Aug
23

Silent Prayer and Meditation (No Agenda)

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According to Christian mystic tradition silent prayer is seen as the highest form of prayer, it’s a form of prayer and meditation I can relate to myself and that I enjoy very much.

In the past I have done a lot of different kinds of prayer and meditations, too many to even start to describe here, but lets just say that I have probably gone through most of the modalities and techniques – until the day came when all those forms started to fall away.

Nothing but silence resonated with me, I even stopped praying.

When I realized my oneness with God there was no longer a God to talk with, the subject-object relationship was no longer present at all. It was like talking to myself and therefore words became unnecessary.

Nowadays my meditations and prayers are pretty much the one and the same, it’s a deep silence, an attentive stillness, a time of reflection where I simply rest in the presence of God.

That doesn’t really describe it either as it implies that there’s a time where I so to speak ‘connect’ with God as if it wasn’t already and constantly already here – all the time.

But I do enjoy moments where I simply ‘sit in silence’ while at the same time it’s a way of moving and being in life even when I’m active, even when I’m not actually sitting in contemplation like in the picture below.

Meditation can be active as well, one can meditate when walking too for example.

(The pic is from a lake nearby where I live and where I like sitting and just being, surrounded by nature and water).

With this post I want to invite you to pray and mediate in the way that the Christian mystics did and see how it resonates with you.

To pray without asking for anything, without expecting anything, without wanting anything at all. 

Resting in the words “Be Still and Know That I am God”.

With no dependence on words, no talking, no agenda, no wanting for anything.

Being totally open and naked, casting yourself into the vast unknown, the mysterious intelligence, the wisdom that can’t be described.

Dwell there.

Nothing to ‘do’, no techniques, nowhere to ‘get’ (that includes the wish to get to peacefulness), letting everything be as it is, no interference, letting thoughts come and go as they will, let emotions arise and move, no trying to do this or that, no trying at all!

Just being.

Stillness. Listening. Awareness.

Do not rely on yourself, let Life take over and direct you.

Don’t try to solve anything, let there be no trying to figure things out, let yourself be, totally relinquished from any kind of feelings of responsibility, just for a moment, feel into that.

How does it feel to be free? Right now.

Don’t ask any questions, no need to try to figure out the right things to ask or the right words that you think God will understand, no need for any kind of clarity at all!

Only stillness. Not yours, but the stillness of existence. 

Not of the mind, but to be stillness without asking anything of it.

Surrender the need to control the prayer and meditation.

Just be.

In the movement of stillness direction arises, and it’s always in the present moment.

Be still and listen. 


(Click on image to see larger)

Speaking of Christian mystics; here’s a free e-book for you by Saint John of the Cross: Dark Night of the Soul:

http://mariaerving.com/dark-night-of-the-soul-book

And here’s an old post that can be fun to read and great if you want to develop your intuitive feeling:

http://mariaerving.com/let-a-coin-toss-decide-what-you-should-do/

 

 

Spiritual Teacher Maria Erving

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Comments

  1. […] already present; it’s in the trying to “create” peace in our minds (by meditating with an agenda for example), in the striving to make stillness happen, that we are completely in the egoic state […]

  2. […] Silent Prayer and Meditation (No Agenda) […]

  3. […] that we need to get out of our minds and into the stillness […]

  4. […] is about being present in the Now, without any agendas or “goals” with the meditation as if it was something to do to get away from Life for […]

  5. S says:

    Hi Maria,

    You mentioned “Stillness. Listening. Awareness.”
    What to listen to? outside noise or inner thoughts or just observe/watch them.
    I tries this meditation and it felt good but i got distracted/agitated with the above questions again & again.
    Like should i listen/watch outside noise/inner thoughts or focus on silence or something? Or should i consciously try to do nothing?
    Can you please clarify this.

    Thanks

  6. Maria Erving says:

    Great question S! 🙂

    Let me see if I can clarify this for you;

    Let outside noises be, don’t take them with you when you turn within, but also don’t block out anything because that creates strain.

    Let the outside world be, just notice it but don’t engage in it.

    This is all to be done in a relaxed and calm manner where you let everything be as they are.

    In the first minutes or so when you begin your meditation you can begin to focus on your breathing, maybe you hear birds outside, cars driving by, whatever it is, just let those noises be.

    And then as you feel your body and mind relax more and more (continue breathing deeply a few times) you can begin turn inwards.

    You can begin noticing inner body sensations, feel your heart beat, notice your breathing, maybe there’s a sound in your stomach, things like that.

    Just notice sensations in your body, feel into it.

    Next, when you are more relaxed you can begin to notice thoughts and feelings come up in awareness, but just notice them, don’t do anything about them, just let them be and float by like clouds on an open wide sky.

    (The vast sky is your mind and awareness and the clouds are thoughts, feelings and emotions floating by).

    Let go of the image of this as well, don’t get entangled in what the mind does, simply notice it as if it was happening to someone else.

    As you do this you will go deeper into a meditative state of mind and once there both the outer and inner world drowns in the silence that comes from the depth of your being.

    In this state there are no thoughts (although they can still float by but they are not bothering you at all) yet you remain attentive and aware, or ‘as awareness’.

    Right now you can take a moment and sense the difference between “being aware” and “being awareness”.

    “I’m being aware” and “I’m awareness”. Feel it?

    It can be helpful to ask questions like “who/what is aware that I’m aware?”, but don’t get much into that either right now, I’m just mentioning this casually because it can help you differentiate between aware and awareness.

    In ‘awareness’ there’s more space and emptiness while being aware has a more clear reference point (the person being aware).

    Anyways, let’s move on with your question! 🙂

    This happens automatically if you don’t go “too deep” into meditation, which is not wrong or bad, it’s just a different state and in this context your question was about how to actually listen so that’s what I’m addressing here.

    To be able to listen attentively while being in a meditative state of mind you can learn to go to Alpha state and remain there, that’s a lighter meditative state of mind where you are able to still be aware of what’s going on within you.

    You can learn more about the different states of mind here (it’s an old post but relevant in terms of the information about the different states):

    http://mariaerving.com/meditation-and-brainwaves/

    And here’s someone I recommend that does brainwave meditations that can take you to Alpha and Theta etc by the help of technology if you find it difficult to get into a meditative state on your own (choose a meditation with only music, no voice/guided).

    http://mariaerving.com/brain-sync

    Of course this is only meant to be a help and aid in the beginning and a great way to learn how the different states feel and are experienced.

    Once you have began going into a meditative state of mind you can then put the help away and it will be easier for you to go into Alpha by yourself (and quickly too).

    Here’s an article that also explains a little bit about how to listen, especially if you read step 3, it will give you some good pointers:

    http://mariaerving.com/intuition-and-meditation/

    Basically what happens is that once you’re in a meditative state of mind you will be so relaxed that your thinking mind is not able to interfere with the meditation.

    This means you will be able to listen from a place of ‘spaciousness’ and stillness.

    You will know this spaciousness by experience because it’s difficult to explain in words, but there is space around everything, a bubble of peace and calm where you are centered and then from that space comes that which you need to hear, but you listen without trying to listen.

    Hope this makes sense to you.

    The thing is to be experimental about this, play around with it, don’t strain or struggle with this.

    You can also ask for Truth to show you how to do this by simply asking it to guide you and then close your eyes and stay attentive and you will be shown.

    When your mind and body relaxes, and you can notice this in your breathing too, it becomes very slow and quiet, everything becomes very quiet, yet you (as awareness) remain attentive and open. Spacious.

    Hope this helped clarify for you 🙂

    The real experience can only come about by trying and doing of course so experiment and play with this and you will soon learn how to listen and also how to use the different states of mind for different purposes.

  7. S says:

    Thanks a lot!! 🙂

  8. Maria Erving says:

    You’re very welcome 🙂 Glad I could help.

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My intent is to have people think independently, feel deeply and honestly, and move into a higher knowing of themselves.