Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

Prayer(105)

May 20, 2011

There are about 6.8 billion souls on the planet(in human form). Obviously more souls have reincarnated at this point  in time than at any other time(we think). If you’ve read my Prayer(102) then you know that I’ve made an argument for praying for the supposedly deceased souls in the hereafter.

Since I believe in Reincarnation and since there are about 6.8 billion souls on the planet, many of the people who I’ve prayed for are probably NOT in the hereafter. In the prior post I made the statement of prayer for the deceased, even those that entered the hereafter centuries ago.  My tweak on that concept in this post is that since so many souls currently inhabit the earth, many of those that have supposedly passed on in the whole skein of time have probably been reborn NOW. They are right here with us on good old planet earth.   They are our peers again, or we are their peers.

 The people who by some providence had happened onto my prayer list may in fact be in our current time. Today’s prayers for the hereafter include Charlie Parker, Grace Kelly, Winston Churchill, Redd Foxx, and Claude Pepper.  But they may very well be in the Here and Now learning new lessons.  So again, why would we stop praying for people based on the theory that they have ascended or again been well-placed in the hereafter. Maybe they have been well-placed in the Here and Now. We can stand to think of reasons to pray.   Idle moments create a vacuum that can be filled with prayer.  Referencing the theme of my prior post, we can pray for the waiter, the bellhop, the bank teller, the mechanic, & the accountant.   But we shouldn’t pray on up and down status…so, we should also pray for the Kings & Queens, Presidents, Prime ministers, Senators and Representatives,  & CEO’s. Then we should also pray for the Minsters, Mullahs, and Priests.  We can decide to pray for ALL people like it’s one world. Dead, undead, reborn, recently returned, status or no status, religious and irreligious…makes no difference.   We are all ONE, all the time.

“Prayer is not an old woman’s idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action.”

                                              – Mahatma Gandhi

 
 
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Prayer(104)

April 26, 2011

All prayers are good. Spoken spontaneously or memorized, sincere or ritual, self or others. All prayers carry.  While I don’t have many memorized prayers I do have prayers that have the same theme or beginning or ending.  Like a jazz or blues musician, I have my favorite riffs and lines that I play over and over.

I’m enclosing here some of my favorite or useful themes of prayer:

I send them my love and my blessings that their life plan is actualized if it be within the alignment of God’s plan.

I pray that they can be healed and made whole on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. 

I pray that they can be surrounded by Love and bathed in Healing Light. 

I pray that they can see more and be more if they so choose in the light of God.

I pray that I can consecrate this body, concentrate this mind that I may resolve myself to complete wholeness with you.

Some people don’t want prayers.   It’s a violation to pray for those that don’t want prayers. However, I can still pray “General Latent Prayers”, a bank account of god’s love and power if anyone ever decides to accept God and prayer. Like a trust or inheritance for our kids, if they ever want it all they have to do is ask.  These latent prayers are just hovering in the ephemeral universe waiting to be realized:

If anyone ever decides to seek God and to know God then let it be so, let it be real.  Let it be magnified a hundredfold if they ever want know God.

I send my love and blessings to any that would seek love and understanding.  I pray that IF it’s within their current life plan that they ARE healed.  If any want to know God more than let it be so, let it be true, let it be real.

Prayers can be like microscopic surgery.  They can be exact, efficient and to the POINT.

  A friend or relative’s surgery is a good case in point. While we and the patient still believe in earthly healing(surgery) we can still pray for healing in that manner.  We can pray that the surgeon is having a good day.   We can pray that the anesthesiologist and nurses are having a good day.  We can pray that the hospital is fulfilling its obligations properly.  We can pray the our friend or relative is in as peak and healthy a form as possible. We can pray that God guides the surgery, that he works through the surgeon.  We can pray that the surgeon is so on top of his game, that it’s easier than playing dominos, he just knocks them over.

Prayers sometimes should be left in God’s hands.  It may NOT be necessary to make an exact prayer.  The outcome can’t be conceived or seen. In those instances we can only generally pray:

Thy will be done oh Lord, thy will be done.  Not as we might want but according to your Plan. Thank you, God.

 What is that axiom, Let go and Let God.

In some instances, individuals have a path that is not to our understanding. I can’t remember where I read this but I’m reminded of the boy who came into his prayer benefactors dreams and specifically asked not to be prayed for.  His earthly mission was to be ill with disease so that his loved ones could know the love of caring for another.  His mission was a pathway for them to give LOVE.

Some may not like the above paragraph or understand it or believe it.  Sometimes I think that also.  I walk around in my daily life, I see things, come across things and I think “Is that man or God?”  “Are their spiritual things going on there that I don’t understand?”  Probably.  All I can do is my best.  Will I make mistakes?  Probably.   So with that I can only say, “Help me God, help me so very much please.”

“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”

                                                                                     – St. Augustine

Prayer(103)

March 31, 2011

More prayer methods. When and Where to Pray. When I can’t sleep is a really good time to pray.  Taking a walk is another. Folding clothes is another good time. Kneeling in Prayer beside my bed.  Prayer in church is good.  Prayer after church is good. If you are Muslim then you should probably pray to the East.   If you think that you have special requirements for prayer then you should follow them. But, if you can see other ways then do it. Pray to the North, West, & South.    Pray at Sunrise, pray at Sunset.

I haven’t talked about the Chakras yet.  That is concerning Meditation.  But it is also an alignment of our bodies and minds.   We are really seeking a physical, mental, emotional,and spiritual coordination.  We are sick when one of those four are out of alignment with the other three.  I bring this up because there is another way that I pray that “seizes the moment”, carpe diem. 

There’s a scene from the movie “Ghost” where Patrick Swayze is a lost and lonely ghost wandering the subways. He meets another ghost and pumps him for information. One thing that he asks is how can I control and move things in the material world again.   The other ghost uses a tin can to train Patrick how to push around material objects from their state of the Hereafter.  The principal lesson is that Patrick must reach way down inside of himself to find the emotional energy to “thrust” the tin can.  Patrick realizes that it’s more than a mere mental exercise. He then conjures that mental/emotional energy and  thrusts the can across the floor.

 If prayer seems like a duty then we need to try something new. We need to thrust our prayers. We need to give them importance. 

I was attending the county fair with my kids. We decided to ride the ferris wheel.  We get on and it starts to rotate upwards and naturally we became excited and wonderous of the view all at the same time.   We reached the top and were feeling “on top of the world”. As we descended I instinctually and emotionally realized “this is it”, PRAY NOW.   As we came up again to the top and we gazed at the whole surrounding countryside I mouthed the silent prayers for people, issues and opportunities. Because my emotions and my mind were aligned I felt these to be particularly powerful and good prayers.

I now try to pray using all of my emotional contexts.  I’m not in a state that my prayer is constant, but I realize now that I can and probably should pray when I am sad, depressed, hurt, happy, glad and moved. If it’s not a so pleasant an emotion I can transform it. If it’s a good emotion I can make it better.

So now if I’m depressed I say a prayer. If I am sullen I say a prayer. If I am anxious I say a prayer. If I’m walking through the countryside or the cosmpolitian city I say a prayer. If I’m walking on the beaches of St. Augustine I say a prayer.

As my kids and I got off the ferris wheel my daughter turned to me and said, “Can we do that again?” I laughed and said,”I was just thinking the same thing. Sure we can.”

“Prayer is as natural an expression of faith as breathing is of life”

                                                    – Jonathan Edwards

 
 

Prayer(102)

March 29, 2011

Continuation of Prayer.  As you may have gathered by now I think differently than many people. Some of what I’m about to write may seem very different.  Please keep in mind that this isn’t a list of personal triumphs and past kudos. I’m simply trying to share new and additional outlooks of prayer. It’s not mine. I don’t own it.  How I came to understand I don’t really know but I do know that all things are to God’s glory, not mine.

 Thoughts are things and our every thought is in fact a prayer.  From Prayer(101) I talked about the spontaneity of prayer, the sincerity of prayer, and gave permission for others to pray in the manner that seems best for them. I should point out that although I gave voice to a direct, spontaneous, improvised prayer I still believe that a  method prayer, a memorized prayer and learned prayer are good and meaningful.  Again I’m still saying the first thing I said which is you can pray any way that you want. I started praying a lot when I  read something  once that in essence said, “Worrying won’t help, the only time you should worry is when you can’t pray.   I took that to heart and started praying after that.  I prayed before, but after I read that, then I really started praying.

Since I don’t believe in Time & Space, since I believe that no one is lost and all are reuniting with God, I pray for everyone.  I pray for my family, I pray for my loved ones, I pray for my supposed enemies. When I pray it can be at any Time(again remember theres’ no Time) or Space(no Space either).  I pray as much for the dead as I do the living. Not just recently deceased, but people who have been dead for centuries.  Sometimes by design, sometimes not.  When I’m praying it sometimes just flows out and saying a prayer for anyone just comes to me.  I pray for the deceased because they are still growing SPIRITUALLY.  I pray for them because I don’t presume that they have been judged and well placed.   I pray for them because they are still LIVING. The thing that we call death is just a door.  In the hereafter death is called birth.  It’s a new beginning for them, not the end.  Inevitably I end up praying for famous and infamous people only because their names are widely known.

Some of the people who I’ve prayed for are Benjamin Franklin, Gregory Hines, JFK, Dizzy Gillespie, Sid Vicious, Ryan White, Joan of Arc, Billy the Kid, Walter Matthau, Clyde and Bonnie Parker, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Merton & Sir Thomas Moore. I feel pretty sure that many in the Hereafter are praying for us. Whomever you can think of to pray for is worthy.  Good and Bad, Dead or Living, Right or Wrong. You can pray for anyone or anybody that ever was.

Allow me to recapitulate the message that I’ve been trying to communicate through all my posts. We are ONE.  The past, the present, the future; this world and the hereafter, ALL IS ONE.

“Pray, and let God worry”

               – Martin Luther

 
 

The Whole Is Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts

March 27, 2011

Try to imagine an Idea. We can’t really do it.  It’s an abstract thought.    It has no size, no shape, no color, or smell.  In fact the idea of an idea can only be fixed in the mind. Can we imagine our own totality, our own collective greatness? I doubt if we can. But I believe that collectively we are the end all, the greatest ever, and we are greatest when we are eventually reunited with God. When we are reunited with God we will be Greater Than The Sum Of Our Parts.

Let me give an example:

A blind man goes into a totally dark room(this is a double-blind experiment). He has a mission to find out what is in the room. Since he can’t see, he makes his way clumsily around the room.  He makes his way along and finally stumbles onto something. He picks it up, examines it, and thinks “It feels like an angular bar.”   He shuffles along again, careful not to fall.  His foot kicks something.  He picks it up and it appears to be a  short rubber tube closed at one end.  Then he bumps into another big piece of  angled piping or tubing of some kind.   He mumbles to himself, “A bunch of useless junk. These things don’t mean anything.”    Then he steps on a flat metal piece. He picks it up and it has sharp-pointed edges.  “Hmm…a type of disc.”    He hates this game and wishes he could be let out but knows this is his mission.   Next he finds another short rubber tube closed at one end.  ” It feels familiar though,” he says.   He shuffles and shuffles and can’t find anything,……finally he kicks something else.   He reaches down and picks it up.  “It’s a  chain of some sort.”     He has an epiphany!!!   “I think I know what it is.”      His eyes light up(even though he’s still blind), he sees the light(even though the room is still dark).  His heart starts pounding but he asks himself, “Is it a self-propelled or motor driven?”   He scrambles around the room looking frantically for the rest of the parts, two here, another there, three more across the room until finally he has all the parts and he knows what it is.   He cries out, “It’s a bicycle.”

The short tubes were the handle grips, the angular bar was the handlebars, the big angular tubing was the frame, the disc was the sprocket, and the chain was of course a bicycle chain.  Even here with his developmental reasoning he still had to ferret out slowly and deliberately the missing part to delineate what it was. “I know what it is, but still, is it a bicycle or motorcycle?  There is no engine so it must be a bicycle.”

The parts individually mean nothing. Just like he said “A bunch of useless junk.”  But taken together “The Whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”   We are like that.   Individually we are nothing, but working in harmony of motion we are magnified tenfold. It can be argued that “Yea, but the bike is a design, an engineering effort.” To which I reply “So what is God’s plan?”   Aren’t we HARMONIZED together and fine tuned?   Our true being can’t really be conceptualized into we become Spiritual Adults and we work together.

Actually we are the blind man, in a dark room, stumbling together, but separately.  The parts aren’t really pieces, they are PEOPLE.  As we come together we become more. God’s Design is greater than a bike.

“I see the Past, Present, and Future existing all at once before me…”
                        – William Blake

Dream #1

March 26, 2011

Freud and Jung started modern man on the path to understanding.   They weren’t the first and they won’t be the last.

For atheists that don’t believe in God, I ask them to think if they have ever had an out of Time/Place Phenomenon(Psychic, I hate that word) experience and second if they have had any Pre-cognitive dreams.   That’s a litmus test for me that God is real.   I have pre-cognitive dreams all the time.  Frequently I’ll have a  dream and it’s in a totally unknown place with totally unknown people.   When the event happens months later, I am usually in a mid-sentence conversation with someone and suddenly realize “I dreamed this months ago”.   I then look around at the environment and realize that everything is exactly in its place just like in the dream.

An interesting dream I had:

I’m out on the golf course on hole #9 having just chipped for the green when another ball comes whizzing by me.  I’m not happy so I rush back to the front driving area of the hole and encounter an old lady trying to golf.  I start in right away about how she doesn’t know how to golf and that she almost killed me with that last shot.   After I calm down I offer to show her how to golf and start to tee up the ball.   I patiently explain to her that the fundamentals of golf require A, B, C, & D.   I swing the club and my ball goes flying.  It’s a good shot.  

She just looks at me and says that she has her own way.  “Ok, How do you golf?”, I ask.   She proceeds to get a ball out her bag and then she walks off to the side by a small tree. She’s off the shooting area now and I have no idea what she’s going to do.   She places the ball about four foot high in the crux of the tree.   I start laughing almost hysterically.   She draws her club back and swings and hits the ball.  The ball goes flying.  I watch it as it careens the trees, it bounces and lands and rolls about twenty foot past the ball that I just shot.  She then turns to me and smiles politely  and says “We each have our own way, can’t you see that?”   When I woke up from the dream it still took me awhile to realize what I had dreamed.  I finally realized that it wasn’t a golf lesson at all, it was a life lesson.

Later on I found a quote that could have been quite apt coming from the wise old lady in my dream:

Forget your opponents; always play against par

                                 ~Sam Snead

Prayer(101)

March 25, 2011

I didn’t understand that some people didn’t know how to pray.  In a prior post I had mentioned an elderly friend of mine named Mrs. Strong that had newly rediscovered her Bible(her religion never endorsed her to read the Bible on her own).  At that same get together we also discussed prayer. After attending a new  Bible Group she also realized that she didn’t know how to pray.   I asked rather incredulously “What do you mean?”  She had always to my knowledge attended church, I didn’t understand.   She said, “when I go to the Bible Study and we sit in a circle, the members take turns praying.  Some are very, very good.  They say prayers for things I never really thought about.”    I was starting to hear her but was still fuzzy.  “Well, how do you pray?, I asked.   “we have a book of prayers that has a  prayer for every occasion.  I’ve always used that.  These people just seem to pray off the top of their head, they make up their prayer.”  I understood then.  I said, “that’s right, they do”.

I need to back up here a little bit.  Mrs. Strong had always been very devoted to her church and family.  She is great. Her famI didn’t understand that some people didn’t know how to pray. In a prior post I had mentioned an elderly friend of mine named Mrs. Strong that had newly rediscovered her Bible(her religion never endorsed her to read the Bible on her own). At that same get together we also discussed prayer. After attending a new Bible Group she also realized that she didn’t know how to pray. I asked rather incredulously “What do you mean?” She had always to my knowledge attended church, I didn’t understand. She said, “when I go to the Bible Study and we sit in a circle, the members take turns praying. Some are very, very good. They say prayers for things I never really thought about.” I was starting to hear her but was still fuzzy. “Well, how do you pray?, I asked. “we have a book of prayers that has a prayer for every occasion. I’ve always used that. These people just seem to pray off the top of their head, they make up their prayer.” I understood then. I said,”‘that’s right, they do”.ily is great. Her life was great. In essence she had always done what she was TOLD TO DO.  She was also from a different generation and a rural background.  Again this is not wrong because again she has raised a great family, served her community, cared for others and wonderfully fulfilled her faith.  I believe that she did pray on her own but  mostly she recited hers prayers.

I on the other hand I found things differently. When I was a boy and a teenager I would read the Bible in Church, during church service.  This always made my Mother mad.  “Why don’t you read it at home?” she would say.  “because I’m to busy playing baseball,” I answered.  “Then why do you read it in church?” she countered. I gave her three reasons why I read the Bible in church. “One, I’m bored with what the minister is saying. Two, It’s the only book in the church pew. Three, I find Jesus words much more interesting than what the preacher is saying.”  After that she didn’t bother me and she didn’t like it but she did understand. I guess I always read and prayed on my own.

It’s about direct communion.   Back to Mrs. Strong.  I told her it may look difficult but she could pray any way she wanted to.   “The greatest thing to remember about prayer is to pray sincerely.  That’s what these people are doing”,   she nodded her head.   “It sounds like you’ve always prayed for reasons; a birth, a death, a wedding or a tragedy.” If we really think about our greatest prayers, they were done with our deepest conviction and spontaneity.   I relayed to her the story of one Minster’s greatest prayer.  He said that one time while he was getting water from the well his foot became entangled by the rope and he fell into the well. Hanging upside down in the darkness of that well “I never prayed so sincerely in my life as at that time, I was eventually heard and found.” (<Unremembered Source)  With that I want to say that we can pray for a reason but that we can also pray BECAUSE WE CAN!  Every thought is in fact a prayer.

Dear Father, help me find the words….

                                                             – Someone, Somewhere

Civilization(Nothing’s changed, maybe it’s up to me)

March 18, 2011

 

I have a quote from Stanley Diamond, the world-famous anthropologist,  “Civilization originates in conquest abroad and repression at home.”  This is the way of the world, even in the religious community. My own religious experiences mirrors this definition of civilization.

In my twenties I happened to visiting an old retired friend named Mrs. Strong.   She told me she had just started reading the Bible and was finding it very wonderful and refreshing. She had hardly ever read it her whole life, even though she was about 69 years old.   I was amazed because I knew then that she was even more religious than I was.  I was befuddled about this and asked her why it was suddenly so great.   She said that she had never read it, that her church thought fit to best interpret it’s meaning.   She was actually never encouraged to read it herself.   This is a very famous church and congregation(which shall remain unnamed).  I showed her some of my favorite passages and said that she should read it all the time.  

Later I met some people in another congregation that were equally insistent that ONLY the bible was meaningful and purposeful.   That all the answers were there and there alone.  I don’t really believe that the Bible is the literal word of God.  I shared the parts that we agreed on but didn’t press any issues to purposely challenge them.  I did say though that some things can never be taught in a book, like swimming or dancing.  They invited me to be a member but I couldn’t ever find that I would agree to their ideas.   I found it to be too repressive for my tastes.

Again later, I met another religious order that espoused that their teacher was advanced enough that his insight alone should be the favored and preferred lead in my life.  Would I like to have him as my teacher?    I initially agreed but eventually we parted ways.

I think of Stanley Diamond’s quote often.   Each group wanted my membership, to expand their world and to cull from mine.   Each group or teacher wanted to limit my relationship with God by making their position supreme.

Sometimes this had made me angry and sad.   I realize though that with reincarnation and karma I HAVE ONLY ACTUALLY EVER MET MYSELF.  If these were my past ideals from past lives then I let it go.   I will not seek unwarranted expansion and conquest anymore.  I will not repress any more.   Each person is free to pursue God in the manner that they see fit.  I will help people because I love them.  I will help people because I wish to be truly helpful.

I believe now though(my new ideal) that  no intermediaries, books or teachers can interpret God or talk to God on your behalf  BETTER THAN YOU.  I’m convinced that no one can speak or listen to God for you, better that you.  You alone hold the key to God.

Life is eternal, and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.”
                                                            – Anonymous

Geographical Righteousness

March 17, 2011

We shouldn’t confuse our values with geography. Our Spiritual Growth shouldn’t be impeded by the illusion of a religious birthright. When we enter the earth’s plane we are spiritual beings. We are God’s children. Soon after birth we start acquiring other baggage. We assume identity and values based on external reality, the earth plane. We are spiritual beings “temporarily” working and learning in the earth plane. 

As we grow up, we more and more relate to our bodies and the external world. By the time we grow up, we relate ourselves to others with external names and status. “Hi, my name is Mike. I’m an electrician and a member of the So and so religious group.” When I hear this I realize most people were raised in their order or congregation. They believe they are of the So and So religious order. I ask them when did you make this decision. Many people don’t decide, it’s decided for them.

Frequently some groups make the claim “We are the Chosen ones.” I ask then, if anyone can be more chosen then him that choses “God”?

Through most of history and a mainly rural, agricultural world people mainly worshipped by the availability and proximity of local churches. They usually only knew one church. In today’s world we are inundated with more knowledge and more good news. It behooves us as true children of God to ask questions and seek answers based on real values. Religious growth and values have always been in flux throughout all time, despite man’s intent to mold it and control it.

I’m trying to delineate a fine point that in essence is : My religious order is ONLY a working utility to better help me to work with other people and fulfill God’s plan.

When we get to heaven God does not separate us in heaven nor does he grant us entrance into heaven based upon our religious affiliation. God does not say, “Ok, I want all the Jews over here, all the Methodists over here, Hindus are next, Catholics need to go to the back.”

I’m not against organized religious groups. I just don’t believe that any of them have an exclusive and singular directive from God. We are children of God first and foremost. Together we can fulfil God’s plan best by realizing we are all here together. The tail cannot wag the dog.

Swamped by the knowledge of external objects, this subject of all knowledge has been temporarily eclipsed to the point of seeming nonexistence.

C. G. Jung 1946