From Ajahn Sumedho

Notice what it’s like when you open to emotional
feeling, to moods, without judging it, not making any
problem out of it, whatever its quality is, whether it’s
emotional or physical, by learning to embrace it, to
sustain your attention by holding it without trying to
get rid of it, change it or think about it. Just totally
accept the mood you’re in, the emotional state, or the
physical sensations like pain, itching or whatever
tensions, with this sense of well-being, of embracing.
When I do this, I notice the ‘changingness’. When you
are willing to let something be the way it is, it changes.
Then you begin to recognise or realise nonattachment.
We say ‘embracing’: in this way satisampaja¤¤
a is not attaching (upàdàna) to them, it’s
embracing. This sense of widening, it includes; it’s
not picky-choosy, it’s not saying, “Pick only the good
things but the bad ones I won’t,” it takes the bad along
with the good, the whole thing, the worm and the apple,
the snake and the garden. It allows things to be what
they are, it’s not approving. It’s not saying that you
have to love worms and want them in your apples, to like them as much as you like apples. It’s not asking

you to be silly, ridiculous or impossible, but it’s
encouraging you to allow things to exist, even the
things we don’t like to exist, because if they exist, that’s
what they do, they’re existing. The whole thing, the
good and the bad, belongs. Sati-sampaja¤¤a is our
ability to realise that, to know that, in a direct way, and
then the processes take care of themselves. It’s not a
case of Ajahn Sumedho trying to get his act together,
trying to cleanse his mind, free himself from
defilements, deal with his immature emotions,
straighten out his wrong, crooked views, trying to make
himself into a better monk and become enlightened
in the future. That doesn’t work, I guarantee — I’ve
tried it!

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