Meditation or prayer? Quite often I am asked at the understanding of how I have found peace with being raised a practicing Catholic and choosing to follow what was instinctively clear in Zen Buddhism. There is a distinct difference and although since I was a young teenager I took the path of Zen, t he inner peace that I find within through meditation has been instrumental in instilling my spiritual life.
Recently I have been in business with people that prayer is their only source. It is the way in which they honor their higher power, and in doing so try to inspire others to find their way. "It is in the praying and asking that you will receive, in Jesus' name". Respectfully, I listened as I am always curious as to how people connect to their higher spirit. I believe every individual should have the choice. Yet in doing so, I found that my practices in Zen Buddhism and Eastern methods were unacceptable to their understanding, and although I have been practicing for over thirty years, I seemed diminished in the light of their prayer.
Prayer is powerful, I do not deny that. I have had personal experiences with the healing power of prayer. I know my prayers, I will not forget them, forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It is the daily life of a person, the goodness that they do every day, the difference that they make in inspiring others and helping those in need. Not through the recital of a prayer, but through their own path, for they honor the life that they have been given and appreciate the limited time we have. There should be no need to ask forgiveness if in the work we do, it is done with love and light.
Yet, I chose to meditate more frequently, listen more than ask. Methods inspired by Buddhism, Hinduism and Zen, transcendental meditation, zazen, yoga, walking meditation, connecting with nature ... this is my Eastern promise. In these meditations, silence leads you into a still mind where you experience a mental and physical inner peace. To chose meditation, that is a disciplined prayer. It is listening, not asking that I have found to be the closest to the universal light.
Love and Light...
copyright 2012 MaryEllen Malinowski, Zen Living by design | zenlivingbydesign.com Infrared Light International
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