Have you mistaken the grace of a guru or a savior for the Original Grace within you?
The grace of a master is helpful, but it is only a secondary grace, a reflection of your true nature. The master's grace is like a flame that lights your candle, so that you can burn for yourself. The master's grace is like a jumper-cable that helps your engine start, so that you can charge your own battery.
Grace is your very nature. It flows not down from above, but wells up from within, like a tear.
Original Grace springs like a fountain from beneath your breastbone, spontaneously drawing attention inward, from the scattered mind to the silent vortex of the heart. Original Grace can be defined as the tendency of awareness to settle into its own wonderful essence, if we will only let it.
For thousands of years, disciples sought inner peace through concentration and thought-control. Such strenuous techniques are like trying to replace one mirage with another. But there is a more graceful way: just see the mirage as a mirage in empty space. We do not settle into silence by trying to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts: we embrace the emptiness of all thoughts.
Instead of working so hard to choose one thought over another, be choicelessly aware. The Truth will set you free: the mirage of mind is the empty liberated space that contains it. Thoughts are bubbles of the silence out of which they arise.
Mental effort and concentration only swell the identity of the do-er. Resistance only strengthens what we resist.
When we taste something delicious, or behold something beautiful, do we have to concentrate on it? Of course not. Beauty stuns the mind into silence. So graceful meditation effortlessly draws the heart into quietness with a spark of inner beauty. That spark is who you are. Gaze upon yourself in the mirror of the Master.
Jai Guru Dev
Painting by Debra Sisson