Sunday, January 13, 2013

Tangled up in a forest of grace...

There are so many ways to get hurt, to feel shame, to feel anxious, to be scared, to feel embarrassed, to be humiliated, to not be met, to not be validated, to end up utterly exposed. How safe is it to offer my heart in a totally unguarded way? What assurance do I have it will not shatter into a million pieces? As we have all come to see, unfortunately, life offers no such assurances. Despite this, somehow we dive right in, so unbearably open that a slight breeze or a drop of rain or the fragrance of a flower or the morning birdsong can seem like too much. Meeting the gaze of the cashier at the grocery store is entering into eternity and timelessness; the unbearable connection, the realization that there is someone in there who, just like us, wants to be happy, at peace, free from suffering. 

It just penetrates us too deeply, rippling through our unguarded hearts with its presence. Where is the protection around the heart? Is the ribcage even there any longer? Is there even any tissue or skin available any longer to buffer the rawness?  We realize that we’re really such sensitive beings. We realize our lives are actually organized around love, that love is the only organizing principle there could ever be. It takes our breath away to see that love is the substance of all form. How can we withstand that sort of light? We sense that if we give everything to love that we will soon be getting really sticky, yucky, gooey, gummy, mushy, slimy and all tangled up in the brambles and pricklies of the forest of grace that is this life. It is so risky. It is so yummy. It is so intimate. It is so unbearable. We have no choice. We become love-fools. 

This human experience is a gift of love, is sometimes so hard, so raw, so tender; love and its movement is always and forever uncertain, groundless, and without reference point. Everything is so fresh in the moment, never to be repeated, the redness of red, the blueness of blue… somehow we fall in love with this life, as it is, setting aside the habitual call for more for me: more peace, more joy, more sweetness, more awakening, more specialness, a better partner, a better job, more spiritual experiences. This whole human sensual reality is then beheld as the expression of the most radical grace; this milky way is a galaxy of grace. The colors, the textures, the sweet signature of this sensual world in all its aspects and tender qualities. Then you see so clearly that this is the sweetest, most remarkable life, and you’re left with just a tinge of sadness at how precious the whole thing is… the yoga of raw tender vulnerable sadness, the yoga of the willingness to be broken-open, and to stay there… forever.

Photo c/o: