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Staying Awake Until Grace Comes

| Nirmala | Awakening

Staying Awake Until Grace Comes

Published on
14 July 2011

Someone emailed me to share:

Life is seen as an unfoldment, as Grace, rather than as a "making"... the same life, this life, the same manifestations: yet the difference between the two visions seems immeasurable.

When Grace is recognised and perceived, I see this same life and its manifestations as an unfoldment rather than as a "making". Everything loses its gravity and its shadow of ego, and I truly feel I am walking freely and undisturbed. When things get heavy, and inner effort, struggle and discontent have their way, I find no more trace of Grace anywhere: only a scent of ego and time and mind is what I feel all around "me". How light is life - the same life - in the first vision of things!

How to melt more and more in this vision and recognising of Grace, which I feel is a truer vision of life? How to live more in this "not personal" way? Any comment or suggestion on this would be greatly appreciated.

I responded as follows:

Your message is so full of wisdom and light, that perhaps the best answer to your questions lies in rereading your own words. I especially like the way you asked your question at the end where you ask how to melt more in the recognition of Grace.

Since there’s nothing you can do to make there be more Grace or more peace, joy, and love in your life, what’s left is an opportunity to simply notice more often the Grace that is already here. This noticing is not really a doing or a making something happen. It is also not a non-doing, which is often just the doing of inaction. Noticing, inquiring, and paying attention are in between doing and not-doing. Or you could say, noticing is doing something that is already happening. Awareness is already happening, so when you notice something, you are “doing” this awareness that is already here! This paradox is what makes the noticing so powerful, without it necessarily reinforcing the illusion that you are in charge or making things happen.

Action and inaction still occur as a natural part of life. However, do you notice the Grace that is also present and that is present in all your actions and inactions? Grace is all there is. So all you need to do to live more fully in this ever-present love, peace, and joy is to give these things more of your attention. You don’t need to make love, peace, and joy happen or create more love, peace, and joy, but you can notice them more and more. Can you see the love present even in the movements of the ego? Can you feel the peace that is present in the empty space in the room right now? Can you experience the joy and natural curiosity that is already present in your questions before you find any answers?

Can you also be more fully present to your experience when it seems that Grace is a distant memory? The opportunity is to also notice what appears to be in the way of seeing the peace, joy, and love that are here and to find out what is true about these veils or illusions. Can you see Grace even in the movements of your mind and ego, which seem to hide Grace from view?

You can’t live more in this non-personal way because you already live totally in this non-personal way. The only misunderstanding is the idea that your life is somehow personal. The antidote is to see that your human life is already an expression of a supremely profound Grace and divine love. Your life doesn’t just flow within you or only as the particular events that you want to experience. It flows through you, everyone, and everything. Grace appears as everything that ever happens.

The recognition of this deeper truth also just happens. Noticing and paying attention simply create a situation where that recognition is noticed when it happens. Effort to make the recognition happen doesn’t work, and unfortunately not efforting to make it happen doesn’t work either. Paying attention doesn’t make it happen either, but it does mean that you are paying attention when the recognition spontaneously happens. My favorite metaphor for this is how sometimes you can’t remember someone’s name, and no matter what you do, you still can’t remember that person’s name. Then ten minutes later, when you’re no longer trying to remember the name, it pops into your mind. Paying attention or noticing is what is required to notice the name when it finally appears. Similarly, you can’t make spiritual realization happen, but paying attention means you’ll experience it when it comes. A deeper recognition of the love that is always here is a function of Grace itself. Paying attention just means you stay awake until it happens!