The act of prayer has been my daily practice in these challenging times. I have been a dedicated meditator for some years and quite focused but I had left the responsive, communicative talking to one side. The act of prayer for me is this interactive aspect to listening. As the authors of The Way of the Rose say, we do have the ability without challenge to ask for our heart’s desire. As we set an intention for ourselves don’t we send a ripple of this Self Love out to all, doesn’t the whole community around us benefit if we are harmonious rather than suffering?
In these challenging times the mind does wonder, intrusive thoughts, overwhelming moments and my daily meditations became difficult and not being a prayer activist or knowing many prayers, the only practice I new, vaguely, was the rosary. I had a small pillbox with some small rosary beads I picked up at St Peter’s Square in Rome in the 1990s.
I set myself a script of words for guidance and roughly walked my way through the beads. My research and curiosity unfolded into more radical rosary and now I am following and contributing to prayer circles. The rosary has carried me on a journey to chanting Hare Krishna, the Ho’ponopono, Sufi prayers opening me to prayers of the world, ancient words and new combinations, in isolation and as part of a collective.
My experiences of prayer has sky rocketed me to blissful states in chant and deep inner sanctuaries of self forgiveness, to gardens of the divine feminine and gracious mother earth. For me, prayer is omnipresent, there is no temple place required, for the temple is within. This isn’t a path of doctrine or dogma it is a path to the Heart and links to all that is around me in life and in all consciousness, the world beyond a world. It links me to people and places the world over, in Africa, America and across the UK, to a group of 700 gathering at one time, on a Sunday from all continents checking in to say “Here and Present”.
I wouldn’t and couldn’t have imagined from opening my little pillbox of rosary beads, teaching myself from a book, to be on a path of prayer with simple words, repetition and a circle of beads, to a world group of prayers with people sharing their favourite prayers, stories and passing on the words they chant. This feels like a New Age of Mysticism Zooming into hearts and minds with a new connectivity and a new Way to Pray.
Clark Strand and Pereira Finn (2019) The Way of the Rose, Penguin Random House Publishing