Communion: The Joy of Sacred Practice
Do you pray? If you do pray, why? Is your prayer beseeching, pleading to an intercessor God to alleviate your pain, right some wrong, or bestow upon you some gift from on high, hoping it will forever change your lot in life? What is the tone of your prayer? Is it desperation, rage, or frustration? Is it anguish and despair, resigned to your unbearable suffering and full with an urgent and plaintive expectation that you, among the multitude of beseechers, might have your prayer heard above all others, perhaps with luck and righteous commitment, breaking through the aloof visage of father God’s wizened facade? Do you pray to the bearded white guy in the sky?
Well, stop right now.
This may be the only time you will ever find specific instructions in one of these blogs, but here it is: Get up off of your knees, dust yourself off, stand up straight within your consciousness (you need not actually stand up straight if it is prohibitive), look God directly in the “I” and give thanks. Then… state your desire, with resolute faith and conviction that it is so. After that? Sit back and behold the miracle that your life has always been and commence to livin’ it full throttle.
Forget about the brakes and go balls to the wall, full out, into life. That’s it.
Prayer is a conversation between you and Spirit, a colloquy between Divinity and itself, through you. Prayer is a song sung between God and God, sung with your voice as the soundtrack to your life, for the sheer delight of giving God new music to dance to. Sing out loud and sing out proud and strong; your song is God’s song, and prayer is one of the greatest ways you sing it. And guess what else? This is super cool. To quote Reverend Amani, our spiritual leader at ABQ CSL: “Prayer is how we feel Spirit’s Love, make divine connection, be in conversation with our divinity, and deepen our relationship with our selves; it is how we change our minds; it is a tool for remembering Truth; it is a tool for feeling Truth.”
A tool for remembering and feeling Truth; wow! Any questions? How about this? Reverend Amani reminds us: “Having a prayer practice lets us make love with our holiness, has us falling in love with our selves and moves us into more glorious expressions of the amazing divinity that we are.” Boom.
Consider the words of the revered Saint of Islam, Rabia of Basra:
IF I DID NOT PRAY
I could not move against this wind if I did not pray.
And all that is said of me that is untrue would make lame my gait.
If I could not free myself from the weight of other’s malice,
I could not move against all of Spirit’s light.
If I did not pray,
See how things become.
What a change can happen when we find a way to keep Spirit close.
In this particular time in human history, when the unknown is the only knowable condition, and normalcy is truly the abnormal, fear is the easiest go-to we’ve got. Anxiety is fast becoming a familiar companion, and faith is becoming akin to fantasy. Folks are so tired of isolation and inconvenience that they are risking their lives and the lives of each other by holding fast to the fantasy that the exercising of their freedoms “trumps” all risk. Some are holding to a farfetched “faith” that we are all experiencing some sort of hoax, and that the great father has everything under control, it’s safe to get back to work, and “there’s nothing to see here. …” Fear has driven many to refute reason, deny science, and cling to a fantasy that everything can and will be like it was before. I imagine this addiction to nostalgia is far harder to kick than heroin, cocaine, or the idea that God is a white guy with a beard living up on a cloud waiting to grant the wishes of the loudest and the richest who pray a certain way on a certain day, and are willing to bomb people in his name. OK.
But what about you ? Rabbi Rami Shapiro tells us: “You are heir to the entire spectrum of human spirituality.” So are you, heirs to the kingdom of God, which is within you, ready to break the habits of fear, disillusionment, and ho-humness? Are you ready to not only take your seat at the table of Infinite Love, but feast on all that Spirit has to offer? Are you ready to take off the training wheels and get to the business of Love? There was once a super badass prophet avatar guru rabbi dude that told this fisherman named Peter, way back 2000 plus years ago, “ Put down your net and come with me and I will make you a fisher of men. …” Here’s the deal: Peter is you, and the fish you’re being called to cast your net for are your own awareness, awakening, and expression of the Divine. No more pop culture happy pills, replete with pseudo spiritual quick fixes promising instant gratification. The time has come to cast away our nets and become fishers within. It’s time for the training wheels to come off. The training wheels of Spiritual Materialism, framed with feel-good manifestations and positive mindset manipulations that bring us fleeting intoxications predicated on the fraudulent realizations of high vibes and righteous superior elevation. Please.
Kat Kim tells us: “How about we cultivate Divine Confidence so that no matter what is happening in the world outside of us, we remain grounded in a powerful knowing of who we are, and what we are here to do. To do so is to fill the void left by change not with material possessions or cultural addictions, but with the eternal Spiritual truth that you are enough, we are each enough, and together we have all the brilliance and ingenuity to take care of our selves, and to take care of each other, to take care of the earth”, and to flourish in affluent abundance. Change is inevitable, as is pain. Suffering is a choice, as is transformation. Choose transformation over suffering.
Use this time to go on a spiritual practice binge. Purposefully choose to dive into a practice that has seemed daunting or new, choose a practice that you have been judgmental of, choose a practice that you’ve been curious about but never pursued. Choose to pray like you are God talking to Itself. The kingdom of heaven is ours now, Claim it!
And there it is. Pray and keep Spirit close. To quote one of the most revered saints in my life, Reverend Rebecca Allen: “As you are inspired and uplifted, all of humanity is also uplifted.” So pray. Pray every day. Pray like all of life depends upon it, because it does, and pray always knowing that you are talking to God, who resides within you and is ever ready and eager to hear YOUR voice singing to it, giving thanks, recognizing Oneness, and realizing the glorious miracle that this life is. Prayer is our direct line to Spirit, so know this: The greatest prayer ever spoken is Thank You.