Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with a deity, an object of worship, or a spiritual entity through deliberate communication. (Wikipedia)
Meditation is a practice in which an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or as an end in itself. (Wikipedia)
Growing up I was taught about prayer but, within the last few years, I was introduced to the subject of meditation. Ignorance made me believe that meditation was not for me, it was more for monks, Hindus or atheists trying to connect with a higher power of some kind. To be honest I was ignorant on a lot of subjects. Roughly 5 years ago, as I battled with my personal demons I turned to religion to answer some hard questions. While pursuing a curiosity and passion in religion I soon realized that the religion I grew up believing in didn’t have all the answers I was looking for. I then studied other religions to try and connect all the missing pieces and gather more insight. After studying for a few years I realized that every religion had similar core beliefs and guidelines but the biggest similarity was the subject of prayer.
I never understood the importance or purpose of prayer until the day I actually needed to pray. I remember the first time I ever prayed as a conscious adult. The experience was unbelievable. It was unworldly. It was as if I had transported out of my body and connected with a higher entity and I could actually FEEL what I was thinking and saying. I had shivers and tingles running through my body as I cried and prayed about my sorrows, regrets, pain, failures, wishes, dreams and all the things I was grateful for, such as my family. This feeling was something I never experienced in my entire life. It was exhilarating, it was better than experiencing an orgasm. I know, it sounds weird and possibly blasphemous comparing prayer to sex, but the satisfaction I got from my prayers was far greater than the joy I ever felt while performing the act of intercourse.
I was hooked. I started praying every day. I only felt what I felt while I prayed, and hardly ever felt those feelings anywhere else. This didn’t make sense. I wanted to feel like this every day at every moment. I was vulnerable and was allowing my soul to speak on my behalf, to “nobody” but, yet it was comforting me in a way I couldn’t explain. I didn’t want this feeling to go away but I could never feel that same tingling happy sensation unless I was in prayer.
So, this made me think. How do I feel that happy peaceful tingling feeling every day without having to sit through prayer? Simple, the answer is through meditation. Meditation is prayer. I came across this finding as I self taught meditation. I researched and started following Spiritual leaders and professionals who incorporate meditation in their daily lives. I followed their teachings, particularly Deepak Chopra’s meditation workshops, and began to feel the same sensations I had during prayer but all while I was sitting alone and reflecting on myself. I finally achieved that same heightened blissful sensation that I only experienced during prayer.
The act of meditation allows you to be vulnerable and true to yourself just as you are during prayer. During prayer you act and speak as if only God, or a higher entity, is judging you and therefore you are completely honest. That same clarity and non judgement you feel during prayer is what meditation aspires to help you achieve. Instead of looking toward God or an entity to help guide you, you look inward and seek that same guidance from within yourself. During meditation you put the onus on yourself to realize and achieve comfort. During prayer we are seeking external guidance and answers, whereas, during meditation your inner being directly provides you with those answers.
Time to reflect:
Do you pray? If you do, how does it feel when you pray? Do you feel a sense of comfort, peace, happiness, fearless, or non judgement? If these are the feelings you feel during prayer try meditating. I can assure you, once you begin practicing meditation, you will feel those exact same feelings you felt during prayer. Meditation allows you to release your inner being and connect with it. Instead of looking for answers from an external source, you begin to look inward and seek those answers from within. The answers you find, will amaze you and may in fact guide you to your full potential in a way that prayer never could.
“Only those who see the invisible can attempt the impossible.” ~ Dick Eastman
- Why I Don’t Meditate (& What I do Instead). ~ Jennifer Twardowski (elephantjournal.com)
- What is Meta-Prayer? (johncmabry.wordpress.com)
Check out the above articles as they provide a few tips on how to achieve the same connection and oneness you would feel during meditation, but with other activities in place of it. Sometimes connecting through meditation is very difficult, but you can still achieve connection and oneness through other activities. The second article discusses a new concept called Meta-Prayer. We are all different and we all learn uniquely. Learn about and teach yourself things the way it suits you so you can achieve the results you want. Enjoy!