Constant Prayer

Many senior teachers tell us that constant contemplative prayer, constant surrender to the spirit without interruption or distraction is necessary for a full realization of our true nature. Ramana Maharshi said surrender itself is a mighty prayer. The prayer of surrender is the willingness to deepen our continually receiving our life force, receiving unconditional love that is freely offered from infinite consciousness. Of course our seeking minds take this surrendered prayer being constant as a goal for us to achieve. I spent many years beating myself up for not being able to accomplish the intention of being in the state of constant contemplation of the deep question ‘what is THIS?’, or ‘what is the actual substance of the presence looking out of our eyes right now?’

But then as Baker Roshi stated, in Buddhist philosophy the formulating and articulating of an intention is equivalent to accomplishing that intention. In other words, the essence of the intention of authentic spiritual inquiry is to simply be here now. Being here now is already always the case; before, during, and after we formulate the intention.

So we formulate the intention for prayer of surrender to the presence we are. This is enough, faith in just the awareness of being present is all we need. All else is mere imaginings of the mind. We need to drop all faith that is merely expectation of results. Constant evaluating like ‘Am I present now, can I notice just being present without clinging to desires of anything else other than just being present?’, is useful in that it reminds us of our intention. But trying to self consciously accomplish this intention through comparison of others’ accomplishments, or our own perfectionist standards, is based on our attachment to results.

Faith in just the awareness of being present is not a result, just as the awareness of being present is not the result of anything. They aren’t the result of any self conscious effort. Awareness is its own result in the sense of it having no absolute beginning or ending. Awareness is always present before the idea of a beginning can arise; it is the source of ideas of beginning and ending, but it is not bound by the ideas of beginning and ending. The absence of awareness, and the beginning of awareness itself are just thoughts in the mind, based on our attempts to define and limit awareness. As Nisargadata said, ‘There is no such thing as nothing, nothing is just an idea based on the memory of something.’ There is no such thing as the absence of awareness, the absence of awareness is just an idea based on the memory of the idea of awareness.

So rather than take the practice of constant prayer and surrender to spirit as a goal to attain, we learn to just pay attention to the constant prayer that is always here. It is simply the constant flow of our awareness, the constant flow of our experience. Constant timeless prayer is manifesting the source we are at every moment. We formulate the intention to surrender to the sense of ‘I Am’, and just notice the sense of ‘I Am’, without clinging to ideas of I am this, or I am that. This doesn’t mean to exclude the awareness of dishes that need to be washed, or to exclude the awareness of the details of child care that need to be attended to. The intention to surrender to the constant prayer of just being present, is surrender to the dishes and child care as just being present. We intend to see beyond the conceptual haze of our opinions and judgments about the details of our life, and just let our attachments to them be present.

This morning there is a cool autumn breeze as I write in my hammock. Many bright colorful leaves are effortlessly and joyfully dancing in the breeze as they fall to the ground. This free flow of our experience is like a constantly flowing river, and nothing can ever interrupt it. What could ever possibly interrupt or distract from the sheer joy of our alive being? When seen and experienced clearly and fully, our self conscious efforts to cling to our thoughts, to control the energy of our thoughts and experience, are merely different expressions of the same delightful energy of the dancing leaves!

The mere witnessing of our self conscious attachments, is the joy of the constant prayer of surrender being present as the manifestation of the details of our life. Why not just allow the river of experience to flow by? In this way, we are learning to experience our attachments clearly, and to experience them free of our opinions about them. And we realize they have absolute value as expressions of awareness, of spirit itself. So rather than ignoring the details of our life, we feel energized and vitalized in their expression of the spirit we share with all beings, and we naturally want to care and express love for them as we would for our own selves.

In our contemplative practice, constant care and love for all beings is becoming one with our constant prayer for union with the divine spirit we are. This prayer includes the prayer for the union all of creation with the divine spirit of creation itself. We and all beings together are becoming the constant prayer of surrender free from all mental fabrication, and free to love and care for all beings.

5 Responses to Constant Prayer

  1. Piro October 30, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

    Hello brother like you said everything flows when we get convinced to that, then we see that everything glows we are made of light, when we see our true nature which is flowing and glowing surrender becomes evident and normal
    Love and Light

  2. Roger Hawkins October 30, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

    Yes Piro,
    No mattet how flowing or how glowing, we just keep going.

  3. Shokai October 30, 2015 at 7:32 pm #

    Wonderful blog yet again. I see that we are free to love and continue to pray for that ideal to move quickly around the globe and to create of world where only peace, love, and compassion resides. Keep up the wonderful work. in gassho, Shokai

    • Roger Hawkins October 31, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

      Thanks Kathy,
      Our prayers take on so much power when we are open to receiving the spirit of our source.

  4. Roger Hawkins October 31, 2015 at 11:47 am #

    Comments: Roger—Your post today will be a gift to many. Well done. My bumper sticker…..I rarely write more than a paragraph as you know…is “The Mind that is aware of the Buddha is the Buddha” It’s wonderful to have opportunities to be reminded that when the stories stop there is still “something”—as Peter would say or I “Inquire”—What’s left after the stories. Love,MItch

    Thanks Mitch,
    I remember when Reb visited he at one point said, ‘When we become it, it’s just what we are.’ I then asked, ‘When we become it, what is it?’ He handed me
    his cup of tea.

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