Monk In The World

To be a monk is to have time to practice for your transformation and healing. And after that to help with the transformation and healing of other people.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Paying Attention and Prayer

Mary Oliver says in one of her poems,
"I don't know how to pray but I do know how to pay

I like this quote. I struggle with what prayer is about and what is the efficacy of prayer.

I think I can say that my spiritual practice has enhanced my prayer life because I think I do better at "paying attention".

I would have to say that when people feel "payed attention to" that something is changed in that moment.

The word "paying" in this phrase means a lot to me. It suggest that it cost something to give a attention to something else. To couch this in some kind of spiritual language, I would say the cost is a setting aside of the self. Maybe some kind of kenosis.

This Praying Mantis in the picture above was paying attention. He stayed right there for at least thirty minutes this morning. Quite a practice!


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