Radical Self Acceptance to Become Whole

Pulling out of a Dutch Bros. coffee stand the other day, I found myself idling behind a car whose bumper sticker read, “God bless everyone – no exceptions”. Yes! And, while we’re at it, how about God bless all parts of everyone, no exceptions. A discussion on behalf of psychological wholeness….

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Personal Authenticity and Presence

We commonly understand personal authenticity to mean being oneself. While this is so, we can understand what it means to be one’s Self in different ways. The practice of presence points to what may be a deeper experience of authenticity.

The human condition is the context which frames an understanding of the import of presence. In brief, you and I are asleep – metaphorically – to our deeper nature from which authenticity originates.

Everyday a myriad of stimuli drown our awareness: innumerable thoughts, feelings, sensations, outer events and interactions. One thought, feeling, or sensation leads by association to another and another and another ad infinitum keeping the hamster wheel of inner imagination and self-talk turning ceaselessly.

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The Paradox of Spiritual Seeking

In their search for enlightenment, some persons cross deserts or and climb mountains at great peril to themselves. Others seek realization at the feet of their beloved masters listening expectantly to every word. Still some attend weekend seminars or study sacred texts late into the night.

While there are a great many seekers, there appear to be few finders. Perhaps this confirms that, by definition, a seeker can never be a finder.

If I am seeking, I am seeking some thing – an object which is other than me. I am the seeker; the object is the sought. There is the duality of I – and that which I seek.

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Presence, Neurons, and the Internet

Presence, neurons, and the internet: these concepts are intimately related in an unsuspecting and unfavorable way which might concern you, if in your pursuit of authenticity, you practice presence.

Contemplative traditions consider the practice of presence the sine qua non (“without which nothing”) of spiritual unfolding. The Tibetan Dzogchen master, Namkhai Norbu, for example, considers presence to be “the ultimate” practice.

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Following the Law of One’s Own Being

Often we hear the phrase, “be true to yourself.” Persons interested in living authentically naturally favor the idea. Yet rather than be content with parroting the phrase, let’s take a closer look at what it might mean and how we might be so true.

Let’s begin by imagining a cat and a dog. The qualities of cats differs significantly from those of dogs. These qualities are innate; they express differences in the very nature of these two species. There’s just something about the nature of cats and dogs which make it hard to mistake one for the other.

So it is with persons. Imagine now several different friends of yours. Each friend expresses a different, innate “characteristic quality”. Were that quality to be expressed in sound, it might be a unique tone. Were it expressed in color, it might be a distinct hue. It seems as if Being plays at exploring its infinite variety by endowing each with a unique characteristic quality.

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