Wednesday, 4 May 2011
There is a famous story from an Indian Guru about prayer: a farmer prays to God for rain while another man prays to God for dry weather so his daughter's wedding will be a success. Whom should God respond to? For most of us, prayer is a wish, or perhaps a last ditch plea for help, or a supermarket list of things we believe we need or want.
The Guru taught that it is the person who's will is most in line with God's will whose prayer will be answered. For me, aligning with God's will is about moving into the flow of life and its ever growing, ever evolving pulse. It's what I mean when I write about letting go of my story, of accepting and embracing what is and letting go of what I think 'should be'.
And who, by the way, is God? The way I see it is that God is like light: it's all around us but we don't see it until it separates into the rainbow of colours. Those colours make light visible. Humans (and all creation) are those colours: the invisible made visible, through the prism of matter. So, if I am an aspect of the Divine, God's will is also my will. And here I add a caveat: by my will, I don't mean my limited personality, I mean the the bigger me, my soul.
For me, those moments of complete clarity, of passion, of insight, of knowing - those are the moments when my mind has stilled long enough for intuition, the knowing of the soul, to filter through to my consciousness. I suppose that's why meditation is a form of prayer because it helps my 'chatter box mind' to quieten enough to hear my soul's wisdom. And in those moments of stillness, I gain flashes of insight, then I am in dialogue with the Divine.
So, for me, prayer is a dialogue about being in the world, it's about becoming more aligned with the deeper wisdom of my soul and letting go of my supermarket list of wants and desires; it's about seeing the beauty of the present moment without judging it to be good or bad.
And it's an on-going dialogue, because staying centred doesn't come easily to me - I keep getting distracted by my shopping list! So I have to keep refocusing on the bigger picture and deeper wisdom. This dialogue helps me pare back life to the essentials, to the here-and-now, and gives me the faith to trust that even when events are unfolding in a way that does not please me, they are unfolding as they should, in harmony with a greater wisdom.