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Mark Chan

6 March 2017

Radical Acceptance Chapter 11&12 Outline

Awakening Together: Practicing Radical Acceptance In Relationship

I. When we feel cutoff from others our lives can feel like a
wasteland, empty of meaning, hollow and thin
a. When into our wasteland comes someone who genuinely
cares, we can come back to life in an instant
b. The sincere question, How are you? opens the healing
flood of tears
c. We need others to help us dismantle the walls of our
isolation and remind us of our belonging
d. We are connected to others and our world is the essence of
II. Our spiritual healing and awakening happens with others
a. We are wounded in relationship, and we need to heal in
b. A key to awakening is feeling the genuine care and interest
of others
III. We are social beings we carry within us the sense of whom
we belong with and our concerns about how others regard us
a. Feeling the care of others allows us to awaken from the
trance and become whole
b. Our sangha it encompasses the whole web of conscious
relationships within which we heal and awaken
c. Two wings of radical acceptance: mindfulness and
compassion our relationships with other become a sacred
vessel for spiritual freedom

Conscious Relationship: The Heart of Spiritual Practice

I. Teachings that primarily emphasize silent meditation and a

focus on ones inner life can lead to a basic misunderstanding
a. Relationships with others matter, but can seem incidental
to our spiritual awakening
b. The heart and mind are most profoundly awakened in the
context of deep human relationship
c. Close relationships give rise to my most intense reactivity
as well as to cherished experiences of connectedness
II. Relationships with other are right at the center of spiritual life
a. The Buddha considered sangha one of the basic treasures
on the spiritual path
b. The Buddha emphasized the importance of mutual support
in the awakening of our hearts and minds
III. The Buddha introduced principles for living harmoniously in
a. Nonharming to behave with reverence for all life
b. Right speech speaking what is true and helpful
c. Taking responsibility for causing pain to another
d. Listening to understand the persons suffering
e. Sincerely apologizing and renewing our resolve to act with
f. Paying attention and relating wisely with others open and
free the heart
IV. To cover up the strong wants and fears we might feel in close
relationships, we often hid behind our persona
a. We react to one another out of habit
b. Insight Dialogue interpersonal meditation practice
c. Instead of immediately responding
d. Pause for a moment, relax our body and mind and
mindfully notice what we are experiencing
e. By pausing and paying attention we become acutely aware
of our patters of reaction
f. This leads to more understanding and kindness in our
V. Awakening through conscious relationships is the heart of
spiritual life
a. We become transfigures into compassion and
b. Leads to speaking together mindfully, both hearts open
c. This is a powerful and direct way for us to realize our
Buddha nature is through our relationships with each other
d. We directly undo the conditioning that keeps us in the
trance of separation

The Challenge And Blessing Of Vulnerability

I. When we expose our own heart or fear, we actually give

others permission to be more authentic
a. In exposing vulnerability we are always taking a change
and sometimes might get hurt
b. While it takes courage to be vulnerable the reward is sweet
c. We awaken compassion and genuine intimacy in our
relationships with others

The Gift Of Radical Acceptance

I. We just need to hear Dont change. I love you just as you
a. Relax and open to a feeling of aliveness that may have
been blocked off
b. When others accept us exactly as we are, it does not mean
they like everything we do
c. Loving acceptance combined with forthright honesty are
the key components in what substance abuse professionals
call an intervention
d. When we realize that we are human, imperfect and still
lovable we can breathe deeply and start fresh
e. Radical acceptance opens the door of our cage and invites
us to move freely in our world

Walking The Path With Spiritual Friends

I. Friendliness is one of the main translations of the Pali word

metta or lovingkindness
a. The love and understanding of a friend refreshes the very
source of our beings
b. Being with good friends helps us relax about our inner
weather and stop regarding our painful emotions or
confused behaviors as symptoms of spiritual backsliding
c. As we bring our vulnerability insight and heart in conscious
relationships we realize we are all waking up together
II. The share interest of group members is to speak and listen
honestly to be present and to communicate from the heart
a. The painful emotions area call to deepen her attention and
practice compassion
b. Being with a group of spiritual friends helps us remember
what we value about ourselves
c. Then our faith in ourselves enables us to relate to those
around us with a growing balance and strength
III. When radical acceptance blossoms in our relationships, it
becomes a kind of spiritual re-parenting that enables us to
trust the goodness and beauty of who we really are
a. By mirroring back to someone their goodness, we offer a
priceless gift, and its blessing ripple out through a lifetime
b. Some of our deepest awakenings happen through the
intimate and loving connections that remind us most fully
of who we are
c. The living experience of love reveals our intrinsic
wholeness and radiance
d. When we are relating consciously the suffering of our
personal trance dissolves
Pain Is Not Personal

I. Because all members of the tribe are connected with each

other, the suffering of one affects the others, and all become
involved in healing
a. Members of the tribe are not blamed or isolated in their
b. Suffering is a shared concern, a part of everyones life
c. Pain does not belong to one individual
d. Not taking pain personally is essential to radical
e. Remaining open and vulnerable and accepting with each
other, we heal together
f. If we pay close attention to each other, we see that we are
not alone in our wants and fears
g. When my fear or my shame becomes our share suffering,
radical acceptance flowers
h. When in friendship we release all distancing thoughts and
ideas when we behold each other with clarity and love we
nourish the seeds of liberation

Realizing Our True Nature

I. When we are trapped in the trance of feeling separate and

unworthy, Buddha nature appears to be outside of us
a. As we spiritually mature. Our yearning to see truth and live
with an open heart becomes more compelling than our
reflex to avoid pain and chase after pleasure
b. Our true and original nature is described as
prajnaparamita, the hear of perfect wisdom
i. The Mother of all Buddhas the one who shoes the
world as it is
ii. When we are completely in touch with our true
nature, we are completely free of the trance
c. The process of realizing who we are is called a path of
d. The path opens us to the awareness and love that is here,
now, always

Doubting Our Buddha Nature

I. We must wish to become more mindful of the persistent

illusion of a small self
a. Asking yourself Who am I taking myself to be?
b. Who do you think you are? the voice of Mara that
urges us to turn against ourselves, to give up the path,
convincing us that we are going nowhere
c. Touching the ground of wakeful presence the heart of
perfect wisdom from which all enlightened beings spring
d. Calling on ones true identity to dispel all doubt that keeps
us from complete freedom
e. Then Mara will fearfully withdraw
f. Asking yourself Who is aware right now?
i. When the voice of doubt afflicts us, we touch the
ground by arriving in this moment
ii. Directly connecting with the earth, the life of our
bodies, our breath and our inner weather
iii. Looking directly into the awareness that is the very
source of life
iv. Realize the true immensity of who we are

Seeing Beyond The Self And Letting Go Into Awareness

I. When we sit down to meditate we begin with our immediate

a. Our body and mind begin to quiet
b. Our sense of self begins to loosen
II. Holding on to anything, including a sense of being the
observer, obscures the full freedom of awareness
a. We bring mindfulness to awareness itself
b. We look into awareness
c. Cut through and dispel the deepest illusions of self that
have held us separate and bound
III. If we are anxious and trying to have a particular experience,
our attention fixates on thoughts, sounds and sensations
a. We try to secure our identity by nailing down our
b. Look and see Let go and be free
c. Our attention is always focusing on the movie of life our
outer as well as our inner world
d. When we look into our awareness and see what is true , we
relax, completely letting go into that reality
IV. When we look within, there is not entity, no mind-substance,
no self, no thing we can identify
a. There is just awareness open empty awareness
b. Unless we anchor ourselves again in thoughts, we have
nowhere to stand, no firm ground
c. This seeing of no things is what Tibetan teachers call the
supreme being
V. Empty awareness is full with presence, alive with knowing
a. Awareness is a radiant in cognizance and boundless
enough to contain all life
b. To recognize this pure awareness, we need to relax the veil
of stories, thoughts, wants and fears that cover our natural
c. To see the universe as it is, you must step beyond the net
d. It is not hard to do so, for the net is full of holes
VI. Our attention is always fixating on something
a. Our reality is the thoughts and dramas we see in our
mental movies
b. We step beyond the net by letting go of our stories and
pursuits and turning toward awareness
c. We look back into the emptiness that is the creative source
of all stories and emotions
d. See the universe as it is
VII. Rather than trying to control or interrupt our experience, we
need to train to relax our grip
a. Wakefully letting go into what is right here, we are carried
home into the mystery and beauty that is our deepest
b. The path of awakening is simply a process of wakeful,
profound relaxing
c. With practice, recognizing our natural awareness takes less
and less of an effort or sense of doing
d. We look back into awareness and then simply let go into
what is seen
e. We are ate home because we have seen and experienced
firsthand the vast and shining presence that is the very
source of our being

Realizing Our Nature As Both Emptiness And Love

I. The open, wakeful emptiness of awareness is our absolute

a. Our original nature is changeless, unconditioned, timeless
and pure
b. What our mind recognizes as empty awareness, our heart
experiences as love
c. Form is emptiness, emptiness is also form. Emptiness is not
other than form, form is not other than emptiness
d. In cherishing all living beings with compassion, we
recognize the empty, wakeful awareness that is our
common source
II. Loving life and realizing our essence as formless awareness
can not be separated from each other
a. If we immerse ourselves in the mental dramas and
changing emotions of our lives without remembering the
empty, wakeful awareness that is our original nature, we
get lost in the nightmare of identifying as a separate
suffering self
b. Our deepest realization of the interdependence of love and
emptiness comes when we are facing the anguish of loss
c. This word of beloved forms plays out with relentless,
commanding force
d. Emptiness is form
e. Form is emptiness
f. There is only the tender field of awareness experiencing
the arising and passing of life
III. Our grief is the honest recognition that is cherished life is
a. No matter what we lose, we open to the ocean of grief
because we are grieving all of this fleeting life
b. Radical acceptance is the art of engaging fully in the world
c. Wholeheartedly caring about the preciousness of life
d. Resting in the formless awareness that allows this life to
arise and pass away
e. When we are filled with wanting, grief or fear, prematurely
looking toward awareness may be a way of disengaging
from the rugged rawness of our emotions

The Pathway Home: Stepping Into Unconditional Presence

I. This desire for love and freedom was stronger tan any voice of
a. Walk on through all the fears and pain in this life
b. One step at a time, and you will know a freedom and peace
beyond all imagining
c. Remember our longing to awaken compassion, our longing
to be wise and free
d. What we cherish guides us to hold our fear and doubt with
II. The path = arriving over and over again in the moment with a
kind awareness
a. Taking one step at a time, being willing to show up for just
this much, touching the ground just this moment
b. Radical acceptance = frees us from the voices of Mara and
tells us we are separate and unworthy
c. We discover the natural wakefulness and care that is
inherent within us
III. When we live in awareness, we live in love
a. We can trust the awareness and love that are our true
b. The essence of radical acceptance = when we get lost we
only need pause, look at what is true and relax our heart
and arrive again