Prayer and Meditation
Prayer and Meditation
Someone shared with me that praying is talking to God and meditation is listening to God, this shifted the way I perceived prayer. I grew up in the Catholic religion at a time when the population of my country was about 95% catholic. In those days, there was a lot of reverence into practicing one’s faith, and we didn’t question it. We did as we were told. As a little child, I remember my mother taking me to the cathedral across from the plaza. I loved being there; it felt magical, and I felt connected to the Divine. The smell of frankincense and the quietude inside the cathedral provided a sacred moment of connection with something higher than me.
As my meditation practice grows stronger, I have noticed that through meditation I can understand and practice my faith in a more wholesome way. Times have changed, and prayer is changing from asking God for what we want to an expression of gratitude, as if what we want has already come to us. This positions us in a state of hopeful receptivity versus focusing on not having and the fear of the unknown.
Growing up, prayer meant for me repeating the established prayers in the prayer book, I didn’t dare deviate from that, the nuns and priest would have not allowed it. Times have changed, and I have learned that I can create my own prayers. My favorite form of prayer nowadays is when I express gratitude through my meditation practice. I feel my praying has become easier and simpler and my connection with God has grown more profound. When I was young, I was busy talking to God through my prayers, and now I sit in listening stillness with a heart filled with gratitude.
Gandhi said: “Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It’s a daily admission of one’s weakness … And so, it is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” We can hear the “longing” of our soul by sitting still in meditation. The last part of the quote relates to feeling the gratitude in your heart (without words).
In Greg Braden’s book, Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer, I discovered that what I call “new” form of prayer is in fact a very old way of praying. In his book, he shares many ancient secrets related to prayer and our connection to the Divine. He teaches how to find a deeper spiritual connection through a meditative prayer with a heart filled with gratitude as if what we want is already with us. In my work as a therapist and life coach, this is not an easy concept to accept at first, but more and more, people are finding it easier to practice it. They notice that when they do, they feel more peaceful and happier.
A meditative prayer practice filled with a grateful heart can provide comfort and inner peace in an uncertain world, and especially when we are hurting and fearful of what lies ahead. I want to invite you today to sit quietly with your heart without words, just a simple feeling of gratitude as if what you need and want is already yours. Know that the wisdom of your own heart will provide the guidance you need.
Veronica Correa, LCSW-C, is a licensed clinical social worker, certified hypnotherapist and life coach.
To learn more about her work visit: www.thepersonalwellnesscenter.com
or call 410-742-6016