Those of you who are Seeds readers know that I have a thing for acronyms. So you know, Seeds is the spiritual email message I've sent every Friday for 12 years. If you're interested in a free subscription, please visit the sign-up page.
So here's a yummy acronym from Mike Dooley's delicious book, Infinite Possibilities: The Art of Living Your Dreams.
He even goes so far as to call it inner peace. Well, duh, I said to myself.
And then I came upon it again and was stilled by the deep wisdom in his words.
First, let's face it. Very few people associate pleasure with peace. Most of us think peace has a high cost, and that pleasure doesn't ordinarily fit into it. Except, wait. When I have to call a credit card company, for example, their phone trees can kick me into anger almost faster than anything. Am I pleased when I don't get angry? Heck yes, I am. Very pleased--with myself. I did it! I say to myself. I kept my peace.
Maybe it's time we started associating pleasure with peace? I think so.
Now on to Experience. Experience is touted as a good thing in this life, and so it is. Experience is knowledge applied, and it hopefully turns into wisdom the longer we live. Yes! Experiencing pleasure is something we all want, isn't it? Of course we do. There are entire schools of psychological thought based on the notion that humanity routinely seeks the experience of pleasure and avoids the experience of pain.
Think of the last time you experienced genuine pleasure. Mine was last night when I had the first ears of fresh corn of this season. I was pleased that I was eating something good for me, that the taste was so sweet, that corn is the perfect butter-and-salt delivery system. Eating what I ate gave me an experience of not only pleasure, but also peace.
I think we can agree that experiencing peace is an excellent goal.
Well, then we come to Accepting. Oh my, the biggest insanity we humans have created! Truly. We deplore rejection. In fact, I've never met a person who consciously seeks rejection. We avoid it at almost all costs.
Many years ago someone once asked me if I could explain my spiritual practice in one word. I said, "Yes." He waited. I repeated myself, "Yes." He waited still. I said, "That's it. My spiritual practice is 'yes.'" I think he's still waiting.
Accepting is one of the best practices there is. You may not like what is happening in our world or in your personal reality but so? Accept what is. Say yes whether you like it or not. That way, you're not resisting what's in front of you, and you get a strong foundation from which to make change if so desired.
All Creation comes next. The thing is: if we reject one thing, say, anteaters (forgive me anteater activists), then in some sense we're rejecting everything. That's true of human beings as well. Reject one thing about yourself and that one thing will be a thorn in your side until you accept it.
Not long ago, I had a realization based on the wisdom of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who I am known for quoting. Emerson wrote, "What you resist persists." True enough. Proof? Whatever you do, don't think about the Statue of Liberty. How long before she showed up in your head?
Anyway, sitting on my back porch, I got a new idea: Insistence is resistance. Whatever we insist upon ... perhaps that the world would be a better place without anteaters, or certain persons, or whatever ... we reject, and what we reject keeps showing up till we clear up our mess around it.
This applies to all Creation. No exceptions. (This is why, when I pray at night, I pronounce a blessing on everyone and everything in all the worlds--no exceptions.)
Dooley takes us to the net: As it Exists. Yup. Just the way everything and everyone is right now this precious, holy minute. Don't get me wrong. There are definitely some things I'd change on the planet, given the chance. Shall we try ... the war on drugs (legalize and tax them please), the war on terror (everyone must deal with their own interior terrorist as quickly as possible), climate change (let's get the real facts and make real change now)?
But it's not just up to me. So I, like you, get to accept all creation as it exists right now.
This, my friend, causes me to experience pleasure.
Then, I get to have inner peace.
And so can you.
P.S. This is my 100th Huffington Post blog. Thanks, Arianna, for this remarkable platform.