Prayer & Meditation
Praying In Oneness
Our tradition is founded on daily prayer and meditation. We make no difference between them, but weave prayer and meditation together to sustain the fullest, most integral communion possible with God. We often begin by calling upon a divine name of the Holy One with thanks and praise, centering in our oneness with the Holy One. This affirms the fullness of our life already in God. Then we’ll pray from our heart for needs and wants for ourselves or others. We’ll wait to listen and feel with the Holy One. As our mind shifts, we offer praise for what God is already doing and will do, confident in our faith and love in the Holy One. Having prayed, we share its merit with others as a seal and extension. So be it: Amen.
As our prayer life grows with experience and maturity, Yeshua has this to say: When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him (Matthew 6:7-8). We come to know that simply being in mindfulness is prayer. Resting our mind in the Holy One is prayer. Holding a need in our heart is prayer. Breathing into our solar heart the pain and suffering of others and breathing out to them light and awareness is prayer. Conscious movement and contemplative creativity are prayer. Even lovemaking, if and when it is a movement of union with the Beloved with conscious intention, can be a very holy prayer.
Be Still and Know
Wordless forms of prayer can be natural shifts into deeper states that we would rightly call meditation. We need meditation. As daily hygiene for the body, daily meditation is hygiene for the mind. Meditation is the simplest and most precious gift we can give ourselves. It needs no beliefs to benefit us. Simply being still, focusing upon our breath, and kindly observing phenomena in our mind with no comment, all naturally integrate our whole self into this moment. There is great, life-altering power in just this. Meditation is a movement into the depth of being in which there is innate knowing, understanding, and wisdom of God.
Evidence in Scripture
Examples abound in scripture of the people of God not only speaking prayers but waiting in meditation upon the Spirit, listening intently in silent love and devotion. Each psalm is an example of meditation: Be still, and know that I am God! (Psalm 46:10). I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother is my soul within me (Psalm 131:2). The prophetic succession is a tradition based in prayer and meditation techniques by which a Master of the Name—Baal Shem—taught disciples to ascend in the chariot of the soul, the merkavah. Such a Master of the Name is Elijah, whose answer to prayer while meditating in a cave came as a sound of sheer silence (1 Kings 19:12). Yeshua alludes to such prolonged meditation in secluded isolation—hitbodedut: Whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you (Matthew 6:6). Gospels suggest that when Yeshua went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God (Luke 6:12), he listened to the Holy One in meditation.
To learn more about prayer and meditation in our tradition, please click these links: