In one sense, there is a mutuality among meditation, prayer, and inquiry. Each support the other.
And in another, very real, sense, there is very little or no difference between the three.
It all depends on what’s meant by the different words, of course.
Meditation may mean noticing that what’s here is already allowed. It’s already allowed by awareness, it already happens as awareness. Any response to it happens after the fact.
Prayer is an opening to what’s larger than what I may take as a me or I. It’s receptivity, and often awe, humility, gratitude.
Inquiry is curiosity about what’s here. What’s really here?
There is a mutuality among these. Meditation is a noticing of the context it’s all happening within, and this supports prayer and inquiry. Prayer opens for a sense of receptivity and humility, which supports meditation and inquiry. And inquiry invites in a sense of curiosity, which supports meditation and prayer.
And already here, the three are shown to be very close to each other. Receptivity and curiosity is part of meditation. Curiosity and recognizing the nature of reality/mind is part of prayer. Receptivity and recognizing the nature of reality/mind is part of inquiry.
It’s part of one movement of noticing, receptivity, curiosity.
As usual, there is a lot more that can be said about this.
One form of meditation is stability practice, training a more stable attention, and that supports any activity, including meditation, prayer and inquiry.
If meditation is a noticing that what’s here is already allowed, as is, then this is endless. It’s an endless unfolding or opening. I may notice it’s all already allowed. I may notice that any response to it happens after the fact. I may notice that any idea of a me or I responding to it happens after the fact too. I may notice all of it as awareness, the play of awareness. I may notice it’s all happening within and as capacity for all of it, as well. I may see it. And I may feel it, allowing my body to feel it, take it in, realigning with it.
If prayer is receptivity, and opening to something larger than what I take as me or I, I may notice the wisdom and love that’s there. I may pray let Your will be done. I may find a deepening welcome for what is, as God’s will.
If inquiry is a curiosity about reality, I may inquire into my sense fields, and my images and thoughts. I may see what happens when a thought is taken as true, and the creativity, wisdom and kindness that’s here on the other side of it.
And, as mentioned above, the three are really the same. It’s one movement of noticing, receptivity, curiosity.