I passed a homeless man in Portland last night, a refugee from New Orleans, and gave him some money. He took my hand, looked me in my eyes, and said:
I will pray for you and your family tonight, and you will pray for mine.
And then as an afterthought:
Prayer is worth more than ten dollars.
It was one of those heartfelt and deeply human interactions that brings a deep sense of meaning to life.
I prayed for him, noticed some of the effects of prayer, and was also reminded of what I experience when someone prays for me.
When I pray, there is the sweetness of an open heart, often mixed with some sadness and longing. Everyone and everything is held within that open heart.
There is receptivity of view. A sincere and kind curiosity about the experience of others and myself. Recognizing the validity of our own views for each of us.
There is a sense of a deeply nurturing fullness, centered in the physical body in the belly.
There is the very tangible alive and luminous presence around and throughout the body, an alive presence that is infinitely intelligent and loving. There is a sense of being held by and within this alive presence. (This alive presence is also visible in the aura, quite distinct from the usual aura of a person.)
There is the movement to action from this open heart, receptive view, nurturing fullness, alive presence, and the calling to live from more sincerity and integrity.
And within all of this, a noticing that this is all happening within and as content of experience. It is the play of awake no-thing appearing as a prayer for myself and others, a closed heart opening, a rigid view becoming more receptive, an alive presence in and around the body, acting from more sincerity and integrity.
When I receive prayer, there is that same very tangible sense of being held by and within that alive presence.
Footnote: I fell into a slightly different version of the heart prayer last night. Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon us. Exchanging the me with us felt more right and I will probably use that one in the future.
- prayer is worth more than ten dollars
- homeless man in Portland
- I will pray for you and your family tonight, and you will pray for mine – prayer is worth more than ten dollars
- prayer for the well-being of self + others (specific people + whole earth, all beings)
- sweetness of an open heart (sweetness mixed with sadness, longing)
- receptivity of view
- nurturing fullness
- friendly, kindness
- alive presence, infinitely wise + kind
- even just one of those brief interactions, made my life worth living
- homeless man in Portland
(This is also clearly visible in the aura as an alive brightening and luminous awakeness in the energy field, and it has a quality of “otherness” distinct from the luminosity that reflects what is going on with the person.)