The Power of Prayer
Prayer is something I have ignored for most of my life, because I not only doubted its ability to do anything but more than anything did not understand what it represented.
A Intentional Leap of Faith
Put simply, prayer to me is manifesting an honest intention outwards. In other terms it is conversing with the idea of God, which lies within our infinitely complex human brains and bodies. Another perspective is that prayer is speaking with the unconscious or the quantum realm, something science is only beginning to understand as far more complex than has been acknowledged.
Words have power: Abra Cadabra. When we speak, with either Love or Hate in our hearts, we can actually cause something positive or negative to transpire. I wish I had known this for most of my life, being so careless with my words. I still am, as my videos show. In outwardly wishing ill towards something, or particularly oneself, we effect that change in some small or large manner. When we speak with Love, towards another’s life or especially our own, we can effect changes in that direction. This is because we are perhaps in some sense speaking outward into the collective unconscious, the psychosphere–a psychological atmosphere.
Prayer as I view it requires belief–otherwise it is simply false posturing. This belief is in something greater than oneself, and when one believes that energy can be felt as a kind of flowing through the Body. Without that belief, prayer cannot work, and we can remain stuck in personally insufferable or miserable circumstances, wishing for some answer but never seeming to receive it. Although this can seem like some illusory idea of fantasy in our modern world particularly for those of us oriented far into the left brain, disconnected from the Spirit and stuck in matter, it can work if only we surrender our Ego. God and the Ego are mutually incompatible.
Types of Prayer
I am not an expert on praying and don’t believe anyone can be, except for themselves. If anything, I am a novice only in my life. Yet, I come from prayer not through any church or religious system but through my own experience, and thus feel compelled to share for some bizarre reason. A few ideas of how to pray come to mind, oriented around surrendering our Ego. In this view, prayer is an unselfish act which is endemic to the idea of giving in to some power greater than ourselves; it matters less whether one chooses to call that power God, Spirits, the Matrix, the quantum, or the unconscious–there are an endless list of analogies for the same concept.
A Prayer for Others
One idea of prayer is asking for help for someone else, and this is probably the most important thing each of us could be doing. Yet, I almost never have done so because I have been very selfish my whole life. This could be simply saying “I love you, ______,” or “Please help ______ with this struggle.” Because prayer is so tied to the Ego, with our human obsession of control, it may also be helpful to offer up something of yourself or remain open to whatever we should sacrifice. As in the Biblical story of Cain and Abel, Abel offers up a good sacrifice, while Cain does not, and is cursed as a result of this poor sacrifice and his jealous slaying of Abel. If we wish to help others but do not know how, this idea of personal sacrifice may be important–it certainly seems to be for me. One could offer up an addictive behavior, one’s energy or Spirit, or even our own bodies. It is like saying “Please take ____ of mine and give that as strength to ____ person.”
This kind of prayer is perhaps the most curative for me since there are people who are sick that I care tremendously about and wish desperately to help, but for whom I have no seeming power to do anything. Thus, in offering a sacrifice, listen to the next day’s thoughts telling us what addictive habit or compulsion we are being instructed to offer, some form of personal greed.
A Prayer for Forgiveness
The reality of living is that we all do crappy things to each other through words or actions whether we see it or not. I do this more than a lot of people do it to me. Yet, apologizing is difficult and uncomfortable, not only for ourselves but just as often for the person receiving the apology. Consider the discomfort you may have detected in saying sorry to someone, who may dismiss it or not know how to respond. For others, saying sorry is not in their vocabulary. Thus, in this prayer, we admit what we did wrong, with full personal responsibility for that wrong, by saying “________, I am sorry for what I did or said.” There is no admonition of what someone else might have done, only what we did as individuals.
A Prayer for Ourselves
One final type of prayer I will talk about, the most selfishly oriented one, is asking for something in the future to help us better manage the conditions of our own suffering. In this it is like asking what we are “meant to see or find,” some answer to a solution of our lives if only we were not so blind to see it. This could be a prayer of asking God or whatever it is within to show us what it is in life we are missing, some sign. It is a prayer of “Please show me what you wish me to see, the Path you wish me to be on” or “Please help me find an answer for my life.”
In this sense this is a kind of daily prayer, of finding the day’s answers inward and outward which will help that day be a more meaningful one. As one day becomes more meaningful, it adds to the overall meaning of our life and so is one step of building an ever larger snowball of momentum in life rolling down our own hills towards eventual death. By living a slightly more meaningful life, we can be sure to have a little less regret when we take our dying breath. We do not know what each day will bring unless we are control freaks since life is a river of change never the same as before; this prayer helps me to surrender whatever it is that I think I am meant to do or learn, and give that up to the world.
As people or information/ideas come into my life that next day, I take it as a signal that it could be something I was meant to encounter or do something with, rather than ignore.
There are three ideas of prayer postures that make sense to me. The first is standing or laying down in the cross position. Although my video may seem egotistical given I did this pose in such a public manner, I did so and affirm that this posture could be important because the cross symbolizes us taking responsibility for our own suffering. It is also a symbol of surrender, like surrendering the Ego, when done in private. I already know I have a gigantic Ego, so I am happy to look the fool for having done so on a video. Regardless, this Cross position allows me to be more open to what I give and receive through a prayer.
A more traditional prayer is kneeling with one’s back straight. Back posture is important, since having a curved or weak back is like not taking responsibility for our own bodies. Like with the Cross posture, one idea with this is to relax and allow the sway of the Earth to take us while a prayer is being said.
The final posture, taught to me by my friend Bruce, is the pose of Atlas: the Greek Titan who bears the weight of the world on his shoulders. Atlas symbolizes a way to live life, by bearing the weight of our individual and entire worlds on our respective shoulders in whatever way we choose. In this pose it is easy to sway back and forth because the posture is inherently unstable. Because of this I find it to be the most helpful pose to undertake as it takes one out of their Mind and into the Body.
Atlas’ pose also looks like the Aleph as pointed out to me by Bruce. If you don’t see it, change the Atlas pose to the other leg or with a more frontal view. The Aleph, in Hebrew, is the first letter of their alphabet and thus could symbolize God. I have also read that it may symbolize the same thing as Abra Cadabra, which means to manifest words with our mouth, although I have not done enough research to corroborate this idea from my head.
In closing, please consider praying. It requires one to give up the Ego, and that’s the point. Otherwise, what else would be keeping one from praying, if not our Ego?