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  • Erika Murphy

The Arrival of Grace!


Now that I have raised the glass of pure wine to my lips, the nightingale starts to sing! ~ Hafiz


As those of us in the Western hemisphere spend more time in darkness, it is helpful to remember that the light of grace always engulfs us. Spiritual practices allow us to catch glimpses of this grace as we become less identified with the mind's limitation.


Many are familiar with the prologue in The Gospel of John: "What has come into being in [The Word] was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overtake it." The darkness of the mind's ignorance is no match for eternal light. We are empowered to cultivate our ability to become this light and delight in infinite clarity, love, compassion, and peace.


Grace is always present, but the mind needs reminders to wake up! Whether it's Jesus' birth in a manger, Buddha's enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, or the Menorah's bright candles of wisdom, we can be reminded of our true potential and revel in the promise of that light.


When discussing the hero's journey, mythologist Joseph Campbell, tells us that by saving ourselves we "save the world. The influence of a vital person vitalizes." As we cultivate conditions ripe for grace, we enrich ourselves and also radiate that light and love into the world. It is our birthright to enjoy both the light of clarity and the scintillating darkness of the divine mystery!


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The Essence of Grace


Now that I have raised the glass of pure wine to my lips,

The nightingale starts to sing!


Go to the librarian and ask for the book of this bird's songs, and

Then go out into the desert. Do you really need college to read this book?


Break all your ties with people who profess to teach, and learn from the

Pure Bird. From Pole to Pole the news of those sitting in quiet solitude is spreading.


On the front page of the newspaper, the alcoholic Chancellor of the University Said: "Wine is illegal. It's even worse than living off charity."


It's not important whether we drink Gallo or Mouton Cadet: drink up!

And be happy, for whatever our Winebringer brings is the essence of grace.


The stories of the greed and fantasies of all the so-called "wise ones"

Remind me of the mat-weavers who tell tourists that each strand is a yarn of gold.


Hafiz says: The town's forger of false coins is also president of the city bank. So keep quiet, and hoard life's subtleties.

A good wine is kept for drinking, never sold.


~ Hafiz

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