Meditation and the Power of Prayer
In the last blog, we looked briefly at the power of meditation and movement. In this blog, we’re going to look at something similar: meditation and the power of prayer. “Prayer” is a word that comes loaded with so many notions of religion and ritual. Many of us will have formed ideas of prayer or had them drummed into us during our childhood.
But I want to make clear right away that there’s a big difference between religiosity and spirituality. And although the two might seem inextricably linked, it is totally possible to have one without the other. For example, I’m sure many of us know someone who outwardly embodies a “good” religious lifestyle of church attendance and regular prayer but isn’t spiritual in the least! No one can ever be 100% pure in any spiritual or religious pursuit, and we’re all doing the best we can, but there are certainly people out there for whom the physical actions of religious ritual are wholly separate from their day-to-day spiritual conduct.
It can be easy then, even for those of us who have embraced spirituality, to dismiss prayer, associating it with a world of hypocrisy and forced obedience. But it doesn’t have to be like that.
If you are even vaguely familiar with my work, you will know how deeply I value meditation and the huge benefits I believe it can have for all of us, whether we’re the most observant religious follower or the biggest atheist. I meditate four times every day, and I run “coffee meditation” groups for other women.
One of the many reasons I’m so passionate about meditation is that, for me, it’s the best way to stay connected to my spiritual realities. It offers a period of silent reflection that allows me to stay true to myself, make conscious choices, and stay on a path of spirituality, empathy, and kindness.
In addition to meditation, I also pray. Yes, despite a rocky relationship with organized religion over the years, I still offer regular prayers to the Divine. My religious faith is as dear to me as meditation, and both help me to maintain that all-important balance between my physical and spiritual realities.
I don’t believe that there is a “right” way to pray, just as I don’t believe there is a “right” way to meditate. While we all contain that unifying spark of pure consciousness, we are also unique individuals with our own needs to tend to and our own path to walk. What I do believe is that, when not just used as a script to fulfill a social duty or as a cynical way to try and get the material things we want, prayer can essentially become a form of meditation, a way of connecting to those things within and beyond us that go deeper than language.
We all have the power to connect directly to the Divine, and the focus that comes with meditation and prayer, true prayer, is one wonderful way of achieving this. The deeper into silent contemplation we go, the more we can silence our mind and get out of our own way, and the more we can discern what’s going on within and without.