Thursday, January 15, 2009

Prayer

It's another morning where I am up very early. Earlier, even, than when I was getting up when I was employed. I have had a cup of coffee, and done a brief skype video conference with a Chinese supplier.

Now I find myself here pondering the state of the energy in my body at this early hour.

Several things strike me about what is available. One of them is that there is an "unusual" intimacy and sensitivity that is available when there is a finer energy in the body first thing in the morning. The body creates some of this finer energy every night; seeking a contact with that energy -- in a gentle but attentive manner -- can help lay a foundation for a thread to follow me through the day.

The second thing that strikes me is the distinctly emotional quality of this energy.

Yes, sensation is present in a greater degree, and in a more organic sense, than is usually the case. Attention can help me to be present to this; attention, and an awareness of the breathing. I am in this body; all of the Being which awareness creates discovers itself within the context of this physical coating.

But sensation alone is only the beginning of what is needed in work. It is an emotional quality that adds to and deepens an understanding of how and why I need to work. When this quality finds itself in relationship with the intelligence and the body, a different understanding about the nature of life begins to arise.

We spend most of our lives immersed in coarser emotions, crude emotional substances that are powerful but without finesse. They are explosively reactive, and mislead us constantly.

It's the appearance of a force of a finer quality from the emotional center that can call me to a better sense of what I lack, of what is missing in me. What is missing in me is humility; what is missing is a sense of my smallness, and the need for prayer.

If a finer emotional quality arrives, the question of prayer becomes an organic question. Prayer is no longer a set of words or ideas; prayer is a state that arises within the body. It is a wish that has no words, but reaches out in silent urgency in the hopes of help from a higher level. Perhaps, then, it finds its words; it finds words of praise and thanks that arise spontaneously from the core of Being.

Prayer is the natural state of man--or at least it should be. The lack of a proper inner connection generally causes man to misunderstand prayer as a set of words, a group of formulas. If we can discover a silence within ourselves,--if we can inhabit sensation--if some finer substance begins to express itself in our emotional state--then we may know something real about prayer.

Until then, it's just an idea.

There is one true thing about this "work persona" I mentioned yesterday which lends itself some legitimacy in the midst of my justified suspicions. To remember to be in relationship using this set of habits gives me the possibility of staying a bit closer to this question of prayer. It is a reducing factor.

Reducing factors are elements of inner work, generated by finer substances, which help me to see how small I am, and to melt some of the crystallized arrogance that dwells in me.

I find that I would like to explain that idea more, but perhaps it's better to just leave it there.

As has been the case for several years now, I am called back to a sense of specificity and intimacy. The act of self observation becomes quite specific; what is observed is not the coarser outer manifestations, but the inner state: the state of the energy, the state of the connection, the state of sensation. The self arises from this energy in the body; self observation becomes the study of the energy itself, in action, in life. And this is an intimate activity; there is an opportunity to discover the deeper roots of being, that lie at the base of the organism's work, and tie this phenomenon of intellectual consciousness into the system of the body and the emotions.

So today, it's a return to this quiet intimacy that I wish to study. Every time I come back to myself, rediscovering this quality that resides in the base of the organism, I discover that sensation and emotion are indeed present, in a quality that I am not usually attentive to.

If I begin there, everything else in life has a quality that is unavailable without my attention.

May our hearts be opened, and our prayers be heard.

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