It is a misunderstanding to think that prayer is an activity, or a proscribed form practiced within the context of a particular religion. In our moments of lucidity we can instead see that prayer is the experience wherein we recognize a larger reality than ourselves, and know that this reality wishes for our participation in its larger life. In seeing this, we respond. It is the experience of the scientist, who, seeing the complexity and grandeur of the web of life is overwhelmed with gratitude. It is the epiphany of the televangelist, who seeing the errors of his ways, is overwhelmed with humility. It is the moment where a spiritual seeker comes to the realization that everything is there waiting for her, if she only would return to a felt sensation of that truth.
 
The higher is always descending. Our forgetfulness prohibits our response to that descent, and prayer is the moment of awakening from our sleep. Prayer is an act of reciprocity. To think that we initiate a contact through prayer is not correct, we initiate nothing. But it is through prayer that we respond to this preexisting movement. Then the words of Hermes, “as above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul,” become intelligible to us.
 
Perhaps the various forms and postures that are given by the traditions of East and West may be of use, so one tries for oneself and sees. If they serve as a reminding factor, then well and good. But to adopt a form and mechanically repeat it has no sense. I think it better to come to a practice of one’s own, and then apply oneself with diligence, not forgetting that the external form is only a support. Finally then we might come to see that prayer is a response, yes, but it is also an act of creation, creation of that new life which might over time come to exist within.
 
The whole Universe is prayer. In the silence I perceive this vivifying life that I keep forgetting.
—Michel Conge​
 
 

8 Comments

  1. So beautiful to be reminded. 🙏🏻

  2. And thank you, Chris 🙏, Dennis

  3. Dennis,
    What you wrote is very much my own experience: that when I come to myself I remember that which is in this moment is always available when I am available to it.

  4. It’s funny, sad that knowing this and experiencing this connection that so often we choose to stay isolated and disengaged. Great reminder and at a perfect time! Best,

  5. It is a great mystery, isn’t it? The connection is so vivifying, but we forget again and again. Thanks very much for what you say,Nancy.

  6. What you offer is very true, Jan, thank you. And a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  7. What a lovely reminder!

  8. Thank you, Justin, and thank you for all your help. Dennis

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