“Living” experiences: surrender, grace and beauty
by Patanga Cordeiro
Once more He lets me sleep not,
Making me sit at the bedside
And write before it turns to mist:
I haven´t been grateful or anything;
Haven´t done much or anything for Him;
But He does so much for me, so many things
That make me feel loved, and for that even
More ungrateful; but no, He won´t let me;
He makes me feel loved
Even if I don´t love Him;
It is unconditional; it feels like
My heart is snatched away
By His disarming love,
And He makes me stay awake
With joy and worry too
That this being loved would one day
Recently I have been witnessing many developments which seem to me just about the most perfect thing that could happen. The subjects range from my personal worries – which can trouble one for a short or very long while -, from small to large practical details of everyday life, to longed for spiritual progress, in myself and in many others around me – work, family, inner life, etc.
Just about everything seems to have been settling into place – not a place I could imagine, but rather a place so adequate that I, in my much limited awareness, could not imagine such a settlement before seeing it in reality. And spontaneously… it all comes so spontaneously, even if there is effort, wish, prayer or patience on the human side – this effort seems like 1% of the total worth of the thing achieved. I haven´t been consciously grateful or deserving in anyway, but the unconditional love experience of it just makes everything more humbling… and I feel “disarmed” in passive watch of the unraveling beauty of it.
From all this, I am inclined to think these to be the workings of a higher Will. God´s Will, I feel obliged to tentatively and in a most humbled way say.
“Not my will, but Thine be done”
Last weekend myself, one of my friends and his two nine year-old twin sons were meditating together for one minute. Then we sang two songs together. To finish, each one prayed in silence for one minute. My prayer started like “How I wish these children could have a bright spiritual future as seekers.” Then it changed to “But I have not an idea of what is actually right for them, since I don´t know what God´s Will is. So, please, let God´s Will be done.” And yet, I had some desire that my first prayer would be heard, that God´s Will would be the along the lines of my prayer, which was something very progressive. This is something I experienced before, and is the usual and most common thing whenever “Your Will be done” comes to my mind. And it is quite mental, reasonable. It is just articulating the idea that I don´t know anything really, but, at the same time, not surrendering my concepts of right or wrong, my expectations.
But on that day, maybe for the first time in my life, and probably humbled, inspired and awed by the recent happenings in and around my life and in such a precise and perfect way that it hints of that higher Force, I felt much more honesty in my prayer of “But please, let Your Will be done.”
Somehow, witnessing the experiences of past times has made me more aware of the workings of something much higher, and I felt much more inclined to make a fuller surrender of my expectations than ever before. It felt, even if for just a moment, like a “living” surrender. Not something I could reason towards, but something that was visceral in its verity.
In 2018 I spent about 13 days as a race handler for my friend at the Sri Chinmoy 3100 mile race. One of the strongest experiences there was when I talked to one of the runners, who himself had been running 18 hours a day for many days, for thousands of miles. One day it seemed that he had gone past a difficult patch, and was back to strength. I mentioned it to him, and he replied “Yes, it is true, by Guru´s Grace.” And there were a few other times when we had similar exchanges, his realization being the same every time: “It is all Guru´s Grace.”
This too I have heard and have even said before. But this time, when it came from him at such a condition, it felt to me completely genuine, and he clearly knew (and seemed in his expression and sounded in his voice) where it had come from. It was a “living” recognition of a working Grace. The two or three exchanges I had with this runner have been maybe some of the best words I heard in the last years. He was running on “living” Grace.
A “living” treasure
Just yesterday I was talking with some friends at the Sri Chinmoy Centre, and two of the main topics were Sri Chinmoy’s original bird drawings that we have (which now have individually become treasures from another epoch, entrusted to you with no other equal on Earth) and talking to seekers about spirituality – which involved the “living surrender” and “living Grace” topics I just mentioned… but then… it seemed as though these two things were connected. My main point with regards to spending time with seekers is that I like the most to talk about some of my personal experiences as a disciple of Sri Chinmoy. If I speak about meditation or try to explain some topic, I do not get so much inspiration from talking. I think people would be much better off reading Sri Chinmoy´s books on the topic or watching his videos than listening to me. It is almost as if I am wasting their time and inspiration with my peculiar ideas on something.
But when I get to share my realizations with other seekers, the things that the “living” Grace has seemingly given my life, I really feel inspired, humbled and grateful. Often I can see in others that they are identifying and also being inspired by the whole lecture.
These experiences, I think, are just like Sri Chinmoy’s original bird drawings – something that is completely new and is being manifested in you; something that makes you a “living” treasure, a recipient, a steward of what that Grace, that Will has entrusted you with. Speaking about them, sometimes I think I was made into one of his creations, unique, a treasure, humbled and given beauty to be shared with the aspiring world.