THE BLOG
04/16/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

How To Pray

Whatever your religious belief/non belief, practice or stance we all try to achieve a moment of silence or peaceful meditation at one time or another. I've tried to recreate my own spiritual moment as it occurs to me most often. I hope some of you recognize yourself here.

This is the inner dialogue of prayer:

Ok, let's settle down and release all other thoughts.
Hey, there's Rob, let's wave . . .
Focus in.
Maybe I should pee before I start the prayer . . .
Ok, focus . . .
Maybe if I can get these seven random thoughts down to one I can focus and pray better.
Ok, releasing thoughts of the walk here.
Releasing the itch on my shoulder . . .
Releasing all thoughts other than the prayer and meditation . . .
(Silence, breath and focus for one second . . .)
Hey, that's pretty good, you're almost focused.
Shhh, that means you too.
Ok. Now I'm focusing. . .
(Gentle mumbling of prayer)
Really good job of focusing there . . .
EXCEPT for the voice telling me I'm focusing - please be quiet!
You know, if there's two of us talking then who is this third me watching? Are we all ONE?
Shhhh, focus, no voice, no thought, no interruption . . .
(One whole second of no-thing)
You know I could write an article about how tough it is to achieve a meditative state of prayer . . .
Shhhh . . .
Breathe in, breathe out, empty, release . . .
Maybe I should pee after all . . .
The article could be all of these voices interfering with a meditative state . . .
What voices?
There's that itch again; do I scratch it or will it go away if I focus?
I wonder what's for lunch today?
Rob's chatting with David. You think they finished the prayer already?
What did I just pray? I saw the words but have no idea what they said.
Go back and say them again.
I did and they still went by and I don't know what I just prayed.
Then start from here, now, and just finish strong.
Silence, focus, let go of all thoughts.
(A moment of no-thing)
Nicely done, you were really focused there for a moment.
No I wasn't I have no idea what I just prayed.
It's not about the words, it's about the intention.
But I have no idea what I just prayed so . . .
And the article could be about how all of these voices compete . . .
Shh, don't waste this chance to touch a higher . . .
Only, if there's only one center, how come there are so many voices?
Now I have to pee and I have an itch.
Shh, focus, meditate on the words.
Everyone else is looking around and I'm only halfway done.
They must pray faster.
How is it possible? I just turned the page and have no idea what I just read!
Focus, breathe, center, release . . .
There, that word, that phrase: let it resonate.
You're 'thinking' again!
I'm not just 'thinking', I'm experiencing the inspiration of the words . . .
Can't you just 'not think' and just 'be'? Doesn't everyone say, 'Just BE'?
I'm just 'be-ing' but if I can't notice it with my brain how can I know it happened?
Maybe you don't need to 'know' things and can just 'feel' open and at one?
Buddhist joke?
NO! Focus.
Just one and then I'll just 'BE'.
No. Focus, breathe, empty out . . .
Come on, you know it because I know it and let's just get it out of the way.
NO!
It's like 'don't think of FIRE ENGINE RED'; and then you can't NOT think of fire engine red.
I came here to pray and meditate.
So get rid of the distraction and stop talking about it!
Breathe, focus; Sh*t! I've been looking at the words but have no idea what I just prayed!
The Dali Llama goes up to a hotdog vendor in Chicago . . .
Just the last few words and then I'll move on with consciousness . . .
And he says 'Make me one with everything!'
Breathe, focus, use this time to . . .
I'll tell that to Rob and David over lunch.
Ooooh, that phrase, I get it suddenly - it means to 'let go of judgment like it's something you physically carry' . . .
Nice thought and realization . . .
Shhhhh, I'm having an 'aha' moment and don't need an 'uh huh' thought . . .
That's it; prayer's finished. Everyone else is moving on to the next prayer . . .
But I want to be transformed . . .
You have to keep up . . .
But I want to meditate on a spiritual plane . . .
You're looking at the page and the words just slip by . . .
But I need to be transformed . . .
Just 'BE' . . .
QUIET!
Sh#t, now I really do have to pee!
One deep breath.
There's always next time.
Amen .

Thanks for indulging me as I had a little fun with this. You may now ask: What's the point? The point is that I invite you all to take the time to pray, meditate or even just sit in a room and think about the future you want to create, for yourself and for the world. Don't wait for conditions to be just right and forgive yourself for any time your mind wanders.

As for myself, I'd rather pray badly than not at all. The times when I get is 'just right' though . . .

Amen!