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Connecting with thanks and praise | by Memos From The Universe
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Connecting with thanks and praise

"Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines."

 

I haven't had a Memo in quite a while. I fell off the meditation wagon,

and my new-found yoga instructor moved WAY across town, bringing the

time commitment from from under 2 hours to over 3 hours. I find that

when I am off the wagon, I just don't get that many Memos, and if I do

see something, I tend to dismiss it as Nahtamemo.

 

This morning, I put on the coffee and then sat on the sofa and set the

mediation timer for 10 minutes. I figured I'd start slow, kind of slide

back into the groove. It was over in a blink. And then I got this Memo

in my Facebook news feed.

 

I admit to being perplexed about the usage of the word "pray". I tend

to think of praying as asking for something - usually, relief from some

uncomfortable-to-painful condition, or else for the end of some

perceived lack. I have never thought of prayer as being appropriate

when "the sun shines", for if the sun is shining, what could one

possibly lack or have to ask for?

 

A visit to Dictionary.com tells me that to pray means not only to

petition, but also to offer thanks and praise. I am not certain why my

concept of prayer consists exclusively of desperate supplication to some

terrible almighty. This is a horrible thing to have to overcome, this

notion that we are somehow at the mercy of a stern authority figure, who

has the power to make us happy but chooses to make us beg for it. What

a warped impression of the Universe and Creator this must be! Indeed,

all of the Old French and Latin roots of the word "pray" have to do with

begging. Even the Old English/Germanic relative means "to ask, enquire",

which is not quite desperation, but a far cry from thanks and praise.

 

"Praise" is more like what prayer really should encompass. "Praise"

means you're expressing approval or admiration, and offering "grateful

homage". So, we really don't need the "thanks" part of "thanks and

praise" - it's redundant, because "praise" comes with the gratitude

built in!

 

I am reminded of something my friend Georgia suggested, 'way back when I

crowdsourced the question, "What should my mantra be?". She said,

"Gratitude!". And my friend Lisa says she read somewhere that one

should say "thank you" at least 7 times a day. Ritualizing it at a

precise number, every day, makes it seem like prayer. In Judaism,

prayer is much more than beseeching; prayer's purpose is to connect one

to the Divine, not because the Divine requires it, but because WE

require it. We NEED to express gratitude, to connect with the source of

our abundance. It's good for us. It keeps us from focusing on lack,

the pain from which is entirely self-inflicted and illusory, at best.

 

In this sense, meditation time is actually prayer. It's a deliberate

seeking-out of a connection with the source, or as davidji calls it, the

"stillness and silence within". We require this connection, above all

else - more than the fearfully whispered tales of woe and lack, more

than all the forced ass-kissing. The Universe doesn't need that sort of

thing. That's just us, anthropomorphizing Her, ascribing to Her that

which we believe we would like if we were God.

 

Prayer is not for God. Prayer is for us. Prayer is better for us when

it's praise, because praise incorporates gratitude, and it's better to

focus on what we have than on what we think we don't have. Meditation

is prayer. Therefore, I should be meditating more often. Rain or shine.

 

Got it.

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Taken on November 27, 2012