Meditation and Prayer.. often these two go hand in hand.. most religions have some standards and even spiritual and scientific dogmas see the value at some level. Please don’t think of recovery as punishment, it is self care and a great thing.. be gentle with yourself. In line with that, is forgiving and accepting ourselves. Meditation and prayer are ageless concepts to help in the pursuit of serenity.
Let’s define the two and I included a bit on spirituality with a link to an amazing amount of information on Spirituality..and then I will share how these impact my life…..
Meditation: is a practice where an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content, or as an end in itself.
The term meditation refers to a broad variety of practices that includes techniques designed to promote relaxation, build internal energy or life force (qi, ki, prana, etc.) and develop compassion, love, patience, generosity, and forgiveness. A particularly ambitious form of meditation aims at effortlessly sustained single-pointed concentration meant to enable its practitioner to enjoy an indestructible sense of well-being while engaging in any life activity.
Today, there are many different types of meditation practiced in western culture. Mindful breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and loving kindness meditations for instance have been found to provide cognitive benefits such as relaxation and decentering. With training in meditation, depressive rumination can be decreased and overall peace of mind can flourish. Different techniques have shown to work better for different people.
Prayer (from the Latin precari “to ask earnestly, beg, entreat”) is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication.
Some anthropologists believe that the earliest intelligent modern humans practiced a form of prayer. Today, most major religions involve prayer in one way or another; some ritualize the act of prayer, requiring a strict sequence of actions or placing a restriction on who is permitted to pray, while others teach that prayer may be practiced spontaneously by anyone at any time.
Prayer can be a form of religious practice, may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words, song or complete silence. When language is used, prayer may take the form of a hymn, incantation, formal creedal statement, or a spontaneous utterance in the praying person. There are different forms of prayer such as petitionary prayer, prayers of supplication, thanksgiving, and praise. Prayer may be directed towards a deity, spirit, deceased person, or lofty idea, for the purpose of worshipping, requesting guidance, requesting assistance, confessing transgressions (sins) or to express one’s thoughts and emotions. Thus, people pray for many reasons such as personal benefit, asking for divine grace, spiritual connection, or for the sake of others.
Prayer and 12 Steps: there are actually prayers provided for each of the steps. The link below is to the Friends of Bill W site and have anotatedat the end of each prayer where the wording was used from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous to create the prayer.
Spirituality may refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality,[need quotation to verify] an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being, or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.”[need quotation to verify]
Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop an individual’s inner life; spiritual experience includes that of connectedness with a larger reality, yielding a more comprehensive self; with other individuals or the human community; with nature or the cosmos; or with the divine realm.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to spirituality: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_of_spirituality#Spiritual_and_occult_practices
FURIES personal adventures in Meditition, Prayer, and Spiritualism:
When I think of meditation, I immediately think of “wax on, wax off” from Mr Miyagi.. or the tv series with David Carradine as the monk in Kung Fu. Um, yeah.. think again Furies!
Meditation for me initially involved exercise, scuba diving, and fish tanks… still have huge impact in my life, but I have expanded to include mindfullness, some yoga, and an array of books, youtube videos, and articles.
Wiki How has a step by step for beginners. close to 8 million views, so must be doing something right!
“The goal of meditation is to focus and quiet your mind, eventually reaching a higher level of awareness and inner calm. It may come as a surprise to learn that you can meditate anywhere and at any time, allowing yourself to access a sense of tranquility and peace no matter what’s going on around you. This article will introduce you to the basics of meditation, enabling you to begin your journey on the path of enlightenment and bliss….”
I grew up in an atypical fashion.. I was exposed to many religions while growing up. While this may be confusing to most, I did not have a different frame of reference. I struggled through the various juvenile indoctrinations and did my best to learn what was required of me. Fast forward to my struggles with sobriety as an adult.. I had long ago left formal religions for a love of nature.
It was not until my early attempts with 12 steps that I began my journey of religious exploration. I was enrolled in college at the time, and took advantage of the many religious studies programs. An amazing concept kept coming to mind: the vast similiarities in major religions, and the concept of spiritualism and gasp… nature as a higher power. EURAKA! I love nature! I truly believe my first spiritual encounter was while scuba diving and came to a clearing of kelp.. above my head swam an unbelievable school of hammer head sharks.. I froze, stunned in awe.
My college sweetheart and I were very much in love .. I remember for my graduation, she was proud of how I juggled full time school, work and kept true to my sobriety.. She gave me a beautiful etched glass piece of the prayer of Foot Prints in the Sand…
Another beautiful prayer that has motivated me over time is the Prayer of St Francis… such simple and elegant concepts for life: