Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
– John Newton.
Grace is not a word we generally hear in relationship to Mindfulness practice, but of course it’s here too and accessed by attending to our present moment experience.
Within our Mindfulness practice we may experience grace as the spontaneous appearance of each new moment, the constant pouring in of fresh experience, which – like fresh water – awakens us from the drowsiness of past and future.
But we can also experience the passing away of each moment as a kind of grace too. Not a giving, but a forgiving; a taking away, a dissipation or removal of every obstacle, experience, thought, emotion or sensation.
Every experience we have ever had, self-destructed. This very experience we are so sure of right now, is also self-destructing right now.
We are given each moment freely and we are forgiven each moment freely.
And what must we do to “make” this happen? Nothing.
When will we be worthy enough to experience the kiss of grace? Never.
Why? Because grace is all that is happening. The divine and holy miracle of our own existence, appearing and disappearing, as this.
It is the nature of experience to arise and dissipate like steam from a cup of tea. This is why many wisdom traditions refer to the world as dream-like: it is not the solid structure it purports to be, but fleeting, transient and ungraspable.
Our psychological, emotional and existential suffering arises when we take this dream-world of dream-things to be fixed and stable.
Who can grasp a dream? Who can nail down the wind?
And yet this dream-world is also an endless wonder-land.
Moments appear and disappear, each one is endlessly unique. They seem to be real but are made of thin-air, we cannot find where they arise from, and we cannot locate where they disappear to.
Each moment is miraculous by its very nature, and because we are made of moments, we are miraculous too.
Seeing ourselves in this way leads from a sense of fixed knowing to a profound unknowing, an openness to the glorious free-fall of Now.
What will the next moment contain? What will the cosmos offer up? And more importantly, can we open to it? Can we drink directly from the ever-fresh?
We can spend a life-time reading about awakening and enlightenment, attempting to recreate the well-documented experiences of the masters. But there is another kind of teaching; a direct showing that we constantly miss.
There is a silent and profound sermon being given freely, right now. In fact, there is only the sermon, only life, revealing itself to itself.
So the truth is that we are already worthy of grace, not because of what we have done, but because we are. Our existence is a moment to moment act of grace, and all things are rare, sparkling treasures.
Look around right now: look up, down, left and right, inside and outside.
What appears? What is conjured into existence for you? What appearance greets you to say “hello.” Out of all of the possibilities of the infinite multiverses, which image meets your eye? Which sound strikes your ear? Which sensation ripples through your body?
See it, hear it, taste it, know it.
It’s all for you.