Acceptance: Understanding

Acceptance is not what you might think. A lot has been said about mindfulness being nonjudgmental. This does not mean we don’t have feelings about things that might be unpleasant. It just means that we should spend a moment accepting what is right in front of us or within us before we rush to making a hasty decision based on strong emotions.

Acceptance does not mean:

  • You deny your feelings
  • You have to like it. 
  • You have to “suck it up”
  • You are neutral or indifferent to an injustice.
  • You have to make something positive out of it
  • You have to agree with what is present

In the coolest form of acceptance is non-resistance. This enables us to meet whatever is showing up and getting to know each intimately before we investigate it and ask ourselves, “What is called for now?”

by Dr. Allan Donsky

Is Life About a Sit Down Dinner or a Buffet

Life is a Buffet

Am I a Buddhist? Or is Buddhism just one belief system that influences my world view? At one point I would have called myself a Buddhist. But I began to appreciate that my perspective on life has been impacted by many systems. Somatic therapy by Peter Levine, Carl Jung and his dream work, Internal Family Systems therapy by Richard Schwartz etc.

Life is not about sitting down every day to the same set dinner but opening to the possibility of sampling multiple different tastes from a buffet. There is no need to maintain absolute fidelity to the original teachings of any belief system. The truth is not an expression of a single voice. There is no one truth except what you stitch together to make your truth. All that matters is what works for you. I call myself a “Pluralist.”

by Dr. Phil Blustein

Life as the Unknown

Life as the Unknown

Happy and not yet happy
Sad and not yet sad
Sick and not yet sick
Dead and not yet dead

Do you know what is going to happen in the next moment? If you do, let us buy a lottery ticket together!

We live our life hoping and expecting that only good things will happen. Death. Who needs to look at that? It is something that is going to happen in the far distant future so why think about it. Suffering. Another one of those things that are unpleasant so I don’t want to reflect on that either. If only we could live our life sheltered from these traumas. That can happen, but one needs to be dead or in a coma. And when something unpleasant happens we react with surprise and disbelief. It is as if it is an affront to you. Why would this happen to me? How dare this happen to me!

The reality is that there is the capacity for good and bad things to happen and for the most part we have no control over these events in life. Health and illness, birth and death, safety and trauma, beginning and ending of relationships. We need to contemplate on the fact that there is the potential for both happiness and suffering to occur in any moment. 

by Dr. Phil Blustein

TRUTHS of the nature of REALITY

Truths of the Nature of Reality

*Reality is conditionally created
Every moment is a constant autonomous subconscious interpretation of perceived causes and conditions referenced against a personal arbitrary belief system to create a conditioned enduring sense of self.

*Attachment to self leads to suffering

*Non-Attachment to self leads to freedom from suffering
Can one rest in the awareness of the experience that contains the story of self rather than be the sense of self that believes it is having the experience?

*Transformation from self-referential judgment to non-self referential discernment is the segue to liberation
Can one reference experience against universal ethical and compassionate standards and not our personal belief system of unmet psychological needs?

*Choice is possible for skillful action

by Dr. Phil Blustein



We take such pride in being human. We are so advanced relative to any other living creature in the world. Just compare our mental abilities with a dog, cat, bird, elephant etc. However, are we really that superior to the rest of existence.

One of the main determining factors for our behavior is the biologic imperative of survival. We judge each moment against the marker of will it help one’s survival or not. We have a negative bias in that we are always scrutinizing whether the present moment is for our benefit or not. This historic primal evaluation of physical threat has now been replaced by psychological concerns. We as humans have “evolved” to a higher and different standard to reference all experience. There is no question we want to live but judging our existence against perceived psychological threats may actually limit our capacity to be present moment to moment with some peace and compassion. Just think of how our normal self-referential judging mind leads us to constant criticizing of our self, causing personal suffering.

Mindfulness is asking us to step back from this evolved instinctive reaction to each moment and rest in a new skillful relationship of awareness, stillness and choice. We are asked to De-evolve to a place that predates our apparent evolution to a conditioned created sense of self to non-interpretative knowing of experience.

by Dr. Phil Blustein