praying? Jan 1995

December 2015

Recently shared in a 12-step email group that combines them with Buddhist meditation: I find myself not a Buddhist any more than I follow Christian mythology or precepts.)  It is very difficult to put into words, yet it is that which I find whole in me and clear.

Let me tell you a story that somehow captures it
earlier this year, when involved in supporting a British-Iranian women imprisoned in Tehran, as part of an online campaign, I read, someone, from somewhere in the world, posted – ‘we pray for you’. And someone else, from a different part of the world angrily replied: “What nonsense, that religious stuff, that’s what’s wrong (with Iran)!” – and a third one chipped in: “Praying is not about religion, it is about relationship.”  
That’s what’s taken me a long time to acknowledge.
Years ago, temporarily living in the remote Highlands of Scotland with, of all things, a RC Church in the village, the priest one day saw me sitting in the church and he said – “You pray and you never know whether it does anything, and it does not matter – you just can’t help it.”
Again, it took a while, still does, to really sink in – that’s me. (My addiction is self-loathing is very sticky.)
August 2020
Around the time of the anniversary of her death, a quote from Simone Weil showed up on my screen: Pure Attentiveness is Prayer. Or words to that effect.  So she was dancing on that tightrope too.
Summer 1988
Returning in the evening to the Youth Hostel above  Lake in Uberlingen, I stand still in front of a plaque to honour Martin Buber: Alles Wirkliche Leben ist Begegnung. We had been talking about a similar concept in our Psychodrama workshop. Alles dem wir erlauben wirklich in unserem Bewusstsein anzukommen ist Begegenung.
Summer 1994
The Japanese Buddhist with whom I had practised Za-Zen for a while is now turning into a roshi of his own monastery. I am out of there. Yet, I take with me a paradox along those lines. He acknowledged having seen me, perhaps similar to the Celtic Catholic Priest in Scotland – and as a parting shot ‘I hope you can turn this into prayer.’
Attending to All –
Or Is it Nothing:
My clock  tic toc

~ by Barbara S on December 24, 2015.

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