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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Diane Shainberg, a Buddhist psychotherapist, liked to ask clients: "What is the prayer at the heart of. . .?" We could ask this question regarding one's fear of death: "What is the prayer at the heart of my fear of death?" and listen to what comes.

What is prayer? Prayer is one way I may talk to, or communicate with, God. I may pray for courage, strength to face something formidable or forbidding at the time. I don't tend to ask God to eliminate the challenge, because that is not within God's ability. Insofar as God granted us freedom, it is up to us to respond as best we can to whatever life offers up.

Through prayer, I remain connected with God. Perhaps that is the prayer within the prayer which is at the heart of whatever I am facing. It is a statement of intention to remain close to God. By the way, I have no trouble using the word God, because for me it is indefinable. I conceive of God as Loving Intelligence, not a hoary man with a flowing white beard, sitting on a throne in heaven.

The prayer at the heart of my fear of death is communion for one and all. No one is left outside the circle.

hanging low
through the night fog
our full moon

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