Update on the Meditate and Pray-a-thon

I’ve kept my word. Every day this week I’ve added meditation and prayer to my morning routine. The results have been interesting. I start by meditating for 15 to 20 minutes and then I pray, and then I, ah, cry. The crying part has been a shock. I didn’t plan on tears or seek them.

What am I crying about? Darned if I know.

I’ve been praying to understand goodness, to be able to practice it and for a host of other things, including prosperity, peace and wisdom for myself and others. Sometimes I’ve prayed for forgiveness because like all human beings I do need to be forgiven (and this isn’t the venue to go into detail.)

Am I crying because I feel forgiven when I pray, or do I weep because I suddenly realize that forgiveness is possible? Am I crying because I could be good, and subconsciously I think I’m not, or because praying prompts me to believe that I don’t have to worry about money or the multitude of other things that clog my brain? Maybe it’s the combination of prayer with meditation that prompts the tears. My weeping feels like all of that and something else.

I don’t know exactly why I’m crying, but that feels OK, which fits nicely into what seems to be a theme in my life right now. I appear to be majoring in the topic of Don’t Know.

Under the category of flinging myself into the Don’t Know Life, I don’t believe in God as an entity that can hear and respond to prayers. I don’t believe in God as God seems to be promoted by Christians, Muslims or Jews, yet I’m praying. I’m not addressing my prayers to any being or thing in particular. I’m just saying what I need and wish. I Don’t Know exactly what I’m doing, but that feels all right. So there, take that inner critic who declares: I. Must. Have. A. Plan.

As I’ve meditated and prayed this week, I have gotten a better sense of why I’m praying. I said before that prayer set my feet on a path for the day; prayer set my intent, and that remains true. However, I’m now coming to realize that I’m praying because I feel limited. I feel like I don’t have the power to do all/be all that I need and want, and I’m not ashamed to ask for help.

Meanwhile, I admit that 15-to-20 minutes of meditation every day is wimpy, but it’s the best I can do right now. What I’ve learned so far in this teeny bit of meditation is that quieting my mind appears to prompt answers to questions I hadn’t even realized I’d asked.

And so it goes.

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5 Responses to Update on the Meditate and Pray-a-thon

  1. Nothing wimpy about 15-20 minutes of meditation a day. I’m glad you’re sticking to it. Sounds like a good practice to me.
    And finding answers to questions you didn’t even know you meant to ask is a great bonus!

  2. Darrell Icenogle says:

    The experience sounds completely attractive and worthwhile. I’m on my own journey, prompted by my stage of life, and a recent near-death experience. I have always felt the need to figure out what’s personally important, and like you I don’t get it from religion. I get it from putting my head in the right place, which is what you seem to be doing.

  3. dianesilver says:

    I really appreciate the support, you two! I had no idea how people were going to react to me talking about this practice in public. Your comments truly help.

    Darrell, I’m so pleased to hear of your journey. I’d love to hear more about it if you feel comfortable doing so. Also, your comment raises a question I know that I have to answer on my quest: What role does or should religion play in both my journey and the issue of goodness?

    • Darrell Icenogle says:

      I would be happy to talk about it. The experience was a heart attack, and I’ll just say that I’m fine, now, and have every prospect of having a healthy heart and a long life. I got the right treatment, and I got it promptly, leaving minimal damage to my heart. As they say, I dodged a bullet.

      The interesting thing is that it set in motion a powerful round of introspection and reflection that took me off guard. I actually felt I had to stop what I was doing and let it all sink in. This is interesting, because at no time did I feel conscious fear, although on the day I left the hospital, walking across the street to the parking garage, I suddenly and inexplicably burst into tears, so I guess fear was there, at some level. And it is possibly that place in my consciousness that drives me, now: not fear, exactly, but a sense that something has changed, and I need to understand it.

      I’m not religious, and don’t expect to undergo a deathbed conversion. I’m with Julian Jaynes in believing that all language is metaphor, that we all absorb those metaphors in a personal way, and thus the language of anyone’s scripture is incapable of expressing a universal truth. If truth is available to us, I believe it’s only available within ourselves. Our sense perceptions aren’t only lights, but filters that define what we can know. Our emotions and experience determine what we can even believe.

      I don’t feel that access to truth is necessary to a meaningful existence. I’m willing to live within my limitations, and even embrace them, because walking in a forest, with the light filtered by the canopy, is a wondrous and beautiful thing.

  4. dianesilver says:


    Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. I’m so glad you’re well. I second everything you said.

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