"If we are going to achieve our purpose in life, we must be willing to fall out of grace and accept its lessons. When we feel righteous about ourselves, or deny our brokenness, we are fighting against the higher states of grace that await us.

"Failure is built into grace. You cannot have one without the other. It's like two sides of a single coin. Everyone who has achieved a state of grace is certain at some point to fall, and to have fallen many times before. Every successful person, everyone you respect, will tell you that they have mountains of failure behind them.

"Dealing with reversals is much easier in my village than it is here in the West. In the village you have people concerned about you and support you, knowing that their own happiness is dependent upon you. They also understand that failures are life-giving, that they are the engines of wisdom. Failures, they say there, come to show you that you are stagnant or wandering or that you have work to do.

"Here is something I have been taught, and which I have had to learn over and over again through experience: To fall out of grace is a gift, one of the greatest gifts that one receives in life.

"When we are in grace, we begin to take things for granted and we actually stop working on ourselves. Falling out of grace shakes us up. It reconnects us to the larger universe in order for us to see ourselves anew. It forces us to rediscover where our true center begins, and to learn what needs to be set aside."