Practicing Prayer and Meditation
Do you ever wonder about the difference between prayer and meditation? Because, if you’re doing one and not the other, you might be missing out. After much experimentation, I have found that meditation and prayer are powerful partners on the path of self-knowledge. I’ve been meditating for 20 years and I love it. I lived in a yoga and meditation ashram for 14 years, and I practice a form of free awareness meditation that comes from the Advaita Vedanta tradition. Meditation helps me to relax and let go. It also keeps me grounded and awake to the present moment. And most importantly, it always reminds me that life is mysterious and positive beyond measure. Over the last year, I’ve added prayer to the mix of my contemplative practice. It’s a Jewish prayer practice called Hitbodedut, developed by the Hassidic master, Rabbi Nachman. I find it rewarding, positive, and therapeutic. And although meditation and prayer both connect me to something deeper, they are different in many ways. Here are my top 10 observations on the similarities and differences between these two perennial modes of contemplative practice.