Acceptance in Mindfulness Meditation

What does practicing acceptance in mindfulness meditation mean?

As you may recall, the 3 important aspects of mindfulness meditation are present moment awareness, nonjudgment and acceptance. This post completes a 3 part series to discuss these in more detail. You can find the other two posts here and here

One definition of acceptance is “the act of receiving something offered.” 

As acceptance relates to mindfulness, it is the act of allowing “what is” to simply be, and accepting the current moment’s unique, precise details as they are unfolding. It requires an attitude of openness, curiosity and intrigue. 

Acceptance is the process of welcoming and allowing emotions, thoughts, and experiences to be, without resisting them. It requires of you that you develop a new relationship with experiences, one where you allow them to unfold without resistance or manipulation or judgment.

Another way to state it would be “acknowledgement”. You acknowledge and allow what is coming up for you.

Let’s use an example from my own meditation experience…

I’m sitting on my meditation cushion, cross-legged and upright, eyes closed, hands resting gently on my lap. Very zen-like, right? 😉 I am all ready for this great, calming session…when what in my wandering mind does appear…thoughts! To do lists! Etc! 

Thoughts are bound to arise during meditation. As they do, you simply note them as part of your present moment experience. You may say to yourself “That’s thinking” or “thinking is natural” or thinking noted”, and then return your attention to the breath or mantra. There’s no judgment or dwelling on it, no labeling, just a simple noting. 

As a result of acknowledging the thought, feeling or emotion, the experience changes into one of letting thoughts and feelings come and go as they do without trying to change or rush them.

If you’d like to practice the skill of acceptance, you can check out some of my guided meditations at

How Mindfulness Can Help You With Waiting

If you are a person with cancer, you have done and will probably continue to do, lots of waiting…waiting in waiting rooms, waiting in exam rooms, waiting for test results, waiting for chemotherapy to infuse, waiting on the radiation table. It might seem daunting and endless.

If you are a healthcare professional, without a doubt, your life is also filled with waiting in other ways…waiting in traffic, waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting for the next patient encounter.

It is easy to get hung up in this perpetual state of waiting…waiting for the next thing.

Today I want to offer you the concept of NO MORE WAITING!!

That’s right, if you change your mindset on waiting, you can change a huge part of your life.

Instead of twiddling your thumbs or fretting over the next thing while you are waiting, be present in the moment.

Eckhart Tolle put it best when he said:

“ Give up waiting as a state of mind. When you catch yourself slipping into waiting…snap out of it. Come into the present moment. Just be and enjoy being.”

Eckhart Tolle

Take time to notice your 5 senses. What do you see around you? How does the clothing feel against your skin? What sounds are in the room? How does your drink taste? Are there any noticeable smells? Get in touch with the aliveness in your body at that moment. 

The only real time is here and now. You can’t afford to miss it.