Regardless of the religious tradition or spiritual path, at least one basic ingredient is shared; prayer and/or meditation. I’m often asked if prayer and meditation are the same things. In my experience, they’re similar, yet different. I think of prayer as talking with Divine Love and meditation as listening to Divine Love. Most of us have the talking part down pat. Many of us struggle with the listening part. As one of my clients says, “Even though it’s simple, it’s not always easy.” Simple and easy aren’t the same. Simplicity is efficiency, a clearing of clutter—mental or otherwise; while easy is uncomplicated and trouble-free.
Whether we pray out loud or speak from the quietness of our mind, our words and thoughts are things—they have a vibration—which means they’re powerful. In her book The Dynamic Laws of Prayer, Catherine Ponder wrote, “When you pray, you stir into action an atomic force. You release a potent spiritual vibration that can be released in no other way. Through prayer, you unleash a God energy within and around you that gets busy working for you and through you.”
(Photo was taken with self-timer in Ardnamurchan, Scotland)
Outstanding fun photo Laurie… I hope you got through and the charges were accepted;)
I had never thought about this distinction between prayer and meditation before… great post! And a perfect Sunday morning read.
Terrill – To this day our son says that was the most memorable trip of his life. Right after this photo was taken we were on the beach and we heard a bleating. We looked and looked and finally saw a lamb that had gotten stranded on a “boulder” way out in the water when the tide came in. It was screaming for its mother. Eoghan went out, got the lamb (kicking and screaming) across his shoulders and brought him back in. When he set the little guy down he bounded off without so much as a howdy-do, but Eoghan’s face was priceless. It had “triumph” written all over it!
And yes, the charges were accepted 🙂
Laurie, have you ever heard that old Gospel tune, by old I mean like 20, 30, 40 years old, that used to play on the radio? I can’t remember it all but the chorus goes something like this, ” Hello? Operator? Get me Jesus on the line.” It had to have been the Oak Ridge Boys or someone like that…. It always made me laugh, now I do it several times a day, in a manner of speaking. My aim is to make my spiritual life so integrated into my physical life that they cannot be distinguished one from another. Not for any reason except for the fact that I want all aspects of my life to be in accordance to the precepts of the Master of the Universe. Mercy knows, I have a long way to go in that department, but life just seems to go better when I go with the rules then against them, and I don’t necessarily mean the laws of man. This morning I read, ” Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord.” And that is enough for me. Thanks again for a good post!
I am off my self imposed lockdown on technology!!
Here is the song….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0r8286teVgc&feature=related
Oh wow, Kim – that was a great toe-tapping rendition. Thank you for the link. I was off the internet from just before 7am when I posted this blog, and about 7:15pm this evening when I got back on. Although I was still on the computer for most of it, working on edits; just internetfree to comply with Kathy’s challenge — Turn Off Your Computer. I hope your l-o-n-g drive was good, and that you have a great week working off-site.
Sandi – Yes, I know the song. I resonate strongly with what you said, “My aim is to make my spiritual life so integrated into my physical life that they cannot be distinguished one from another.” I’m glad for your visit. I know you had a lot of rain in your neck of the woods today. I hope that doesn’t mean flooding for your area.
I love that phrase about integrating the spiritual with the physical…..In my opinion that is what the incarnation is all about…….
I know you are very much in that realm…an extremely noble place to be.
No Sorry Laurie – that is not a TARDIS, the inside is actually smaller than the outside 😉
As to listening to our own deepest intuitions, I agree with you, it is easy to do, yet few of us do it. That deep, non-egoic, intuitive output of the subconscious mind is the ultimate source of all of our creativity. The mechanisms of how it does it are fascinating, and it certainly is something distinct from our conscious egoic mind – yet in my world it is part of the structure of mind, intimately link to, and required for, our egoic mind to function.
Ted – I had to look up “Tardis” and that was just the beginning of deciphering what you shared. You do put me through my mental paces!
I don’t pretend to fully understand what you said, but I think you’re saying that in your world, you’re talking with and listening to your subconscious; that the subconscious is where we get the answers and creativity from, and that without the subconscious mind, we can’t function.
I don’t disagree in the least. In fact, I wholeheartedly agree. I just believe that the answers were put there for us by Divine Love (the way that I refer to who most people call God). For me, the important thing is that it’s there (the answers). How the answers get there is open for interpretation.
I hope you had an amazing day that had little, to no pain. Is your ear still whistling and feel like it’s in a hot bath?
TARDIS is from a british TV series Dr Who, “Time and Relative Dimension in Space” – it is a time and space traveling machine that looks like a blue police telephone box from 1950s London, except when you open the door it is huge on the inside – full of doors leading to other corridors and other large rooms. The series started in the early 60s and is still running – good Sci-Fi.
As to the subconscious – yes – pretty much as you say.
For me the answers simply come from the patterns that are present in the universe (or in “possibility space”), and become distinguished within our minds by the way that we store and retrieve information. The associations (distinctions) happen almost as a by product of storing and retrieving information as interference patterns. I have a paper on one of my websites http://www.fishnet.co.nz/ted/papers/laserrsn.htm
that gives a short explanation of how I see this happening.
Had another 42 stitches out this morning. 40 hours since I last had a pain killer. The ear is still ringing a little, and the sensations like a dog is chewing on the top of the ear is becoming less frequent and less deep.
It is mostly a warm buzzy feeling, with occasional sharp pains. Pretty amazing really, considering how much has been taken out, such a short time ago.
Ted – I haven’t had a television for over 30 years, but that does sound like a good program.
I read the paper on your website (thank you for the link). It’s well written and you’ve got humor (grin), examples (ship in cyclone), and an understandable diagram. Do you have a paper on the Collective Consciousness? The way you refer to the universe as “possibility space” immediately took my mind down that path. I have a client who is a gazillionaire — a result of patenting many terrific inventions/designs. He told me that every time he thinks of something that’s needed, that we don’t have a solution for, he pulls it from the Collective Consciousness because it already exhists there.
Your stitches were taken out already? Well goodness — you just got them put in! And doing very little, to none, in the way on pain killers; even with the sensation of a dog chewing on the top of your ear (and I KNOW the SIZE of your dog!)! It sounds like your on the kick-butt-and-take-names end of things, my friend. Whoohoo!
Good morning, Laurie! I am back on the computer, too. We ended up going out last night so the Internet-break lasted longer than expected. Congratulations on your break, too. Did it feel peaceful to have the computer off or didn’t you notice much of a difference?
Pondering your excellent post about relationship with the divine. Listening and speaking. Opening to the sacred both ways. Also thinking how my whole life has been a burning desire to go beyond speaking and listening with the divine…how I actually want to become One with it. Married to the divine, shall we say? LOL!
OK, must work for awhile before writing a blog…and exploring this brand-new computer world once again!
Kathy – It was great to have the internet off. I didn’t feel compelled in the least to toggle over to see if I had received any emails. I worked on edits like an arrow shot from a bow: from point A to point B without waver — no detours. Which means I got a lot more done. My focus was uninterrupted. The outcome of the “experiment” is that from now on when I’m writing or editing, the internet will off, Off, OFF. Speaking of “off,” my hat is off to you for the great challenge!
I understand and resonate with your intent when you say “married to the divine.” In my daily Tai Chi practice the first 30-minutes is me talking (prayer) and the last 30-minutes is me listening (meditation). And then to wear that mantle of “sacred space” from the inside, out — throughout the day. Is that similar to what you do in your Yoga practice?
Laurie, my yoga practice is still rather brand-new. Have only been doing it “officially” for less than six weeks. I am still experimenting with different ways of doing it, of being present to the movements and incorporating intention/prayer/meditation. Last week it spontaneously opened more…
“Last week it spontaneously opened more …”
Kathy – that’s wonderful!
Laurie, this is what I appreciate SO much about you and Kathy and what you both share in your writing and your posts. Your daily life, moment by moment, is your spiritual practice. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances of each moment are, you seem so willing to be truly present and accounted for!! I find this such a breath of fresh air and so quietly inspriational. Not sure where I came across the phrase “armchair spirituality” but ended up thinking about it a lot. It’s another thing altogether to take it out of the comfort of our metaphoric armchairs and into all of the moments of our day. Thank you!
Colleen – Some time in the future I’ll write a wee bit about my purpose in life (to be a channel for grace). Bottom line on top, it’s what you said, “Your daily life, moment by moment, is your spiritual practice.” I so appreciate that you noticed — thank you for your kind observation.
Colleen, I so love that you get this. YES! That’s what this is all about–and I’m sure Laurie would agree–our lives ARE our spiritual practice. To be truly present to it…to not just talk about it…to LIVE it fully!! Anywho, that’s what I’m aiming for. 🙂 🙂 🙂
Kathy – I agree, Agree, AGREE. I wholeheartedly AGREE!
Hi, Laurie — I am so behind on my connecting with others . . . argh! While I don’t know that I formally “pray” to God, or Spirit, or Source, or even my Eternal Presence, I do know that I have this constant internal conversation going on with all of them. When things get serious, though, I will write a letter to God and my intent is always to get some assistance from the more able powers that be. I love the conversation right above, too. The parts about how each moment of our lives IS our spiritual practice. It reminds me of Joseph Campbell’s words “Eternity doesn’t start when you die. Your’re in it NOW.”
Barbara – When I write a letter to God, it means that I will never bring that particular topic up again. I write down what’s bothering me (the who, what, when, where, and why of it). And then I roll it up scroll-fashion, take it outside, and burn it. As I watch the smoke rising, I hand it over–for good. Depending on the situation (and season), I typically take the ashes from what I’ve burned and mix them with potting soil. Then I plant something beautiful as a reminder that whatever my burden was, is now resting with Divine Love (which it was, of course, all long — this is just MY tangible way for ME to let go of it–permanently).
Wait a minute. I have to get in too !
So be clear in what you pray for, and how you pray. and then listen for the answers. Simple clarity!
Jeff – I couldn’t have said it better myself 🙂
wow this post did not come into my feed or email? wonder how many more I have missed.
I like your distinctions and think they are accurate from my perspective. I often think of journal writing as hearing myself at prayer and the editing of the words I have written as the focus for meditation –
nice job and great picture
Patricia – I’m glad you enjoyed this post, thank you for letting me know. I took the photograph when the “timer” gizmo on the camera (you know, you run and jump back into the picture) the last time we were in the Highlands of Scotland. It seems like a good choice for this post 🙂