Moments of Grace
--by Oriah Mountain Dreamer (Oct 18, 2004)
Once in a while, we are given moments of real grace.
Sometimes, during my early-morning meditation, a place within me opens and parts of myself let go that I did not even know were holding on. In these moments I feel all the hard places in my heart and body yield to a great softness carried on my breath, and I am filled with compassion for the part of me that is always trying, always organizing, problem solving, anticipating. And my mind stops and simply follows my breath. A great faith washes through me, a knowing that everything that needs to get done will get done.
My shoulders drop an inch, the small but familiar ache in my chest eases, and the moment stretches. There is enough: enough time, enough energy, enough of all that is needed. A great tenderness for myself and the world opens inside me, and I know I belong to this time, to these people, to this earth, and to something that is both within and larger than all of it, something that sustains and holds us all.
I do not want to be anywhere else. I am filled with commitment and compassion for myself and the world. [...]
This is the reality we live: aspiring to be at our best, longing for and sometimes finding meaning and connection within ourselves and with that which is larger than ourselves, we are undone by messy bathrooms, traffic jams, and burnt toast. I am not interested in spirituality that cannot encompass my humanness. Because beneath the small daily trials are harder paradoxes, things the mind cannot reconcile but the heart must hold if we are to live fully: profound tiredness and radical hope; shattered beliefs and relentless faith; the seemingly contradictory longings for personal freedom and a deep commitment to others, for solitude and intimacy, for the ability to simply be with the world and the need to change what we know is not right about how we are living.
--Oriah Mountain Dreamer