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Without Anxiety about Imperfection

Tara Brach in the first chapter ("The Trance of Unworthiness") of her book Radical Acceptance concludes with a call to awakening:

The renowned seventh-century Zen master Seng-tsan taught that true freedom is being "without anxiety about imperfection." This means accepting our human existence and all of life as it is. Imperfection is not our personal problem—it is a natural part of existing. We all get caught in wants and fears, we all act unconsciously, we all get diseased and deteriorate. When we relax about imperfection, we no longer lose our life moments in the pursuit of being different and in the fear of what is wrong.

D. H. Lawrence described our Western culture as being like a great uprooted tree with its roots in the air. "We are perishing for lack of fulfillment of our greater needs," he wrote, "we are cut off from the great sources of our inward nourishment and renewal." We come alive as we rediscover the truth of our goodness and our natural connectedness to all of life. Our "greater needs" are met in relating lovingly with each other, relating with full presence to each moment, relating to the beauty and pain that is within and around us. As Lawrence said, "We must plant ourselves again in the universe."

Although the trance of feeling separate and unworthy is an inherent part of our conditioning as humans, so too is our capacity to awaken. We free ourselves from the prison of trance as we stop the war against ourselves and, instead, learn to relate to our lives with a wise and compassionate heart. This book is about the process of embracing our lives. When we learn to cultivate Radical Acceptance, we begin to rediscover the garden—a forgotten but cherished sense of wholeness, wakefulness, and love.

(cf. Core Buddhism (2011-10-17), 0-1 (2014-08-29), Heartfulness and Mindfulness (2014-12-15), ...) - ^z - 2015-05-21