Prayer is Not Meditation

Let’s get serious here for a moment.

There is a connective tissue of desire and receiving.  When we ask, we must open ourselves to receive.  Without the opening to receive, all our desires stay out there without the path to us.  There is an almost (but not the same as) a tangible tissue that opens during meditation that allows our desires to come in to us, we receive in meditation.

We ask in prayer.  Prayer changes us, not the circumstances.  We may be praying for someone else, but ultimately it is ourselves that are changed.   By changing us we may now change our circumstances.

What ever it is in life – Faith must, must, must, absolutely must come first.  With faith all things are possible.  That is not a cliché.  That is real. “Everything you can imagine is real.” -Picasso.  Faith IS the molecule, the element, which carries imagination into reality.

Diasaku Ikeda – “The entire universe exists within us.” It is all available within us – all the time, at any time  .  Cellular and macro physics – e v e r y t h i n g  is within us.  Each and every one of us.  It is up to us through our desire, through our faith and our absolute knowing to pull this existence up to come into being.  Everything is available within each of us.

Cher said, “I’ve been poor and I’ve been rich.  Rich is better.”  In my own life, this is true.  I may not be rich, but I am no longer poor.  This change was through me, not from the outside.  It was affected by me, in prayer AND in meditation.  I am just regular Josephine Schmoe.  I’m nobody special, but I am witnessing a transformation in my life every day that over the course of a year is noticeable to those around me.  Over the course of the last decade, I am not sure I am recognizable from where I was ten years ago.  And all I am doing is getting quiet with myself every day.  I am meditating.

Nichiren Daishonin – “An ordinary person is a Buddha, and a Buddha is an ordinary person.” God is truly sitting next to us on the bus, regardless of how he smells.  God is One of Us.  Thank you, Joan Osborne

Still prayer is not meditation.  Prayer is not a half-hearted longing or a wish or a plea, either.  At its core, prayer is a personal vow to make something happen.  And a strong prayer that fills one with resolve is the personal vow to make something happen without fail.  If only we could remember that our future self already knows everything we pray for is already here.  It is already present.  It is now.  In prayer our present self is asking for that connection to the future self, and this is a beautiful by-product of prayer.

Meditation is the connective tissue between prayer and results.  Meditation is the opening, the emptying, the invitation to arrive, to come in. Meditation facilitates the cycle of desire and receiving.

Prayer is ourselves opening up to god to share our most heartfelt desires, and hurts and sympathies.  Prayer cries with god, the source, and rejoices with source. Prayer is our communication with god.  Meditation is the communication of god with us.  Meditation is the receiving mode on the tuner.  We have one mouth and two ears, but we sure talk a lot.  In Meditation we are opening our spiritual ears, and closing our mouths.

I have been practising buddhist prayer for well over thirty years.  Life is still ups and downs, I felt good for having a mode of expression to  air my frustrations.  It was not until I added the meditation – straight up, no bells, no whistles meditation – every day for the last three years that my life has become filled with the rewards of my dreams.

When I yoga, I am not in moving meditation.  I am not in prayer either.  I am firmly in my body.  I am here, in this body, just as it is, right now.  This is what I have to work with.  I breathe and open my lungs.  I rejoice with the infinite and sacred pockets of humanity that reside within me.  I find myself rejoicing how good I feel.  I open my mind to consider the parts of me that may not feel good today; it is only for today.  Every day I feel different.  No two days are the same.  I appreciate and rejoice in the variety.  My meditation is only seated, calm, considered meditation.  My prayer is only seated, calm considered prayer.   Yoga is not my meditation.  It is not my prayer.  It is my humanity as I continue to breathe.

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