Monday, November 30, 2009

Operators are Standing By



I pray every day, and though my prayers don't conform to any recognizable religious format, they are nevertheless sincere. Once upon a time I avoided the word "prayer" like the plague. Indeed, based on what came up when I googled that word, prayer is a heavy, awful thing that made me feel oppressed and frightened. Yikes! Reading some of that stuff made me feel like I couldn't breathe. My goodness! No wonder people shrink away from any mention of the process.

As far as I'm concerned, prayer is not particularly religious. Instead, for me at least, prayer is a dialogue between me and Mystery. Here I am, creature of earth, of definite shape, corporeal, manifest, following the arrow of time through my life, and yet, through prayer, I can relate to the unformed potential of the brilliant light of the unknown. Cool, eh?

I like praying. It's a part of my relationship with God, God being (to me) not the sociopath of the Torah, nor is God well represented by the deities of any of the great dramatic pantheons of myth, but rather is best described as the mystery of the way in which, as Aristotle said, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. You know what I'm talking about? When I listen to a string quartet playing Mozart, for instance, that sound can become way more than notes on a page, stringed instruments and human beings. It's not always more than that, or at least sometimes I can't sense the divine in music, but sometimes, listening to music or gazing at art, or a sunset or feeling my love for someone, or cooking or experiencing the drama of weather (or any other thing) becomes way more than meteorology, pigment, music, or kinship. To me, that Way More Thing is God. And yeah it is a mystery, utterly unknowable, unshaped, not manifested, completely transcendent yet utterly immanent, too. It is miraculous to me that I can be in relationship to the Way More Thing.

A lot of the sites that came up when I googled "prayer" have sections devoted to making prayer "more effective." So that's an interesting concept, eh? I wonder what they mean by that. Any ideas?

I'm thinking about this today because someone I know has asked me to share thoughts about prayer. Also, a long time ago a blog brother asked me if I could think of another word for prayer. I tried, but I can't think of a better word. These days I love the word 'prayer' - it's soft and graceful, like a light breeze, like a whisper.

I find the topic endlessly fascinating and could continue writing at length, but I will spare you. After all it's Monday morning following (in the U.S.) a long holiday weekend.

Happy Monday to all. Onwards and upwards to December.

16 comments:

The Bug said...

I've had a love/hate relationship with prayer for a long time. I do pray every day, but I really do think there's a right way & a wrong way. It's a conversation, right? And basically most of the time I'm giving a speech. So I'd like to spend more time actually communicating instead of speechifying. Hmm.

glnroz said...

Without disagreeing with "The Bug", I believe, there is no "certain" way...Pine trees with the wind whispering through the needles, I think works just fine..

willow said...

I think prayer is very individual. Someone's "right way" may not be right for another. I like your take, Reya.

Deborah said...

LOVED THIS

I don't think of G-d in Torah as a sociopath--I think of the interpreters as unable to comprehend so they have made G-d into Captain Kirk (the original, the meglamaniac original)

My G-d seems much like your own--and prayer as soft and thankful is a perfect imaage for me.

Love you so, love the prayer, love the views--love the pics

Thank you my darling Reya

Nancy said...

I'm reading the Holographic Universe. Your post dovetailed nicely. Thanks.

ellen abbott said...

'The Way More Thing', yes. 'The All That is' I use sometimes. You voiced it all nicely. It's a hard thing to describe, the Mystery, the thing that is everything and then some. Prayer is focused energy.

steven said...

hey reya thanks for this . . . i love that there's a straight up conduit from your heart and soul out through this blog into the world. i pray for much the same reasons as you and into the same very very big place that i know is connected to my own tiny piece of the whole. it happens whenever wherever whyever with whomever for whatever reason. this life's too hard and beautiful to not have communication with the big all of everything right! a peaceful evening in dc reya. steven

Melissa said...

love this post and your views. Your photos are beautiful.

Chris Wolf said...

I like to pray too. I listen, the mystery listens, and sometimes we seem to both listen in unison and at the same time, in harmony. Peace,

Ronda Laveen said...

My way of prayer is offering myself in devotion to the One, The All, my beloved.

karen said...

I loved to read your ideas on prayer. It sounds very similar to my own feelings.. I do not seem to belong to any formal type of religion at all - yet the Mystery, is very much there!

StreamSource said...

That read like a poem, Reya. Your post is a beautiful prayer.

My goal is to live my life as a prayer. I tend to resist praying, as in speaking outwardly to God. This feels like it weakens my position... like it places God somewhere 'out there' away from me. And, although God is out there and everywhere - my (our) most intense, unique, personal connection to God, lies within.

We are God (bits). This is our highest reckoning. Everything we want to know or desire to come into being, already is - we just forget.

This is what keeps us from becoming fully God-realized and so empowered... this forgetting, who we already are.

Merle Sneed said...

I think that prayer, or whatever silent conversation you engage in, helps us to find our right path, whether or not you believe anyone else is listening.

Angela said...

Praying to me is not so much talking but listening. It is becoming humble and not always looking for explanations or things I ought to DO but rather letting things be. Your posts always make me think, Reya. Thank you.

Steve said...

I don't think of anything I do as "prayer," because I'm not sending any message to a recipient. I'm just opening myself (as best I can) to what's around me. Whether that's praying or not, I'm not sure!

Cyndy said...

I love the mystery, and the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. I don't pray, but I do meditate on these two things all the time.