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Flowing into wordless prayer

February 2, 2011

Ever since Swami Shraddhananda spoke to a group of us about prayer for The Gaia Minute,  the phrase ‘wordless prayer’ has been swimming in my consciousness.

Recently, some of us were speaking about silence in the context of wordless prayer. What is silence? What and why is wordless prayer required?  Sometimes the question rises – is it possible to pray wordlessly? If we see something distressing happening, is it possible not to pray for a certain outcome? To pray but not ask even for peace? For harmony? For joy? For balance?

The words by Swami Shraddhananda are very clear -“The prayer that I am suggesting is, pray for nothing. Pray just for the sake of praying. And there is not even an intention… there’s nothing. There’s just you and the universe. There’s just being. Just expanding. Just giving.”

Earlier he had said:”Prayer has no definite form. It can vary, it can be just a silent prayer. In fact the best prayer is a wordless prayer. Absolutely no words. Nothing. Just expanding into the wide expanse around you and
beyond the earth to the universe. It’s giving. Just give. And just be quiet and merge.”

And that’s the key isn’t it? Picture this – you are moving towards the One, whatever name you use, and even better, if there is no name.  No form. No being. Internally, you still your physical body, you allow thoughts to move in and out, thereby not flowing with them, not allowing them to move your awareness, and so you move into stillness, into that silent space within and around you. There is awareness, stillness, silence.

How can words arise?

Those who are called ‘healers’ or ‘Reiki practitioners’ or ‘light-workers’, experience this wordless prayer as sending or beaming light.  In healing, we are asked to have the intention of ‘the highest good of all concerned.”  We can start with an intention, but while channeling light from a universal source, there are no words, no intention. Just a clear channel. It can take a lifetime of effort – if not many lifetimes – to achieve this state.  Still, that intention is the closest thought towards wordless prayer, for who but the One can know what is the ‘highest good of all concerned”? Who but the One knows ‘all’ concerned?

What other prayer can possibly arise that is more effective than this connection?

When I was in my late teens, a river of thought began to flow subconsciously through my mind. It had words, and they startled me for they never stopped: “Not my will, but thine, be done.” I have since read of this in Christian contexts, but at that time, I had not read or heard it in quite this format. It became a silent companion, and yet a relentless one. I realized that whenever I prayed, I could find no words to ask for what I wanted; yet whenever there was something specially troubling or specially wonderful, I would pray.

New Year’s resolutions fell away, as did goals and desires. This is the state I would have earlier thought of as dull, yet I had never felt more vibrant. The feeling that from a small vantage point, it was impossible to know what is right for me or others, was very strong. That kind of letting go of control even of dreams and desires, yet knowing that there is a flow towards an outcome, prepared me for the work I needed to do later. It brought an awareness of that peaceful, tranquil place within, from which the outer life could be lived, handled, tackled, emoted, felt.

I remember the day I got a message to follow my dream, and I realized that I may have no desires that I could verbalize, but I did have a dream. It was wordless, indescribable. I can speak of it, but not about it, for when I approach it,  I merge into it. It has color, sound, patterns, space, light, dark. That I know. But if you ask me to describe it, it is not possible.

That is how I feel when I become still. Dream, prayer. Connection, stillness. All flow into each other.

“Just be still. And merge.”

6 Comments leave one →
  1. shanmugananda permalink
    February 3, 2011 2:42 am

    for peace? For harmony? For joy? – Everything got a double for it like Peace has war,harmony has disharmony, joy has sorrow, so when we forget both there is nothing. That is the balancing of both. Mind must be quiet, it is the actual silence. Silence, please!

  2. Barbara Rodgers permalink
    February 10, 2011 8:00 am

    “What other prayer can possibly arise that is more effective than this connection?” I think I’m getting this, Meenakshi. After years of trying to cope with the teaching that there was a proper way to pray and that prayers were only heard through the proper channel if the “correct” expressions were used for the right reason… Somehow I can’t use words anymore, and it feels authentic now. It seems like I wordlessly connect to light, energy, the universe, and that’s my prayer. I like the phrase you used, “moving towards the One…”

  3. February 11, 2011 11:48 pm

    Om… Silence… sacredness

  4. February 13, 2011 9:35 pm

    Such beautiful messages greeting me today, in words, and the spaces between the words where silence reigns.
    Thank you Anna, Barbara, Sanmugan.

    Barbara, I’m so blessed by your sharing the process. I also think that every step is precious and important; else we would not need words to call each other for silence.

  5. February 24, 2011 7:01 pm

    This is beautiful, Meenakshi. Your last two paragraphs, especially, moved my heart. I sat in silence this afternoon overlooking the lake–no thoughts, no desires–and yet feel a tugging to move deeper into the underwater flow. I sometimes have trouble with the word “prayer”, but that’s what it is when one is in that stateless state. namaste.

    • February 25, 2011 8:41 pm

      Kathy, thank you for your comments. They helped to bring the experience alive once again, and I can once again touch the indescribable. Connections – so empowering

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