A Prayerful Space

by Swami Keerti

Osho has devised a number of meditation techniques both active and passive keeping the modern man in mind. But what fascinates me more is the prayer meditation. To me these two words--prayer and meditation--sound contradictory. As most of us know that we did our prayers in the past, taught by our elders, were addressed to some god-figure. We were made to imagine or visualize this figure and chant some sweet words and bow down to it. This figure could be of Jesus, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Shiva, Ganesha, Hanumaan, or one of many goddesses--Devi, Kali, Durga, Saraswati and others. We have been conditioned to utter prayers to such god-figures at home or the temples dedicated to them. Most of us know the full prayers by heart, and we join in the collective prayers wherever they may be happening. These prayers have gone deep into our unconsciousness.

It is said that a poor person begs outside the temple whereas a rich person begs inside the temple. And this begging is called prayer.

It is indeed an interesting fact that we often pray when we want something from our gods and goddesses. We may be in some kind of need, and we want it to be fulfilled, with or without our sincere effort, so we ask for god's help in the form of prayer. Then we wait for this prayer to be heard. Some times it gets heard and we assume that god has done something for us.

I cannot say that this a fact or fiction. It could be just a coincidence also. What I want to say is that most of the time our prayers are quite mundane, contaminated by our desires and needs. These are not pure prayers that make you feel really divine.

What makes us feel divine?

In my experience, when our mind is not imagining anything, it is free from past and future, and we are empty, the prayer may happen out of sheer joy. It may not be verbal even, it may not be addressed to any god of our choice--and still we may be in prayerful space. The cool breeze caressing us, the starry night stirring our heart, the gentle sunrise, the vast ocean, the bird on the wing singing its song in the open sky, the snow-clad mountains...any such thing could trigger a space of prayerfulness in our heart and we may find ourselves bowing down to existence itself. This is prayer which needs no words--just a prayerful heart.

Osho suggests that we go through deep cleansing of our mind and heart. A natural prayer becomes a possibility in that purity of space. After going through this process of meditation, Osho's method of prayer meditation can take us still deeper.

This is a simple technique of Prayer Meditation suggested by Osho:

This technique is best done at night in a darkened room, going to sleep immediately afterwards or it can be done in the morning but it must be followed by 15 minutes rest, otherwise you would feel as if you are drunk, in a stupor. This merging with energy is prayer, according to Osho. It changes you and when you change the whole existence changes.

First stage: Raise both your hands towards the sky, palms uppermost, head up, just feeling existence flowing in you. As the energy flows down your arms you will feel a gentle tremor – be like a leaf in the breeze, trembling. Allow it and let it happen. Then let your whole body, vibrate with energy and just let whatever happens, happen.

Second stage: After two or three minutes, or whenever you feel completely filled, lean down to the Earth and kiss it. You simply become a vehicle to allow the divine energy to unite with that of the Earth.

These two stages should be repeated six more times so that each of the ‘charkas’ can become unblocked. More times can be done but if you do less number of times, you may feel restless and unable to sleep.