*Brian Wilcox. 'so complex, so simple'. Flickr
A continuance of dialogues with a sage who did not see himself as a sage, but others did; from Brian K. Wilcox. "Meetings with an Anonymous Sage."
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Since the question "Who am I?" and "Who is God?" lead us, in your words, home, to whom do I pray? If there's only one, or oneness, who remains to receive prayer? I ask, for at times I feel there's no one I need to pray to, I rest in the direct knowing you speak of. At other times, I feel a need to pray to someone or something.
Recall, oneness does not mean sameness. In oneness, prior to duality, duality exists. Relative does not mean nonexistent, it means from and relying on the absolute, the Absolute. So, within oneness, diversity is manifesting always. Manyness arises and dissolves in Beingness. Prayer, as all, is part of manifestation. So, prior, you had an agenda to pray, if you were like most persons who pray. And whatever the Absolute is for him or her, that is separate. Now, in direct knowing, you can sense a shift to prayer arising spontaneously. Prayer becomes equally not-praying and praying, meaning, silence is prayer, whereas before voicing vocally inwardly or outwardly was prayer. Likewise, you may now sense, even in praying to God, the prayer is going nowhere, for you know God as totally here, now, inseparable from your own beingness. One does not need to say anything to pray; one does not have to do anything to pray. Yet, one may do something as prayer, may say something as prayer. Can you trust this? Can you go with the flow of the river, rather than try to direct its course?
My grandmother once told me how she would pray, lying on the bed at night. She would simply wait for the prayer to be given. She would rest silently, allowing the inner Spirit to manifest in consciousness whom to pray for. This is much what I mean, though her idea of the divine Presence might or might not be the same as yours.
So, likewise, in silence, the sense of need or desire to pray in some manner may arise. This should not be ignored in some agenda not to pray. We are none above the need to pray, when that need arises. Yet, as one moves closer into knowing of the absolute Intimacy, in oneness, prayer tends to shift from spoken to silence, for the shift is from the Divine as object to the Divine as subject. From this absolute Subjectivity, prayer arises from the natural need to relate, to love, one seeks to enjoy two and three, and so on. And, essentially, from the silence, prayer is a manifestation of loving, not trying to get anything from the Divine. Even spoken prayers become a means, a sacrament, of Love loving. See, God is not in the bartering business. In Intimacy, you realize the divine Presence is not present to be manipulated, which often prayer from the ego is.
My reply to you relates to the nature of oneness not excluding otherness. In oneness, nothing is excluded, nothing, including the duality of prayer, of loving one to two to three, and so on. Like I asked before, "Who wants to dance alone?"
Still, whom am I praying to?
It is not necessary to know the whom you pray to. Call this what you will, that is okay, as long as what you call this is respectful, is reverential. A man was taught in AA that it did not matter even if he prayed to God as a light bulb. I have not seen a light bulb that I would recommend anyone to pray to. I do not think the light bulb will inspire the devotion and reverence essential to prayer. Likewise, objects are not in themselves the pure Subjectivity that the Divine is. The light bulb and the light coursing through it arises from the Absolute, being relative. So, I find this kind of thought quite ignorant. Prayer, then, is to that which is not in the manifestation of objects, or relativity, for Pure Spirit is the Absolute, free of time and space.
Essentially, the whom you pray to is the whom you pray from. If you give this a name, fine, if not, fine. Regardless, one will find, being drawn more into realization of oneness, that prayer will become less structured, more spontaneous. Prayer is arising more from the heart, not the head. Anyway, the head knows little of what the heart knows is in need of praying, anyway. The head thinks prayers, the heart prays prayers ~ there is a huge difference.
Do you pray to what others call God?
Again, what I call Pure Prayer is the loving oneness in which I live, in which you live. We are part of this. We are not the whole, not as living in duality. Even if I sense a oneness, I still recognize when I meet you. I do not say, "Hello, me, so good to see me," that would be absurd. Otherness is recognized and treated as otherness, so with God. In this sense, we could call God the Wholly Otherness. And, mostly, I remain without any act of prayer, while, at times, spontaneous prayer arises out of the spaciousness of the oneness. I often do not voice any designation, like God, to whom the prayer expresses love toward. Yet, I affirm again, as to words, even words for the Otherness, as you are drawn into silence, you will be drawn from words. Silence itself becomes praying.
Is meditation prayer?
It can be. If meditation is a mere technique, that is not prayer. If meditation is really non-meditation, a resting in the Quiet, that can be prayer. Prayer has more to do with the posture of the heart than what one does or does not do. So, one can say prayers and not be praying, while one, in silence and reverence, can rest quietly, open-heartedly receptive to the Immensity in which one rests, and be praying. Likewise, subtle feeling can arise in the body in such quietness, and one may or may not express it inwardly or outwardly. For example, a deep sense of gratitude or praise may arise, and one can rest in the sense itself, marinate in that feeling ~ that is prayer. Silence is the superb eloquence, the worship most pure, and beautiful is the prayer arising from this inarticulate One who is Silence, articulated in love to Love.
May Peace go with you!
*Brian Wilcox. 'A Beautiful Arrangement'. Flickr
(C)Brian K. Wilcox, 2019
The theme of "Lotus of the Heart" is 'Living in Love beyond Beliefs.' This work is presented by Brian K. Wilcox, of Maine, USA. You can order Brian's book An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, through major online booksellers.