THE WAY OF GRACE – MIRANDA MACPHERSON
LEARN TO SURRENDER BACK INTO THE SOURCE OF YOUR BEING, RECEIVE THE SUPPORT OF DIVINE PRESENCE, AND DISCOVER A MORE GRACIOUS, HARMONIOUS AND FULFILLING WAY OF BEING IN THE WORLD — EVEN AS YOU FACE LIFE’S GREATEST CHALLENGES.
Why try to fly with the tiny wings of a sparrow, when the mighty wings of an eagle have been given you. – A COURSE IN MIRACLES
Have you found yourself sincerely walking your spiritual path, and despite your devotion, still can’t fully access the deep peace, joy and fulfillment promised?
You’re not alone.
There’s a subtle but very common problem that’s intrinsic in the way almost all of us engage the spiritual path: to get somewhere besides here and become someone other than me. In other words, we start seeing our current state of consciousness, stage of development or patterns of ego as a problem that needs to be fixed. And then we try harder and harder to fix that problem with diminishing results.
What’s happening is that our sincerely motivated spiritual practice can become co-opted by our ego’s effort to attain certain states, escape suffering, experience the highest attainment, or fix the seeming problem of “me.”
This turns our life into a frustrating search… seeking but never truly finding.
The answer to the struggle that’s so often part of the spiritual path can be found in a deceptively simple word: Grace.
Grace is how we unravel the tangled knot of our ego’s striving.
Grace is more than a fortunate or blessed state of being. It’s an actual path that we can choose to walk — into the heart, mind and arms of the Beloved.
Grace is the palpable presence of the Divine that brings forth the precise qualities you truly need to deepen on the path, thrive in your life, and be of benefit to our world.
Grace is direct experience of Boundless Love. It is…
The CAUSE of your being,
The DEPTH of your heart,
The TRANSFORMATIVE POWER that awakens you.
And it’s a lot more accessible than you may have thought.
Grace comes alive when you surrender. This is not the same thing as collapsing, self-rejection or being passive. Grace dances with your deep trust, honesty, devotion, curiosity, compassion, humility, willingness and patience — all so your ego can let go and stop trying to lead.
As you allow this, you learn to relax, and quit trying to control and direct life.
Laying aside your spiritual concepts of what you are and what God is — and relaxing your habits of fear, judgment and control — you can enter into the receptive state in which you are FOUND by a Grace deeper than your mind.
Ramana Maharshi said it vividly:
You can discover that Grace is way more than a beautiful state that fills your heart; Grace is the ground of your being, now and always. Recognizing this liberates so much of your unnecessary suffering and allows you to turn your attention to extending love to others. It brings specific blessings you need, allowing you to drink from the inner stream that can truly quench your thirst.
But sometimes this is easier said than done!
And that is why we have created The Way of Grace program: to initiate you into a wholly different way of approaching your life, your growth and the spiritual path, one that involves deep surrender to the currents of life and a tender embrace of all the challenges as grist for the mill of awakening.
THE POWER OF AN AUTHENTIC, AWAKE TEACHER
The Way of Grace program is led by a remarkable female mystic who underwent a life-changing spiritual awakening that shifted the core of her being — and prepared her to lead others in catalyzing deep shifts.
Her name is Miranda Macpherson, and her story offers a uniquely modern tale of awakening that builds upon the lineages of the past, but also blossoms in new directions.
When Miranda underwent a great unraveling of her ego identity during three weeks in Arunachala, India (beginning in the same cave where Hindu sage Ramana Maharshi underwent his journey of awakening), her husband at the time heard an inner voice say, “The female mystic has landed.”
They both knew that nothing would ever be the same again. A vast, loving, deep presence began to open within her. It took years to stabilize this opening, begin to live from it, and guide others in making this same shift.
Since then, Miranda has emerged as a truly global spiritual teacher. She speaks with the refreshing candor born of her Australian roots. She draws from her deep study of world religions and practices as an interfaith minister. And she is well-versed in many modern systems of psycho-spiritual growth.
Miranda’s teaching methods marry an exquisite and piercing capacity for clear insight with an overflowing, loving heart that helps you release your aversion to any aspect of yourself.
She guides you in shedding the conditioning that obscures the truth of who YOU really are, and helps you approach the path with tenderness and self-forgiveness.
In The Way of Grace, she will offer you a distinctly feminine perspective on non-dual realization that leads to the discovery of new dimensions of grace — and the possibility for you to embody and live everyday life from the deeper ground of being.
At The Shift Network, we first learned about Miranda from veterans of the spiritual path who have sat with literally every major teacher of the last 30 years, and said, “You HAVE to meet Miranda. She is the real deal.”
And we found ourselves dazzled by the luminosity and loving realization of this teacher. We’ve been blown away by the power of the virtual programs that she has offered to Shift participants.
Miranda brings a wealth of extensive teaching experience — over 20 years — 10 of which she served as spiritual director of a groundbreaking program, training over 600 interfaith ministers and spiritual counselors.
In recent years, she has been guiding groups of advanced aspirants who are ripe for a deep and lasting spiritual awakening.
During this 10-module journey with Miranda, you’ll be able to relax into a larger field of grace — feeling the healing balm of unconditional love AS yourself — and learn why so many of your efforts to improve, grow and evolve leave you unsatisfied.
She will share how you can empty out, again and again, to allow grace to fill you up in a way that creates a lasting sense of fulfillment.
By learning to let go of your habits of control, you can become receptive to grace at a deeper level than your mind.
In the space beyond your strategies, you can discover that strength, clarity, wisdom and love are abundantly present — allowing you to meet life’s personal and collective challenges with spiritual maturity.
In short, she’ll show you how to take grace beyond being a fuzzy concept to a practical, precise, and spiritually fulfilling path of awakening and service.
If you join this virtual initiation in spiritual awakening, you’ll:
- Explore the four dimensions of Grace in depth, and how to engage each
- Identify the personal fears that bump you back up to the surface of your personality, creating glass ceilings in your practice
- Understand how your unconscious template for trust is based on your early holding environment in infancy
- Understand why the impulse to chase after God takes you out of the receptive state, blocking your availability to Boundless dimensions
- See how to truly relax into realization, rather than effort to fix yourself
- Develop your ability to open to Grace as the ground of your being, here and now, and allow it to transform you
- Transform how you experience grace in difficult life passages that may not seem to be what you want
- Develop the foundations for “living gracefully” — how to begin functioning in daily life from the living stream of boundless love, wisdom and guidance
- See why your attempts to transform yourself often backfire as a form of self-rejection
- Identify your primary patterns of opening and closing, and be able to shift beyond them
- Purify your motivation for engaging the path, and thus transform the subtle narcissism of wanting spiritual realization for personal gain
- Learn how to become undefended in a way that allows unconditional love to permeate your being
- Discover ways to identify the stories you tell yourself and how to let them go
- Understand the key to real humility, which is different than putting yourself down
If you want to free yourself from the roots of struggle and substantially deepen on your spiritual path while releasing a great deal of efforting and friction, this is the program for you!
WHAT YOU’LL DISCOVER IN THESE 10 MODULES
In this 10-module transformational training, Miranda will offer you an opportunity to deeply let go of trying to direct life. Total surrender is a way of becoming receptive to grace deeper than your mind so that coming into intimate contact with the depth of what you really are is possible.
Each contemplation and training session will build harmoniously upon the next, so that you’ll develop a complete, holistic understanding of the practices, tools and principles you’ll need to surrender to Grace and feel unconditional love as YOU.
SECTION 1: RELAXING INTO THE GROUND OF GRACE
MODULE 1: SURRENDERING INTO THE GROUND OF GRACE
We begin our 10-module journey by exploring what IS Grace? How do we open into direct experience of Divine Presence and access the boundless love, joy, peace, power, majesty, intelligence, creativity and pure awareness of our true nature? Why is this crucial not only for our own evolution but the evolution of our world?
We’ll explore how to allow a deeper surrender into Grace, and Miranda will introduce her feminine and integrated approach to nondual awakening that revolves around EGO RELAXATION rather than ego annihilation.
In this module, you will:
- Discover how the practice of ego relaxation helps you open into Grace as the DEPTH of your own heart, the CAUSE of your Being and the TRANSFORMING agency that awakens you.
- Receive the transmission of Grace that invites you to lay aside all your concepts of self and Reality, and learn to “come with wholly empty hands unto God.”
- Discover the 4 Dimensions of Grace, and how each supports an integrated awakening that helps you live in the world — from a consciousness beyond it.
- Liberate Ego Efforting, the primary block to grace, cause of so much unnecessary stress and of thinking: “I am the do-er and it’s all up to me.”
- Taste the nondual Reality of Grace as the ground of your being, and rest in its nourishing nectar here and now.
MODULE 2: LIBERATING FEAR & CONTROL
Authentic spiritual awakening invites you to open in and through your direct experience until surrender is joyful and total. This means dealing with the fear and control foundational to all ego structures. Fear cannot be rationalized, by-passed or dismissed. This module invites you to compassionately explore what causes you to contract, what holds this in place, and why.
In an atmosphere of loving kindness towards our humanity, Miranda will guide you to inquire INTO your fears — the places inside where it is challenging for you to open, be this historical, ancestral or existentially based. All can melt away when it is met with presence and unconditional acceptance.
Miranda will guide you in:
- Identifying the personal fears that bump you back up to the surface of your personality, creating glass ceilings in your practice.
- Exploring the principle and practice of Holistic Self-Inquiry, which invites you to harness fear and control as a gateway to dive into your instinctive patterns of closure, and explore what lives beyond.
- Understanding the common existential fears that inhibit entry into the Boundless depths of your true nature. Allowing death of our presumptions and self-images as part of the flow of Grace.
- Appreciating your strategies of control as ways you learned to offset the terror of separation. Relaxing into the Boundless Love that helps you to let go of the reins.
- Learning how to stay present and not abandon yourself, harnessing the energy within your fear and control to discover what is alive in the space beyond you and your fears?
- Discover for yourself that fear has no foundation. Grace has no limit.
MODULE 3: THE DEVELOPMENT OF TRUST
Our capacity to surrender and allow Grace to lead us beyond our familiar ego patterns into the boundless dimensions of our true nature is dependent on our capacity to trust the loving goodness underlying our life. Without sufficient trust we simply cannot let go of our strategies of control to genuinely realize that there is nothing to fear.
In this module, Miranda will give an advanced teaching on the development of trust, inspired by a passage contained within the teachers manual of A Course in Miracles that was pivotal in supporting a quantum surrender and shift in her own center of gravity.
In this module you will:
- Understand how your unconscious template for trust is based on your early holding environment in infancy and how this influences your capacity to allow for the deeper change and transformation of spiritual life, and how to work with it.
- Discover the various stages of trust, and the invitations and challenges contained within each stage of trust.
- Let your limitations to trust melt in the Divine Mother presence that IS limitless holding, nurturing, caring and love, independent of your history.
- Learn how trust awakens distinctly in the body, heart and mind — giving you the courage to relax back into the origin of your Being.
- Experience the State of Grace as a palpable presence of Loving Goodness that underlies your life and all existence.
SECTION 2: RECEIVING THE BLESSINGS OF GRACE
MODULE 4: HUMILITY: BOWING INTO THE MYSTERY
Now that we have learned to relax into the Ground of Grace, that is the loving foundation of our being and all that is, we can turn deeper into the Mystery. Humility opens this gate, and is crucial to help us deal with the unconscious ego arrogance that manifests as we try to lead ourselves across the bridge into deeper dimensions. Thinking either “I know” or “I should know the way” gets us into a knot of stress, blocking authentic receptivity and guidance.
In this module, Miranda will share the power of opening through junctures where we feel helpless, learning to stay present and BOW into the Mystery of unknowing, giving up to Grace itself.
In this module, you will:
- Liberate the obstacle of ego humiliation — the history of shame when you did not know something. Reclaim the positive power of not knowing, learning how to stay present without collapsing, and instead, simply opening.
- Relax your subtle pride, opinions, presumptions and tendency to self-direct, learning instead to step back and allow space.
- Discover the prayer practice of Giving up to Grace – that helps you give your life, your relationships, and all that you consider to be “yours” back to the origin of your being.
- Enter into the receptive state through the “Graceful Surrender” meditation, a practice that integrates principles of Guru Yoga and Centering Prayer.
- Open into the non-conceptual space of emptiness.
MODULE 5: PATIENCE:
THE “GENTLE EFFORT”
Entering the state of Grace in all of its dimensions and learning to abide there invites us to both sincerely engage our spiritual practice with deep commitment, devotion and consistency, while recognizing that we are not in charge of the show! Patience helps us accept where we are, and cease the usual manipulation.
Patience is a dimension of love that helps us embrace the paradox of effort and effortlessness. It flushes out the subtle bargaining that can arise on the path, the entitlement of the ego that views Grace as something to be “bought” by spiritual good behavior.
In this module, you will:
- Discriminate the subtle agendas that can co-opt your spiritual practice and inhibit authentic surrender, such as bargaining, entitlement, attachment to particular concepts and outcomes.
- Purify your motivation for engaging the path, and thus transform the subtle narcissism of wanting spiritual realization for personal gain. Joyfully recognize your ego cannot get enlightened!
- Let self-judgment, subtle rejection and spiritual pushiness dissolve.
- Access a deeper devotion, letting your practice be powered by your heart’s love for the Real.
- Learn how patience helps you to practice ego relaxation at a deeper level, surrendering your attachments, your pushiness, while simultaneously sharpening the lens of your practice. (This helps us engage what the Bhagavad Gita calls the gentle effort, strengthening our commitment to our practice while surrendering the reins.)
- Taste the Grace of simply accepting yourself where you are, and letting things BE.
SECTION 3: THE TRANSFORMING POWER OF GRACE
MODULE 6: FORGIVENESS: TRANSFORMING HEART-BREAK
Forgiveness is part of the transforming activity of Grace, how the “heavenly” realm comes to Earth to restore our fundamental innocence as human beings. Forgiveness harnesses our relational challenges as a powerful vehicle in which to liberate wounds of the past, and contact the indestructible purity of who we truly are. Yet forgiveness is so often misunderstood as “rising above it,” which contributes to bypassing, spiritual phony-ness, and confusion.
In this module, Miranda guides you on a powerful journey into the intersection of your humanity and divinity. Together, we will compassionately explore the realm of deep hurt, betrayal, anger and hatred, that in many spiritual traditions we are not supposed to have.
In this module, you will:
- Discover what authentic forgiveness is, and what the biblical injunction, “Turn the other cheek ” truly means (it’s not what you think!).
- Discover how forgiveness dissolves the lens of guilt, projection and judgment from mind and heart.
- Bring your “taboo” feelings, including hatred, anger, betrayal and revenge, out of the closet and into the light of unconditional awareness, and learn how they are important portals to deeper dimensions of Grace.
- Learn to distinguish forgiveness from reconciliation and guilt from remorse, which supports forgiveness with discriminating wisdom.
- Journey through the six stages of forgiveness, as both a teaching and a practice that gives you a framework for letting Grace heal the hurt places.
- Experience the PRESENCE of forgiveness itself — as a healing rain of blessings that restores us to indestructible innocence, peace of mind and right relationship with one another.
- Participate in the awakening of our world through the transformation of past hatred into present love.
MODULE 7: LOVING YOUR SUFFERING
Herman Hesse said, “You know quite well, deep within you, there is only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation — and that is called loving. Very well then: love your suffering. It is your resistance that causes the pain.”
This module invites you to turn directly towards the limitations you are still working with, and open your heart to it all in love. Although counter-intuitive, this makes us more transparent. It helps us dis-identify from our personality while becoming more accepting, more truly human. Loving our suffering opens the gate for a grace deeper than “me.”
In this module, you will:
- Explore the root of suffering — and how your own suffering and the suffering of the world. How you can embrace it not as a problem to be fixed but a living invitation to a deeper humanity.
- Inquire into identification with the separate self that births selfishness, envy and habits contrary to our cherished spiritual intentions.
- Dissolve the construct of “I” and “Mine,” inspired by a teaching of Ramana Maharshi.
- Practice Ego Relaxation in the face of suffering — opening, softening, allowing — and meeting everything with receptivity to be taught by all of life’s experiences.
- Discover right relationship with your personality by coming to know yourself deeper than it.
- Face everything with love as your mind dissolves back into God.
MODULE 8: ENTERING DEEPER DIMENSIONS OF GRACE
This module invites you to taste for yourself that it is not simply that Grace is within you, but more accurately, that Grace is WHAT is living you, all the days of your life. When we know this, not just conceptually but in our direct experience, there is absolutely nothing to fear by turning more substantially within and deeply letting go. You can only ever fall out of a structure of your mind. You can only ever fall deeper into Grace.
This class shows you HOW to enter deeper dimensions, so that your awakening process can take off without limit. Miranda also introduces her “Entering into Direct Experience” practice which gives you the template to dive in and beyond.
In this module, you will:
- Let go of the trap of commentating and comparing that keeps you hovering on the surface of yourself, rather than dropping deeper.
- Understand the tantric principle of diving IN and THROUGH your direct experience that shows you how to turn everything into the path of awakening.
- Learn what it truly means to meet the various layers of your experience, while practicing ego relaxation (doing nothing to change, fix, transcend).
- Open through the primary fears to diving deeper: ego deficient identity, fear of overwhelm, loss of control, the familiar, and your functioning capacity — the fear that “I” will disappear.
- Land in deeper dimensions of Being in which Grace reveals more of itself, inseparable from your own true nature.
SECTION 4: LIVING GRACEFULLY IN THE WORLD
MODULE 9: THE JOY OF BEING
Vedic philosophy views our true nature as “Sat-Chit-Ananda” (Being-Consciousness-Bliss). The more we learn to open our hearts to everything, the more we experience Ananda — real joy as our natural state. We discover that the depth of our heart IS Boundless Love; containing oceans of delight, generosity, kindness, empathy and refined qualities that enrich our lives and those around us.
This joy of our being is not dependent on particular circumstances, although it can be triggered by so many things — the scent of a rose, the sweetness of our grandchild, the tender touch of a lover, a spectacular sunset. Ultimately our hearts are truly happy when we awaken to the living Grace within us.
In this module, you will:
- Explore how Reality brings the true fulfillment that supports us to be satisfied with our lives, ending our materialistic seeking for “more.”
- Discriminate between your triggers for joy and the underlying source of it.
- Contact the spirit of Ananda (love-joy-bliss) as the depth of your own heart, independent of your history or personality.
- Open through the blocks to joy – feeling unworthy, objectifying joy, and chasing after particular conditions or states.
- Discover the sacred practice of wholeheartedly enjoying your life, regarding pleasure as part of your practice — what helps your soul expand — and differentiating true pleasure from unhealthy indulgence.
- Re-connect with the importance of gratitude, taking time for what matters and nourishing others with your love.
(Skip November 25)
MODULE 10: BEING THE PRESENCE OF LOVE
The ultimate purpose of every human life is not simply personal gain, but to propagate the majesty of God. The more we sincerely engage the path, honestly giving up to Grace our habits of closure, the more we naturally manifest the deeper truth of who we are. Learning to surrender fear and control, and grow in trust, humility, awareness, acceptance and forgiveness, we start to radiate Grace. Our presence becomes more refined, transparent, responsive rather than reactive, and it gives off a fragrance of real love. A spiritual elegance emerges in the way we live our lives.
In our last module together, we will:
- Review your practical life so you can prioritize spiritual nourishment. When you get hooked, simply return to your practice in the spirit of Rumi’s lament: “Come, come whoever you are, even though you’ve broken your vows a thousand times. Come, come again.”
- Turn activities that you tend to get lost in, into a practice (i.e. email, running errands, cooking dinner, etc.).
- Learn to consciously see the face of God in everyone we meet, seeing through the appearance and bowing to the Grace that lives in them.
- Find ways to respond gracefully when greeted with challenges, in life and in the world, asking “what’s needed now?” and then taking inspired action.
- Discover what to do when we get lost or derailed by the unexpected, and how to ask for help and receive it.