With each breath, love’s call arrives
On the path where relationship is a means for coming to self-understanding, it is necessary to clarify the difference between loving and being attached. This is a most basic distinction, because so much of what we experience as attachment, we call love. In fact, most of the institutions around love, such as marriage and family, are actually ways of protecting our investment in attached situations.
Loving someone is glorifying who they are in their uniqueness. Consider a flower. You see a flower that is really beautiful to you. You want to glorify that flower in its own natural setting, or else you want to pick it and possess it. Those are two entirely different ways of being. Love creates a thankful glorification of the flower. You love the other you want to see the other thrive, enjoy, and grow. You want to see them become more of who they are, nor matter what that entails. That’s the truth of love. It is unconditional.
Attachment is quite different. You want to pick the flower, sever it from its roots, and make it yours. You want to appropriate the beloved, make him or her be what you want them to be, conform to what is convenient for you in the relationship. Attachment is not care for the other; it’s care for oneself. This distinction has to be understood: Are you loving, or are you attached?
If you are attached, you are going to experience the pain of jealousy and envy. It follows that these uncomfortable states of being become the opportunity to see within yourself the truth of attachment. Not theoretical understanding, but existential awareness of attachment at its very roots…..more awareness…more growth through relationship.
Everything in creation is manifested through energy. In Indian philosophy this energy is known as prana. In China, it is referred to as qi (or ch’i), in Japan as ki. It is akin to the Greek concept of pneuma and the Melanesian mana. The name is not important, though. What is important is what it is and what it does. It can be aptly described as the “universal life force” because that is exactly what it is – the force of life, which exists throughout the universe. It is life itself. And even more remarkable than this, we can all invoke and use this energy simply by the power of thought.
When we want something the desire makes us magnets for energy. We use our minds, consciously or unconsciously, to direct this to bring about a certain result. This is the power of creative visualizations , or intention, but it is not real prayer.
Real prayer is not a device for trying to get whatever we want. It is an expression of love. To pray properly we must unchain the shackles of selfishness from our hearts and condition the energy we invoke with the power of love.Think of love as the vehicle in which the energy travels to its destination. As the great yogi Swami Vivekananda put it: “The moment you have succeeded in manufacturing love out of prana you are free.”
The efficacy of prayer
The efficacy of prayer is not dependent on the whim or favoritism of a mythical overlord, whom some mistake for the great divine source. On the contrary, it is exact in the way that a science is exact. In fact, it is a science – albeit one of which few scientists seem to have much understanding. It is a scientific formula for sending energy, conditioned by love, from the person praying to the focal point of the prayer.
It matters little what you call the Divine Source, be it God, Brahma, Allah, Jehovah, Great White Spirit, The Way, Heaven, or anything else. The love in your heart is infinitely more important than the creed in your mind. Prayer is not for the chosen few; it is for everyone. It is the birthright of people of all faiths – and even of none – to experience the benefits that dynamic prayer can bring.
We can all help to improve the world and our own lives, this very moment, by being a channel for the limitless energy of love, whether this be manifested in thought, word, deed – or prayer.