“Grace transcends your limitations, your determinations—and what you aspire for is beyond your efforts…grace is ever present not miraculous…how we invite grace? Through surrendering. The more you surrender, disappear to your self, the more you invite grace. You become aware that everything is grace. For that you have to empty your self otherwise you will attribute everything to your self, your own efforts, your own merits.”
This article is in response to a friend who, during a conversation about Truth and awakening, asked “What is grace? What is that?” I had suggested, in pursuit of one’s desire for freedom, to allow for grace.
“How would I do that…?” he asked.
“Through willingness. A willingness to let go. Not of any thing specific, otherwise one will focus on that one thing specifically rather than open to the possibility of releasing one self from the confines of material reality in general.”
Grace descends upon us, infuses us, transforms us and unites us. Ever present and equally so for everyone, everything, grace is observable as an absence of effort.
“And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.”
We know that grace is not the result of any particular effort—no influence of the mind—worry, analysis, planning, is responsible for grace. We have no control over grace. Grace is not the result of anything. Grace in stillness, in fullness/emptiness, in silence in which we completely relax knowing ‘thy will be done’.
When we are continually doing and not allowing for space between the lines we do not rest. In music there is a symbol to indicate when the musicians should pause. During these pauses the ‘sense’ of the preceding measures are deeply felt. With life, in the not doing, not knowing, in the subsequent silence is grace. Grace is also in the perpetual motion of all things, the ‘great’ flow.
In the great flow we are purified. In the eternal ocean the rising and falling of the tides, giving and receiving without effort. The clam shell now empty lies half buried in the sand. Then dislodged carried out to sea as the waters rise. In the encroaching surf delighted as the waves spill over this body emptying it of perceived treasure. All released.
Recently, I was having a conversation with a friend who experienced a fall, broke his foot, had several surgeries and wanted that foot to perform as it always had. He was quite driven to ‘work’ at getting this to be so; relentless in the pursuit of this goal. Week after week and month after month of rehabilitation therapy. Perhaps rest, allowing the injured appendage space to integrate and receive the healing of grace would be an appropriate action—no action.
We think that our desires move us. It is the movement ‘beneath’ (over and through) that, that moves us. The movement is toward desirelessness; that we might be more aware of what is Truth. Our journey is toward fulfillment of desire that we might be free of expectation that leads in some cases to the appearance of suffering. What benefit to desire more when our inherent Self is fullness, everything? We answer this question when sufficiently satiated by materiality.
“Awakening means fullness. How can any single desire survive in that experience of fullness?”
Swami Atmananda Udasin
Grace shows up when we aren’t looking. It can be what we think it is and also not what we think it is. Grace we experience as a wonderful occurrence. It also can be the absence of a limiting habit or pattern.
“In spiritual terms, we often think of grace in relation to experiences, but sometimes grace is the falling away of something—waking up one day and noticing a burden has been lifted.”
Adyashanti, The Most Important Thing
How to be empty in order to know fullness?
“You, to put it another way, are already empty of reality—in nothingness—now.”
How to realize this? It can seem like a process and it is. Our desire for knowing becomes supplanted by a much stronger desire to not know. In the not knowing is freedom the pursuit of which is an all encompassing focus. To ‘not know’ beliefs are seen as an impediment in that they are responsible for a structure to which we cling through fear of the vast unknowable Truth. To set our selves upon this quest may seem overwhelming. Indeed there are moments of fear and feelings of chaos as the familiar falls away. We can be left hanging in mid air with nothing left to grasp.
In this we have faith and trust, knowing that no matter what I think is going or fear more the nothing going on grace is constant. We witness that not through any construct of the mind but through pure awareness.
“When one’s awareness absconds the confines of the thinking mind ‘Maheswari’* confers a luminous grace.”
Aaravindha Himadra, Immortal Self
*Maheswari is also known as Parvati the Mother goddess in Hinduism.
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If we take the liberty of discussing a Tarot Card that most fully exemplifies grace we may consider the World XXI, the last of the major arcana cards. When we choose the World card we have experienced the gamut of life’s numerous trials, tests and have sufficiently evolved to see from an elevated position free of the physical world’s apparent influence. From here there is a clear view. Our vision is no longer colored by conditioning that supports the collective conscious that embraces this planet like a sturdy net; upon which we bump our heads every time we stand up. Also referred to as the matrix. From atop the World life unfolds and is manifest with ease and grace.
The Two of Wands has meaning also on this journey to awakening and abiding in grace. The young person depicted in this card holds the world in their hand symbolizing the understanding of duality, the nature of this life. As a two it is bringing opposites into balance where the potential is to realize ‘one’. There may appear to be two but in Reality there is one. This is the beginning of freedom.
‘I hold the world in my hand and everything is possible. I allow, grace. Allow, grace. Grace.’
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The Most Important Thing by Adyashanti .
Immortal Self by Aaravindha Himadra
Both available through Paradise Found as well as numerous other volumes to shine light on your way.
“I want to fill my days with wanting nothing from them.”
Fernando Pessoa, The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness and Joy