While there is no shortcut on the path to contemplative union with the Holy One, there are practices which are generally helpful: and they all boil down to various means for forgetting one's self -- or the illusion of separation. Mystics have long stated that if we could only forget ourselves for just an instant, we would be given everything. In other words, because we become so focused on our failings, our practices, our plans, and our dreams that we fail to actually go mining for the jewels in our hearts...
The path of remembrance is one that offers a practical way to advance: pick a "holy" word, a word that especially rings true and good in your heart: such as Love, Mother, Abba, Amen, Allah, Yeshua: a word that you can confidently embrace with your entire being. Carry that word: let's say "Name", with you through the moments of your day: be like a lover having just fallen in love: every moment is a moment of remembrance of the beloved!
Fill your lungs with the breath of your beloved: link the Name with your inhalation, and then as you exhale. Breathe your beloved: cast all your passion upon the Name until the Name itself begins to breathe in you: give the gift of your love for your beloved as a blessing to those you work with, live with, or otherwise encounter through the course of your day.
This is Key: do good for others -- out of the blue -- everyday. Let kindness become your new identity. Forget all that "conservative" or "liberal" stuff: you are mining jewels in your heart so you've got no time to dawdle with small-minded religion or politics: you are going big, you are going radical! Love will become your new name and that secret identity of yours is going to manifest itself in service, bliss, and wonder...
The essential nature of the path of remembrance is that of adoration. Having set out to mine the jewels of your heart changes everything: this precious blue Planet is worthy of reverence -- and an economics and politics that serves it... the life systems that are so rich and abundant upon this planet are in danger: hundreds of species are going extinct everyday -- you will become active for global peace, solidarity, and justice (including the creatures)... Adoration will be seen to be a complete way of life, and one that unfolds in a harvest of radiance...
To breathe your breath-prayer throughout the course of your day is a way of shining a light upon the mundane: and eliminate forever the separation between the sacred and the secular. This essential "no difference" is all the difference! To breathe the Name in all of one's activities is to surrender to the One Reality behind the many appearances of differences: this is worship in spirit and in truth. Every breath is pregnant with Paradise... when you've found the jewels waiting for you in your heart...
Robert Daniel Smith was privileged to serve the homeless and marginalized for 30 years in Salinas, California. Together with his wife, Michelle, they founded an intentional community called the 'Companions of the Way', also in Salinas. Robert and Michelle are community organizers, Catholic Worker renegades, sacred activists, writers, poets, artists, Divine Mother devotees, and practitioners of Kriya Yoga as taught by Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Michelle is also a Montessori public school teacher. Robert is also an ordained Interfaith Minister.