Thomas Merton, a beloved Western mystic, said, “Life is this simple: We are living in a world that is absolutely transparent and the Divine is shining through it all the time. This is not just a nice story or a fable. It is true.”
Ever wonder if you really have the ability to perceive the Divine (or whatever language you prefer) shining through your daily life? If so, this means you have a not-so-hidden longing to experience it for yourself. But, here’s the real question: how will you know you’ve succeeded?
It’s easy to believe that perceiving the Divine in daily life will make life suddenly simple, by virtue of having seen through the complexity to its pristine core.
This is not, however, the case. Once again, simplicity and complexity remain inseparable lovers, continually giving birth to the freshness of life, as it flows back and forth between them.
If the Divine is shimmering just behind everything, then why not assume you are endowed with the ability to perceive it hiding in you and others? That you can catch a glimpse of the spiritual hidden in everything material?
I found the easiest way to uncover this ability is to start with the obvious—and you can do this while sitting in your car at a stoplight or on the freeway, sitting at your desk at work, or while cutting vegetables for dinner. Just:
- Take a breath.
- Shift your attention to the Now instead of the past or future.
- Intend to discover the presence of the Divine (or whatever name you use).
- Open your heart and from there . . .
- Feel for the stillness hidden inside the movement, and the movement hidden inside the stillness . . . Listen for the silence hidden inside the sound, and the sound hidden inside the silence . . . Take a peek into the emptiness hidden inside the substance, and the substance hidden inside the emptiness . . . Experience the fullness hidden inside the emptiness—and the emptiness hidden inside the fullness.
All it takes is one tiny shift of your focus by moving your attention less than one degree:
from the obvious to the subtle
from the surface to the depth
from the apparent to the hidden.
Is it possible the Grand Mystery that gives birth to this dance of opposites is indeed closer than your breath itself? You can find out for yourself. Just take a breath and give it a try.
Connecting with the Mystery just beyond the mind is vastly different from simply believing It exists . . . and experiencing this connection in your own body can change the way you understand everything—from the frustrations at work to the silent hurts still healing in your heart.
good advice–I call it opening up a stopped up valve-and then feeling the flow.
Thanks for this concise little heuristic. This is one of these rare formulas that DOES pretty much always work! Posting it on my computer now.