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The Bliss Blog

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”-Meister Eckhart

What is prayer?  Some might say that it is asking an outside male entity for a specific outcome as various faith traditions teach and preach. Others could express it as a certainty that all is well, regardless of the end result. Still more might indicate that it is an advance sense of gratitude as quoted above by the 13th century German theologian and mystic. My prayer practice has spanned the spectrum from the first to the third.

I grew up in Judaism; steeped in the traditions of many generations of Eastern European immigrants who came to America to escape persecution and create a new life for themselves. Prayer in my home took the form initially as reciting the Shema with the Hebrew: “Shema Yisrael, Adonai, Elohenu, Adonai Echad,” being chanted by rote, and the translation I followed it with then, “Hear, Oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.”  Much later in life, when attending synagogue services at Beth Or, in South Florida, the rabbi, Rami Shapiro, introduced me to words that resonated more fully with my searching soul, “That which we call God is Oneness itself.” It was such a vital ritual in my childhood, that even when my parents went out for the evening, babysitters would listen to our recitation.

I’m not sure how many years ago I adopted a practice of saying before getting out of bed, the morning prayer called Modeh Ani:

“Modeh anee lefanecha melech chai vekayam, she-he-chezarta bee nishmatee b’chemla, raba emunatecha. (Click here for audio of a Modeh Ani song.)

I offer thanks to You, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me; Your faithfulness is great.”

Throughout the day, my ‘God-versations’ sometimes seem like dialogues with the Divine, sometimes monologues with myself. Not sure where my spiritual leanings lie. Still hard to shake the the idea that all is One AND there lingers a sense of not wanting to assume anything. So what’s a spiritual seeker to do?

Come to each day with copious amounts of curiosity….hmmm….I wonder what miracles await today? My favorite definition of the word is part of the theology of A Course In Miracles, with the concept of a ‘shift of perception’. I have written about faith and doubt. I have questioned the nature of existence and have had certainty that all is in Divine Order and created By Divine Design.

Last night when on the way home from offering a house blessing and energy clearing at the home of a friend who desired a fresh start in his renovations -in- process home, I saw a church marquee’ that read “ASAP-Always Say A Prayer.”  I smiled and offered one for all of the blessings in my life, including the one in which I had just participated.

Four pivotal women in his life walked through each room, setting loving intention, smudging with sage in all the nooks and crannies, ringing a Tibetan singing bowl, as well as chanting:

“Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.”

“May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all”. – translation by Sharon Gannon -Jivamukti Yoga

I had brought a broom, beautifully designed by a friend, replete with feather, ribbons and beads, to sweep out the old, stale energy and call in the new.

There was also the Jewish ritual of bringing into a new (or renewed) home salt for seasoning, sugar for sweetness and bread for nourishment (the bread of life).

By the time the evening  was complete, I could sense a lifting of some of the heaviness that had been in my friend’s life. One of our friends remarked that he looked younger.

On this day, I offer deep bows of gratitude for the opportunity to love and make of my life a continuous prayer.

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