Prayer is an experience of resurrection, a rebirth, the birth of a new vision, new dimension, new way of looking at things and a new way of being. Prayer is not something that you do : PRAYER IS SOMETHING THAT YOU BECOME. It is a state of being. It has nothing to do with words that you utter in the temples, mosques and churches. It is a SILENT DIALOGUE WITH EXISTENCE. It is to be in tune with the total, with the whole.
And prayer is such a vast experience that it contains contradiction. So, one can say : PRAYER IS SILENCE —— and he is absolutely right. And another can say : PRAYER IS DIALOGUE —— and he is right too, because PRAYER IS A DIALOGUE IN SILENCE. Now DIALOGUE and SILENCE seem to be contradictory. In DIALOGUE you SPEAK, in SILENCE you HEAR. In DIALOGUE you COMMUNICATE, in SILENCE you ARE SIMPLY THERE —— there is nothing to say.
What can be said to “existence” ? He knows all that you can say in the first place. you can bow down, celebrate. But still your bowing down, celebration, festivity, thankfulness, gratitude —— they are still ways of speaking. You are trying to say something without words, because words are very small and the heart really wants to say something.
So, it is “dialogue”, although “silent”. It is a communication in a sense, because you are there and the whole existence becomes your beloved, the whole existence becomes a “thou”. And yet there is no “I” and there is no “thou” ———– BOTH DISAPPEAR. Both meet and merge into one unity, one organic whole. Just as the dewdrop disappears in the ocean, you disappear. There is no separation between you and existence, so how can there be a dialogue ?
Science gives definitions, Religion cannot. You ask, “What is water ?” and it says “H2O” Prayer is subjective. It is not an object that can be analysed. You cannot show your prayer to anybody. When prayer exists, it is not that prayer exists in you ———- on the contrary, YOU EXIST IN PRAYER. You vibrate in that enormous dimension; that plenitude.
Prayer is a feeling of immense gratitude and thankfulness. You are in this beautiful world, with these trees and rivers, mountains and stars, and you are pulsating, you are alive. You have not earned this opportunity—– IT IS A GIFT. Prayer is thank fullness for this gift of life. Just to breathe is such a joy, just to open your eyes and see the greenery. Just to listen to the chirping of birds, or the sound of running water or the silence of the night, or the dawn and sun rising ………. We have not earned all this. They have been given to us, and we are not even thankful.
Prayer is a way of living, it is not something that you do early in the morning like a ritual. If it is a ritual, it is meaningless. A man of prayer remains in prayer 24 HOURS A DAY. Prayer is deep down at the core of one’s being.
Man has lost many capacities, and one of the most important has been the capacity to pray ——- because it is only through prayer that we make a bridge between our tine self and the Infinite and the Absolute.
—- Abridged from THE PERFECT MASTER, courtesy : Osho International Foundation, http://www.osho.com. (Speaking Tree).