How do we accept ourselves or others when our actions are causing harm? Does acceptance mean passivity? Does it undermine our efforts towards change? This talk responds to these questions with a simple, illuminating and challenging principle about genuine transformation: Acceptance is the prerequisite of true healing and awakening. Only when we've paused to recognize and allow this moment's experience to be fully as it is, can we respond from our intelligence and compassion to prevent future suffering.
Though mindfulness meditation instructions generally suggest paying attention to what is predominant, focusing on overwhelming emotions especially those rooted in trauma is often not beneficial. This talk, which includes the Buddha's teachings on working with difficult emotions as well as theory from Somatic Experiencing (SE)—an approach to working with trauma—explores how to work with intense emotions by touching them a little at a time.