The Interplay of Grace and Effort on a Nondual Path

The Paradox of Grace and Effort

(This teaching was first presented in 5/29/1993 to students of the Ridhwan School)

Chesed grace Geburah effort

In working with the question of impeccability in terms of doing this Work, the Diamond Approach, I will bring in a paradox related to impeccability by working with polarity. The more you learn about impeccability and learn to be impeccable, the more you will be able to be impeccable in the Work.

There’s a danger of us coming to believe that what happens in our work is the result of our efforts and actions. This brings in the paradox.

The way that I will work with it is with the perspective of Chesed and Geburah, usually translated as mercy and severity, or abundance and might. These are two of sephirah:

The 10 attributes/emanations in Kabbalah, through which Ein Sof (The Infinite) reveals Himself and continuously creates both the physical realm and the chain of higher metaphysical realms.


I will work with these two qualities from a particular perspective. That doesn’t mean I’ll be teaching about Chesed and Geburah the way you will find them in the Kabbalah. But, I will be using these two views, these two perspectives as the two sides of the polarity.

Chesed, or mercy, or love or compassion or abundance is the idea that whatever happens in our work is a gift. All that we get that is good is a gift. So in some sense this whole situation that we have here is a gift.

  • The situation that we have of learning is gift.
  • What we learn is a gift.
  • That fact that things happen that bring abundance, that bring freedom, that bring release is a gift.

So, to illustrate that I will tell you a few personal stories of how spiritual learning is a gift. Even though we need to work very hard and we need to be impeccable in our practice, that is not really what does it. Although it is necessary for what does it, to do it.

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