An overweight business associate of mine decided it was time to shed some excess pounds. He took his new diet seriously, even changing his driving route to avoid his favorite bakery. One morning, however, he arrived at work carrying a gigantic coffeecake. We all scolded him, but his smile remained cherubic.
“This is a very special coffeecake,” he explained. “I accidentally drove by the bakery this morning and there in the window were a host of goodies. I felt this was no accident, so I prayed, ‘Lord, if you want me to have one of those delicious coffeecakes, let me have a parking place directly in front of the bakery.'”
“And sure enough,” he continued, “the eighth time around the block, there it was!”
“If you ask, ‘What did you do yesterday?’ the average person will consult memory and give you a very attenuated, strung-out chronicle of events, having reduced yesterday’s experience to a thin line of words. What you did yesterday becomes what you noticed yesterday, and what you noticed yesterday was a very tiny part of what happened. It was only as much as you could record in some memory code, in words or in brief impressions.
If you identify yourself with that skinny little stream of life, it is no wonder that you feel unsatisfied, because you ate the fish bones instead of the fish. And since we think that is what is happening all the time, and that life is only this skinny little thing, we feel hungry for experience, for thrills, and for ecstasy.
We say, ‘There must be more coming,’ and we need more and more future, because the past is gone, and it was a scraggly past anyway. We have no present, because life looks like an hourglass: It has a big future and a big past, but only a tiny little neck of a present that everything is squeezed through.
In Buddhist symbology the idea behind the hourglass is…
As you can see below, most religions have adopted short prayers that can be said in one breath. This is another great style of meditation/prayer.
- Lord, have mercy
- Our Father, who art in heaven
- Lord Jesus, have mercy on me
- Holy Mary, pray for us
- Thy will be done
- Sh’ma Yisroel (“Hear, O Israel”)
- Echod (“One”)
- Shalom (“Peace”)
- Hashem (“The Name”)
- Om (the sound of the universe)
- Shantih (“Peace”)
- Hare Krishna
- Marantha (“Come, Lord”)
- Abba (“Father”)
Here are some other short prayers, from Phyllis Hobe’s book Your Personal Handbook of Prayer:
- Great Spirit, help me never to judge another until I have walked in his moccasins. – Sioux Prayer
- My God, I wish to give myself to Thee. Give me the courage to do so. – Francois Fenelon
- Thou hast given so much to us, give us more thing more: a grateful heart. – George Herbert
- Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. – Mark 9:24
- God be merciful to me, a sinner. – Luke 18:13
- Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart. – 1 Kings 3:9
She let go.
She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of the fear.
She let go of the judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.
Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice.
She didn’t read a book on how to let go.
She didn’t search the scriptures.
She just let go.
She let go of all of the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go.
She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.
She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.
She didn’t call the prayer…
“For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.” – Sam Levenson
“In generosity and helping others, be like a river.
In compassion and grace, be like the sun.
In concealing others’ faults, be like the night.
In anger and fury, be as if you have died.
In modesty and humility, be like the earth.
In tolerance, be like the sea.
Appear as you are, or be as you appear.” – Rumi
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who…