Grace

Our monthly sitting group (meditation, discussion, and of course dinner) got together this weekend, for a conversation about grace.

We talked about an article by Lynn Ungar, in which she describes grace as “…moving with the flow of the river rather than against it. The river, the current of life, keeps flowing regardless of our choices. But we can choose to step into the current and float….”

Grace is stepping into the river of being, and choosing to float with it. Grace is not pushing the river but rather stepping into the flow, with awareness. Or it’s that moment when we realize we’ve been resisting the flow, and then we release. Knowing the moments of one’s life intimately, with both zoom and wide-angle perspectives.

Here’s another way of describing grace, which I stumbled across yesterday: “Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom.” (Viktor Frankl) Mindfulness practice leads us toward that space, in which there is freedom. Knowing that space, is grace.

And, finally, last night, my tea bag told me: “Grace brings contentment.” Sipping a hot cup of licorice-mint tea: an ordinary moment of contentment.

How do you experience grace, in your life?

 

2 comments

  1. Michelle says:

    Hello Rachel,

    Many thanks for this entry.

    From reading it, I get that I truly lived a moment of grace two weeks ago when I had a car accident. I was driving on the expressway at lunchtime when suddenly my car was hit on the back door behind the driver’s seat. As soon as I felt the impact, from the corner of my left eye, I noticed an 18-wheeler truck to my left and understood that he had hit me. I then completely lost control of the car. This is when my moment of grace came up: I closed my eyes and calmly told myself “Michelle let go, what will happen, will happen.” I waited for the car to immobilize itself and then opened my eyes. Miraculously, I was unscathed, shaken up but unscathed and even though I was on the expressway at lunchtime, no other car was involved in the accident.

    I sat there baffled. I kept asking myself over and over again how it was possible that I had come out of this alive, why no other car was taken into this accident, how at this time of day, this outcome was possible.

    I will never have the answers as there are no answers to be revealed.

    Grace showed up when I needed it and I am here to tell the tale.

    There is also a beautiful addendum to this experience:

    Once off of the expressway, I sat on the grass waiting for the police officer to complete the accident report. I was clearly still in shock when a stranger (woman) walked by and took a good look at me. When it registered that I was distressed, she came over, took my head in her hands, kissed it and began chanting a prayer in arabic. She then spontaneously sat next to me on the grass and held me as a mother would. Since we did not share a common tongue, we could not communicate with words but I got her commitment to my well being and her love for me although I was complete stranger. When everyone left, she took me to her son’s home and made sure I was well before I went on my way. (I understood later that she has been visiting from Morrocco for the past three months and is due to return home on October 30th).

    In my moment of distress, I was taken care of by a living angel. Or is this another face of Grace?! Food for thought.

  2. Wow, Michelle. Thanks for sharing your story. How beautiful that your stranger/friend took such loving care of you. It causes me to wonder about myself…would I do the same given a similar instance? I don’t know, but I do know your story has encouraged me to be more open to caring for strangers, whenever, however. Be well, Cheryl

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