Setting Your Intentions at Dawn, Dust and Nighttime

02.10.20 05:23 PM Comment(s) By Awakened Body

What is prayer? How do I pray?

Love Source, with all of your heart, your soul, your might.
These words, which I instruct you today, place them on your heart.
Teach them to your children

Speak of them, when you come home and when you walk on your way,

 when you settle and when you rise. 

- Deuteronomy 6:6-9

As human beings, our power lies in our ability to set intentions. 

It is our ultimate superpower.
Those who deliberately vision their lives enjoy a moment to moment sense of calm and focus.
Those who do not are swept about by the rise and fall of the tides of chaos and creation.

Daily Prayer Practice

The most important thing about daily pray is that you do it.
Just do it. How you do it, what you do,  is far less important.
It is like math. There is an infinite distance between 0 and 1.
Be someone who is committed to daily spiritual practice.

Jewish prayer, Buddhist prayer (meditation), Hindu prayer (offerings), Christian prayer;
each faith tradition offers us a way to enter and center.

What is essential, is only that you do.

Commit today to setting aside time everyday to return to quiet, give thanks and vision your life.

The great philosopher Moses Maimonides explains that there are three postures to prayer: 

* Calling In

* Giving thanks

* Standing in awe 

Let these be the postures that orient you in your practice.

What to Do

Commit to this 5 step process, everyday for one week. 

At the end of the week, take stock, reflecting upon the impact it has had on you. 

In your first week, pause to reflect one time each day, in your second week two, in the third three.

Jewish prayer practice recommends pausing to center three times each day. 
Muslim practice recommends five.

Choose the frequency and time of day that is right for you.

  1. When? Select a time of day and duration for your practice. Consider dawn, dusk and before sleep, as these are powerful moments of transition, when your biorhythms resonate with the ebb and flow of the natural world.  If you are a person who is tethered to a digital device, consider scheduling a calendar reminder to support you in fulfilling your commitment to yourself. 

  2. Where? Chose a location and stick with it. In time, your body will come to associate your spot with this practice. If you are very mobile, consider practicing at the start and end of the day, from home. Alternatively, even the back seat of your car can be transformed into a sacred space, with the right intention. Muslims and yogis make use of a prayer mat, so that they can transform any location to a setting for prayer. 

  3. What? Your tasks are to arrive, quiet, center, and set intentions. To do that, go to your designated place for practice at your designated time.  Begin by taking five calming breaths, in which you hold your attention only on the feeling of breath entering and exiting your body. Should you notice that your attention has wandered, take five more. Give yourself as much time as you need to arrive. Practice time is not a time for planning, worrying or regretting. Be here now. Move through the three postures of practice, giving each an equal portion of your practice time.

  4. How? Join me, by clicking below in chanting, writing or speaking your prayers. Choose the modality that is right for you and stick with it for the week. At the end of each week, you might chose to shift modalities, until you settle into the practice that is right for you.

Calling In

Your quiet, deep, holy wanting is sacred and a part of your intrinsic humanness. Give yourself space to feel what you most want and need today. Name those things. Bless your wanting. Know that the nature of the world is abundance and that all prayers are heard. 

Giving Thanks

If you are breathing, you're blessed. Having acknowledged your wants and needs in this moment, move to gratitude. List your blessings in concrete terms. No blessing is too small or too large. Notice, in your listing, that blessedness can, and always does, co-exist with imperfection. 

Standing in Awe

Having said both "please" and "thank you," zoom out the lens of your perspective, settling into a gaze that is soft and broad. Feel the ways in which you are a part of something so much bigger, such that any particular thought or emotion that might be pulling at your heart today, can be experienced as small and fleeting. 

Kabbalah teaches "leit atar panui minei
​There is no place that is devoid of God.
​All is born in Source.
​All ends in Source.
​Source is All.
​There is none but Source.

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