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Author Topic: Prayer  (Read 554 times)

EclecticWheel

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Prayer
« on: June 04, 2017, 05:49:37 pm »
I'm interested in hearing about how others pray should anyone like to share.  Do you meditate?  Engage in something similar to contemplative prayer?  Use formal rituals or an informal style?  All of the above?  Do you feel close to your deities?

Goddess_Ashtara

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2017, 11:00:12 pm »
I'm interested in hearing about how others pray should anyone like to share.  Do you meditate?  Engage in something similar to contemplative prayer?  Use formal rituals or an informal style?  All of the above?

The primary purpose of prayer- in my own spiritual/religious practices- is to send and receive thoughts, feelings, emotions, ideas, strength, power, wisdom, inspiration, motivation, etc. To pray, I direct my focus towards a god or goddess (or "demon", or "angel", etc) and then reach out into the cosmos around me and within.  With certain deities I might imagine an outer form for their essence to inhabit, which can make for a more powerful experience.

On sacred days and other special occasions, I might reach out through elaborate ritual ceremonies.  Sometimes I meditate before prayer, as it clears the mind and creates a better atmosphere to connect with God(s).   These things enhance the experience of prayer but they are not necessary.  The vast majority of my prayers are during moments where I am alone and either contemplating a course of action or reaching out to thank God(s) for inspiration... and for accompanying me on my odyssey, and allowing me to accompany them on theirs.

𒊩𒆪  𒂔𒇸𒀝  𒄿𒈨
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𒊩𒆪  𒂔𒇸𒀝  𒄿𒈨

Sefiru

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2017, 06:06:01 pm »
I'm interested in hearing about how others pray should anyone like to share.  Do you meditate?  Engage in something similar to contemplative prayer?  Use formal rituals or an informal style?  All of the above?  Do you feel close to your deities?

I do meditate, but I consider that to be separate from praying. My prayers vary in how formal they are but they're all very short (like one or two sentences). I have some set prayers where I use the same wording every time.

I don't sense any connection between how much I pray and how close I feel to my deities.

I recall reading somewhere that prayers could be divided into four categories: praise, thanks, petition, and I forget the other one.  :P Though I think that was about Christian prayers, you might find the idea useful.

EclecticWheel

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2017, 12:17:40 am »
I do meditate, but I consider that to be separate from praying. My prayers vary in how formal they are but they're all very short (like one or two sentences). I have some set prayers where I use the same wording every time.

I don't sense any connection between how much I pray and how close I feel to my deities.

I recall reading somewhere that prayers could be divided into four categories: praise, thanks, petition, and I forget the other one.  :P Though I think that was about Christian prayers, you might find the idea useful.

I think the other might be contemplation.  That does influence my prayers.  I have been tweaking some things.  I have formal and informal prayers too, but I do feel closer to my God(s) by regular prayer.

MeadowRae

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2017, 09:03:10 am »
I think the other might be contemplation.  That does influence my prayers.  I have been tweaking some things.  I have formal and informal prayers too, but I do feel closer to my God(s) by regular prayer.

I think it might be contemplation, too. That always sounded a lot like meditation to me. I have elemental prayer beads that I go through several times a week and occasionally I will call to Brigid for healing, inspiration, passion, or just to thank her for her influence. For the most part, it is very informal. Most of what I do is meditate and listen. I will light some incense or sage when I have more time to myself and I do have certain stones/icons that I use. I feel that the main purpose of both my meditation and prayer is to connect with Spirit and tune in to listen to it. So in that sense, yes. I do think that prayer makes me feel closer to the divine, even if it only helps me have ears to hear it.

Jainarayan

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2017, 02:21:52 pm »
I'm interested in hearing about how others pray should anyone like to share.  Do you meditate?  Engage in something similar to contemplative prayer?  Use formal rituals or an informal style?  All of the above?  Do you feel close to your deities?

I chit-chat with the gods, I rant, I whine, I thank them. More formal prayer is slokas (verses) and mantras from various scriptural texts, the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Puranas, chanted in Sanskrit. They can be done repetitively, not unlike the Catholic Rosary. They can be done in the vernacular, but since they were composed in Sanskrit and follow its grammatical rules, rhythms and meters, it makes them more liturgical, and is actually encouraged. And then of course there are those set to music and songs written as bhajans (devotional songs). Even that little bit pleases the gods (they're very low maintenance). Meditation, for me, is sitting somewhere quiet... in the temple, a park, the beach, and letting my mind go where it wants. I often work out problems that way, or get an answer.
śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ
Vishnu's appearance is Shiva; Shiva's appearance is Vishnu
Vishnu is the heart of Shiva; Shiva is the heart of Vishnu - Skandopanishad
 

Oskar

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2017, 04:32:12 am »
I'm interested in hearing about how others pray should anyone like to share.  Do you meditate?  Engage in something similar to contemplative prayer?  Use formal rituals or an informal style?  All of the above?  Do you feel close to your deities?

I use a formal style in that I have a set verse for certain days or times of the day but after this verse I go very informal and basically talk to The Sacred Three with any current concerns, worries, hopes and issues I want to communicate. I never bother mentioning trivial things or stuff that I should be sorting out on my own but rather major things that are having a strong impact on my life at the time whether they are positive or negative. I begin with a visualization of myself standing on a beach wearing ancient garb, feeling the cold salty sea breeze and being at the meeting of the three realms. This helps me ignore the day to day sounds around me and instills a sense of calm. I usually feel a positive buzz immediately after my prayers or offerings and I do feel closer from taking that time to honor the deities, spirits and ancestors.

EnderDragonFire

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2017, 01:14:09 am »
I'm interested in hearing about how others pray should anyone like to share.  Do you meditate?  Engage in something similar to contemplative prayer?  Use formal rituals or an informal style?  All of the above?  Do you feel close to your deities?

I have an interesting story about that! When I first started praying as a Hindu (after 5 years of atheism and no prayer), I was having difficulty focusing during prayer and meditation. I would always get distracted and start thinking about other things like my budget, homework, etc.

The person who was my spiritual teacher at the time did not have any useful advice to offer me. I was very frustrated and was beginning to pray less often and for shorter periods of time, and was even revaluating whether or not be religious at all. That changed one day when I was talking with an acquaintance who was Roman Catholic, who told me that when she prayed and meditated, she would envision in her mind the image of Christ on the Cross. I thought that was an interesting idea, so I began visualizing images of Krishna, Rama, Shiva, Kali, or whatever deity I was worshipping, when I prayed and meditated. I have continued to do so for several years since then, because it helps me focus on what I am actually trying to accomplish when I pray, which is to get into contact with a specific deity. It also helps me remember my chants and mantras when I meditate, which I tend to mess up otherwise due to dyslexia.

So, If I hadn't consulted a Christian for prayer advice, I might very well be irreligious today, despite the fact that I am Hindu and Pagan rather than Christian.
"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." - Sri Krishna

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