I received this question last week
If you will, when you pray, to whom do you pray? Keep in mind that I understand the word pray as a hebrew word which literally means ‘to ask’.
I don’t pray in words, or in direct asking:
The process of prayer is a process of connection to wholeness, touching into the weave of living unity.
While in Taoism we do have phrases and such. I don’t go there since it’s too easy to misinterpret the translation.
I think the best way for me to say this is:
I pray with a mixture of:
- Seeing a wholesome connection to be made,
- Asking out: By speaking in personal actions of kindness, that clarify that connection.
- Then releasing into acceptance
If you live well, life itself is the prayer and your dance of actions speak out and ripple to replay back with answers to prayers put forth. Simply in this mixture of intention, personal action and acceptance.
A Taoist friend who runs a weekly circle sent me this
A man walking through the forest saw a fox that had lost its legs and wondered how it lived. Then he saw a tiger come in with game in its mouth. The tiger had its fill and left the rest of the meat for the fox. The next day the gods fed the fox by the means of the same tiger. The man began to wonder at the greatness of the deities and said to himself, “I, too, shall just rest in a corner with full trust that the universe will provide me with all I need.”
He did this for many days but nothing happened, and he was almost at death’s door when he heard a voice say, “ Oh, you who are in the path of error, open your eyes to the truth! Follow the example of the tiger and stop imitating the disabled fox!” Sufi
Many Taoists call upon the immortals or a particular immortal to focus the prayer. Yet know being immortal is accepting one’s full nature.
I call upon my heart and a connection of completeness we all share with the universe. Some would term that a higher power. In my acceptance, the weave into which we perform the asking doesn’t need to be defined, as such you can even say Tao at that point…
There is a point in Taoist practice where one achieves clarity of thought, no thought, just potentials which as a practitioner we embrace, activate and explore. I teach this to all my students, it’s a core part of how to explore Taoism.
I no longer channel thought since it’s outside to how I even “think” so to speak. On a normal day to day moment, I let my mind reside within a area of crystal like clarity.
Meditation and mantra are practices to focus awareness. Now what happens when you simply live in clarity and awareness outside the need for meditation and mantra? This means being within an undefinable space where clarity of thought… means no thought, but rather simply being fully present in one’s life.
It’s when in this clarity, it’s possible to channel, to help others, or pray, by holding space in manner to aid another person’s heart of being, in kindness to share and open up potentials for others as required when they are open or are in release to discovering their nature. To help assist connection to occur.
This is a form of prayer: but channeled of kindness in supporting those around us. To help connect another truly: both to their center of heart and to the larger world they are part of.
How I say and do this… well depending on who I talk to… I can describe it in a thousand different ways, all the same thing… just perception colors how we label the process.
and for many this is…