Tuesday, October 6, 2009
I wanted to discover a new room in my soul, but I found instead an old room suffering from neglect. I went to the country to pray—away from my office, from schedules and conversations and anxiety. I was going to build on an extension to my life: a new soul room that I could slip into when I needed a great deepening. I soon discovered it doesn’t work that way. The most praying I can say I have done is that I refrained from incessant working.
I sat quietly in an easy chair and gazed out into the meadow mindlessly. Was that prayer? I slowly cooked up a comfortable pot of soup. Was that praying? I read from the scriptures and from Eckhart Tolle’s book, The New Earth. I read slowly not trying to figure out the meaning of each sentence. I read as though I was walking though a garden keeping company with the plants and flowers. Was that prayer? I fed the donkey slices of apples and pears. Was that prayer? I sat by the pond and watched the mist rising up shrouding the old bench with a mystical ambience. Was that prayer? I sat in candle light trying to be present to the age-old mystery that ever so sweetly haunts me without end—always the mystifying haunting. Was that prayer?
I’m not sure—perhaps it doesn’t matter if I prayed or not. Perhaps prayer is simply connecting with the Source of my life. Perhaps I don’t have to build a new room for my soul after all. Perhaps the room has been here with me all the while just waiting to be discovered. Perhaps it is about being utterly present to WHAT IS without analyzing it or trying to own it. Perhaps it is about putting away my tools of production (on occasion) and just being with the mystery. Perhaps it is about not tying to figure out if I am praying or not; and I have been told that the truly wise ones pray even as they work.