As I thought about what to type I adjourned from my place before the computer to a separate retreat for prayer. In what follows I wanted to try and capture what takes place for me during these times, which in itself is an instructional guide for me.
There are many forms of Prayer from countless religious traditions, and I have experienced, at least in part, many of these. I incorporate some of them as a form of discipline and direction, but none of them are what I consider true prayer.
This is a personal perspective and since I can only speak authoritatively on that which I know intimately it is the only perspective that is True for me. Long ago I came to realize that the essence of prayer becomes unique when it is transformed from an objective pursuit to a subjective Truth.
True Prayer, as I understand it, is a silent dialogue that takes place whether I tune in or not. To tune in is to enter a conversation already in motion, and become a silent witness to an unheard colloquy. It is continually giving shape to the Essence of who I am and defining me as a person, and the closer I choose to embrace this the more my objective life, my substantial reality, will be transformed by the quiet unseen power of this Prayer. It is not a place I ask questions, it is a discourse to which I am already a given partner and I need only listen to the conversation to glean from it the Wisdom of the ages; the Truth concerning all things pertinent to me will always be available in this medium; as I listen, I learn. As I understand, I grow and become all that I am meant to become. It is within this solitude that I discern the breadth and shape of destiny and journey, attaining the ability to watch oneself in conversation with eternity and remember what is already known.
In the solitary silence of self, the True Prayer becomes paramount and I hear the Wisdom I need for the journey before me. It is beyond the ability to capture with words which is why the very effort in doing so becomes foreign and mystical in conveyance to others, for to each is given the esoteric benefits of such prayer if we listen. I can not tell another what the repartee of their Life is about anymore than they can tell me mine; I must listen for myself and learn my Truth as it is spun within to form the fabric of all that I am.
True Prayer is a dialogue in silent solitude with nothing and no one. The moment I try to define and give dimension to the One who is speaking with me is to cease listening and miss the Truth. Call the One by any name you wish, just accept that in doing so you are interrupting the conversation that you are suppose to be listening too.
To listen in silence is to pray…it is as simple and undefinable as that.