Sunday, July 27, 2014

Of Truth, Grace, Gratitude and Awareness

Marc Chagall - Notre-Dame in gray (1955)
Lately, I have been contemplating the nature of grace, a.k.a. Baraka, Anugraha, etc.

This incarnation has been a journey into the embodiment of a truth that I have known from before the beginning. Therefore, grace too has been with me from before the beginning.

Its work in my life is irrefutable. Statistically, I should not have survived my childhood, at least not with any sanity (however frayed). But I did (although at a great price).

In my adult life, I could have been stabbed in some alley, or shot on some street, or imprisoned in some distant hellhole, several times over. But I wasn't.

Furthermore, like every being who has ever loved deeply, and truly, I have experienced both crucifixion and self-immolation (on multiple occasions). Yet from the crimson egg of each excruciating execution another phoenix emerged. And so I love on.

This is all by the hand of grace. Yes, grace has moved with me from before the beginning.

But most of my life I have simply surfed on grace, as if it were a great wave.

Looking back over the course of it all, I realized there was even more power to be had in doubling down on grace. And so, instead of just riding on the crest of grace, I have chosen to take a stand within the wellspring of this grace. Moment by moment, it rises, and it is as if all aspects of this incarnation are becoming submerged in a sea of grace.

Of course, this submersion too has been the truth from before the beginning, but choice has power, and free will has meaning. When we choose well the universe shudders with joy.

In recent years, I have written a lot about the power of Gratitude. And it is, indeed, an agent of radical transformation. Gratitude is inherent in the nature of liberation itself. But it doesn't arise within us independently. Gratitude is the love child of Grace and Truth.

Grace falls upon us like rain. It is falling endlessly, and everywhere. It permeates everything. It is the rain of mercy that Shakespeare wrote of. There are certain stages of this quest in which you can literally see, hear and feel this rain falling as if with your physical senses.

As this rain falls, it shapes itself into lakes and rivers, and caressing the hair of inner mountains it flows into waterfalls. As this rain fails, it seeps into the ground of everything, filling great aquifers in the mineral-rich depths. It is the Grace rainwater collected in these subterranean aquifers that bubbles up to the surface in springs of Gratitude to further sustain all life.

Truth and Grace have a second love child; his name is Awareness. He is the space in which all of creation is held, his is the mirror in which its beauty is reflected perfectly. It is through this reflection that the ground spring of Gratitude reaches the surface of consciousness and renews our vision.

All of this is true for all of us, each in our own unique way. You just have to look for the evidence of it in your life, and then follow the trail of clues until you solve the mystery of how it is so.

Truth has a lover, and her name is Grace.

-- Richard Power

My new (ninth) book User's Guide to Human Incarnation, The Yoga of Primal Reality is available now from

For Another Day

Man Ray - Death Mask of Modigliani (1929) Source: Man Ray Trust

Grateful just to live. Simply. For another day.
At the edge of the world.

Grateful for these vital organ that have functioned with such strength and sacrifice for so many years, in such arduous circumstances.

Grateful just to simply live. For another day.
Always at the edge of the veil, whether we remember where we are or not.

Grateful for the magic that grows fiercer and deeper at every twist of the plot.

Humbled in victory, informed by failure.

Don't take anything for granted. Nothing. Not a breath, not a step, not a tenderness.
And in particular, don't take NOTHING for granted.

How could a heart be filled if it was not empty?
How could a hand uplift if it were not free?

Grateful just to live. Simply. For another day.
At the edge of the world.

-- Richard Power

My new (ninth) book User's Guide to Human Incarnation, The Yoga of Primal Reality is available now from

Secrets of the Bodhisattva

Kahlil Gibran - The Silence
The simple truth is that "freedom" is an ever-receding horizon. It is always some distance away. You never actually reach the horizon. You travel toward it, and then suddenly you are beyond it, and yes, there is another horizon stretching out before you. When you are truly free you realize there is no "true freedom," or rather, that "true freedom" is not what you imagined it to be.

Because one of the elements of "true freedom" is utter clarity of mind. But what this "utter clarity of mind" reveals is that "you" are bound up with the fates of everyone and everything everywhere. The sinews and ligaments of this responsibility are as palpable as the sinews and ligaments that bind together your physical body itself. When you tear one or the other there is pain and injury. Nevertheless, knowing what this "true freedom" really is, you do not dissuade others from seeking it.

Because even though "true freedom" is no freedom at all, it is imbued with a primal joy, that primal joy hitherto associated with the goal of "true freedom," and you want the others to experience this primal joy for themselves. And if they do, they will, in turn, gratefully accept the grave responsibility and all-devouring interconnectedness that it reveals. This is one of the secrets of the Bodhisattva.

The other is that the Bodhisattva returns again and again not just to alleviate human suffering, but also because this life is a blast, this life is where it's all happening, this life is the place to be for however long the opportunity presents itself.

-- Richard Power

My new (ninth) book User's Guide to Human Incarnation, The Yoga of Primal Reality is available now from

Stone Lion

Stone Lion. California Street. San Francisco. July 2014.

Can you hear the silent roar of the stone lion?

Roaring from the depth of the urban wilderness.
Hungry for the abundant game of the inner Serengeti.

Flush with an awesome power that so few understand.

Can you see your tremulous silhouette caught in its fierce, unwavering gaze?

Pause for a moment to feel the hot emptiness of its breath. It is you.
Surrender to this kill. Your life is its feast.

You are this savage beauty.

It is here, on this avenue, day and night, in utter stillness.

Just waiting for those rare beings who might hear its roar and stop for a fleeting glimpse into the mirror of their own souls.

Embrace this.

-- Richard Power

My ninth book User's Guide to Human Incarnation, The Yoga of Primal Reality is available now from