Living in a state of grace. What does that even mean? There are certain aspects of being a human that require our having a certain confinement or enclosure. A person is born, then adapted to their environment and then, usually at some point, the person takes on a wonder or reflection over why they are feeling trapped, chased or held back in some way. It could be easy to define, as in being incarcerated or overwhelmed by addictions or less obvious by just not feeling able to live up to their potential. Each person has a padlock between themselves and their liberation. This feeling of enslavement and the mechanism within the locks are as unique as a fingerprint. We are all a mystery to be revealed and the only clues we get are time and what we do with our experiences to puzzle our way through.
In this poem, Hafiz stresses the importance of staying in the now - staying in the present - in all experiences. He explains that our coping mechanisms are not designed for us to keep all of our lives but he encourages us to evolve out of them to understand how we are participating intimately and in a sacred manner with our lives - although mostly unaware. By overcoming each fear and pulling our selves forward into each moment, we can access a liberation known as "grace": a feeling of the tumblers in the lock that keeps us enclosed falling open. By being present we can know without outside validation that we have figured something out! We have expanded ourselves into a sacred space where this grace lives and we get to enjoy that feeling for a moment.
We are not, most of us, great teachers. We don't get to walk around like Jesus Christ and radiate energy to everyone. We are souls having a human experience while trying to pay attention and channel a tiny bit of love into the world. Our own little bit of love that is delivered to us in the grace that we cultivate.
Thank you for listening.
Music: Back in the mid 60's I found myself visiting my older sister in Marin County. One night she and some of her friends took me to Oakland, CA to see the Sons of Champlin in a small club there. I was almost too young to really appreciate what I was experiencing but I do remember being moved by the exposure to such an overwhelming wall of sound. Nothing important is lost in a life as I found myself led today to their rendition of Saved By The Grace of Your Love . Furthermore, this led to finding a gem of a performance of this song by a much older Bill Champlin. I decided to go with this rendition of this song. It just seemed an appropriate breach into the timeless lift that awaits us all through better understanding.
The original post in this series of poems by Hafiz (including an addendum regarding the authenticity of these poems) can be found here.
The Gift: Poems by Hafiz and translated by Daniel Ladinsky can be purchased here.