What is prayer? According to Wikipedia, “Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication. Prayer can be a form of religious practice, may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private.” Prayer is seen as definitively religious. Prayer can be healing. Prayer can be a destination for our thoughts. There are as many ways to prayers as there are people who pray.
Beliefnet collected The Essential Prayers of World Religions. They are the Refuge Prayer from Buddhism, the Lord’s Prayer from Christianity, the Faitha from Islam, the Gayatri Mantra from Hinduism, and the Shema from Judaism.
Some people sing. Some people use prayer beads. Some color mandalas. Some pray out loud. Some pray silently.
“The Atheist Prays” by Barbara J. Pescan wrestles with the questions about praying when you are unsure if anyone is listening.
I am going to leave you with a song from Kesha’s new album.
Peace and Prayers,
What is Focus?
Here are some of the definitions from Merriam Webster Dictionary
1. a: a center of activity, attraction, or attention
b: a point of concentration
c: adjustment for distinct vision; also : the area that may be seen distinctly or resolved into a clear image
6: a localized area of disease or the chief site of a generalized disease or infection
What does Focus mean to you?
How can you improve Focus?
What is your focus in life or in faith?
For me, Focus is about the ability to concentrate, but also the need to know where I am going, both in life and in my faith. Meditation can be a great way to help with both of those.
Here is a video meditation designed for kids but good for anyone by Mairead Russell
Also here’s a picture to focus on. Trace the labyrinth, focus on the center, or use it as a way to start the breathing towards focusing.
To close today’s devotional I will leave this prayer
Dear great lathe of heaven,
O foundry of souls,
You churning, burning cosmos which has wrought me on the infinite loom of your celestial body.
Spinning stars and indifferent stones: hear my prayer.
Do not curse me to perish with all my dreams fulfilled.
Do not afflict me with a vision so narrow and a heart so small,
That all my greatest hopes could be accomplished within a single lifetime.
Rather, bless me with an unquiet spirit.
Anoint me with impertinent oils.
Grant me dreams so great and numerous,
That I might spend the fullness of my days to realize them,
And have ample remaining to leave to my inheritors.
Holy gyre that bore me and must one day take me home,
Allow me the mercy to depart this life with unfinished business.
Our Monday Meditation is “Benediction for the Heavy Heart” by UUA staff member Mason Bolton. It reads:
“Good morning. I missed your ‘good’
because a plane, because a truck, because
a gun, because a cop, because a government,
because a people suffering, because too many
people suffering, because war, because famine,
because some mornings it is so hard
to rise, to wake, to be a self.
There is a pause here. There is a deliberate
cessation. I want a cessation to the noise
in my head, to the ache in the collective
heart of this world. When I was young
this seemed possible. . . .
I want your mornings ‘good,’ your evenings ‘good,’
all the late nights and sunrises and afternoons
and moments pressed against the ticking
glass of your life ‘good.’
Breathe. For yourself. For each other. Let
us breathe in when others cannot. When we
can do nothing else. Let us stretch ourselves
open to embrace our friends, extend
our bodies outward to anyone willing to meet us
and even those we think may not be willing. Let us
hold each other for this moment. For this
blink of human existence.”
Read this and other meditations in the new Skinner House Books title “To Wake, To Rise: Meditations on Justice and Resilience” available at inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop http://tinyurl.com/ybsj9f49
“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future; live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh”
Our services are Sundays at 11 a.m. at the Progressive Women’s Association Uptown Event Center, 305 Washington Ave. in downtown Clarksburg, behind the Courthouse. There are classes for children and adults 10 to 10:45 am, and a coffee gathering before the service. More about us.
This Sunday, John Hall will give a lesson entitled, “Mindfulness: Being Aware of Ourselves”
We would love to have you come worship with us.
Classes and worship are replaced by Spiritual Outings on the first Sunday of each month during the summer, with brief worship, a potluck picnic, and outdoor activities. The schedule is in the sidebar.
Children are welcome. There is childcare and an activity for young children during the service.
The building is wheelchair accessible, with an accessible restroom.
The schedule for the current adult religious education class is here.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or use our contact form for more information or write to us at PO Box 523, Clarksburg WV 26302
If you google heart definition this is the first response you get:
a hollow muscular organ that pumps the blood through the circulatory system by rhythmic contraction and dilation. In vertebrates there may be up to four chambers (as in humans), with two atria and two ventricles.
the heart regarded as the center of a person’s thoughts and emotions, especially love or compassion.
“hardening his heart, he ignored her entreaties”
one’s mood or feeling.
“they had a change of heart”
courage or enthusiasm.
“they may lose heart as the work mounts up”
the region of the chest above the heart.
“holding hand on heart for the Pledge of Allegiance”
the central or innermost part of something.
Here is a Meditation to Open Your Heart by Deepak Chopra.
May this reading from Starhawk and the meditation below from Dr. Beth Kurland help you to focus on the strength in and around you.
PS: Sorry it is a day late.
“If all of the steps of surrender are present, then a great Rembrandt or Monet will evoke love because the artist is simply there in all his naked humanity.”
― Deepak Chopra, The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life
May these words help you understand surrender.