Some people have asked me what is the difference between meditation and prayer. My answer has always been, not much!
As a young child I went to Catholic School. So I was given a ridged explanation of what prayer was. Sit or kneel quietly. Concentrate on God, and talk to him. Always be grateful for the response, even if it’s not what you wanted or expected.
Even way back then, lol, the Nuns were very conscious of how some people vexed about the religious statues in the church. So they were sure to tell us we were not praying to the statues. They were just there to give us something to focus on.
I was big on prayer as a child, and remember vividly an adamant prayer from a tortured young girl who’d just been told she wasn’t picked for the school volley ball team. I prayed and prayed all night, “Please let it be a mistake, please please let it be a mistake.” I remember precisely the connection I felt with God as I prayed. The warmth, the security, the feeling of being heard. AND the next day at school when the Nun said there was a mistake, and room for one more on the team, I knew there was a God.
I’ve often wondered if an adult heard me praying and contacted the school. But you see it doesn’t matter how, the prayer was answered.
Through the years I fell out of favor with the church and all organized religion. You can read more about my spiritual epiphany in my Hotel Rwanda- The Day That Changed EVERYTHING article. As I’ve struggled with the ‘who are we’ and ‘why are we here’ question most of us grapple with, I discovered meditation.
The practice of meditation is much the same. Sit quietly, go within, connect with: the higher power, higher self, universe, God… whatever that means for you. Be in gratitude for all you have and hold dear, and let that – touch your spirit, move your heart, raise the feelings of Love (always capitalized in my book) and gratitude inside you. Focus on your body and your breath.
These phrases have always struck home:
- The kingdom of heaven is within you.
- I am closer to you than your own breath
For me the going within to connect with the divine feels right. I particularly like the Sound Meditation practice I learned from Wayne Dyer in his book The Power of Intentions. Connecting with sound meditation feels right to me because of the scientific principle that all mater has a vibration. So it makes sense to connect with creation, and the quantum field through vibration. I’m still connecting to that exact warmth and security that has always been there for me.
In Greg Braden’s book, The Science of Miracles, he discusses many scientific experiments that demonstrate our ability to connect with the quantum field, “the quantum hologram, the mind of God”. He describes a modality of prayer where we “feel the feeling as if the prayer has already been answered.”
I really don’t believe our vision of the what we think we are connecting to, or what we call the method matters. Only that we have faith in something greater than ourselves.
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