Last night I tried my Self at some prayer. Generally, the more contemplative side of my spiritual practice consists of expressing gratitude, setting intentions, casting a vision for a more abundant and beautiful future, and meditation. I usually don’t engage in too much of what I’d specifically call “prayer,” but perhaps that’s just ego trying to detach from a Catholic upbringing, which nowadays I am completely at peace with and even think those Catholics were on to something pretty good 😉 So it goes.
Anyway, I wrote down on my to-do list for yesterday, “Pray,” so I figured I should better pray, whatever that means. I find good things happen when I abide in the truth of my plans, almost as though God receives them and goes about harmonizing the universe to allow for the fulfillment of everything I set out to do. I find that the more clearly I decide what I will do and what I want, the more abundantly I receive all that I ask for. Of course, what is true for me is also true for me, if you let it be 🙂 Might as well believe that you can receive anything you ask for, so get on asking! Asking as clearly as possible makes it easier for your mind and for the Universe to understand and manifest accordingly.
So back to my attempt at “Pray.” When I saw it on the to-do list I was reminded of an acronym taught in Sunday School.
P.R.A.Y. = Praise, Repent, Ask, Yield.
Praise: was smooth enough – I try and do that a lot. Gratitude is a win/win.
Repent: for me that was mostly being grateful for forgiveness and being under grace, not law.
Asking: that was more of being grateful for the goodness that here and also coming more abundantly ;-).
Yield: ah, here was the tricky one. I wasn’t quite sure what it meant to yield. So I just sat there for a moment, thinking about meditating with a mantra, but instead I decided to do my best to remain still, externally and internally, while also mentally saying something like, “This is me yielding, God. I am yielding…”
Within maybe a second of this practice, I received, “Forget Everything.”
I probably would have benefited by sitting there longer, but really the “Forget Everything” sort of scared the jeepers out of me so I stopped.
A bit later in the night, I went to the journal and sought to discern what it could mean to “Forget Everything,” and why that might be a valuable idea.
I realized that the idea of knowing anything ultimately detracts from experiencing the fullness of life. Socrates developed his wisdom by embracing his ignorance, proclaiming, “The one thing I know is that I know nothing.” Similarly, Jesus experienced great peace by his attitude towards people, saying, “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.” Basically saying we commit ‘sins’ or ‘lesser acts’ because we don’t know, and in remembering this ignorance, you can forgive unconditionally. Essentially, forget everything but your own ignorance, and the ignorance of everyone, then you’ll be all set!
Jesus also asks us to become like little children to enter the Kingdom. Why? Children know nothing! And in knowing nothing, they know the wonder of that which is before them. Children are infinitely curious and fascinated with the world, people, all forms of life! They might even be as curious as dogs who go around sniffing every surface they can get their noses on. Imagine if us humans went around smelling everything, that curious, that fully embracing our ignorance. Writing, this, I just decided to smell the computer. I already feel better than before. 😉
Forgetting everything is similar to saying the past is dead and you know nothing. We can easily define our present based on our past, but isn’t it more fun to allow the present to be reborn each moment, free from the past?
Throughout our lifetimes, we’ve become pretty accustomed to moving these physical bodies; however, if you really slow down, you can even allow yourself to be amazed by the movement of the physical body. Forget what you know about how to move. Freeze. And slowly begin to move just one finger. Wonder at how the heck you are doing that! I used to watch a bit of TV and a lot of Family Guy, and there’s an episode where Peter stares at chair, saying something like, “I forget how to sit,” and then spontaneously collapses, crushing the chair to the floor. Beautiful, right?
Take a moment to stand in front of a chair and sit down very slowly. Feel all those different muscles that are flexing and moving to allow that body to relax down. It is truly amazing! Ahh, and then to feel those buns relax down. Good feelings all around.
In some ways, it seems like we’re all on a quest for Truth, yet on this journey it’s easy to forget how much we already have before us and the wonders of the gifts freely bestowed upon us at birth.
The best things in life are free, but how often do we forget this and pursue things beyond our free gifts? Let’s practice forgetting everything else, and remember perhaps just this one thing. 🙂
Gandhi, when asked to give his prescription for success in three words, not being one to back down from a challenge, responded, “Renounce and Enjoy.” I think he could have just as easily said, “Forget and Enjoy.”
Forget the ego for a moment and that hefty investment in the intellectual education, and allow yourself to be educated with wonder, beauty, and the full experience of that which is before you.
Forget Everything! If only for a minute. Move your body slowly like you don’t know how. Look at people as if this is the first time you’ve ever seen another human being. Inspect the pages of a book, allowing yourself to be fascinated by the texture of the pages and the shapes of the letters on the pages. Become a child again!