Prayer and the indwelling God

 

My prayers have been quite different since the alive presence in the heart area came up around Christmas. This alive presence which is infinitely loving, intelligent, intimate, personal, receptive, and responsive. A fragment of God right here, for this individual. The indwelling God.

My old prayers were directed outward in space, and had a yang quality, as talking. Now, these forms of prayer seem a little noisy. Instead, there is just a very quiet and simple going to the alive presence in the heart, and an equally quiet and simple intention, more like a whisper.

The content of the prayers is maybe not so different, but their quality is. Going to the alive presence in the heart area. Quiet, still, like an intimate whisper.

Praying for knots to unravel, for a deepening into humanity and awakening, for living a life benefiting all beings, for all beings being freed from suffering, for all beings awakening and blossoming deeply, fully and richly.

Christ meditation

 

I did the Christ meditation last night, and noticed a new shift and a few familiar things as well.

In the Christ meditation, I visualize Christ in my heart, and in front and behind, on the left and right, and above and below, about 5-8 feet out. Christ can be visualized as a presence, a light, or even in the physical form of Jesus, depending of what resonates the most and gives the strongest sense of presence. For me, a combination of presence and golden light seems to work best.

Soft alive loving intelligent receptive luminosity

The difference this time was the quality of the light. This time, it had a soft rounded quality, as a soft luminous deep infinitely loving, intelligent and receptive luminosity, with an alive presence. It has the deep velvety quality of the fertile darkness, and the aliveness and love, intelligence and receptivity of the alive luminosity.

In my dream that morning, the fertile blackness took on the qualities of the alive luminosity, revealing itself as luminous blackness. And during this meditation, the luminosity took on the deep soft quiet qualities of the fertile darkness. They seem to be revealing themselves as just two facets of the same, in different ways, with one in the foreground, then the other.

Directions

I also noticed the experience of the directions again, as I often do.

The front seems to have to do with my conscious daily life and interactions.

The back with my individual shadows, maybe shared with people in my groups such as culture and nationality, and in general what I tend to be unaware of in my daily life.

The sides with community and relationships with humanity, animals, plants and the Earth.

Above with traditional yang spirituality, such as transcendence and ascension.

And below with deep feminine spirituality, and also deeper collective shadows.

Placing, or noticing, the Christ there allows the light of awareness into these realms, allowing them to reorganize within the light of consciousness.

Unique quality

I also notice the unique Christ quality. It involves the heart center, but so do anything else related to Big Heart, such as Avalokiteshwara (Chenrezig, Kanzeon, Quan Yin). It involves the head center as well, especially the crown. But it also has a very distinct quality, a fiery alive presence that I have not experienced with anything else.

Tongues of fire

I also took the opportunity to look at the tongue of fire in the mirror afterwards (I know this is weird! I am definitely pushing my comfort zone by writing about this.) It looks like a cylinder of very clear light attached to the crown, maybe about 1.5-2 inches wide and 5-6 inches tall. When I move my head around, it follows exactly, as if solidly attached to the crown.

So it doesn’t really look like a tongue of fire, but it is very understandable why it may be described – and depicted – that way. It is of clear brilliant light, attached to the top as a flame to a candle (!), and it also has the fiery quality of the Christ presence itself.

Tongues of fire

 

When we worked with the Hebrew letters on Sunday, sounding and visualizing them above the head and at the three soul centers, we used letters with tongues of fire above them.

It reminded me of one of the most surprising experiences in my life. In the years following my initial awakening, I did did the heart prayer and Christ meditations and visualizations along with a more Buddhist practice, and along with everything else happening, I noticed an unusually intense activity on the crown on my head. The awakening also allowed me to see energies, and as I happened to walk past a mirror following an especially alive Christ meditation, I saw a flame on top of my head.

It was hugely surprising to me as it seemed to reflect the descriptions in Acts, which I up until then had taken as purely metaphorical. Now, it seemed that it was far more than metaphorical. The tongues of fire is a literal description of what happens when we connect with the Christ consciousness and energy. There are literally tongues of fire, energetically, activated at the top of our heads, and visible in our energy systems.

I am also surprised by drawings and paintings such as the one above. It is just about exactly what I saw, and see whenever I immerse myself in Christ practices. Have these artists seen it for themselves? Do they intuit or sense it? Do they base it one representations made by others who have seen it? It is probably a combination, and different for each artist. But it is still surprising, and beautiful.

Music and prayer

 

As with just about anything else, my draw to food, movies and music goes through the usual fractal cycles (longer cycles over years, seasons, months and weeks, with short cycles overlaid going over weeks, days and hours).

So my music listening goes from 60s lounge to baroque (Bach, Marin Marais) to world (Mari Boine, Carlos Nakai, Hun Huur Tu, Yossou N’Dour), to renaissance (Palestrina, Victoria) to pop (Sting, Kate Bush, Stereolab) to religious (Rachmaninov’s Vesper, Sister Marie Keyrouz, Russian Orthodox) to folk music (Agnes Buen Garnås) to contemporary (Jan Garbarek, Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Arvo Pärt) to romatic (Shubert) to other genres.

Music as prayer

This weekend, I got into an Arvo Pärt phase, and am reminded of music as prayer.

His compositions, such as Passio, Arbos, Tablua Rasa, Te Deum and others, are prayer in the form of music, and they resonate with and awaken prayer in the (receptive) listener. Wherever our center of gravity is, the music closely mirrors, reflects and awakens our relation with Spirit as a Thou.

For me, listening to Pärt brings me right into the deep, full, rich and all-pervading sense of mystery, awe, unspeakable beauty, longing, pain, passion, joy, bliss, and disappearing of any separate I as any heart-centered and deeply felt prayer do, such as the heart prayer and Christ meditation.

While our center of gravity is still in a segment of the totality, prayer in any form – including music, can help us shift out of it and taste selflessness.

And after the awakening to selflessness, prayer and music can awaken the same sense of awe, beauty, longing, pain, joy and bliss, and work in and throughout our human self, allowing it to mature, deepen, become even more of a vehicle for Spirit-awake-to-itself in the world of phenomena.