A letter from C.:
I can relate to your story and the feeling of chronic background discontent.
I feel that every day because of my own inner struggle.
But I have also practiced mindfulness and meditation daily, off and on, for a very long time. I believe in it as a holistic approach.
I recently read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle for the second time because it meant so much to me.
I have no problems grasping the concept intellectually and connecting to my inner body for mindfulness and presence practice.
Yet the sadness within feels like a bottomless pit. Not just my own but the state of the world.
I guess my question is if I deeply accept this reoccurring feeling and let it be, will it eventually disintegrate?
How do I accept it while disengaging in my mind? How to do both at once?
During one of his retreats, Eckhart Tolle mentioned that sometimes he cries when he thinks about the state of the world and what humans do to each other and sentient beings on this planet.
He told that story when someone asked him if he still had a pain body or was completely free of it.
So everyone has a pain body, even spiritual teachers. And you’re not alone in feeling sad for the world.
Acceptance is only a temporary device that we can use while learning to live in a state of complete presence.
This means that you have to be careful and not let your mind use acceptance as an excuse to feel sad and unhappy all the time.
If that happens, then it’s not acceptance anymore. It becomes a mental abstraction that you add to your sense of unhappy self.
Yes, when you face difficult emotions, feelings, and thoughts, the first step is to accept them. It’s better than trying to push them away.
But the purpose of acceptance is to see that those feelings are not you, that the essence of your being is not affected by them. Feelings are just feelings. They come and go.
So to answer your question: the sadness you feel won’t disintegrate, but rather you will not be affected by that sadness.
And with time, you will stop creating the sadness, and so there won’t be a need to accept it anymore.