It’s like being engulfed in your own thoughts while someone else is talking to you and you don’t hear a word of what they said. No wonder quieting the mind is so important to alignment! No wonder the practice of meditation and prayer has been recommended by so many religions and cultures over time.
I’ve been thinking about what is prayer and how is it different from meditation?
Meditation does not necessarily mean the absence of thought. It means focusing of thought, on a beam of light, or a sound in order to slow down the transition of one thought after another – holding the focused thought for a longer period of time. Holding one thought with focus for a longer period of time has a calming effect, and therefore shifts us into an allowing mode. What are we allowing? We are allowing guidance from our inner being. We are allowing solutions to problems, answers to questions, we are allowing manifestation.
What prayer is and what prayer should be seem to be two different things from my personal perspective. Depending on the culture or religion, to pray means to ask (step one). In some places prayer is chanting of a set of standardized chants, followed by the asking. The chanting is in fact very much like meditation in the sense that it is focusing on the repetition of words to the exclusion of all else. So that sort of chanting actually quiets the mind, raises the vibration, and brings you closer to the vortex. Then you follow it up with the asking – so you’re doing your asking from inside the vortex!
Now I’m thinking of rosary beads. I don’t know too much about various religions, but I have seen many use rosary beads. I know that in Iran and the Arabic countries they are called worry beads – used to calm yourself down. Rosary beads involve repetitive incantations coupled with a repetitive action – the word hypnotic comes to mind. Focusing on this repetitive work has the same impact – it calms the mind.
I cannot comment on other cultures, but I can on my own – growing up I have observed that when my parents wanted something really badly they would undertake a ritual that involved repetitive reading of holy script over rosary beads. They would sit down with the singular shared intention of beseeching non-physical into finding a way of yielding to them a desire that seemed impossible from their own perspective. They believed without doubt that this ritual would bear fruit. I have to say that the element of belief was so strong that it could over-ride any sort of resistance. However, looking at it from my present vantage point I think that the practice of using rosary beads has a lot of merit. It quiets the mind long enough to allow…
My next thought is about the Buddhist monasteries. In Tibet and Nepal, children of very young age are admitted and taught the practice of meditation. In Islam, the ritual of prayer is supposed to be taught to children at age seven. At age seven I had no desire to be engaged in the ritual. Now looking back I wonder… if it were taught right, wouldn’t it be a powerful tool? Perhaps that context has been lost over time? Who knows? What I do know now is that I would love for my children to learn how to quiet the mind and purposely bring themselves into a state of allowing.
There is no right or wrong, and I do not have to arm my children with any tools for whatever they need will come to them at the right place at the right time for they are the creators of their own lives.
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2/1/2013 02:20:00 am
Really insightful and clarifying comparison. Thank you for sharing.
1/11/2014 04:42:40 am
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