Following my years of (head) awakening, there were some years of a dark night. There was a reversal from deeply realizing all as Spirit, and luminosity, clarity, insights, effortless practice, and incredible energy and activity in the world, to the opposite of a complete absence of Spirit, being just a separate human being steeped in confusion, hopelessness and fatigue, unable to engage in any form of practice.
During these years, it definitely felt like a fall from grace. I was blessed with a spontaneous and quite clear awakening, and then fell down into identification with this human self and all its confusion and weaknesses.
Now, I can still see it as a fall from grace, but even more, it seems as a fall into grace. It is true that it did take me off track in terms of my plans of continuing my Zen studies and eventually becoming a teacher, and also getting a degree which would allow me to practice and do research in the mind-body field. In that sense, and in many other ways, it was a fall from grace. But in another sense, it was a fall into grace. It allowed some edges to soften. It allowed me to experience from the inside the suffering that so many experience, at least at times in their life. It allowed me, possibly, to drop into the endarkenment.
And it allowed me to learn about surrender. And loss.
Surrendering even that which seems, in every way, so good. A surrendering that allows space for something else to emerge, something not part of my plans, something that was not being “on track” as I saw it, something completely different.
It is certainly a fall from grace. And it is equally a fall into grace.