DOING LIFE IN A NEW WAY
"Let us help you do life." That is the offer I have made each Sunday this month.
Let us help you do the experience of this life (lower case "l"), this human life, with more joy, peace, love, abundance, health, community etc. etc. by providing thoughts, ideas, tools for connecting more fully with Life (capital "L), the Source and Substance of all that is, the Divine Wisdom and Intelligence Beyond all things, the Creative Force in the Universe, that Thing which we call God!
And we are doing life this month by applying five "secrets" found in Gregg Braden's book Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer.
So far we have looked at three Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer. I know I usually do a review of where we've been before we move into the day's work, but I'm going to do that differently this morning.
Before reviewing them, we will take a look at the fourth secret, then we will put the first four together and, finally, we will add in the fifth and final Secret. As we do that, we will build a new way of doing life.
BEAUTY IS THE TRANSFORMER
To introduce Secret No. 4, I want to quote Amit Ray in his book Meditation: Insights and Inspirations: "God is the most beautiful, and beauty is the expression of God. If you can't appreciate beauty in the world how can you understand God?"a
The Fourth Secret to the Lost Mode of Prayer is: Beauty is the transformer.
Every person's experience of beauty is unique, but when we encounter true beauty, we all can recognize it. Let me give you two examples.
First, an Amish man and his son were visiting a large mall, the first time either had been in such a place. They gazed at the bright lights and vivid displays with a mixture of awe and some distaste.
They came upon a wall with two silver doors in it. Having never seen an elevator before, Father and son watched as a very old, wrinkled, toothless, bald woman pushed a button and the doors opened. She slowly walked into a small room behind the doors, and the doors closed.
The Amish man and his son watched the lights above the elevator go from "1" to "2" to "3", and then back down to "1". The doors opened and out came a stunningly beautiful 25-year-old woman, who smiled at the man and his son as she passed.
The Amish man scratched his beard for a moment, then turned to his son and said, "Adam, run home and get your mother."
OK, that's an example of our obsession with surface beauty, right! But my second real example is not!
I have attended workshops with Gregg Braden and he showed us a photo of 5 smiling faces of nuns who inhabited a remote Tibetan Monastery he had visited.
They each had a vibrancy and beauty about them, no doubt about it, but Gregg asked us as a group, if we had to select just one who had a special beauty, who would we pick.
I think the room was unanimous when we selected a bald, toothless, wrinkled face. Doesn't sound very beautiful, does it? Our Amish friend wouldn't have thought so.
Let me tell you that the light that shined from her was exquisite. Gregg then asked us how old we thought she was. Late 80's, 90's, even 100 were the guesses. And we all gasped in amazement when he told us she was 120 years old and every day traveled down to the river to get her water. And we were all transfixed and mesmerized by her.
Who can not only tell me what Secret 1 is, but also tell me how you have incorporated it into your life?
Secret 1: Feeling is the prayer. This is the idea of moving into a place of feeling, truly feeling, that whatever it is we are praying about is already done.
Or as Holmes said we must vitally know and experience it in every corner of our mind, and vibrantly feel with every part of our being.
Now here's a little secret: Secrets 2, 3 and 4 all help us get there!
Secret 2: So what is Secret 2 and how have you applied it?
Hurt is the vehicle, wisdom is the gift. Out of every, every, every painful experience, there is wisdom, profound wisdom, to be gained.
Secret 3: The third secret we applied in a very specific way, to a very specific life circumstance right now - election year! - but it can be applied to many, many areas in our lives. What is it, and how have you applied it?
Blessing is the release. Blessing something or someone releases us from the upset, hurt, anger, frustration, whatever our emotion might be so that we can reach that field beyond wrongdoing and rightdoing; it is the key to accessing the space between. It temporarily suspends our hurt long enough so that we can replace it with another feeling. And what would that feeling be? The feeling that whatever we are praying about is already done!
Secret 4: And now to today's secret, the Fourth Secret to the Lost Mode of Prayer. This should be pretty easy. I've said it at least three times this morning. What is it? Beauty is transformative. When we can see beauty even when it isn't readily apparent, we are transformed from the inside out.
Secret 5: These all come together for the Fifth Secret. And that this . . . we take these four ideas and blend them together to: Create our own prayers. Prayers, communions with the Divine, that work for us, that have meaning and power and feeling for us. Of course, in New Thought, we teach a beautiful and very effective form of affirmative prayer and, for me, creating my own prayers means to be able to deepen into my affirmative prayer at any given moment. And, we believe in all forms of sincere prayer.
It is my deepest hope that this month we have planted seeds in you for a new perspective on prayer and that they will sprout for you, so that whatever your prayer is, you engage in it regularly and that it will, my friends, absolutely help you do life in a new way!
aAmit Ray Meditation: Insights and Inspirations