Saturday, 8 April 2017

Conscious prayer

Lent 2017: Day 39

Mindfulness, consciousness, awareness - know what it is that you're doing. Opening the mind, in a calm, contemplative state of mind - and just listening. Applying your consciousness to being in a state of listening... acceptance... and what happens? A tumult of haphazard thoughts and worries - or a clear, single thought, unbidden, yet eminently sound?

I see prayer not as a recitation of learned phrases, rather a conscious communication with the eternal and the infinite; prayer as seeking an understanding of what is really what. Prayer at the cusp of wakefulness and sleep; lying in bed at the end of the day, I attempt to clear the mind of day-to-day concerns and try to weave my consciousness into the flowing fabric of the universe, woven from the particles and waves that can bring insight in a flash... All too often I fall asleep before reaching a state where I am in true prayer, where the communication with the infinite becomes two-way. But when it does, it is life-enhancing. It literally makes life better.

The desire to pray comes spontaneously at other times of the day; sometimes prompted by external factors - sunlight is one that works for me - being in the presence of nature; the sudden recognition of awareness and sheer joy of existence. Catch the moment; use it to align your consciousness with the boundless universe that surrounds you.

To approach prayer in a rewarding way, you should begin by being grateful. Profoundly grateful for life, for consciousness, for the here-and-now, for the moment; abandon all ruminations, all negativity, all grievances - and move on to a positive, grateful track; then quietly listen.

Meditation, focusing on breathing, all helps to bring you back to the hear and now and let go of the cares and woes. It is worth remembering that we are but discreet units of consciousness upon a planet that's part of a far greater whole; looking at the moon or stars helps with this thought.

Prayers for something - "petitioning the Lord with prayer" (to quote Jim Morrison) - should never be about wanting the material, but for what harmonises with the natural order; prayers for health, security, contentment, acceptance; they build your will; guide you and boost your determination.

The danger with learned prayers, recantations of remembered words, is that they have the effect of removing consciousness from the process. It is more meaningful to seek the quiet, listening approach. Pray not in words, but in feeling.

This time two years ago:
History repeating - or is it?

This time four years ago:
Sunshine, snow, April

This time six years ago:
In vino veritas

This time seven years ago:
Are we getting more intelligent?

This time eight years ago:
Lenten recipe No. 6

This time nine years ago:
Coal trains, Konstancin-Jeziorna

This time ten years ago:
Jeziorki from the air

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