Lets Start This Simply
What is Grace?
Grace is moving/acting/living with potential.
That is it.
Since potential is an open ended word, it means grace is an ever open ended process in itself of how one grows. The word shifts meaning faster than any other word in the language. It’s relative to the holder and relative to the moment of time held. It also shows how what is graceful for one, isn’t always graceful for another since at times what people need to grow towards can be different.
This is also shows why the word grace gets associated with God. In many religions a person finds their potential through connecting to that which is greater, that higher level of potential that is often labeled as “God”. Yet in reality it can be the universe or any higher level concept.
What is Living?
I was asked: “Define Living”
My answer without hesitation is:
To act with awareness…
A animal would react with instincts.
A Human re-acts relative to their stories and then instincts
A Conscious being (animal or human) would act with awareness first and then if appropriate use instincts or story to modify how they need to respond.
When you see a living being acting/ reacting in a manner that is unique… then that is living to their essence.
So I thought about it. What would the Taoist answer be?
Lets be realistic, people have countless definitions on what living means to them and it partly comes down to how you look at it really. So in part living is a perception based activity… where perception is all about awareness… So this means all definitions need to include a bit about awareness…
Lets dig deeper: Is it enough to only be aware?
I don’t think so, I think there is always an element of action also to living… it’s the dash of action that shapes and gives style to how a person lives. Action is the use of our potential that allows a person to be graceful. So truly living is mixture of awareness and action… or at times action could be replace by the word connection. Which is why you can see many definitions of living, since you replace the word “action” with some active process that the living being is focused upon.
So for example:
The biological definition of life: the capacity to grow, metabolize, respond (to stimuli), adapt, and reproduce
IN other words: action and awareness
awareness (respond (to stimuli)) and actions (growth, metabolize, adapt and reproduce)
People seem to dance between the pole of action only (For example a Westerner rushing to act before knowing what is happening) < —> to the other pole of awareness only (shutting out the world completely in order to meditate). But somewhere in between, exist many blends of both action and awareness to working with each other to produce a lifetime to experience.
From a Taoist perspective we simplify action down and focus closer to the Awareness side of this equation. We do this for flexibility. The more action based a person is, the less options they have in life. Taoist’s love both options and potential. Yet a Taoist accepts action at the most graceful moments, since action when done well also creates potential in addition to only using potential. Careless actions based purely on consumption merely use up potential compared to graceful actions that actually build up potential and options.
Options are the choices you have only based upon a given action, Potential are all the options you can flow into. Since in any one moment you can have a large number of actions that creates a larger field of potential to dance through. Yet if you act precisely… then you have focused the energy to flow cleanly down one option…
So to a Taoist living is
With awareness: acting with grace.
Mindfulness and Grace
Someone asked me does this apply to mindfulness. The answer is Yes since mindfulness is a form of awareness. But this makes me also think about how we define living does change from religion to religion. So when asked about mindfulness lets approach this from the Buddhist perspective.
For a Buddhist the answer gets modify to this:
With mindfulness acting with release.
Same concepts, but with the change of words in application this changes perspective radically and it redefines how a person lives and moves with their actions.
Each religion or major philosophy redefines the action to awareness relationship: which is perfect and wonderful. However, it does cause a lot of people to bump into each other as they cross paths with different perspective, direction and energy. With a Taoist approach of non judgement it helps reduce conflict as we bump into each other on our paths of different direction.
So keep in mind depending on how you define potential, your highest ideals, what it is you are striving for… all of these factors will change how you explore and hold grace.
Releasing Perfection to Find Grace
To be human is embrace your nature as a story. The core of every story always contains a seed of a flaw to drive the story onward.
Once discovering you are Human, the need to be perfect melts away and a person can strive to live kindly. It’s the drive to live kindly that allows a person to come to terms with their flaws.
The pressure to be perfect reinforces the desire to measure oneself and this is the entry way for the trap of judgment. To measure oneself against another is to limit yourself even more. Removing the mirror of judgement lets each person see each other uniquely as individuals. It’s good to see weaknesses and flaws, which actually give us each distinctions. This allows us to work with strength with each other more gracefully and also improves society in how we work together.
Society often does the opposite, tries to force everyone to work in the same manner. Such an approach is guaranteed to break down individuality for the benefit of society. Trying to be perfect for society will destroy personal freedom.
Allow imperfection to be a strength rather than a weakness and you will discover a much better life to explore.