Grace & the Empty Spaces
Tuesday nights 6-7:30pm
Today’s practice will be the 7th practice of 8 in honor of George Floyd and our exploration of Bhakti Yoga for peace. Peace begins within and yoga has many tools to help us cultivate our own inner peace. The energy of that inner peace then radiates out to others and to our world.
Today’s theme is Grace. Earlier in the series we talked about Shradda, faith and Krama, Divine unfolding. Both of these play into our experience of Grace. Grace happens when We can trust that something will happen and that there is wisdom to the unfolding. Grace happened most often in those moments when it feels impossible.
Grace is that call from a friend when you really need support. It is unsolicited and beautiful. Grace is being in an impossible situation and then something totally unexpected happens to change the course and what appeared impossible becomes possible. We have all experienced grace, in small ways and large ways. We may have been inclined to write it off as serendipity or coincidence. In casting these moments off as simply coincidence, we miss an opportunity when the veils between, our daily lives and something more are thin and we can connect with that MORE. Whatever form that ‘more’ takes for you. It may have a name like God or nature or something else.
Simone Weil, a philosopher, mystic and political activist of the early 20th century said, ‘Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it, and it is grace itself which makes this void.’ Indeed, grace often happens when we are able to let go. To stop the pushing and controlling. To instead, trust in the unfolding. And as Simone says, simply the ability to let go in itself is an act of grace. Just like our other topics, grace can be cultivated. We can cultivate grace by cultivating the empty spaces. As I often say, there is magic in those empty spaces!
During our centering meditation, we will have a moment at the beginning of class to share these gratitude and prayers if you’d like. In class we will continue to chant the mantra: Lokah Samastah Suknino Bhavantu which translates as “May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.” At the end of our asana (posture practice) I will chant this chant 108 times. You are welcome to join me or to simply find a restorative posture and allow the vibration of the mantra to wash over you, like a sonic bath. You can read more about chanting and this chant here.
Linger in the empty spaces,
Andrea Carvalho, musings on the journey to vibrant embodiment.