Essence of Paradise 08.04.2002 [Prayer]
ESSENCE of PARADISE
Love is the Purest Essence of our being.
Life is an adventure in Paradise
Enjoy It While You Can!
Baba Kundi Ma'at-Shambhala
Word For Today: "PRAYER"
1 a (1) : an address (as a petition) to God or a god in word or thought <said a prayer for the success of the voyage> (2) : a set order of words used in praying b : an earnest request or wish
2 : the act or practice of praying to God or a god <kneeling in prayer>
3 : a religious service consisting chiefly of prayers often used in plural
4 : something prayed for
5 : a slight chance <haven't got a prayer>
In keeping with his doctrine that nothing be taken too seriously, not even his own teachings, the Master loved to tell this story on himself:
"My very first disciple was so weak that the exercises killed him. My second disciple drove himself crazy from his earnest practice of the exercises I gave him. My third disciple dulled his intellect through too much contemplation. But the fourth managed to keep his sanity."
"Why was that?" someone would invariably ask.
"Possibly because he was the only one who refused to do the exercises." The Master's words would be drowned in howls of laughter.
Anthony de Mello, S.J.
The teacher is like the candle which lights others in consuming itself.
v v v
* This is made possible in part by Scott Reeves.
Create A Beauty-Full Life, One Day At A Time!
Love, Respect, Cherish and Support 'All' Life!
Minister Baba Kundi Ma'at-Shambhala
Meditation for this 2002-08-02
"What can fruit teach us? Take a peach, for instance; it is made up of three elements: the skin, which we discard; the flesh, which we eat; and the seed, which we plant. You will say that you know all this. Well no, if you knew this you would be more careful. How? A man (or a woman) tells you of their love for you. You eat their words, you drink them, eagerly, without any kind of sorting process. And then of course, some time later, tragedy strikes. Why? Because you have not understood the lesson of the fruit. No doubt this man or this woman had instilled very good elements in their words and you could eat them, but you should also have known that you can never fully trust a human being and that therefore, these words inevitably contained some elements that would have been better to have been discarded. When you are being given love you must remember that love will always contain elements that need to be discarded (the skin), others you can take (the flesh), and finally one you must plant in your soul (the seed). This is why you must say to this person who gives you his or her love: 'Give me some time. Before I reply I must plant the seed. The fruit is succulent, but I want to know what the tree will produce.' Once you know the exact nature of this love, you will be able to reach a decision, safely."
Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
PRAYER IS YOUR LIFE
by Neale Donald Walsch
Prayer is the most important part of the human experience. It is the most important part of our daily activities. The reason it is the most important part of our experience and our activities is because it is the process by which we create our lives. It should be understood by anyone examining the subject of prayer that everything we think, see, and do is a prayer. Life is a prayer in the sense that it is a continuous request to the universe and its God to present us with what we choose and desire.
God understands our desires not just through the occasional utterances that we call "prayers" in the traditional sense, but through every thought we think, every word we speak, and everything we do. Our thoughts, our words, and our actions are our prayers. Most people do not think of life as a constant prayer; most people believe they are praying only when involved in that deliberate, peculiar activity we know as prayer. Thus, many people feel that their prayers either go unanswered or are answered sporadically and only in the affirmative. But the truth is, prayer does not begin with kneeling down, or lighting a votive candle, or sitting in meditation, or picking up our prayer beads, or performing some outward or inner ritual.
Prayer begins at the moment of our birth and ends with our death, if we speak in the classic terms of most human understanding. Of course, if we more beyond the notions of birth and death to reach higher understandings, we learn that birth and death are merely the beginning and the end of an ongoing, cyclical experience through which we move throughout the ages and for all time.
But in normal human terms, in our relative world, I would use the word "prayer" to create a greater understanding among a larger number of people. Our prayer begins within the moment of our birth in this particular lifetime. And at our death this particular version of our prayer ends. But at no time between our birth and our death do we cease our prayer.
If we understood that every word, thought, and action was a prayer sent right to God, a request sent right to the Heavens, I believe we would change much of what we think, say, and do. Further, I believe we would better understand why our more formalized prayers seem to be answered only sporadically, if at all. For here is what really happens: In our formalized prayers we seek God's intercession or intervention in our affairs, hoping that God will somehow alter or create something for us. Yet these formal prayers only take a moment or two each day, or for some, each week. The rest of our time -- probably 95 to 99 percent -- is spent sending, oftentimes unwittingly, prayers to God that work exactly in the opposite direction of our formal prayers.
So we pray for one thing and we go out and do another. Or we pray for one thing and we go out and think another. Let me give you a typical example. We may pray for greater abundance in our life, or for help with a financial problem. Those prayers are earnestly offered, earnestly said, and earnestly sent to God during our formal, ritualized time for prayer. Then for the rest of the week we go around harboring thoughts of insufficiency, saving words of insufficiency, and demonstrating insufficiency in the everyday actions of our lives. So 95 percent of the time we send prayers that affirm we don't have enough and 5 percent of the time we ask God to bring us enough. It is very difficult for the universe to grant us our wishes when 95 percent of the time we are, in fact, asking for something else.
This is the single most misunderstood aspect of prayer in our human experience. This truth is that the universe is a giant xerox, sending us, all the time, the answer to our prayers. And we are, in fact, sending prayers to the universe all the time, from morning till night, from birth till death. This is at once both empowering and, for people who are unwilling to take the responsibility it inherently creates, frightening. Only for those who understand the great gift that God has given us -- the gift of our ability to create what we want -- does this form of prayer seem inviting. For those unable to accept this level of responsibility for their actions, this form of prayer -- morning to night, birth to death, in the shape of our words, thoughts, and actions -- seems intimidating at best and unacceptable at worst.
Only when we are willing to accept that our words are creative, our thoughts are creative, and our actions are creative, could this be attractive. Many are unwilling to accept this as truth because they are not very proud of the majority of their thoughts, words, and actions and certainly don't want them to be considered as actual requests to God. And yet they are.
The injunction then is to speak, think, and act in a way of which we can be proud -- in a way that sends to God our grandest thoughts and produces our highest visions and thus creates Heaven on Earth for all of us.
The thoughts expressed here are not new nor are they what one would usually think of as "new age". As a matter of fact, a wonderful minister at the Marble Cathedral in New York City named Dr. Norman Vincent Peale spoke many of these same words when he authored what is arguably one of the world's ten most famous books, The Power of Positive Thinking. What Dr. Peale said is what I am saying here: Your entire life is your prayer.
When we become consciously aware of this, and when we accept this truth with joy, our entire lives change -- sometimes virtually overnight and other times more slowly and subtly. When we accept this truth, we suddenly understand that God is our best friend and has given us tools of unlimited power to create the reality we seek to experience.
I have had the beautiful gift of experiencing my own conversation with God, and the most urgent prayer of my life has been answered through that conversation. Every question I ever had in my life was answered in that conversation, including how best to pray. Two important points about prayer were made in that conversation. The first point is that the most powerful prayer is the prayer of gratitude. When we thank God in advance for what we wish to use and experience in our lives, we affirm that we have already received it and all that is awaiting is our perception of receiving it. Therefore, the power of a prayer exists in direct proportion to the degree of gratitude contained within the prayer.
The most extraordinary prayer I have ever heard is one sentence I find myself saying continually throughout my life: "Thank you God for helping me to understand that this problem has already been solved for me." This prayer has moved me through the most difficult moments in my life into peace and equanimity and even serenity.
My second major point about prayer is that everyone may have a conversation with God. The process by which we communicate with God and by which God communicates with us is open to all of us, not just to a select few -- not to the prophets, the sages, and the wisdom bringers of all time but to the butchers, the bakers, and the candlestick makers, and the barbers, lawyers, homemakers, politicians, teachers, and airline pilots -- all of us.
God's communications with us is two-way, not one-way. God says to us that it is not necessary to pray a prayer of supplication. A prayer of supplication is a statement that we do not now have something, or we would not be asking for it. Therefore, asking for something literally pushes it away, for one does not ask for something one already has. In the request, then, is hidden our scarcity. That statement produces the result of not having. That is why all the great sages and all the great teachers of all the world's mystical and religious traditions, bar none, have said to pray a prayer of gratitude. Thank you, God, for allowing me to know that this problem has already been solved for me.
Then go on with your day and notice the miracle.
This article is excerpted from the book
The Power of Prayer
Everything Is In Divine Order As I Follow My Souls Melody!
Baba Kundi Ma'at-Shambhala
Copyright © 2002
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