I just finished another incredible book by Adyushanti called Falling Into Grace. I loved so many things about the book and since I just barely finished the last chapter, one concept is particularly fresh and poignant in my mind and that is my expanded understanding of grace.
In LDS theology, grace is defined as:
Divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ.
Mirriam-Webster supplies a superabundance of definitions for the term grace and if you’d like to read them all click here. The definitions that stood out to me in light of this post were:
a : unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification
b : a virtue coming from God
c : a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance
a : disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency
Basically, we, as divine beings, can be manifestations of grace to our fellow human beings. We can be that unmerited divine assistance who reaches out to humanity in their time of need. As we follow our Master’s example we can be a divine means of help and strength to our brothers and sisters. We are grace just as we are love and divine and all that stuff I’ve been writing about here.
Adyushanti shared a story of a great Zen master who watched a small boy in India being shunned and teased because of his deformed face. The suffering of the young boy touched him deeply and he wept in the street. He wanted so badly to help the child, but did not know what to do. As he stood there in his “unknowing” his heart opened and he found himself taking the small boy by the hand and walking him across the street to an ice cream shop. There he placed coins into the young boy’s hand and told him to go buy ice cream for himself and the other children. As the boy did, he became the hero and experienced a moment of acceptance from his previous attackers. The Zen Master had “Fallen Into Grace.”
And that is when it all clicked for me. You see the entire book Adyushanti has been teaching about the power of “not knowing.” I could see glimpses of wisdom throughout the book, but it wasn’t until the end, when he illustrated how this Zen Master allowed his heart to show the way to serve that the whole concept of me being an agent of Grace and “Not Knowing” clicked. If I am open and willing, and not afraid of “not knowing” what to do next, the divine in me will move me to act in that moment. The moment will supply what is needed to fill the need. That enlightenment is an act of grace itself that further leads to the divine unfolding of my act(s) of grace. It becomes one eternal round. All things truly are one. And all truth and grace can be circumscribed into one great whole. WOW! It’s literally blowing my mind.
I thought of how many times I go to visit someone and as I’m sitting there and they are pouring out their souls to me, I’m silently praying for inspiration and wondering what to do and say next. My entire life I have been trying to orchestrate inspiration or pull down answers from Heaven, when in reality I simply need to sit with the person and allow the divine to unfold. Sitting in the “not knowing” allows my heart to break open and provides the opportunity for me to fall into grace. . . better yet, allowing the divine unfolding allows both the giver and the receiver to fall into grace. Grace is a divine supply always available. The unfolding comes in the not knowing. We must be open to it, comfortable and completely at peace with not knowing.
I can’t wait for my next service moment. I am going to embrace “not knowing” and instead of trying to figure out what to say or do, I’ll allow the divine to unfold so we can both fully experience Falling Into Grace.