Part 1: "Acceptance"
Siri says that acceptance is, "the action of consenting to receive or undertake something offered," but on a more fundamental level, acceptance is the act of giving 100% of your attention to whatever it is you are accepting until it no longer requires your attention and if you are not giving 100%, you are placing your attention some place else.
Comparatively, the opposite of acceptance would be ignorance, which would be the deliberate or unconscious act of diverting your attention away from that which you could be accepting. Hence, ignorance is literally, “the state of ignoring,” while acceptance is literally, “the state of reception," as applied to observing or not observing any phenomenon.
Now, let us agree that there is no, "lack of acceptance,” because we all have somethings that we give 100% of our attention towards and by doing so, we ignore other things that receive little to no attention.
Thus, acceptance and ignorance tend to play together in our daily life, neither being better or worse than the other. Yet, of those experiences that we have given our attention towards - consistently - those experiences have improved or expanded into more of their likeness due to the nature of applied attention:
The more attention you give, the more experience you gain.
To accept this fact requires that you must witness this pattern within your personal experience upon reflection by examining your own life circumstances and how your undivided attention has always increased the experience of whatever you focused upon, while your divided attention has done little-to-nothing towards affecting any change.
Examine: eating, smoking, drugs, sex, alcohol, television, the gym, yoga, listening, ignoring, good habits, bad habits, what you like, dislike, etc.
Part 2: "The Path"
When I mention "The Path," I am referring to the way to Salvation, Liberation & Enlightenment as I have defined below:
Salvation: Deliverance from immediate suffering i.e. feeling better than before.
Liberation: Deliverance from the cause of suffering i.e. feeling reliably better.
Enlightenment: Deliverance from all unconscious tendencies i.e. feeling INVINCIBLE.
Each of these words highlights a different quality of the over arching theme: the cessation of suffering via experiencing acceptance in varying degrees of lifestyle consistency.
Thus, a little acceptance produces the immediate experience of Salvation, a bit more acceptance produces the experience of Liberation as it is applied to the primary cause of suffering, while 100% acceptance will produce the experience of Enlightenment when it is embodied in every area and every moment of daily life.
Now, I cannot claim to have experienced the total dissolution of all suffering, but I can say that I experience Salvation and Liberation on a daily basis as I have gradually come to understand what Enlightenment truly is from these points of clarity, yet some may say that I cannot fully understand Enlightenment until I fully experience it, and that is true.
However, just as you can see a toll booth in the distance while going down a particular road, I can see Enlightenment in the distance while going down this particular path. It just so happens that I am honest enough to say that I have not crossed that transition point of being 100% conscious in every moment of my daily life. Yet, I know I am going in the right direction, because all of the signs say I AM. Those signs being the qualities or aspects of my personal experience that have arisen out of applying acceptance to each area of my life.
Part 3: "Acceptance [iZ] The Path"
As you can see in the heading above, I have claimed that my definition of Acceptance is The Path, which is like to saying: Acceptance is equal to The Way to Salvation, Liberation & Enlightenment via the end of all unconscious suffering.
Simple enough, right?
Next, I have used the made up word "iZ" to refer to the common understanding of, "is" as well as to refer to this present moment. So, when I say "iZ," I am saying "equal to," and "the present," simultaneously. Thus, a more accurate definition of my heading entrails:
Acceptance of The Present Moment is The Path to Salvation, Liberation & Enlightenment.
That's all good and dandy, but how in hell does that apply to YOU?
Let us assume that you want to feel better and in the ideal life experience, you would never feel bad again because you would know exactly how to maintain the experience of acceptance throughout every moment of your daily life AKA Enlightenment.
The trick is: Where to begin?
After 10 years of experimenting with meditation and testing countless claims against the knowledge of my personal experience, I have concluded that FEELING is the appropriate place to start practicing the deliberate act of Acceptance. Thus, in the linage of what needs attention, FEELING comes first because it is the primary influencer of every experience.
FEELING is the primary influencer because as soon as you become emotionally excited in a positive OR negative way, that emotion acts as a stressor on the body, which stresses the brain, which stresses the mind, which narrows your perspective of the circumstances in any given moment.
This means that whenever you get excited about ANYTHING or whenever you get upset about any IDEA - you will automatically see LESS, notice LESS, learn LESS and have LESS access to your knowledge or any available information depending on the intensity of your emotional state.
i.e. More emotion equals less perspective.
Thus, if you do not give enough attention to how you feel, your emotional state will remain imbalanced, which will keep your perspective in a perpetual handicap, prohibiting you from fully engaging with the rest of your experience. And of course, if you cannot see the rest of your experience, you cannot accept the rest of your experience as you continue to live in a perpetual state of ignorance: Ignoring how you feel as well as the details of everything else.
Part 4: The Primal Choice
Welcome to the finale as I draw all of these perspectives into one unified whole, but before we begin, I want to clarify exactly what causes us emotional suffering in every situation.
Basically, suffering is the result of giving too much attention to what you think and not enough attention to how you feel:
When you focus on thoughts that are true or wholly good for you, they feel good, narrowing your perspective into them and drawing those references closer into your personal experience. However, without enough attention on how you feel, you may dive too deep, which may bring up ideas that are half-true or not good for you.
When you focus on thoughts that are half-true or not good for you, they feel bad, narrowing your perspective into them and drawing those references closer into your personal experience. However, without enough attention on how you feel, you may then think that you have a "problem," then carry that assumption throughout your day, making problems for everyone else along your way.
Alternatively, when you give enough attention to how you feel, it improves how you feel, rebalancing your emotional state and widening your perspective, enabling you to more fully engage with whatever you observe afterward.
This is empowering in the sense that if a negatively charged idea occurs, it will not immediately sweep you away into a downward spiral of self-defeating habits. You will have a buffer of equilibrium that you may then use in order to see the idea a bit more clearly, and upon doing so, you will remove your emotional attachment to it, releasing the suffering.
I call this experience of giving 100% of your attention to how you feel: The Primal Choice.
When you experience TPC at the onset of an emotional disturbance by choosing to face how you feel, instead of entertain what you think, you will experience a near-immediate sense of relief that I call Salvation. This is a deliverance from suffering because had you not chosen to give 100% of your attention to how you feel, you would surely be suffering once again in yet another downward spiral of feeling worse and worse and worse.
Yet, that sense of relief is only the beginning, because the relative cause has not been "uprooted," and the suffering will return as soon as you encounter that idea again.
Thus, the next step is to continue to choose TPC and alternate the ideas that feel bad with the experience of TPC that feels peaceful. If you do this consciously and sit long enough, the experience of TPC will gradually dilute your emotional attachment to the idea, and as soon as that emotion has subsided, when you see the idea again, you will realize something new.
Upon this realization, you will see The Truth in relation to what you thought was true, and you will experience a second wave of relief. This second wave will be as if a burden has been lifted and you will be able to notice that your overall mood is WAY better. You may also notice a lucidity to the space around you that will give off the impression that your experience is literally "enlightening".
I call this experience Liberation, because it delivers you from the cause of suffering: MIND
Yet, thoughts are not all bad, because MIND is also the cause of JOY, depending on the thoughts you focus upon and how they relate to where you are in your journey, right now.
A key transition in my experience was when I stopped "waiting to suffer," as I began to implement The Primal Choice into every moment of my daily activities.
As it turns out, our feelings reside within the forefront of every experience, and I can actually witness how I feel while thinking OR doing anything I want due to becoming soo familiar with how I feel as a whole. Of course, the experience comes and goes, but I am gradually becoming more consistent in what I anticipate is the real experience of enlightenment.
At last, whether I am accepting this moment or the next moment, acceptance is the common theme in between all of my experiences as I strive to give 100% of my attention to how I feel.
And since feeling is in the forefront, if I ignore it, I'll ignore most of everything else.
Thus, as you experience more acceptance in your life, perhaps you will agree:
Acceptance [iZ] The Path