Klee died relatively young and his style changed as the inevitability of death became inescapable. With great seriousness in one of his last paintings, Klee announces that death is a purifier, like fire, and a means to fulfillment. This is the once terrible, seen as the most beautiful. This is the real power of joy, to make us certain that beneath all grief, the most fundamental of realities is joy itself.
Warm greetings, dear Friends! Grace abounds on this sparkling spring day. Rachel Naomi Remen, in her book Kitchen Table Wisdom, writes about the story of a poor man walking along a dusty road one day, wondering whether he would have anything to eat that evening, when suddenly the gods took pity on him and dropped a bag of gold in his path. He was not ready to receive this gift, however, and detoured around it without investigating, thinking himself fortunate to have avoided stumbling over such a large rock in his path. Our lives are full of such a "bags of gold" appearing in our path, but they rarely look like the gifts they are. Sometimes they even appear to be just the opposite, and only looking back do we perceive their value. As we meet in the Silence, let us seek the vision to recognize the many gifts of grace with which we are richly blessed every day.
Experiencing grace involves the expansion of consciousness of self to all of one's surroundings as an unbroken whole, a consciousness of awe from which negative mindstates are absent, from which healing and groundedness result. For these reasons grace has long been deemed "amazing."
The gift of nature is the gift of "being"; the gift of grace is the gift of "well-being." Grace is given to reconnect us to our true nature. At the heart of our being is the image of God, and thus the wisdom of God, the creativity of God, the passions of God, the longings of God. Grace is opposed not to what is deepest in us but to what is false in us. It is given to restore us to the core of our being and to free us from the unnaturalness of what we are doing to one another and to the earth.
This much I have learned: within the sorrow there is grace. When we come close to the things that break us down, we touch those things that also break us open. This is the point of healing: when we have told the story, we can leave the story behind. What remains is hidden wholeness, alive and unbroken.
Probably one of the first strokes of grace in my life is my father's become totally paralyzed when I was eight years old, because it led me to become the kind of person I am now. Sometimes we understand grace only in retrospect. If someone were to ask me what grace is, I would probably respond, "It's all grace."
Every dollar you donate helps us to mail out the monthly Friends of Silence newsletter, add back issues of the newsletter to the web site, develop online courses on silence, and provide contemplative retreats at Still Point.
Friends of Silence is a 501(c)3 non-profit public benefit organization and all donations are tax deductible.
We welcome you to become a partner in our work. Thank you so much for your generosity!