Moving past mid year we’re called to review and come into alignment with our heart’s deepest calling. As we’re drawn to what we truly love the source of this calling is Grace.
How do I speak about Grace? I think of it as an undefinable essence, an abiding Presence and Mystery awakening us to deeper truth. How does Grace move? How does it reveal itself? How can we learn to recognize Grace?
Grace flows as everything. It abides in every movement and non-movement, both in confusion and clarity. In Kashmir Shaivism, even concealment of our essential nature is full of grace. As everything has potential to point back to the truth of our essential nature anything can be a messenger. The non-dual practices sensitize you to recognize it. Pranayama, Bodysensing, and iRest support you in evolving from the belief of separation to your inherent wholeness and interconnection with all of life.
Approaching life from a sense of separation creates struggle and misunderstanding. You think you have to control life or make it happen a certain way. When life doesn’t conform to your agenda Grace may feel like the surge of a rushing waterfall, fierce and powerful. As you struggle wanting life to be other than it is Grace brings you to the edge of experience. At that precipice one step opens you into the unknown. By abiding here, a deeper truth may be revealed.
At other times you may engage in an effortless flow. Without an agenda you meet life as it is, with a sense of openness and curiosity. In the vast simplicity of the moment Grace shines forth as spontaneous and creative expression. Have you ever had a moment where you’ve somehow gotten out of your own way and a clear response emerged? It is the embodiment or pure expression of life through you. Yet it is also impersonal and you may have no idea where it’s coming from. Here you engage life with a perfect response born right from the moment itself.
The recognition of Grace is a matter of learning to listen to the call of life. Through inquiry you recognize the need to stop, question, and feel into a particular belief, emotion, or action. Whether fierce or gentle, Grace aligns us with life; not my will but they will be done. The heart’s calling is now both personal as our unique expression in the world, and impersonal as the harmonious flow of life itself.
Awakening is a matter of life or the immensity of the Absolute becoming aware of itself through you. Lean into life. A moment may come when you are so undefended that all effort ceases. No practice or teaching is needed here. There is nothing to be done. Abiding as openness Grace may reveal your essential nature.
With love and grace,
Stephanie Lopez, LISW-S, is the Director of Operations, Senior iRest® Trainer and Retreat Leader for the iRest Institute. Stephanie’s offerings are informed by over two decades of immersion in the nondual teachings of yoga. As a psychotherapist & meditation teacher she bridges eastern wisdom with western psychology to support healing and transformation. Stephanie’s compassionate presence, depth of knowledge, and ease of being create a welcoming space for insightful learning. She leads retreats and trainings internationally with a focus on living an authentic and awakened life. Learn more at www.irest.us.
WANT MORE LIKE THIS IN YOUR INBOX?
Let's dive into the Yoga Sūtras together. Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtras are an ancient yogic text, and a practical guide to self-understanding and enlightenment (as we saw in this article). They outline eight limbs for achieving the goal of yoga, including the yamas, niyamas, āsana, prāṇāyāma,...
It is thought that Patañjali was an ancient sage who wrote down the vedic knowledge of the time into sūtras, so they could be handed down orally from teacher to student. These sūtras comprise of a series of experiments or practices that are designed to realise the teachings of Sāṅkhya, teachings...
When I tell people I teach iRest Meditation, they often ask me if I teach yoga as well.The answer is YES! iRest Meditation IS yoga.But I understand the confusion. While yoga is an ancient contemplative practice, it's also a multi-million dollar industry that largely promotes advanced physical...