This is a little blog on Meditation And Prayer. Or as I have realised; M.A.P
There is a very big difference in Meditation and Prayer. They seem similar and it is true they can blend well together. When you are in Prayer you can drift into Meditation. And when in Meditation you can slip nicely into Prayer. But they are very different.
One translation came to me years ago. Meditation is listening and Prayer is talking. That was a very interesting revelation because not long after that, i forgot how long it was but maybe a few months, a quote from the excellent Paulo Coelho came up. It was excellent! The same as my revelation. Funny how often the synchronicity of the university clicks in when you are observing quietly in the chaos that we call life and the world!
I love both exercise and for a good 4 years I have attempt to practice both, certainly in the morning upon waking up, but throughout the day and evening.
You don’t have to be religious to pray. Far from it. I was “religious” for the most part of my life until my 30’s when my first layer of awakening hit me. After that, during a massive psychological personal traumatic battle, I began to consider myself spiritual or conscious. That’s when my prayers took a very different and mindful approach. Most people relate prayer as a religious act. And fair enough too. Prayers go up every second of every day across the planet to spirits, gods, people and many other forms. But what is the conscious centre of prayer?
Prayer, as one of my favourite definition is a “Earnest Hope or Wish”. There are other definitions such as expression of thanks, help or even a religious chorus in service or celebration of a god or a dogma. I like the thought of earnest hope or wish because for me, it is its truest form.
Now when I am sitting or kneeling in prayer there is no God for me. Oh there are many gods to worship and pray to. Sometimes my rogue nature pops out when people ask me if I believe in “God”. A slip of the tongue pops out “Which God?” I try to curtail that response because it is mischievous and people are very sensitive to these important matters.
But it is also true in the sense there are a LOT of Gods. Some religions have ONE. Others like my travels in Nepal and India have revealed have thousands! Some are even living and in the flesh. At first I was somewhat facetious in response, but then came to realise that I was born in a country (Australia) that worshipped living Gods everywhere. Commonly called sports stars and believe you me, Australia’s main religion is not Christrianity or something else; it is SPORT. And the Gods wrestle on the fields on the holy days of Saturday and Sunday, in great big churches where the passion and fervour of the mob chant and cry up seeking victory and release from the hell of loss. But that is another story and I digress. (Translate Church to Stadium)
The point is there are many Gods to earnestly hope or make wishes to. I love the latin connection to the word Prayer being Precarious. Yes! How often do we earnestly and desperately hope and wish to a God or a Higher Power when life is Precarious. When we are facing the darkest hours how often do we invoke God or making solemn requests for help.
For me, I don’t know a “God”. Joseph Campbell puts it best when he says “Those who say they know; don’t know and they who say they don’t know; know.” Its a beautiful phrase and I found an unbelievable metaphysical experience; when that revelation hit me. In fact, to this higher power I didn’t know, I immediately knelt in prayer in gratitude and hope.
And it’s been that way ever since.
So what are my prayers? Looking back five years, the prayers have turned from quiet desperation and pleas to gratitude and thankfulness. Mostly I am thankful in conversation with the higher power, or the source, for my beautiful kids and the lessons that have been learned. And for Love! And my wishes are for the health joy and wellbeing of my children so that they may suffer less than i have and learn love more than I have. I mean being a parent has to be one of the highest forms of miracles that can happen to someone. Especially someone so undeserving as myself.
This conversation is one way of course. (Selfish much?) But you know what it does for me? It’s like a conversation with a counsellor. You leave not hearing much, but somehow knowing more and feeling a hell of a lot lighter…. Sometimes we just need to talk. And a good chunk of that time we should not talk to anyone. It’s unleashing out of ourselves in such a beautiful way. Without burdening anyone else or affecting anyone else.
I’m sure you have OFTEN taken the grievous pain from a client or a friend into your soul or heart. And then what? Prayer is the answer. Let go of it and let go of the burden that pains you and hurts without passing it on.
Bury that seed in prayer and then watch the flower grow in your heart.
What would I be without meditation? This would be asking me what would i be without my daughters. I couldn’t fathom a life without it. That ability that is a super power to let go of the nonstop stream of voices in my head (both mine and others) and let the beautiful consciousness resonate in peace and a centring manner. Could i go back. No. I couldn’t. Please.
Every morning and through the day the ability to sit, stand, walk and meditate is a glorious gift. It has given me peace beyond belief, improved my sleep, health, preventing further large steps of self destruction and given me a direction that is highest on high. In fact it is had me in such a state of bliss that no chemicals to date has matched and i’ve played with a few in my time.
They speak of it as levitating and lifting off the ground. Well its more than that for me. I have lost time, i have been out of my body observing myself, i have felt such a rush of power and also a rush of fading into nothing that has been incredibly.
To be truly empty. To be truly nothing for even a few seconds is astonishing.
You hear things you will never hear. You feel your spirit and energy like you have had before.
Imagine being unconscious and waking up after an incredible rest. This is meditation and it is available.
It is the best alarm clock.
And then there is the listening. Imagine standing in the middle of a crowd with everyone talking. Then add a nightclub environment with loud music. Then add another crowd - only this time they are shouting.
That is pretty much what my mind is like most of the time. (Frightening as that sounds even to myself; as i am typing I am looking around for the guys in white coats rushing out any minute now!)
Now imagine there was an important conversation to hear during that time. You just wouldn’t hear it. It would be like being almost blind and then trying to hit an arrow on a bullseye 20 metres away. It’s “blind” luck if you land even a few words of it.
The answer? Meditation.
The ability to fade out all of the signals that are going off and first have peace and being in the centre. Then the clear conversation comes. And with it is focus, direction, courage, love and energy.
A morning without meditation quite possibly turns a day into a bad day. The reverse is true.
Clear Mind. Clear Eyes.
With Meditation and Prayer we can go places! That’s the MAP of life. Prayer is the manifestation, love and hope to set our direction and unburden us. Meditation is the clarity, direction and focus.
So have M.A.P and go Places.
Wishing you all the very best in all things great and small.