The Chalice at Grace

It matters where we place ourselves and how we place ourselves.
I have been sitting at the desk at Grace five years now, and never has the Grace endeavor felt so new and fresh and luminous.

What surprises me most about teaching seven classes a week at Grace – besides the daily speak of the building itself, the dependability of Dharma Yoga, the sanctity of the practice – is the soft and yielding and strong community of people who come again and again to practice here. I am moved to tears at times by the tenacity of the community: the way we hold each other in crisis and joy, birth and death; the way we flow with and against one another for a couple hours at a time and then part, for a little while. Each class is a cocreative work of art. Each day brings a new experience at Grace, as though the ever-changing world of name and form slips into Grace in the morning and slips out in the evening. I never know what to expect. On the other hand, I have come to expect the miracle of the ordinary.

I am deeply attached to the friends and students who continue to feed the community with their Presence and the growth of their own practices. I study these attachments. They are born, I believe, from the shared experiences of moving, touching, singing, and sitting. The attachments form as we feel together.

I used to own champagne flutes that weighed almost nothing and were paper thin but seemed strong enough to hold molten lead. Silica had been heated to such intensity and then shaped and spun into another, cohesive but transparent material. Fire and intention formed a glass that seemed to defy physics. In the silence at Grace, I feel this same strength and transparency. The Grace community knows how to sit in silence. The sterling quality of the silence at Grace allows our transparency to emerge.

Atha Yoga Nusasanam: Now begins the study of yoga. The first word of the classic Yoga Sutra is now. If we are present to this moment – not the previous, nor the next – we are in a mindful state, willing to accept what this moment brings. Under all the laughing and Auming and mantra and stories inside the chalice of Grace lies the Great Silent Now, which holds us all.

Judy McClainComment