Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Blessing and Prayer Redefined

I am a great admirer of Gregg Braden, a contemporary New York Times best selling author who had varied and rich background. His books include ‘The Isaiah Effect’, ‘The God Code’, ‘The Divine Matrix’, ‘Fractal Time’ and recently ‘Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer: The Hidden Power of Beauty, Blessing, Wisdom, and Hurt’. In the opening chapter of this book he recounts an experience he had when visiting and interviewing a Tibetan monk. He writes:

“I focused my attention directly into the eyes of the beautiful and timeless-looking man seated lotus-style in front of me: the abbot of the monastery. Through our translator, I’d just asked him the same question that I’d asked each monk and nun that we’d met throughout our pilgrimage: “When we see your prayers,” I began, “what are you doing? When we see you tone and chant for 14 and 16 hours a day, when we see the bells, the bowls, the gongs, the chimes, the mudras, and the mantras on the outside, what is happening to you on the inside?”
As the translator shared the abbot’s reply, a powerful sensation rippled through my body, and I knew that this was the reason we’d come to this place. “You have never seen our prayers,” he answered, “because a prayer cannot be seen.” Adjusting the heavy wool robes beneath his feet, the abbot continued.
“What you have seen is what we do to create the feeling in our bodies. Feeling is the prayer!” The clarity of the abbot’s answer sent me reeling”

In page 100 of this book he redefines blessing;
“Blessing may be defined as a quality of thought / feeling / emotion that allows us to redefine our feelings about something that's hurting us now or has hurt us in the past.”

I had earlier done a post on the silent mode of prayer. This concept takes it even further. Your whole being becomes a participant in the process of being blessed. In this context we can look at the insight provided by St. Catherine of Siena. She said
“The force that created the unimaginable splendours and the unimaginable horrors has taken refuge in us, and it will follow our commands.”
Our consciousness reflects the universal consciousness which has the polar opposites as its constituent parts. If there were only forces of attraction then there would be a completely collapsed singularity and if there were only forces of repulsion then there would be no sustainable structure and we would be left with a void. We require the two types of opposing qualities to be present to maintain balance. Our consciousness is powerful enough to deploy whatever force that we want. To tune into receiving divine blessing through our prayers we need to move away from mere mental, rational and ego dominated perception of our intention of prayer but use intuitive tools such as feelings, emotion and highest quality of thought, as these more purely reflect our individual consciousness.

All our acts of love, faith, hope, gratitude and forgiveness must be based on whole-body feelings. The whole-body feeling is generated through a process of a series of positive affirmations. For example if a close friend has cheated you by not returning a loan at a time when you needed it, you forgive him by feeling his utter desperation and his inability to muster the amount in time, though this may not be the case. You also feel that you can manage without the return of the loan and feel for your friend that he may need to hold on to the cash more than you do. A snowballing effect, of good things for you and your friend from this situation, and a final act of letting go as a donation well made.

It is a tough act but we can get there.

Blessings to you.


  1. Nice thoughts on prayer and blessing mama.The whole body feeling that a prayer generates makes us feel that we had a meaningful prayer.Otherwise it is just words chanted.I need to experience the first one obviously.

  2. Thanks Vinod.
    It takes a lot of practice and discipline to reach the stage of total internal universe involvement. But even trying to get there has benefits. I sometimes, very briefly - may be a few seconds, feel this during listening to certain chants in meditation.

  3. The snow balling effect always needs a beginner who should have the courage to start a process irrespective of the result and the person must have an hoilstic view and should be convinced that his small act may create some ripple somewhere for a bigger good. The Tibetian monk sitting somewhere in the Himalayas may be sending his vibrations around and even acress the globe.

  4. Thanks for the comment.

    You are absolutely right when you say what a prayer that is generated from within can accomplish. This is exactly what I had told the students on 5th March.

    There was an experiment which demonstrated beyond any doubt that when people who were prayed for by renowned spiritual masters had been healed irrespective of their location. The location of patients was not revealed to the spiritual masters, only their names. Patients were not told that they were being prayed for.
    That is the power of whole-body prayer.

  5. I have experienced how powerful is the feeling of hurt.It looks so powerful that it eclipses all other feelings.However hard you try it sounds impossible to turn this force positve.The deeper and personal the hurt is the more powerful it is. But with strain and effort if we are able to achieve this transcendence from negative to positive conciousness,we can really touch a new height in our spiritual search.

  6. Thank you, Subathra, for sharing your personal experience. The wisdom that we gain out of personal experience is the only way one can advance in the spiritual path.