THE BLOG

The Path of Grace

05/28/2013 02:14 pm ET | Updated Jul 28, 2013
  • Bruce Davis, Ph.D. Author, Teacher, Retreat Leader at SilentStay, Napa, California and Assisi, Italy

Everyday there are the moments that can be described only as life's grace. It is the light in our partner's eyes, the warm smile of a total stranger, the dancing clouds in a busy day. Every moment of beauty is a moment of grace. Grace is the honey of life. It is the forest raining sunshine as we stand deep inside its canopy. It is arriving exactly on time for something we were sure we would be late for. It is the opportunity we never imagine coming our way. Grace is the taste that is just too good. The smell of the divine. The feeling we wish we could hold onto forever. It is so simple yet so true. Grace is everything good and, yes, everything challenging coming our way. It is grace that helps us find the good in all the seemingly bad in our world.

Every moment of grace is food for our soul. It is the nectar that feeds the delicate flower of life in each of us. Without grace, life is so much struggle. When our day is seemingly an endless battle, we have lost the trail of grace. The path of grace, once found, is very clear. It is one small flower, one smile, one moment of beauty to the next. Following the path of grace in our life is to find the path that keeps us in the heart of life despite everything happening around us. Following the path of grace is always true no matter what anyone else may think. Each moment of grace reminds us that we are alive. With grace there is no limit, only possibility, only potential. Grace is God's joy and laughter in this moment.

There are many foods for the soul, including love ones, special teachers, meditation, prayer, sacred sites, and wonderful nature. But the food that is always perfect is grace. A spiritual practice of receiving life's grace is a practice that is always giving, always uniting our heart with the present. A meditation of grace is the sunshine pouring down on our foreheads, flowing down through our heart, our entire body to our feet, out to everyone and everything in the world. An awareness of grace is to be conscious of a sun full of innocence screaming peace from deep inside of us. Yes, with grace, we can open to this very bright sun of pure joy, light, freedom in the depths of our being.

Grace can always be found again as we find gratitude. I cannot find gratitude enough for my partner who breathes her life next to mine. I cannot find enough gratitude for my morning walk. In my daily meditation when the thoughts clear and there is only space, gratitude creeps in. Gratitude and grace are brother and sister, husband and wife, sun and moon.

It is the moments of grace that keep us going. Yes, no matter how much bad news, one small moment of grace moves mountains. One small moment of the heart can lift tons of mental weight. With grace, seemingly nothing has changed in our world but the whole world has nevertheless changed. We have been touched by grace.

Some people assign such moments as the presence of an angel. Others speak loudly of God. But those who regularly know grace find only humility and emptiness. The divine is too precious for strong words. We only want to be available. It is so easy to become busy, so easy to become distracted from what is important in life. Seriousness is a large wall between us and grace. Fortunately at the end of the day and just as often at the beginning and middle, there is no defense against the truth. Grace is here.

A spiritual practice of grace awakens our sense of wonder. Who are we to think we organized the family around us, the friends visiting, the doors of life that keep on opening, pushing against all our doubts and skepticism? Those who think they are in control and are the manager of their world may think they have everything. But if we don't have grace, what do we really possess?

The question is, how do we strengthen our spiritual practice of receiving grace? How do we build a heart that is open enough, empty enough, clear, and ready for grace? How do we become less distracted and more present to be awakened and loved by the many touches of grace? How much grace must illuminate our soul before we yes, yes completely to life? In the search of these answers we are all together.

We each have a life that includes a calling. Grace is very much in this calling. Listening to our calling is listening to the voice and heart of grace. This voice has the nectar of the highest realms in its tone and substance. It is not the words that are important. The oasis we seek is not out of reach. Grace is in the listening, seeing, being. Spiritual practice is really not about what we have in this world but the grace to be free. Grace grows inside of us as we find this freedom. Grace is woven in life's light, generosity, and always in our uncertain certainty.

We invite you to join us in the possibilities of grace at Silent Stay near Napa, California and Assisi, Italy.

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