Yesterday i cleaned the bathroom, did my assignment and went to the club. Then we had dinner at a friend's. Easter dinner. The sun was out and Oisin climbed Siobhan's tree with her sons. Is there anything lovelier than seeing boys or girls up trees? Everything is still leafless and we were speculating about the possibility of the trees coming into leaf immediately now there was lots of moisture and sun. There is now neither today.
Grace - the practise of grace is very interesting. I spent the whole of yesterday reciting the first line of the Hail Mary. It goes like this: Hail Mary Full of Grace, Blessed Art Thou Amongst Women and Blessed is thr Fruit of They Womb, Jesus. I find it very therapeutic. It reminded me that life needed to be lived with grace and actually most of last year i did not live it in grace at all. Please don't ask me what i thought i lived it in. Idiocy possibly, when i look back on it. I still had a great time, but it just goes to show that fools are the happiest people in a world.
So, question...what made me believe in last year then? It was utterly unsustainable, unrealistic and ridiculous. I have a few theories which i cannot share, but nevertheless, in many ways it is irrelevant. What is relevant is GRACE. And i want to dedicate a good bit of my life now to it.
For now it will be just reminding myself when i'm about to leave the state of grace to return to it. It isn't even what i do or say, but rather an attitude of mind. Whenever i feel something trouble me, or when i feel pride, or disappointment, or exhaustion, i say, the first line of the Hail Mary and it somehow renews me. The result is i am completely exhausted at the end of the day. I go straight to sleep. Although this morning around six i woke and felt strangely that terrible yawning gap open up inside me, the one which robs me of all feelings of possibility, and through the fog of sleep i recited the Hail Mary. It was very strange.
What could that have been? That strange unbidden feeling which entered me so suddenly? Untriggered by any conscious thoughts?
Grace, it seems is earned as well. There is divine grace, but i'm afraid i was not gifted with that. My grace is the hardwon variety, it just goes to show i am that stupid.
It is supposed to give you true courage. Make you able to love without expectation, both yourself and others. It is supposed to enable self-realisation. Achieving a state of grace is the only way to escape karma. When you have grace, life is a complete blessing. Everything - both good and bad, there is in fact, no such thing as good or bad - there is just life. You would have unveiled samsara and maya. In grace, everything is possible - especially grace. The only way to get grace is to undergo suffering. Disillusionment is the path to grace. When you have had enough of everything, at the end of everything - the lies, the stories, the bullshit, the nonsense, when the path has run out, there is grace. Grace is awakening - not surrender. It is absolutely fascinating.
The first epic ever written in the Mahabrata, just before the Ramayana, is based on grace. The Yoga Vasistha is a conversation between Prince Rama and the sage Vasistha. It is by the sounds of it, probably parallel to Bhudda's enlightenment. A conversation that leads to Truth. I'd love to be able to read it. In fact i might get it to read over the next few months.
So grace. But the best way to make sense of suffering i think is to step into grace. Because humility is the royal road to that state, and no one can have grace and be arrogant and insufferable. So to speak.