Nondual Zen Article:

Awakened by Grace

nondual title

Awakened by Grace
by Kathleen Sutherland

After awakening, we can lose that initial sense of wonder and peace. This can feel like a dropping out of grace. But what would you drop into? Grace is all there is. It is that by which we live and dream. When it is felt, it is soothing. But felt or not, it is always there. People may say their awakening was by grace, as if only some receive this gift. But we are all awake; we are all awakeness. That is inescapable. We may contract or expand, forget or recall, but all this always occurs within our sense of being, this light by which we know ourselves. We are all are equally steeped in this.

Our sense of being is eternally now. This moment is always the most holy, for it has our attention. We remember the past – its colors, events and lessons – and fold it into the present. We imagine the future and sow its seeds. But all this happens now.

This is where I choose to be. The character often dreams of being elsewhere: a warmer place, or in a healthier body, a more luxurious house, with more money or more love. In doing so we miss this moment, which holds all the joy we seek. You cannot be cut off from this. It moves with us, wherever we go.

Our experience right now is magical. It often appears ordinary because we are magical, too. We are moving, feeling, thinking beings in a wondrous world. But however we happen to perceive this that Is, ordinary or extraordinary, or a layering of both, it is inescapable. Even in our deepest sleep, it surrounds us, breathes through us.

Everywhere I turn, I see the face of God. This place is sacred, these four walls. It’s a small space, limited to the vision and senses of this one being. But that is more than enough. This mind that so often dreams of being elsewhere is coming to see that all yearning and imagining are here and now. The fantasy realms are here and now. They are in Mind. If you can imagine them, you are already there. There is no demarcation between the solid and the imagined. The former is designated “real” simply because it is given more credence by mind. But it is all within you.

You are the love you are looking for. This is the joy that you seek. Grace surrounds and sustains you. Close your eyes for a moment. As you open them, notice that you awaken by grace.