Right after I wrote Grace or Practice, a friend of mine sent me an article by Nirmala touching on the same subject. Using the analogy of a flower, he asks what is involved in it’s unfolding expression.
“…what are the causes of the most profound spiritual awakenings, where consciousness suddenly recognizes its ultimate true nature? Why does that type of flowering appear in one consciousness today and another one tomorrow? If the formula for a simple petunia is a vastly complex interplay of earthly, human, and even cosmic forces, then imagine how complex the formula is for the unfolding of a human consciousness into full awakeness as one’s true nature. The good news is that we cannot and do not need to know the totality of the formula involved to grow some petunias, and we cannot and do not need to know the formula for spiritual realization. Yet, we can be curious about all of the factors involved…”
He goes on to talk about grace and practice.
“There is a middle way between denying the importance or role of spiritual practice and having unrealistic expectations that inquiry, meditation, or devotional practice is going to, by itself, cause an awakening.”
“Every stage of a plant’s existence is valuable and even necessary for its flowering. Your experience is always adding to the richness of the unfolding of consciousness in this moment. May you enjoy the garden of your true nature.”