go
I open my mind, my heart and my soul
I step into the flow, and then I let it go
I open my mind, my heart and my soul.
I surrender, I surrender, I surrender
I open my mind, my heart and my soul
I open my mind, my heart and my soul.”
With love and every blessing on your path

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