I’ve always known what I’ve wanted. Always, even through my fog of active addiction, I’ve known. There really are only three things on my list:
- All I really want, truly and deeply and purely, is to live a life of spiritual value.
- All I really want, truly and deeply and purely, is to live in consistent connectivity to Grace.
- All I really want, truly and deeply and purely, is to be useful, to be of service, to mend the tear in the fabric of our world.
Truly that’s it—these are the things, all along my life’s path, that have ever mattered to me.
Unfortunately, being human keeps getting in my way!
I get so waylaid, so lost in my own humanity, so at sea in my own emotional reaction to my own emotional reactions.
I get so afraid of what I don’t know—so hopeful for what might be—so ashamed of my own longing—so ambivalent about my own brilliance.
However, throughout this entire journey of mine, these very human moments, these each and all have been the doorways back to that which is ultimately of the spirit.
Let me introduce you to one of my personal teachers and let her explain.
This very special Buddha lived in the Main Hall of Kripalu Center during the many rituals, celebrations and holidays held there over the years. When those holidays were (I’m carefully considering a word here) retired from the curriculum, as Kripalu assimilated into a more mainstream representation of yoga, Buddha needed a new home. Somehow, she found her way toward my office where she has lived, first at Kripalu for many years, and now in my home office.
To me, she represents the glorious imperfection of grace.
Her cracked arm, her split leg—her vulnerability, her lack of perfection lives so deeply within the totality of the grace that she is. That’s us! That’s the human dilemma. By not freaking out about our cracks, our fear, our longing, our ambivalence, by allowing ourselves to be human and so very far from perfect, we become vessels of a deepening fluidity of spirit.
She has taught me well, this Buddha of Imperfection, that my human moment, with whatever it is offering me, is the portal back to the depth of silence and stillness that I really am; by resisting as minimally as I can, by leaning toward the moment, by befriending my reaction, my allowing myself to be, by softening around the feelings just like on that damn yoga mat, from that place, all grace is accessible.
All grace is accessible.
All grace is available.
All grace is ours, for the breathing.
How cool is that?
Yet, for me, this is a never-ending and sometimes maddening practice. I cycle round and round on the wheel of I should be.
It sounds something like this:
I should be more healed.
I should be more spiritual.
I should be less afraid.
Do you identify with any of this, dear reader?
Life is asking us to simply show up, to abide our imperfections, and to be there, come as you are! Leonard Cohen says it so well in his wondrous song, Anthem:
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack,
That’s how the light gets in.
Please join me in viewing a most remarkable presentation, from his 2008 London concert, our dear Leonard singing Anthem. At nine minutes a bit long, yet I believe, this is the best musical version of the song I have heard, and with its stunning video, worth every nanosecond of our heart’s attention:
Dear Readers, what are you taking away from this blog, from this song? What would it look like for you to allow your imperfections to be? Pick one, and, just for a day or so, practice non-judgment. And please keep me posted! As always, I am firstname.lastname@example.org.