Morning Meditation : Prayers - Page 2 of 4|
As a limited individual, I invoke the Lord's help, the Lord's grace, by an act of prayer. Being based on one's will, prayer is an action. It is an act invoking grace as well as a simple autosuggestion. As I sit in meditation, relaxed, I offer a prayer to the Lord whom I invoke in any given form, in any given name.
Lord may I have the maturity to accept gracefully what I cannot change; the will and effort to change what I can; and the wisdom to know the difference between what I can and cannot change.
I cannot change my childhood, my parentage, my entire past. What has happened in my life I cannot change. What has happened is happened. I cannot do anything about it. On the basis of what has happened, I have nothing to regret. I have no reason to be sad, depressed, or angry. I drop my anguish for what has happened. I accept gracefully whatever has happened in my life.
There are a lot of things that I can change, that I can repair. I seek the strength of will and the ablity to make proper, adequate efforts to change. I do not waste my time trying to change what I cannot change; nor do I waste my time putting up with unhealthy situations that I can change. The difference between the two- what I can and cannot change - is not easy to distinguish. It takes wisdom for which I again invoke you grace:
Lord, may I enjoy, have, the maturity to accept gracefully what I cannot change,the will and effort to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
I am just awake, alive to what happens at this moment. I lay down my will, my choice. I am just awake to the moment. Moment to moment, my being aware of the moment does not fluctuate. My being aware of the moment is an abiding, lasting, ever-present fact. My being aware is not in fits and starts. It is a presence, a presence which is always present.
What I am aware of at this moment is unique. The object changes; even these words are never the same. At this moment, a given word, a sentence, a sound, or an object changes. My being aware of what happens at this moment is not by choice. I am aware because I am an awareful presence. Free from memory, I am an awareful presence.
As an individual with a limited mind, a set of senses, and a body, I play different roles every day. As son, husband, father, uncle, friend, employer, and so on, I play different roles. All these roles are played by me, the individual.
When I think of my father, I am a son. When I think of my friend, I am a friend. In order to be a friend, I replace my father with my friend.
My relationship with the Lord is not the same. As an individual I am fundamentally related to the Lord, whether I recognize the relationship or not. This relationship is expressed by the word "devotee." As a devotee, when I assume the role of father or son, the devotee is not replaced This relationship between the individual, me, and the Lord is the same as that between my father and the Lord or my friend and the Lord. The devotee remains due to the abiding nature of the relationship with the Lord.
This relationship is an abiding relationship, a fundamental relationship born of recognition. As a person, an individual, I see myself a devotee. A relationship that exists with the Lord is recognized. Only then does religion have meaning.
As a devotee, I express my devotion in various forms. As a devotee, I invoke the help and the grace of the Lord by an act of prayer. Prayer is an action. Its result is what is called grace. I create the grace through the act of prayer. I require the grace to remove obstacles, problems, and difficulities. My efforts themselves are supported by the grace I win or earn. I invoke the grace of the Lord or I invoke the Lord:
Lord, may I have the capacity, the maturity, to accept gracefully what I cannot change, the will and effort to change what I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
As a child, I was helpless. My will was not with me. My mind was not informed enough to see, to interpret. Whatever happened to me as a child and later in life, I cannot do anything about. It happened in the past; it is past. What has happened has happened. May be there is a meaning to it all. May be the meaning is that I can now pray. All that happened may be valid for me to be what I am today.
May I accept gracefully what has happened in the past. May I have the maturity to do this. There are a lot of things I can change. I can change my attitudes toward myself and the world. I can tighten up my personal life if it is loose. If it is too tight, I can loosen up. I can change a lot of things. I can repair any damage done. May I enjoy the will, not merely an intention or a desire, but a will supported by adequate effort. May I have the will and effort to change what I can wherever I have to. And may I have the wisdom to know what I can and cannot change.
May I not vicitmize myself by subjecting myself to the past. Let me see clearly that I cannot alter what has happened. May I not have any regret, sadness, anger, or agitation on this score. Let me recognize very clearly thoughts about the past that I cannot change so that I can accept the past for what it is. Let me be aware of whatever I can change. Let this be clear to me. Let there be no doubt. Let me not waste my power and time trying to change what I cannot change. Trying to change what I cannot leaves me so powerless, helpless, and impoverished, that I cannot bring about the change that needs changing.
Lord, may I have the maturity to accept totally, gracefully what I cannot change, the will and effort to change what I can, and the knowledge of the difference between what I can and cannot change.
That you are not the past, you see by being awareful of the present.
The present moment.... You are aware of it.....
You are an awareful presence. In the awareful presence that you are, perceptions happen and the objects of perception are many and various. You are an awareful presence, an abiding, awareful presence.
Problems like anger, depression, sadness, self-criticism, and self- dissatisfaction all stem, for the most part, from one's childhood. I am not to blame for these problems. The outside world is to blame-parents, teachers, other elders and society consisting of a number of people, situations and events. All these are to blame. Either we blame ourselves illegitimately or blame others legitimately.
I free myself from blaming myself. I am not to blame for what happened to me as a child. As a child I was helpless. I did not have the necessary knowledge or information with which to understand, to take action appropriate to each situation. When someone else was to blame, I did not have the knowledge to say, "You are wrong." I thought I was wrong. I was not an adult and, therefore, could not make decisions and act upon them. Others had to make decisions and do things that affected me. I am not to blame.
I free myself from blaming others also. If I blame others, then I still carry the past. As long as I continue to blame, the factors that cause damage to me continue. The I that was subject to pain continues to be, along with anger and resentment.
I cannot forget my past. How can I? I know what has happened. How can I forget? To bury the past is easier said then done. No one can bury one's past. All I can do is to accept the past gracefully. I cannot afford to blame anyone or anything. Nor I can afford to blame myself. Even as an adult, any omission or commission on my part was determined by the helpless I that was the child . I see that I am not to blame. I also see the uselessness of blaming others.
I gracefully accept the past because I cannot afford to blame. Perhaps there was a meaning to all that has happened in my life. All is well that ends well. All that happened to me might be in order because now I am ready to accept the entire past gracefully. People do not accept what has happened even in their old age.That I now pleading to the Lord, " please help me accept this situation," makes the entire past meaningful.
Please help me, O Lord, Help me to accept my entire past gracefully. Let me not blame anyone, neither myself nor anyone else. Please help me accept the past gracefully.
There are number of things I can do. One thing is what I am doing right now. I can pray. I can my attitudes. I can change some of my personal habits- habits in thinking and in behaviour which cause recurring problems.
Let me have the will and effort necessary to fullfill that will so that I can bring about the desirable changes in my life. Let me be objective enough to drop and false ideas and concepts held by me against all evidence because of my emotional attachment to them. Let me have the courage and the honesty to drop ideas, beliefs, and speculations.
May I be open enough to explore, to know where there is valid belief. May I not be confused between a fact and a belief, nor between a valid and a baseless belief.
May I have the ablity to change, to reshuffle. Let me not be afraid to be wrong. Let me not be afraid to face up to the fact that my forefathers and my parents might have been wrong. May I have the love to know, the love to be objective.
O Lord, give me the will, courage, honesty, and sincerity of purpose to change what I can change.
A prayer is always from an individual. It is never from the self, atma, but from the individual, jiva. Who is nothing but atma, in fact. It is this individual who prays.
To whom does the individual pray? I do not pray to another individual. Any other individual also has the limitations that I have as an individual. The power and knowledge of the one I pray to are free from any limitation.
Let there be no confusion about whom the individual is praying to. The self? The individual is the self. The self is not an individual, but the individual is the self. Therefore the prayer is not towards the self but towards the self as Isvara. The self that is now an individual is praying to the self that is Isvara, the total, the Lord.
Let there be no confusion about this. A prayer is always to the Lord. Even the enlightened person who knows the meaning of the sentence, Tat Tvam Asi, "That Thou Art," can offer a prayer as an individual, is evident, even though there is no difference in fact.
Non-difference between the Lord and the individual is a matter for knowledge. That the difference is apparent, mithya, must be recognized. But, now as an individual, when I see myself helpless, I cannot but pray. So, prayer is not against the teaching. In fact, any form of ritual, also a kind of prayer, is not against the teaching. I pray because I seek help. Therefore the prayer is never to the laws themselves but to the laws as the Lord. Therefore, the prayer is always to the Lord, the maker of the world and its laws. Even a prayer directed to a deity, with reference to a given phenomenon, like sun, water, fire and so on, goes to the Lord.
I seek help in order to accept my past. The past is not a villain, nor does it have to be looked upon with contempt. The past makes me what I am. Every experience was an enriching experience. The problem is not that I have a past, but that I see myself as a victim of the past because I do not accept it. Let this be clear.I do not hate my past.
In such hatred there is denial of the past, rejection of the past. I cannot deny my past, much less reject it. The past has happened. It is an already established fact. I cannot do anything to alter the fact. The problem is that when I reject the past, when I resent anything about the past, I do not accept the past. The more I am able to see how the past cannot change, the more I become free of my resentments, anger, remorse, and so on.
We spend our time and energy resenting the past. I seek help here because it is one thing to understand the past but quite another to be free from resentement and anger towards it. Prayer itself is an action, and its result is called grace. I create the grace. I do not wait for grace to come to me. I invoke it by prayer. That I pray also produces a result because there is an acknowledgement of my own helplessness in the submission.
If I understand how I cannot change my past, why am I angry? why do I hate myself? why do I criticize myself? Well, I am helpless. In that acknowledgement oh helplessness and in the capacity to pray is my effort, my will. My will is used prudently in submitting. In submission, it is the will that is submitted, and to submit my will, I use my will.
One has to see the beauty of the prayer. There is no meditation, no ritual. without prayer. There is no technique which can replace prayer because in any technique the will is retained. Here. the will willingly submits. That submission performs the miracle. In the submission itself, there is an acceptance. Understand that in the submission there is acceptance of the past.
I do not change the self-criticizing mind. I do not want a mind that will not critize me or anyone else. That is not the issue for me. All that I want is to accept that mind. Let me accept the self-criticizing mind. When I say I accept my past, then I accept the outcome of the past. The outcome is self-criticism. I accept the mind as it is. I am not afraid of this self-juding mind, this self-condeming mind. All that I seek is to totally accept this self-criticizing mind.
O Lord, help me accept the mind, the self-judging, self-criticizing, self-condemning, self-pitying mind, to me. Please help me. I submit my will because I have tried to use my will to change. It did not work. It will never work. And therefore I give up. I give up, not helplessly. I give up prudently and deliver myself, my will, into your hands. I have no reason for despair. All I seek is this acceptance of the past with its outcome. I am not avoiding self-criticism. I want your grace to accept self-criticism.
Acceptance of the past implies accepting the outcome of the past. If there is an innate anger or sadness, it is the outcome of the past. Sometimes anger and sadness are manifest; sometimes they are not. When I want to accept the past, I accept the outcome, too. My manifest anger, pain, depression, and so on, all stem from the past.My prayer to the Lord is to help me accept the past along with its outcome.
I am not interested in changing a given habit of thinking. I am interested in accepting the habit. Acceptance may bring about a change in the habit. If a change happens, it happens but it is not why I pray.
O Lord, I pray for the serenity to gracefully accept my entire past and its outcome.
What I have to change is my attitude. The prayer to accept the past with its outcome is for a change of attitude on my part towards my past along with its outcome is for a change of attitude on my part towards my past, towards my mind, towards people, money, the future, and towards my health and body. If these attitudes cause problems, let me change.
Let me have the will and courage to change my beliefs if they require change-blind beliefs, beliefs which are not valid because of the evidence against them. We tend to hold on to such a beliefs only because we have interested our time and heart in nursing them. Let me have the honesty and courage to drop these nursed, false beliefs. Let me change these beliefs for those that are valid. Let me see the difference between valid and false beliefs. Let my commitment to the pursuit of knowledge be unflinching.
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