Thursday, June 10, 2010

Balance and Prayer in Everyday Life

I've had the most blessed past two years.

Those of you who know me might wrinkle a forehead and raise an eyebrow at that statement and say "what?"

As my life became more challenged, I sought a center of peace and balance.

So, I began collecting flat river stones and stacking them in strategic areas throughout the house, as well as my office in New York and my office in Pennsylvania.

One stone stack was outside where I shower and prepare for the day.

Another was on my desk in New York.

If I rushed past the doorway leading from the bath to the main part of the house, my vibration would cause he stones to fall out of balance and tumble.

The same would happen at my office if I were to be harsh with closing a drawer or reacting upon the desk when annoyed with a situation.

The ensuing reality was that I would have to take the time to delicately balance the stones again, which allowed some private time for me to concentrate, or meditate ... otherwise, to be in prayer.

"Please God, teach me that anger and haste only creates a delay in your plan."

If you were to visit my office in Mount Pocono, you would find an area filled with "Cairns" or "Prayer Stones". One is even a fountain from which water flows.

There is much to be said about water in our lives.

Stone has played a role in spirituality from the very moment humanity externalized its sacred vision.

As early humans, we gave form to our devotion by scratching images of our impression of our deities into rock faces, carving holy statuary, and building stone shrines.

The earliest of these were nothing more than simple piles of rocks that honored sacred places, revelations, people, and events.

Following in the footsteps of this ancient tradition provides us with an simple and beautiful way to externalize our own spirituality.

In our travels, we may have encountered on the sides of roads, trails, or pathways stacks of stones that look like random sculpture.

Add a stone blessed with a prayer to such a mound, and our intentions merge with those who have left stones before us, empowering us all.

Associating a prayer with a particular stone alters the substance of both, and the formation of a prayer mound can balance and intensify the energy of a site.

The mere act of choosing a stone can inspire mindfulness, as we lose ourselves in the moment seeking a pebble that speaks to our souls. And placing a prayer stone on a towering cairn is a meditation in patience and slowness as stillness allows us to find our stone's center of gravity so the delicate ceremonial structure before us remains intact.

We must be cautious, however, when when we feel guided to place a prayer rock upon stone mounds we see intermittently alongside well-worn but unmarked hiking paths. Hikers often use small cairns as guide markers to ensure that those who follow in their footsteps will not lose the trail.

When in doubt, begin a new prayer pile slightly further away from the path itself and consider adding a relic of some kind to help others understand its purpose.

When we mindfully place a prayer by beginning a stone heap or adding to an existing mound, our thoughts and intentions are left in the care of faith itself.

The cairn of which our prayer was one part may be unintentionally knocked down or destroyed by Mother Nature's own hand. We need not let this weigh heavily upon our spirit.

The potent energy of our prayer would be released by this destruction, ensuring that the purpose underlying that prayer will spread outward in the direction of the furthest reaches of the universe.

So, walk through natures path, utilizing the most solid of God's creation to find a moment to seek balance and prayer.

With love, light, and a prayer for the balance of your rock,