Morning Meditation : Prayers - Page 4 of 4|
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 change 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
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 maketr 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 villan, 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
accepatnce. 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
Accepantance 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 causeproblems, 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.
I am not interested in changing the condition of my mind. I am interested in changing my understanding, my attitudes. To know what I can change and what I cannot change is as important as acceptance and change. Without the knowledge of what I cannot change, I cannot accept. What will I accept? Nor,
without knowledge, Can I strive to change what I can.
When I blame someone for what was done to me in the past, it means that I want the past, it means that I want the past to be different. It cannot be different. Pain and anger were my responses to situations in the past that I blame. In blaming, I retain my pain and anger.If I refuse to blame, not
with my will but with understanding, with my heart, then there is acceptance.
Let me see clearly that I cannot change the situations that have caused me pain. That I was subject to pain, I cannot change. That I continue to retain the pain by blaming, I can drop. I see clearly the wisdom in accepting the past. I see clearly how I can bring about changes in my understanding of the
realities with reference to myself , the world, and God, and I strive for that understanding. May my time and energy be directed towards changing what I can, and towards changing what I cannot.
I stay with the present I an aware of what happens now.
We use a number of techniques for changing the obtaining condition of the mind. Prayer, however, is not a technique. Prayer is centered on the person, the total person, and it comes from the person who sees clearly his or her helplessness in a given situation.
I may use techniques, but I realize my helplessness because the situation is not centered on my will or even on my understanding. I realize the helplessness of the situation. I give up not to despair but into the hands of the Lord.The whole person that is me submits to the Lord. This is the meaning of surrender, the meaning of salutation, NAMASTE ASTU BHAGAVAN, " O LORD, MAY THIS SALUTATION BE UNTO YOU."
I see an order. This order, which is the world, is not created by me. I am born into this order. I am part of this order. The order has been; the order is. In this order I find myself an integral part. Because this order is not authored by me, or anyone like me, I appreciate its authorship in a being who is all knowing, in a being we call God, the Lord. That Lord cannot be out there, outside this world, because there is no place outside the world. Nor can that Lord be in a corner of this world, like me.
If that Lord is the author of the world, is not separate from the Lord. The Lord is the maker as the material of this world. The lord being the material cause, the world is not separate from the Lord. The order is of the Lord; the order is the Lord. To that order I submit. To that Lord I submit. The Lord's
form includes my physical body, mind and senses. His knowledge includes my knowledge. The power he wields includes my power. The Lord is all. My submission is just this- acceptance of the Lord being all.
As an individual, when I see myself helpless, I seek help from the Lord to gracefully accept what I cannot change. I do not want to change my mind. All that I care about is the capacity to accept gracefully what I cannot change.
I realize that there are a number of things that I cannot change, but still I wish they were different. I wish I were born in a different era. I wish I were a male. I wish I were a female. I wish I were born an only child. I wish I had few brothers and sisters. I wish I had been understood as a child. I wish I had a home where there was a better order and more understanding. I wish my parents had better means. I wish I had a better education. I wish I have studied when I was supposed to study. I wish I had chosen another profession. I wish this marriage had taken place. I wish my physical body were a couple of inches taller. I wish I had a blond hair. I wish I were born in a different society. I wish I had a religion I could own. I wish the concept of God was not of one who punishes. I wish I could pray.
Even this wishing mind is one that resists acceptance. Any overt expressed wish, or a lurking, vague wish, any wish at all, with reference to the past, is a will to change what I cannot change. Even the Lord cannot change what has already happened. I can lose my memory of the past, but all the riches
of the experiences would be lost in the process. In fact, I submit myself to the Lord, praying for his help to accept gracefully what I cannot change.
O Lord, help me totally accept my entire past. If I have rounds of births, help me accept all of them.
There are different types of acceptance. When we accept the past, what type of acceptance is it? It is an acceptance with resentment or is it just a plain, simple acceptance? When I accept with resentment or reluctance, my attitude toward what is accepted is distinct. When I accept totally, the frame of mind is different A job given to me that I do not like, I accept with either reluctance or resentement. But when someone offers me a flower, I accept it totally with thankfulness and cheerfulness.
The frame of mind necessary for acceptance is one that obtains when I accept something cheerfully, as I do when I accept certain aspects of nature like the mountains, trees, or sky.To understand this frame of mind imagine a clear blue sky or a nightly sky lit by the moon and the many stars and planets,
all of them shining, glittering. I do not want the sky to be different, much less the stars , the moon, and those floating clouds and cloudlets. Nor do I want myself to be different. There is total acceptance.
Here, I am totally objective; my wants, my likes, and dislikes are resolved. I do not blame the sky. I do not blame anything. I am totally objective. I accept what is. If I have to accept my past, all those characters, people, and situations that comprise my past, that played roles in making my past, I accept them as I accept the sky. Can I, with the same frame of mind, accept the people that played roles in my past? Each one has contributed to my past, to my hurt, to my pain, and to my sorrow.
While I acknowledge their contribution, I cannot afford to blame any of them. Each one has acted as he or she did because of his or her past. No one could do more than what he or she did. As a child, I could not do better either. Therefore, I accept the child in me and my interpretation of the various
situations. I totally accept each of the people involved. I come to bear upon any given person with the same frame of mind that obtains when I see a clear blue sky.
I accept my mother, her problems, her attitudes, her lack of sensitivity, with the same frame of mind. I accept my father, his problems, his habits, his anger, his lack of thoughtfulness. I have no difficulty in accepting their virtures. The problem is only with reference to the person's lack of thoughtfulness and sensitivity.
Each person is as he or she can be. No one can be more than what one is. I accept the fire as it is - hot. I accept it and deal with it. So too, objectively, I accept my father and mother, my sisters and brothers.
All these people who have come into my life, contributing some degree of pain in one way or the other, all of them I accept. I do this knowing full well that each one has caused me a degree of pain. I do not say they were angels. I do not say they were good to me. I acknowledge their roles in causing me
pain. At the same time, I accpet them objectively as they are, as they were-my teachers, co-students, friends, boyfriends and girlfriends, all of whom contributed their bit to my hurt. I come to bear upon them, one by one, with the same frame of mind that obtains when I look at the sky.
I may not have the mind that obtains when a flower is offered to me. I may have this kind of mind later, but for now, all I want is a mind that obtains when I look at the sky, the mountains, the trees, the birds, the animals in their own habitat. Just as I look at them objectively, so too, I accept each individual as I recall each of them. It is a thorough process. I do not leave out anyone. I do not blame anyone.
Generally, we blame ourselves. This is another mistake. I do not blame myself. I was totally helpless in my childhood and often helpless in my later years. The personality that formed itself in my childhood when I was helpless continued to interpret situations, keeping me helpless. So I am not to blame, not do I want to blame others. I cannot afford to blame others.
O Lord, I pray to be given that frame of mind that will totally accept every individual I have been connected to and affected by. Each one is only as he or she can be. I blame none of them. Give me the frame of mind to accept these people as they are, as they were.
I do not want to change my past because I cannot change it. I cannot change events that have already happened. I cannot change my responses either. All that I seek, O Lord, is an objective frame of mind. If not a cheerful frame of mind, please give me an objective frame of mind so that I can accept all of these characters who played roles in the drama of my life. What a drama! I do not want to change the drama. It has already been staged.
Let me have the frame of mind which helps me look back on the whole drama and each of the characters objectively, with amusement. I do want to change any of the events because I cannot change any of them. I do not want to change. When I blame, I want to change. When I complain, I want to change. When I have resentment, I want to change. Let me have the frame of mind that will
accept all of these characters and my responses to them.
When I accept something, what do I do? Is it just a sentence, "I accept"? a mere sentence does not imply acceptance. Sometimes I accept something without saying so.
Acceptance implies a certain attitude on my part. When I accept something, I give it the freedom to what it is. I do not want the thing to be different from what it is.
Acceptance implies granting freedom to the object of acceptance to be what it is. In giving that freedom I do not demand that the object be differnt from what it is. The mere word, acceptance without understanding its implications does not help. I accept the child as the child is. I accept a tree. I
accept the sun, the moon. I accept a bird its color, its behavior.I accept chemical as it is.I accept sugar as it is. I accept poison as it is. Acceptance does not imply that I have to use it. In acceptance, there is
objectivity. I let things be as they are.
With reference to my past, however I do not let it be as it is. I do not accept it because it has caused me pain. Due to my helplessness I subjected myself to pain, to hurt. Therefore, the painful past is not acceptable to me. Can I bring myself to expect the past ? When I bring myself to bear upon the past, can I be the same person that I am when I accept the sky ?
How do I accept the sky ? What frame of mind do I have when I accept the sky? That same frame of mind I bring to bear upon my mother and father - whether they are alive are not. In the same way, I accept my friends, my relatives, employers, my grandparents, my children, my partner in life. Individually, I accept every one of them because I give them the freedom to be what they are. I do not blame the sky because it is or is not blue.
I bring this same person to bear upon those with whom my life has been cast. They are all different characters in the drama of my life. I free myself from blaming any one of them. I blame no one, nor do I blame myself.
O Lord, please give me the serenity, the clarity, to accept gracefully what I cannot change and change what I can. I cannot change the past for it has already happened. But I change my attitudes, my understanding. I can bring about a change in my attitude towards myself, towards the world by widening my understanding. Let me change what I can, and grant me the wisdom to know the difference between what I can and cannot change.
In so many words, I pray
Om Tat Sat
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