Prayer: “… In the spacious moments between breaths and the dim shadows of awareness … are the seeds of life …” 

” … Honoring the ever-present Divine through regular prayer is a way of living close to the edge of spiritual experience while cultivating the strength of our spiritual senses …” ~ Jonathan Ellerby

sunrise ocean prayer ellerby

I sit watching my thoughts
Like endless birds in an endless sky
I wait for an end to the storm of wings
An end to the steam of flickering movements
Breath after breath
I begin to sink beneath it all
Slowly the waters rise around me
Soon the sky turns to dusk
Colors bleed and blur together as one
The birds are fewer now
They are almost gone

dusk prayer ellerby

Night pours in
It is growing more and more difficult
To hear the feathers overhead
The breath deepens and
I am flooded by the vastness
By the thick, dark night
A current comes over me

There is only stillness now, only peace

night stillness prayer ellerby

The intensity comes and goes with each wave
I let go and float in the clear space within
Rising and falling
Drifting

In the spacious moments
Between breaths
And the dim shadows of awareness

These moments are the seeds of life
I follow them into the blissful and shocking emptiness
Where I absorb them
One by one.

boat fog awareness prayer ellerby

~ Jonathan Ellerby, from the section titled “Mind Centered Practices” from his book “Return to the Sacred: Ancient Pathways to Spiritual Awakening

Prayer – Talk to God

In the Mind Centered Practices section, Jonathan explores three such practices: prayers, meditation, and sacred study. Below are some highlights from his exploration of Prayers

He suggests that “… prayers connect us with the capacity and potential in ourselves that can move spirit and energy and influence the world. Praying shapes thoughts, clarifies intent, energizes affirmations, and strengthens resolve and optimism. As we become clearer in our prayers, we become clearer in who we are, and our whole being begins to radiate the energy we seek. True prayer helps us become what we are praying for …”

And that “… If it’s ever present, then it’s always there. The Sacred is real and listening. Honoring the ever-present Divine through regular prayer is a way of living close to the edge of spiritual experience while cultivating the strength of our spiritual senses …”

Jonathan shares varying perspectives from others like his dear Shona African friend and spiritual teacher:

“We must be grateful for all the houses of prayer in this world, no matter what the tradition. Anyplace we can be close with the Great Spirit is a good place. Anyplace we can talk with that Spirit is a great place.

“And, my brothers and sisters, I hope that one day we’ll have no need for those places. I look forward to the day when we don’t feel we have to wait until special times to pray. And I look forward to the day when we no longer need special places to pray. I look forward to the day when we see that we are sacred and that the Great Spirit is anywhere we stand. Every home is a church, every man is a rabbi, and every woman is a guru. You are already as connected to the Spirit as you will ever be—don’t let anyone get in the way of that.” 

zen steps church at home prayer ellerby

And, Jonathan found that the same sentiments were echoed in the early 1900s by Black Elk, the great Native American medicine man: “… The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of [people] when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan Tanka [the Great Spirit], and that this center is really everywhere; it is within each of us.”

Finally, here are some of Jonathan’s own thoughts on prayers:

Prayer as a spiritual path isn’t about getting what you want, but about learning to love and bless the world as it is. It’s about coming into right relationship with The Sacred and surrendering to a higher order in life. Even scientific studies have shown that the most potent prayer remains Thy will be done. Your greatest prayers manifest when you learn to align yourself with the will and flow of The Sacred.

Prayer as a spiritual practice is a spiritual experience. When prayer is your spiritual practice, you learn to think from the heart and deepen your sense of gratitude, intention, and surrender. When prayer is your practice, you may set regular times in your day for prayers of formal and informal types. Most important, you realize that you are co-creating your life with the Divine Energies of this world. Let your mind be in conscious contact with The Sacred throughout each and every day.

 

 


All Italicized text is excerpted from Return to the Sacred: Ancient Pathways to Spiritual Awakening By Jonathan H. Ellerby.
Images (edited and logo added): Featured and 1) Sunrise Rocks,  2) New Zealand Countryside – both by cmeder, 3) Blue Night Sky Along Lake with Reflection by JamesWheeler, 4) Boat in mysterious fog by Chalabala, 5) Zen Steps by littleny – all 5 purchased from depositphotos, for use only on our website/social channels (these images are not permitted to be shared separate from this post).
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