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Friday, October 17, 2008

Bountiful Living - Life As Prayer

By C. Lynn Anderson

Living life as prayer is not about praying, although it can be. Living a prayerful life is so much more--it is living life to the fullest, embracing life as a spiritual journey. A prayerful life is steeped in the mysticism and the awe of the sacred. Each and every moment is revered in its sacredness. Each and every moment is honored for the lessons that are provided. If we expand prayer into prayerfulness, we see that life is related to the connections of the soul. For the soul functions in expansiveness, in the union of human to divine, and in the mysticism of daily experiences. And prayer is the language of the soul. It may be silent or it may burst forth in a song or in a dream. It may be danced with joy or drawn in tears. But prayer is always expressive; it is about the soul living the life divine.

Living a prayerful life is living a life of open communion with the Universal Life Force, be it of God or Goddess, Allah or Brahman, the Way or a Higher Power, the Essence or the All, the Divine or the Beloved, the Great Spirit or Krishna. This is the communion of the heart to its very essence. Prayerful living is ultimately being for the Absolute and allowing him the openness of our own divine nature.

What is the essence of living life as prayer? We begin this journey with the experience of awe, wonder, and beauty--the underlying guiding principles of the cosmos, and therefore, of the Beloved. In such fascination, we recognize the beauty of life, pure life, in all its shapes and colors. There is a magical connection to All That Is, an enchantment with what stands before us. Such wonder is the beauty of nature; the awe of our physical bodies; the joy of the interconnection of the living and the dying; the fascination of what we see, feel, taste, touch, and hear. This is embracing life to its fullest.

In such awe and beauty, we discover our passion for living, our passion for being a human essence on this magical playground of the Earth and sea. This is the eros of fully experiencing and expressing the divine nature of ourselves; the scintillating sensuality that is the basis of our human/divine self. This is the joy, ecstasy, and pleasure that we are meant to experience, for as the universe is passionate, so are the Creator and created. Yet passion involves all the emotions--the suffering and the grief, the longing and the emptiness, the desire and the despair, the fear and the love.

Prayerful living is also experienced in the mystery and the mysticism of our being. This is the experience of oneness, of the totality of the communion with a Higher Presence. This is of the sacred--where human and divine meet in wonder and in transcendence. It is the ability to accept the unknown, to follow our intuition, to commune with the Source, to resonate with the innate spiritual truths through letting go and letting be. This may happen through prayer, meditation, contemplation, yoga, in silence and solitude, with others--through any experience that leads to the Beloved.

In our prayerfulness, we honor the deep abiding wisdom that guides and heals. For in our reverence, wisdom lies. In our gratefulness, our gratitude, our humility, we go beyond the limited ego into the higher self of divine wisdom, divine love, divine being. We praise, give thanks, and bless all that we have received, all that we are receiving, and all that we will receive. We are graced in love and acceptance through such heartfelt thanksgiving.

In our divine living, we recognize that faith underlies all prayerfulness. Faith in a divine power, faith in the mysticism of our sacred being, faith in ourselves, and faith in all that surrounds us. Faith transcends every level of human pride, ego, and fear. It is living life as prayer and understanding that all is well even in the midst of turmoil. Prayerfulness does not exist without faith.

We need to continue to awaken to the blessings before us. As we become more awakened, the more everything in our life becomes a prayer. We begin to pray without interruption, pray without ceasing, pray every moment. As we go upon our day, our every moment, every action, and every thought is prayerful. To pray without ceasing is to live life to its fullest.

C. Lynn Anderson, D.Min., ACSW, is a psychotherapist, adjunct professor at Ferris State University and Grand Valley State University, and author of the book, "Where All Our Journeys End: Searching for the Beloved in Everyday Life." Dr. Anderson can be contacted at: http://sarahscircle.com

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