Monday, February 18, 2013
Breathing and prayer
As I attempt to understand an attention to breathing, I focus the attention at the base of the spine. All of the action of breathing in actually takes place here, regardless of what the lungs and the diaphragm do. And it is necessary for there to be an openness at the base of the spine, just like there is an openness at the top of the head.
These two kinds of openness are different, but they're also the same. Each one requires an intimate, gentle, and lightly focused attention in order to come into relationship with it. Then, the top of the head and the bottom of the spine will take whatever action they need to in terms of receiving a higher energy. But they are slightly different actions; the transmission of energy is different according to the direction it passes through.
So the breathing can become a whole action that is concentrated at the base of the spine, which is open. This only requires attention; to that extent, it isn't an exercise. But the spine must become open because the root, the foundation, of Being must be just as open as what it reaches towards. A new understanding of this can make the idea of man as a bridge between two levels more immediate; it's not an idea, it's an organic condition.
Concurrent with the openness of the spine, and the concentration of energy in this location — which reciprocates with energy in other parts, including the top of the spine — prayer arises. Prayer is spontaneous and immediate, not constructed or thought of. Prayer does not request that things be changed; it acknowledges. And it is never initiated; it is received. The sacred forces that call for prayer simply and spontaneously become active, and provide the prayers that are necessary — not prayers that are taught, or prayers that are thought of as effective. What comes are the prayers that have actual action in relationship to who I am, where I am, what I am doing.
One cannot give these prayers. This is because this kind of prayer is intimate and a matter between a human being and God. It must be allowed to have its spontaneous quality, without any preconceived conditions. If its individual secrets are revealed, they will make no sense to other people. Each individual receives the prayer they need in exactly the form they need it in, if the attention opens to the inner conditions. There's no use in initiating a chant, because the chant that is formed in relationship to conditions initiates itself. Any other form of vocalization comes from the ego, no matter how sincere it appears to be.
I could also say localization, because true prayer is a localized force of the sacred, instinctively expressing its relationship to the higher. Of course I wouldn't be able to know what this should consist of; I am not connected to this force enough to understand what is needed. Only the force itself knows what is needed; and only submission to it will bring out the qualities that are needed to create a prayer that fully functions within the context of attention to breathing.
May your soul be filled with light.