Often, life does not make any sense to our mechanical mind. The sense of a matter only reveals itself to us from hindsight. When things do not make sense at that moment, do not fight it or resist it. Remember, whatever you resist persists. Whatever you fight against gains more power of its own from sucking your power. The best thing to do is to just accept, accept what is. Accept the suchness and let it be.
In the state of acceptance, everything is transformed. You accept the fact that you are angry or sad about something; you embrace your feeling, honour your pain, but don’t forget that pain may be inevitable, but suffering is optional. The situation or the circumstance does not determine the outcome of your life, only your attitude towards it does, only how you handle it does, how you understand it, how you perceive it, and ultimately how you transform it that determines the outcome.
When you accept someone for who they are, not for what you expect them to be, you are allowing them to connect to their inner goodness. They are left alone to feel the truth of who they are rather than being forced to become someone they are not. In this acceptance, they are transformed; they are willing to change for the better, not because you force them to change, but because they want to become more. They change in the light of your goodness, in your acceptance, in your understanding, your love and compassion.
Once a Zen master was sitting in his home meditating. A thief came in demanding his money. Without even opening his eyes, he said to the thief, ‘The money is in the drawer of my desk. Take what you need, but leave some for me to pay the bill tomorrow. And when you leave, close the door. Don’t forget to thank the person who gives you the money.’
The thief took some money and left in a state of inner trembling. ‘What kind of person is this?’ the thief thought to himself, ‘He knows I am coming to steal his money. He did not even reject me. He offered me his money and asked me to close the door when I leave. What kind of person is he? So peaceful, so kind, so powerful. What is his secret?’
A few days later, the thief was caught and the Zen master was called to be a witness in court. ‘This man is not a thief.’ He exclaimed, ‘I invited him into my house, I gave him the money, and he thanked me for it.’
The thief still went to jail for a while because too many other people had condemned him. When he was released out of the jail, he went to the Zen master, kissed his feet, and became his disciple.
This is the transformational power of acceptance, goodness, and innocence in which all ‘bads’ can become ‘good’, in which there is nothing else but goodness in existence.
An excerpt from Hong’s new book “Freedom to Love”