Collecting prayers from the 129 people in How Do You Pray? and thousands of people around the world, I realized we are all part of a prayerfield, an energetic flow of love for ourselves, each other, the Earth and All That Is.
People are always praying, in every language, culture and religion. Every hour of the day and night someone is holding the vigil of prayer. It's as if our prayers merge with all the prayers ever said, felt or visioned to create an energetic template. As we know from quantum physics, energy follows intention. Our prayers do touch the Earth.
Here's how research paleoanthropologist Hank Wesselman discovered the prayerfield, in an excerpt from the book.
For much of my professional life, I have worked as an anthropologist and worshiped solely at the altar of science. Then, in July of 2003, I was taken to a place of great power on the side of the most sacred mountain in Polynesia, the volcano Mauna Kea in the center of Hawai'i Island. I was in the company of a revered Hawaiian elder and chief named Hale Kealohalani Makua, who was a well-known kahuna mystic. Half a head taller than me, with a long white ponytail down his back and a white bushy beard framing his dark face, Chief Makua had considerable presence.
On that day, we walked together up the rocky incline among scrubby trees and bushes at the 9,000-foot level, the chief leaning heavily on his carved walking stick. When we achieved the ridge directly above us, we found ourselves on the rim of an almost perfect circular crater, much like a steep bowl, more than a hundred yards across and several hundred feet deep. This place, Makua told me, was called Ha'i Wahine--Speaking Woman.
It was mid-morning. The chief's eyes ranged outward and his lips whispered a longish prayer in Hawaiian. Above us, the mountain rose in all its magnificence to almost 14,000 feet. Before us, the unimaginable blue mass of its sister mountain loomed above us to the south, the volcano Mauna Loa of almost equal height. Makua had brought me to this place to encounter a mountain spirit.
The chief finished his prayer, then glanced at me. "What you now need to do is this: First you must walk the circumference of this crater rim three times," gesturing to his right. He smiled. "Then I will tell you what comes next."
I knew that Makua was interested to see how Nature would respond to me. He watched speculatively as I considered the landscape around us. There was no trail to follow, but I set off along the crater rim. I hadn't gone far when, without warning, a most amazing thing happened. As I walked along the ridge, picking my way carefully between the stones, I began to pray. It was as though I had passed into some "prayer field," for lack of a better term, and almost immediately, I was praying hard.
I prayed for myself and for my family, for Makua and for his family, for the ancestors and for the spirits, and for all of humanity who seemed to have lost their way. I prayed for our often-misguided administration in Washington, and for the leadership at all levels of human society, everywhere, and I prayed for all the peoples of the world. And as I prayed, I walked, and each intake and out-breath of air through my lungs was a prayer.
Throughout, my scientist's mind was taking this all in. I had never engaged in prayer at this level before, yet prayer, I reasoned, was a way of talking to the gods and to the spirit of this place. Perhaps I had wandered into an energetic "prayer zone" that had been established here long before my time. I wondered if this was part of Nature's response.
When I approached the chief at the end of my first circuit, he was watching me with interest. "You see that stone over there?" he asked me, pointing to his right. There, on the rocky substrate, was a small lava bomb about the size and shape of an American football and pointed at both ends. The stone's curious layering gave it the appearance of having eyes. "I was sitting here watching you circumnavigating the rim, and that stone spoke to me," the chief told me. "It said, 'Hey... who's that guy?' So I replied, 'And who are you?' We then had an interesting conversation in which I told the stone who you are. That stone then said to me 'Oh!'"
Makua watched me as I looked at the stone carefully. "The stone said that you don't have to walk around again...that you're ready to go down into the crater. And as you do, you must pray... you must pray to the spirit that resides here, and in your prayer, you must offer her your aloha and state your intentions for being in this place. And then, if she is so inclined," he grinned, "she will respond."
Allow me to say in all humility that when I emerged from the crater a couple of hours later, I was somewhat mind-blown, for the spirit did respond ... and with great love. Makua looked me over with satisfaction. My life has never been quite the same, and every breath ... and every moment of every day ... is now a prayer.
The chief then shared this thought with me: "Know that when you offer prayer, you find love within its pure form, and you are no longer finite. In those moments, you have found your eternity. When we are able to let our love free to ride the wind of spirit, and this is our breath that carries our prayers, we are now following the blueprint we have laid out for our own growth. And it is precisely then that we may choose how we shall serve that mystery that created us and all that is..."