We arrive in this world with a secret message written on our souls in invisible ink. It is as if someone you love leans in so close that you can feel their sweet, warm breath on your face as they whisper in your ear, “Live in communion with Spirit and you’ll be happy.” We hear this and then somehow we forget it and our forgetfulness opens the doorway to suffering.
I know for myself that in moments when I become preoccupied with the busyness of life I can lose sight of the fact that every breath is an opportunity for communion with the Divine. One moment of distraction can lead me down a wormhole of suffering unless I notice it happening, catch myself and return to being present with what simply is. When we pay attention we become aware that life offers us the option of being intimate with the Beloved regardless of circumstance.
All cultures have their own ways of inviting this communion and often these are woven into the rituals of daily life. What I notice here in the United States is that the tempo of our lives is so amped up that these grounding rituals often get left by the wayside~ abandoned like an old shoe you might see lying on the side of a dusty road in the desert.
How can you find moments of sanctuary in the midst your busy routine? What would your life be like if you regularly took the time to sit quietly on a hillside bench overlooking a lush, green valley pausing for an intimate chat with God? (If the word God doesn’t resonate for you then please, by all means insert a word from your own lineage that does.) I am using the word God to mean that which is truly divine, that which lives in us, as us; That from whence we came and That to which we will return when our earthly sojourn is done.
We honor the Divine with poetry, songs and whirling dances. The practice of devotion to what we may call God, Great Spirit, Allah and Christ has existed since the beginning of time. Offerings are made to This as we fill butter lamps and light incense in Tibetan Buddhist temples, while fruits and flowers are placed at the feet of Hindu deities, floors are polished and candles are lit in churches, prayers are chanted in mosques as tobacco and cornmeal are offered in Native American ceremonies.
The time we spend tending to Spirit is food for the soul and without it we may begin to wither just as the leaves of a plant left unwatered in the heat of summer become dry, brittle and brown-- eventually falling to the ground dead. Just as plants need water, humans need the sacred nourishment of Communion with The Divine.
We tend to this intimate relationship with Love through our prayerful offerings. This sacred relationship is what gets us through as we experience our trials and tribulations. We may feel immeasurable gratitude for the beauty of this connection washing through us even as life throws us curve balls. It is the grace of knowing Spirit in each breath that buoys us as we navigate the vicissitudes of life.
When we live in communion with Spirit life becomes a prayer. Zen Buddhism teaches, “Chop wood, carry water.” This teaching points us to the possibility that tending to the garden, doing the dishes, driving the carpool, sweeping the floor, running a company, writing code and folding the laundry are all sacred offerings. No task is too great or small, no gesture is insignificant when it is made with an open heart.
Eventually life becomes a conscious practice where we are prostrate to the Beloved regardless of what we are feeling or doing. Everything is included and we take our place as one of Love’s Secret Agents. We know we are Spirit in body. When we live like this life becomes a “Leela” or a Divine Play and we can enjoy it more fully. This doesn’t mean everything is easy; it just means we are free to let Love play and dance through us. This is key. Let yourself be an instrument of the Divine. In my experience it really simplifies things.
The recognition that you are one of Love’s Secret Agents is one of the greatest discoveries of a lifetime. Have you noticed that note written on your soul? Oh right...it’s written in invisible ink.
How do you walk in the world as Love’s Secret Agent? Prioritize prayer. Tend to Love. Pause often. Be mindful. Welcome everything. Breathe in gratitude. Repeat.
Here is a practice to support you:
Love’s Secret Agent Practice #1
Set an alarm on your phone to go off 5 times/day beginning first thing in the morning.
When it goes off pause for 1 minute. (Set your timer)
Feel your feet on the ground and take a full breath.
Turn your attention inward and notice something you are grateful for.
Let your body move in silence or to a favorite song (Set your timer for 1 minute)
Pause again and take 3 full breaths.
Say outloud, “I am Love’s Secret Agent.” Feel how it feels to say this. Notice how your body responds. Breathe...
If you do this practice consistently over time your life will change in miraculous ways. Please feel free to share your miracles great and small with me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You are invited to watch a short video I made about Communion here:
Communion: Living as Love's Secret Agent
To experience more of Padma’s writings, videos and audio meditations or to learn more about her offerings in the world click here
Blessings to one and all.