Open to Grace and the River of Life

Today, I taught my last class of the session and the last one at the studio I have been at, by inviting my students to open to grace and to the whole river of life.

When we open to grace we open to life and all its permutations, experiences, and all that we are presented with. We recognize that there is intrinsic goodness in everything, and even the challenges that life presents us with are invitations for us to grow.

I came home today after class wishing I had time to go see Ammachi - the hugging saint from India. It has been years since I have been able to do that and it would have been an excellent experience, but I knew I really couldn't fit it in between teaching my two classes.

So, instead, I headed out to the river - and then came home to finish my painting.

I seem to do both - paddle and paint - when I am in transition in life...

The Potomac River was low and overridden with algae and the hydrilla was starting to peak through the surface of the water. The river was also very filthy and smelled, and I almost didn't want to go inside it. But I did, and soon was paddling upstream. I didn't go nearly as far as I normally go - but just enough so that I could glimpse that place between islands and two states that I love. I paddled half way to the point I normally go - and then just floated downstream slowly, in the noonday heat.

The river very much teaches one to be in the present moment - attentive to one's surroundings and what is - and for me, it has the ability to pull me out of dwelling in the past, or worrying about the future, two tendencies of mine.

I came home to finish painting and was pleased with the way the room looked. Last night my son and a friend came over for dinner, and both liked the color and found it soothing. My son's friend tried to egg him on to take yoga, something he has always resisted. At one point, I was asked to demo a yoga pose, so I popped up into a handstand - even after a couple of scotches on the rocks. I would not recommend doing that however!

I taught, I paddled, I painted. Now I am going to review my notes for a workshop I am teaching this weekend. In all that I do, I seek, even though imperfectly at times, to open to grace, and to the whole river of life!

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