Accepting what is, even after a tragedy

    Two hundred million people were killed in World War II, 53,000 Americans and hundreds of thousands Vietnamese died in Vietnam, nearly 3,000 American were killed in the 2011 9/11 attacks and now 58 have been murdered and more than 500 wounded in Las Vegas.

    "I do not mind what happens" is what the Indian sage Krishnamurti announced as his most important secret in the last couple of years of his life. Eckhart Tolle in his book "The New Earth" explained what Krishnamurti meant was that he was always in alignment with accepting what is. This means to be in a relationship of non-resistance with whatever is happening in one’s life.

    This tragic loss of life was not good or bad. Unquestionably, there were a lot of families in this massive loss of life that experienced severe grief or depression. Without any intent of being insensitive or callous: The death of loved ones can result in a deeper appreciation of life. We become empty so we can be full of more lessons and insights which enrich our life.

    The best analogy or pointer to learning the practice of non-resistance is our beloved pets and from nature — trees, shrubs, flowers and our vegetable gardens. We, as well as our pets and nature, are expressions of intelligence, presence and is-ness. Of course, other names for this are awareness, love or peace.

    For example, my beloved nearly 16-year-old Irish terrier Chi (deceased) was one of my master teachers. Every day he demonstrated a non-resistance and a surrendered acceptance. No, he did not have conscious awareness. But his incredible, constantly focused attentiveness exemplified this natural non-resistance to sirens, rain, snow or even his family getting a bit angry with his occasional accidents as he aged.

    In conclusion, one does not mind what happens if one can learn to really accept what is. Yes, that includes losing loved ones. To the degree that we become more and more present here and now, we let go of the ego’s pervasive and devious attempt to pull one into these pseudo identifications with forms, dramas or conflicts.

    What is it that we can do every day to become more consciously present and thereby not be upset by whatever happens? The answer is simple and does not require meditative practices or retreats. (Do not get me wrong; both of these are helpful.) Wherever you go, begin to really observe the stillness or silence.

    For example, walking in a park — particularly in the early morning — stop and you will feel or sense a stillness or silence. You will notice that you suddenly are not thinking. Looking around, you are seeing an incredible beauty in leaves, trees or shrubs. Then, you will start thinking again and this stillness disappears. But, just relax and without making a disciplined effort, begin to again sense or feel this ever-present stillness or silence. Again, almost miraculously, you see an intricate beauty in the grass or a bee or ant or the brilliant blue sky or cloud formations.

    This deep awareness does and can be experienced even in an externally noisy mall or downtown or in a conversation with anyone. Again, there is no effort required other than becoming very open, attentive or watchful. Notice that even in the noise, there are brief moments of this stillness or silence. In these moments, even in chatting with someone, you find you are in a calm peacefulness but without thought. It is in these precious moments of oneness that you understand the deeper meaning of "I do not mind what happens" and accept what is.

    — Jim Hawes, a retired Medford school teacher, has published "Ageless Child," (Balboa Press), available at or Barnes and Nobles, and is working on his new book "The Jewels of Aging."

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