Monday, October 01, 2012

Meditation and Prayer

I know a Zen Buddhist who's car has a bumper sticker which says, "I'd rather be driving." There's one of those well-known Zen ink circles on it (an enso.) He operates a zendo. Nice fellow.

Bill would rather be driving. In meditation the point is to keep the mind unwaveringly aware of only this moment, to pare conscious states down so that its customary flurry of thoughts subsides. Bill isn't thinking of something else, but only driving. He isn't interested in or intent on anything else, but only driving. Meditation entails not wanting something else. I think the main point is gratitude (and I've explained that in previous posts.) The object of meditation is gratitude for one's life in this world, or gratitude that this world exists. The point is not to want something else than what one has.

Prayer is essentially an expression of gratitude that this world exists. (Which is why prayer that asks God for something can't be prayer.) If one prays earnestly and intently, one keeps the mind conscious primarily of this gratitude and maintains a meditative state.

I think the two states can be very similar if close enough to perfectly executed. It depends upon keeping the mind very still and conscious of this world and one's gratitude for it.