This week on Healing at the Edge, RamDev expands on the subjects of grief, gratitude, and grace.
Find out more about RamDev’s work at the Living/Dying Project: livingdying.org
Grace is Always Available
RamDev reminds us of the story of two people on their deathbeds, one a diligent practitioner and one who was not, each feeling that their spiritual life was a failure. How can we fail at something that is ever-present, no matter who we are or what we do? Grace is always available. Sometimes we notice grace more because we have been keeping up with our meditation. Sometimes we forget about grace for a little while because we are out of practice. We can not always be in a state of bliss, but that does not make us a failure. Everything is grace because we are alive. It is easy to patronize ourselves for not practicing our spirituality, especially from the perspective of western religion. We need to transform our ideas and see that we are all pure even if we have wounds or imperfections.
“Grace is not a thing, something we receive from God, but more the attitude and openness where we can trust emptiness in each moment. We can trust that there is presence in each moment.” – RamDev
For the foundations of this talk, go back to Ep. 81 of Healing at the Edge: Receiving Grace
What Blocks Us (10:15)
RamDev says that there are two ways to start appreciating everything (the good, the awful, the mundane) as grace. We can deepen our love for God and we can try to recognize what is blocking us from cultivating grace in each moment. In Buddhism, there are three developments called the turnings of the wheel: the first brought mindfulness practice, the second brought compassion of the heart, and the third brought tantric empowerment. Tantric empowerment is really key because it is the knowledge that whoever you are, you are also God, or Buddha, or whatever deity you believe in. Once this is realized, it is near impossible to not have gratitude for the grace in all things. When we practice these concepts, we can begin to lift our blockages and thoughts of self-inadequacy.
To learn more fundamental truths in Buddhism check out Ep. 152 of Heart Wisdom w/ Jack Kornfield
Conscious Grief (29:27)
We often think of grief as all-consuming or something to be avoided. RamDev says that if we avoid grace we end up repressing something that needs to be experienced in order to move forward. If we get stuck in grief and allow it to become our entire identity, we also can not move forward. There is nothing bad or wrong about grief, it is just important to recognize when it is time to stop sitting in that feeling and start healing through it. RamDev refers to this as conscious grief. Returning to our body enables us to find ourselves within our grief.
“Grief isn’t good or bad. No emotion is good or bad. All emotion has a healing message, but one was to be with it, one has to be touched by it, in order to receive the message” – RamDev