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Grace is an important element of the spiritual journey. Around the world, we see grace in one of two ways.

The first type of grace is unexpected gifts or unmerited favour of the Divine. Peter Wehner described it as “unconditional love given to the undeserving.”

For example, there is no manifest “cause” of awakening. It happens when the Divine gifts it. It is not personally earned but rather is given to move things along in the whole. In that sense, grace isn’t personal.

Bono, the lead singer of U2, said “Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions.”

“There’s a radical equality at the core of grace. None of us are deserving of God’s grace, so it’s not dependent on social status, wealth or intelligence. There is equality between kings and peasants, the prominent and the unheralded, rule followers and rule breakers.”
– Philip Yancey

The second type of grace we can earn through prescribed actions like austerities, puja, prayer, spiritual practice, tapas (warming actions), and so forth.

In this scenario, there are definite actions a person can take that will lead to a certain result. Many old texts describe them. Some are quite arduous, others like Samyama only require correct intention.
However, I would classify these as boons, garnering the favour of the gods. We can earn results from the managers of the field of action. But only in their arena.

For gains beyond the field of action such as for spiritual awakening, we need the help of the Divine itself. We need what I’d call true grace, the first type.

Not that there is no point in spiritual practices and similar. It is very useful to do actions that prepare the ground. Otherwise, when grace comes, it may just flow away. If we’re not ready to integrate and embody the gift, grace won’t be able to live in us. Plus, spiritual practices will improve our quality of life in the meantime.

“The grace of God is a wind which is always blowing, it is for us to raise our sails.”
 – Sri Ramakrishna 

There is another perspective that suggests preparing the ground makes us more prone to grace. Grace flows in the context of the whole. When the need arises, a vessel is chosen. If we’re a ready vessel, grace is more likely to arise.

We also have to consider the topic in the larger context of our own journey. Each of us picks up where we left off on our prior spiritual journey so we’re all at different points. On the surface of life, karma is more prominent so we often have only a general idea of how we’re doing spiritually. But that’s a good thing. Otherwise, ego would try to manage it. 🙂

It is also very valuable to understand the laws of action so we can get good results from our efforts.

While grace can have energetic effects, it is far more subtle than energy. Even flow and Shakti are effects of grace. However, grace may be experienced as a liquid. There is a vast ocean of Divine white light up at the top of creation. When a small amount of this ocean is filtered through a physiology, it produces soma, the nectar of the gods. When a small drop is given, we experience it as grace. We can experience Makara, for example, as a drop of white light that switches on the 6th chakra.

If we’re producing soma, we’re bring grace into the world. That would certainly make us more ready to receive grace in other ways.  🙂

Last Updated on February 1, 2019 by Davidya

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  1. Jean

    I think Grace has also an energetic component.
    If the vessel is full of resistance and beliefs it has no place to flow. David Spero said something in the likes that when the vessel is properly emptied than Grace can strike down like a lightning bolt. Atreya Thomas awakening was just like that as he told in his first Batgap Interview.

    1. Hi Jean
      Good point. I’d suggest grace is much more subtle than energy (partly why it’s not “logical”) but if it is moving forward into expression, it will express as energy.

      For example, awakening itself takes place far more subtly than energy but may have energetic effects. The “lightning bolt” effect is an example.

      Makara is like a drop of grace that can be very flashy. Like a blast of white light that overwhelms experience. Some have this just before (with) awakening and some do not. Some have it with the onset of witnessing prior to awakening, sometimes well before. But if it does happen, it very much kicks on the 6th chakra and subtle perception.

      There’s a fellow in England who lays flowers in a small shop each year on the anniversary of his makara. The shop puts up with it. 🙂

  2. Jeff

    I have had the experience of what I have always thought as grace. The first time was in a Catholic Church during mass. My wife and daughter, who are both Catholic, would not let me participate in the offering of bread and wine, or the mass. So I sat and watched. After each person received the sacrament, God’s grace was given to them. Finally, when about three quarters of them had observed the sacrament. the grace spread through the entire congregation.

    The second example was when I was in India during the dry season. During the early morning hours, it started to rain. I could feel God’s grace grace spread though the entire environment, and everything started to shimmer. Really, as a small child I could feel God’s grace shimmer though the environment at the beginning of a rain.

    The third example is when I meditate outside. When I am deep in samadhi, I can feel everything around me start to shimmer. It feels though all the plants, animals, and trees are being influenced by my meditation.

    When you think about it, the Maharishi effect is also God’s grace. I will not go into detail. I will let you explain it.

  3. Lewis Oakwood

    Hello, David,

    I especially like your article on Grace as coincidently— recently, while wondering at the beauty of form and movement suddenly a thought occurred: Grace is the ever-present natural intelligence permeating everything as can, for example, be evidenced by the movement of the body to heal itself.

    So from that perspective, Grace is seen as always present/active and not just an occasional occurrence.

  4. Lewis Oakwood

    As they often appear to go off the point or else, down too many not always relevant side roads, I don’t enjoy reading books, however, I find it enjoyable to read your articles as they are filled with insights and come as though with perfect timing and will clearly save me from thousands of hours of unnecessary reading.

    David, for making all this available, thank you.

    1. You’re welcome, Lewis. Some articles do arrive like grace. I may not even be sure why I’m writing it until I get feedback from readers. Or it unfolds a deep insight that hadn’t been seen before. It’s an enjoyable process here. 🙂

  5. Ray

    David, in the moment of grace, (and specifically what you described in an earlier post as: “Turiya, pure consciousness. We experience bliss–the kosha–when passing in and out of pure being,”) what is experiencing and recording this? In other words, what is still “separate” in that moment that it can experience and record the happening. Thanks!

    1. Hi Ray
      Good question. It is consciousness experiencing it’s own nature as bliss.

      When Consciousness is first alert to it’s own nature locally, it can be known as an observer or witness. This can have the sense of being a detached or separate aspect. It observes the transcending, the bliss layer, and so forth.

      As consciousness deepens into it’s own nature, it realizes itself as the container of all experience. Then bliss is seen as within it’s own nature and more values of bliss unfold.

      Still deeper, it is in the very process of experience. All experience is known as a flow of bliss and love and we are That.

      And so on. 🙂

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