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How To Pray

February 2, 2010 by · 11 Comments 

pray
Prayer is an effective way to communicate your intention to Divinity. Unfortunately, however, some of us never learned how to pray, and some have been put off by the dogmatic approach of religion and are confused about prayers. So here is the basic of how to pray. (Photo credit)

Format of a prayer

In The Divine Matrix: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles, and Belief, Gregg Braden analyzes the three-part sandwich format of a prayer:

  1. Opening
  2. Body
  3. Closing

He explains how prayer works as the command code in the matrix, just as a piece of computer code works in the computer software. (For more about the nature of this matrix, you might want to read his The Spontaneous Healing of Belief, too.)

I know a few very basic codes. For example, when I want to bold words in this blog, this is what I write:

<strong>the text I want to bold</strong>

As you see, it has three parts:

  1. Opening: <strong>
  2. Body
  3. Closing: </strong>

The function of the opening is to signal the system that I am going to make a certain request. Then I state what it is in the body. Finally, I mark where my body ends with the closing.

Prayer has the same format. In the opening, I call to the Divinity to signal that I am going to make a certain request. Then I state my request in the body. Finally, I close my prayer to signal this is the end of my prayer.

Asking requires faith

Prayer is not just chatting with Divinity or spirit guides. When we pray, we make requests. And let me assure you there is nothing wrong about asking for what you sincerely desire. In fact, the Universe is waiting for you to make requests.  (The key word here is “sincerely”.  I am not talking about satisfying every whim you feel when you go to the mall.)

Why doesn’t the Universe (or God or Matrix or whatever you want to call) just give you what you want? Is it too dump to figure out what you want? Why do you have to bother and pray?

Because you have a free will and all positive beings respect free will. God / angels / spirit guides are not going to shove you what they think is best for you. It’s your responsibility to decide what you want and ask.

Asking requires at least some faith. If you absolutely don’t think you can get what you want, you won’t bother to ask. Even a very hungry little boy won’t ask for a candy if he absolutely knows there is no candy in the house and his family is so poor that there is no way his parents can buy him a candy. Asking for something you know you won’t get is stupid and no one would do it.

So prayers — not the prayers you just say out of habit or sense of obligation, but the real prayers in which you ask for something — require faith, the belief that you would, or at least might, get it. This is the beauty of prayers. By praying, you reinforce your faith in a power greater than yourself.

Name of Divinity

So, a typical opening is the calling of Divinity. If you are comfortable with the word “God”, you can use it here. You can also use the name of God you believe in such as Jesus.

But what if you don’t like any organized religion and not comfortable with the word “God”? Can you still pray? Definitely. Prayer is simply a request to higher power. You can be creative in the way you call your Divinity. Here are some ideas:

  • My higher power
  • Creator of all beings
  • Universe
  • Nature
  • Great spirit(s)
  • God of my understanding
  • Divine intelligence
  • Divine mother / father

You can also call multiple names of Divinity, such as adding the names of saints you like.

The body of a prayer

Then you state your request, or your intention. Make it clear, straightforward, and complete. Don’t beg nor bargain. Your prayer can be long, and you can take time “listening” to the response to your request before closing, or you can “hold” the intention for a period of time, but don’t nag.

Begging means you don’t really believe in the benevolent nature of God nor your own self-worth to have what you are asking for. Perhaps you had to do that to get a candy from your parent, but God is a bit different from your parent. Begging in the prayer defies the basic point of praying, that you have faith in the chance you will get what you want. Same with bargaining — you don’t do that if you believe in the infinite wisdom and power of God.

Many people have problem communicating in a clear, straightforward and complete manner even with people, so I know this takes practice. But it’s worth practicing.

Closing the prayer

Closing can be quite simple. In my case, I say either something like, “I entrust this prayer to be answered in a way that is best for me and for all beings everywhere.” or simply, “Thank you. Amen.” You can also repeat the name of Divinity before saying the gratitude.

Surrender

Then comes the challenging part. You need to release the prayer. In other words, you surrender. You don’t hold your breath watching out when and how your prayer is answered, or even if it ever be answered.

Some prayers are answered immediately. Some takes time. And some appear to be never answered. For instance, you may pray that your loved one survive a terminal illness and they may die after all.

I believe prayers work in a way that is best for all beings involved, not just for my personal (and often temporary) satisfaction. In the aforementioned example, perhaps it is time for your loved one to go. Death is nothing to be ashamed of — it’s a transformation process. Of course it’s sad because it is about separation, but maybe you have grown strong enough to go through this sad experience. So the request you made in the prayer is not granted, but if you are open, you would be comforted. And years later, you may be surprised how the loss contributed to your spiritual growth.

We don’t always know what is best for us. This is why we want to surrender our prayer to Divinity. You want to express what you desire, but you don’t want to control it. God cannot work on your prayer if you keep holding onto it.

Do you pray? Do you have any questions about prayers? Please let me know in the comment. Thank you.

The Law Of Attraction And Surrender

June 14, 2009 by · 13 Comments 

surrender
Whether you are doing it consciously or not, you are creating your life and the world. The principle of this creation is called the Law of Attraction. There are other spiritual laws about creation, but I’m simplifying things here. The important thing to remember is the true nature of “reality”, that reality is something we can mold.

Now the ultimate question to this premise is “Why, then, don’t we get what we want? Why is it so damn hard to have what we desire, like making enough money from my hobby so I can quit my job or finding my life partner?”

There are two things to consider here. One is the misuse of the Law of Attraction. The other, main point of this article, is surrendering to the bigger purpose of life.

Misuse of the Law of Attraction

Common misuse of the Law of Attraction includes:

1. Focusing on NOT having what you want instead of acknowledging the good things you already have and desiring to go further to have it.

Let’s say you are single and want to find a mate for intimacy and personal sharing. Someone you feel attracted and want to spend a lot of time together. Now, do you feel good about yourself — do you find yourself lovable and trustworthy? Are you grateful for the life you have now, for your friends, your past romantic partners for making you the person you are now? Or are you feeling lonely and miserable, needing to find that special person? If it’s the latter, you probably attract more of not having a mate. Or you attract someone that matches the loneliness and misery you harbor.

2. Not being clear and consistent about what you want. Many people seem to know exactly what they DON’T want, but not clear about what they want.

Do you find yourself desiring a life partner one day and then, on other days, saying something like “Oh, I’m just too busy to have a relationship right now. I want a raise…” This is like changing your order at a restaurant. Please be clear and consistent about what you want — this involves sincere exploration of your true desires.

Surrendering

Then there comes a point of surrender. This is different from giving up your desire because you see yourself as a powerless victim of life. This is about surrendering to the bigger purpose of your life that your conscious mind may not readily perceive.

Let me continue the example of finding a life partner. After my divorce, I decided to spend a year to recover my sense of well-being and to rebuild my life. Eventually, I felt ready for a new relationship. I actively sought out a new partner. I joined match.com. I asked my friends if they knew someone single. I did meet many men. But none led to long term relationship.

Was I doing something wrong? Back then, that is what I thought. Although I couldn’t put a finger what I was doing wrong.

I was quite happy with my life. I don’t say this in a way like, “I have a good-paying job, I have great friends, I’m fine. Nothing is wrong with me.” kind of way. Yes, I just wrote this line in a tongue in cheek kind of way because I saw so many online profiles like that. The truth was, yes, I was happy with my life, my job, my social life, but I wanted a romantic relationship and I couldn’t find it.

So, I wasn’t focusing on the negative NOT having part of my desire. And I was fairly consistent in my focus. Even though I didn’t know the term “the Law of Attraction” back then, I was taking the right approach.

Not getting what you want and be happy with it

Then I decided to quit my corporate job and relocate across America to Oregon. Gee, I couldn’t have done this if I had a boyfriend in Tennessee. I’m really accommodating when I’m in a relationship, and I most likely would have given up — or wouldn’t even have entertained — such idea if I were in a serious relationship.

I didn’t get what I sincerely desired — a life partner, an intimate relationship. Looking back, am I upset about this? No. On the contrary, I’m grateful. I couldn’t see far enough into the future when I was busy meeting men, but now I think this is exactly how I am meant to be living now. I can spend my time doing what I am meant to do — doing the Akashic Record Reading service and writing about spirituality — without the constraint of monogamous relationship.

This is what I mean by surrendering. You may not get what you desire, and it may be just as well. You will see how so much better it is not to have your wish come true — if you open up and accept the gifts of not having it, if you surrender.

Revelation

Recently I had a mini revelation. The memory of my first boyfriend popped in my mind suddenly. Well, I didn’t have sex with him, but I consider him to be my first boyfriend. We were seventeen years old. It ended prematurely because I was an exchange student in Australia and had to come back to Japan at the end of the year. I used to wonder what my life may have been like if I could stay and could keep seeing him.

In a flash, I saw myself with him together. Living together in a house. With kids. Doing the everyday things — get up, breakfast, get the kids ready for school, rush, work, etc. etc. The life I could have had with him. And OMG. I was tired of the repetition within a second!

I always knew I was not meant for motherhood — I find children adorable, but I was never big on becoming a mother myself. The biological clock that so many women talk about — I just never felt it. This — not particularly craving motherhood — was fine with me. But as I’ve been saying, romantic relationship was a different deal. I thought I really wanted it. Living with the guy I really like (and he likes me too), sharing all aspects of our lives. I thought I wouldn’t even mind taking care of kids if that’s what it takes for the relationship.

But no. When I saw that psychic vision, I realized I’m not meant for the regular marriage.  Even if it’s a good one.  I am meant for something else. For what? Well, look, I already have it. I can freely pursue my interests, build my life and my business. I connect with my clients with love. And being free from the conventional lifestyle keeps my thinking free and my body ageless.

Somehow I surrendered to the bigger purpose of my life. My ego mind could not see it for so many years, but my Higher Self knew what was best for me.  This is how creation works sometimes.

(And now, from this liberated place, I can date ^_^ I see my new date from time to time while keeping my life my way.  It works.)

Are you ready to surrender?

Or are you attached to a certain outcome? In other words, do you simply desire something or do you NEED it to happen?

I suggest you take a big breath and look at the things you so want but haven’t got in your life. Is it possible not having it is actually better? Can you see the big picture? (Photo by photomason)

Addiction And Spiritual Healing

December 4, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

This is a guest post by Patrick Meninga at Spiritual River. He speaks with the power of real life experience about his spiritual awakening in his recovery from drug and alcohol addition.

What can addiction teach us about entrepreneurship and spiritual growth? Quite a bit, it turns out.

I am a guest poster named Patrick, and I was addicted to drugs and alcohol for many years before finally finding a spiritual path in recovery. The process that led me to this path of success in recovery could be referred to as a spiritual awakening. This is ultimately what is required for anyone to escape the trap of addiction.

I realize that most of you reading this now are probably not addicted to drugs and alcohol. That’s great actually, but please read on and discover what overcoming addiction can teach us about spiritual growth in our own lives.

In particular, I’ve narrowed it down to 5 key concepts that I learned about in recovery that can apply to anyone:

Concept #1: Hitting bottom and surrender

In order for an addict to recover from addiction, they have to hit bottom first. This means that they lose most or all of the things in life that were really important to them due to their addiction. In essence they lose everything, including themselves. This leads to what we might call “the point of surrender.”

Surrender sounds like a negative term, but it is actually quite positive and liberating. When you surrender, you stop fighting. You stop struggling with something that is hopeless (like a life of continuous addiction). Surrender opens the door to change; to a life lived differently. The key here is that, in order to finally surrender and make a change in your life, you usually have to hit bottom first.

Application for you: Maybe you’re at a dead end job and dream of starting your own business. Maybe you’re spiritually bankrupt and feel like your existence has become meaningless as you long for a way to reach out and connect with others. In any case, you can apply the principle of surrender in your life when you see yourself fighting and struggling to maintain something that you don’t really want for yourself.

It can be hard to turn our back on a job, even if we hate it and the pay is lousy. It takes courage to chase our dreams. Surrender is scary. It is like the first step off a cliff. But it might be a necessary step for you in order to truly spread your wings.

Concept #2: Cutting through denial

Addiction is like running on a hamster wheel while claiming that you’re not on a hamster wheel. You’re panting with exhaustion and ready to drop dead, but you still stand firm that you are not on a hamster wheel. This is denial.

I know that because I’ve been there. I’ve been on the hamster wheel and struggled to hold my life together while the people around me tried to convince to get help. But I did not want help, and insisted that there was no problem.

Application for you: Obviously I broke through my denial and eventually got clean and sober. But the threat of denial persists, even in recovery. Today, I can find denial creeping into my life in other ways…ways that are much more subtle. For example, someone might be stuck in a relationship that they know is no good for them. Or there is always the idea of the comfortable dead end job.

If we want to make progress in our life then honest assessment is critical. Sometimes we stick to safe and comfortable but hold ourselves from realizing true growth. The mechanism by which we do this is almost always denial. Learn to identify the “hamster wheel” in your life and free yourself from the chains of denial.

Concept #3: Asking for help and networking

Addiction is mind-boggling in that we cannot overcome it by ourselves. If we could, then it would not be addiction. In order to recover the addict must ask for help.

Once in recovery, the addict gains strength by networking with others who are also in recovery. There is strength in numbers and strength in sharing our experiences. Reaching out to others is part of the learning process. In recovery, addicts help each other to stay clean and sober. This is the power of networking. And it starts by asking for help.

Application for you: Whether you are struggling to find your spiritual footing or aiming to start a new business for yourself, you can benefit from reaching out to others and asking for help. Networking is powerful and you can gain as much by helping others as you can by asking others for help. Just ask any of the ordinary people who have sought out a life coach and thus transformed their lives with new powerful experiences. This demonstrates the power that guidance and networking can give you.

Concept #4: Commitment to personal growth

There is a principle in recovery from addiction: “You’re either working on your recovery, or you’re working on a relapse.” What addicts have found is that they cannot stand still in their growth efforts. If they do, they inevitably relapse and return to addiction. The only solution is in pushing themselves to grow and move forward. Always seeking positive action. Always seeking a higher spiritual truth. Always looking to connect and help others. If a recovering addict stops growing, they risk relapse.

Application for you: Complacency happens when you’ve gotten too comfortable and are no longer pushing yourself to grow. Fight complacency and always be striving for something. Have some goals or a vision for your life in the back of your mind. It’s no longer enough to come home and watch television all night. What are you creating with your life? How are you going to impact the world? Push yourself! Addicts must do this just to have a shot at staying clean. You should push yourself too.

Concept #5: Reaching out and helping others

There is a saying in recovery: “You have to give it away to keep it.” This means that, in order to stay clean and sober, you have to reach out and help others to become sober. This works in a way that no one could have predicted. In fact, nothing works better at keeping people sober than having them reach out and work with others in recovery. If there was ever a secret to sobriety, this is it: Help others and you help yourself.

Application for you: Reach out and help others. Simple but powerful. Doing so initiates a powerful feedback loop because you feel much better about yourself and your own self esteem is enhanced. In the long run, “network karma” will make sure you benefit from your previous efforts, and you’ll find that doors open for you quite easily because of your helpful attitude.

Addiction not required. This stuff works for anyone.

Today I am grateful that I was “cursed” with addiction, because it led me to a full life in recovery and a spiritual path….something I might never have found if I had never become addicted in the first place.

I’m confident that anyone can benefit from the principles that I’ve used to maintain sobriety. Today my life is an exciting mix of holistic growth, working with others, and spiritual exploration. I used to be trapped in addiction, but now I am truly blessed and grateful to be on a spiritual path.

Patrick Meninga is the author of the Spiritual River. Check him out if you want to learn more about how to help alcoholics. (Photo by Georgie Sharp)

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