Accept and Witness

William B. Turner
1 min readMar 26, 2021

Call it a two step. No matter what comes up, however hilarious or horrible, do the two step: accept it and witness it.

You don’t have to act on it. You may think that you want to torture puppies. You likely will not actually torture any puppies. Hint: don’t torture puppies.

But also, from the Buddhist perspective, don’t judge yourself for having the thought. It’s just a thought. Thoughts are wispy and ephemeral, unless you grab them and make a huge story out of them. You are not a horrible person for having horrible thoughts.

The witness to a crime is not the criminal. Witness consciousness is the universal consciousness that watches with complete equanimity as thoughts come and go, arise and cease.

Don’t judge your thoughts. Accept them, then witness them as they arise and cease. Equanimity is the watch word. Maintain your equanimity as you accept and witness.

No points for guessing that meditation is key to cultivating equanimity.

So keep meditating.

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William B. Turner

Uppity gay, Buddhist, author, historian.