Marvin G. Belzer, PhD, has taught mindfulness meditation for twenty years. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. For many years he taught a semester-long meditation course in the Department of Philosophy at Bowling Green St. University, where he was an Associate Professor of Philosophy. He teaches an undergraduate course at UCLA (Psychiatry 175: Mindfulness Practice and Theory) and teaches mindfulness in many different venues in Los Angeles.
We use methods in mindfulness meditation to develop a number of highly valued qualities of mind including concentration, experiential inquiry, kindness, shared joy, and equanimity. At the same time we maintain from the beginning a basic attitude of radical acceptance; we respect self-acceptance as an element of each of the methods. Wait a minute. Is this coherent? Is it a joke? If we are practicing a method to improve the mind, can we really practice radical acceptance at the same time? Put abstractly it can be made to seem paradoxical. Yet the paradox can be resolved. And more important than conceptual resolution is the fact that in practice we find that the methods are transformative when practiced skillfully in a framework of radical acceptance.