Thursday, 31 January 2013

Varying Prayer Experiences

Varying Prayer Experiences

Prayer is not about magic words or formulas (though words can play a role in the process of the opening up of our consciousness). Prayer is about desiring to better see what is in you and in front of you; it is about connecting to what IS.  

In the various aspects of this sabbatical thus far - from Cupids, to Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury Priory, Stonehenge, to Mucknell - I have been aware of the different prayer experiences in each place.

Greenland beach, Cupids

In Cupids I was aware not only of my body and mind telling me of its need for rest and solitude, but of the prayerful awareness of Divine Presence Loving me and caring for me and re-creating me.

Salisbury Cathedral
In Salisbury Cathedral I was prayerfully aware of the beauty and magnificence of the building and of all of the human labour and creativity that has gone into it; of the beauty of the liturgy and the glorious music of the choir; I was aware of being spiritually connected with the souls that have prayed in that very same place for over 700 years.

The Priory Monks, Salisbury
At the Salisbury Priory, I was prayerfully aware that the humble prayer offered by seasoned and elderly men in their tiny chapel was as filled with God as was the Cathedral worship offered just across the street.

At Stonehenge I had a strong sense of being connected with the people who used and who have passed through that sacred place more than 3000 years ago.

And now here at Mucknell Monastery, in the middle of the farmlands of Worcester, England, I am experiencing another kind of prayer: the prayer that chants the psalms simply and joyfully; the prayer that connects Divine Life in the silence that the community and visitors share; in the humble and loving welcome of all who come through their doors. 

The Oratory at Mucknell Monastery

Prayer is about connecting, of becoming aware of being united with the Love that is within everyone of us, of being united with the Love that is about everyone of us.

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