Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Coming Out

The journey is almost over; the practice is nearly complete.  We began at the Centering Bead and then prepared ourselves through four Entering Beads.  First, then, came Naming, and five breath prayers.  Then there was Knowing, followed by five more breath prayers.  Then Listening, with another five breath prayers.  And we've just completed Loving.  Now we are at the last four beads, which mirror the Entering Beads with which we began.

This is the "cool down" of our spiritual cross-training.  If you called in the four directions as you entered in, now's the time to let them go.  If you recited the four Bodhisattva Vows, repeat them again.

For me, I repeat the prayer I've created:

Open my eyes, the I might see your face in every person I might and seek your fingerprint in every situation I encounter (myself and my family and the things of my life included);

Opening my ears, that I might hear your voice in every form it takes, especially those I would rather not hear;

Open my hands, that I might let go of striving after control and false security;

Open my heart, that I might live and love more fully and deeply in you -- you who created me, you who redeem me, and you who sustain me.

It is fascinating to me how these words change from the beginning of the prayer time to the end -- the experiences along the way cause new resonances, new shadings to be revealed and I hear them often as entirely different the second time I say them than I did the first.

And that's one of the purposes of prayer -- of any religious practice, really.  Transformation.

May it be so for you.

In Gassho,

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