Prayer = Gratitude + Meditation

Discussions about holding onto your faith and beliefs, whether by staying LDS or by exploring and participating in other churches or faiths. The belief in any higher power (including God, Christ, Buddha, or Jedi) is true in this forum. Be kind to others.
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Perfigliano
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Prayer = Gratitude + Meditation

Post by Perfigliano » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:28 pm

As an agnostic deist, I still see that there is a lot of beauty in Christianity and value in many of the practices. I think it can still be useful to practice spiritual elements with a hope in a god or heavenly parents (yay for LDS influence and Heavenly Mother!), even if your belief is absent or uncertain.

Gratitude and meditation are both useful in having peace and happiness in your life. Prayer is simply the culmination of the two.

Slightly before my faith crisis really hit, I began to pray differently than I had before. Instead of being this rote, formulaic habit, it began to be more like having a conversation with God. I opened up about my insecurities and hopes, my gratitude and my frustrations. As influenced by this awesome guy I met on my mission - an American Buddhist who made it a point that he loved everyone - I ditched closing in the name of Jesus Christ for a simple "Love ya! Good night!" or similar. In doing so, it became more meaningful than nearly anything I had ever done before in the church. Some people thrive on formula and that's fine. For me, following a formula typically saps the life out of things. (Maybe that's why I don't like going to the temple?)

But now, even though I am uncertain of the existence of a god, let alone the LDS god, I still think that prayer is meaningful because it puts me in a state of mind to be aware of my own feelings and sort them out and find peace. Whether it is a god or myself bringing about the peace is irrelevant; it is the effect that matters.
Integrity is more important than loyalty.

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slavereeno
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Re: Prayer = Gratitude + Meditation

Post by slavereeno » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:27 pm

Perfigliano wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:28 pm
I began to pray differently than I had before. Instead of being this rote, formulaic habit, it began to be more like having a conversation with God. I opened up about my insecurities and hopes, my gratitude and my frustrations.
I still pray as well, and my prayers are similar, Its a three way conversation, my ego, the divine within that I am trying to cultivate and the other if he/she/they is interested

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RubinHighlander
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Re: Prayer = Gratitude + Meditation

Post by RubinHighlander » Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:01 am

My meditation is standing out on the edge of a glassy lake, watching an amazing sunset or the Milky Way and stars shimmering on the water. Or just spending time watching animals do their thing in the natural world. Nearly every Sunday morning I get up early and head out to the church of the Salty Lake Island for a 3-4 hour block. Yes, it really is where the deer and the antelope play (as well as bison, owls, coyotes, pheasants, hawks, birds, porcupines, big horn sheep, etc.)

There are times I'm out there watching and listening to the lessons of nature and the universe and I am overwhelmed. I've sometimes talked out loud to the universe to express my gratitude for those amazing moments, always with the caveat that there is likely nobody or thing listening. But that does not diminish the experience for me, in fact it frees me to feel however I want to feel about it, no strings attached. It is a healthy state of mind to seek.

After attending the church of the salty lake island I head home and make breakfast for DW and we relax in bed for as long as we want. I can't express in words how wonderful my Sunday's typically are now!
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

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wanderer
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Re: Prayer = Gratitude + Meditation

Post by wanderer » Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:25 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this. I love the idea of prayer simply being a combination of meditation and gratitude. Gratitude to whatever the source is from which we and all that is comes. I like to pray to the mystery, to an "unknown God". Perhaps I am simply speaking to myself but I still find it meaningful and centering and therapeutic.
“Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.”

― Rumi

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Corsair
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Re: Prayer = Gratitude + Meditation

Post by Corsair » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:00 am

This is a good model for an ex-believer that still wants to retain some connection to the social group. I have far fewer illusions about whom might actually be listening to my prayer. I find myself listening carefully to what people say in a prayer as a fairly honest reflection of what they truly believe. This is particularly true when I listen to my wife pray. The tone of her prayers has changed over the course of her understanding my change in faith. It has been an improvement overall.

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deacon blues
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Re: Prayer = Gratitude + Meditation

Post by deacon blues » Sun May 27, 2018 9:16 am

RubinHighlander wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:01 am
My meditation is standing out on the edge of a glassy lake, watching an amazing sunset or the Milky Way and stars shimmering on the water. Or just spending time watching animals do their thing in the natural world. Nearly every Sunday morning I get up early and head out to the church of the Salty Lake Island for a 3-4 hour block. Yes, it really is where the deer and the antelope play (as well as bison, owls, coyotes, pheasants, hawks, birds, porcupines, big horn sheep, etc.)

There are times I'm out there watching and listening to the lessons of nature and the universe and I am overwhelmed. I've sometimes talked out loud to the universe to express my gratitude for those amazing moments, always with the caveat that there is likely nobody or thing listening. But that does not diminish the experience for me, in fact it frees me to feel however I want to feel about it, no strings attached. It is a healthy state of mind to seek.

After attending the church of the salty lake island I head home and make breakfast for DW and we relax in bed for as long as we want. I can't express in words how wonderful my Sunday's typically are now!
Sounds like a very inspiring church. I hope to attend the temples of Zion, Bryce, and Grand Canyons sometime this summer. I truly learn something new every time in attend these temples. :D
God is Love. God is Truth

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Angel
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Re: Prayer = Gratitude + Meditation

Post by Angel » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:03 am

Perfigliano wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:28 pm
As an agnostic deist, I still see that there is a lot of beauty in Christianity and value in many of the practices. I think it can still be useful to practice spiritual elements with a hope in a god or heavenly parents (yay for LDS influence and Heavenly Mother!), even if your belief is absent or uncertain.

Gratitude and meditation are both useful in having peace and happiness in your life. Prayer is simply the culmination of the two.

Slightly before my faith crisis really hit, I began to pray differently than I had before. Instead of being this rote, formulaic habit, it began to be more like having a conversation with God. I opened up about my insecurities and hopes, my gratitude and my frustrations. As influenced by this awesome guy I met on my mission - an American Buddhist who made it a point that he loved everyone - I ditched closing in the name of Jesus Christ for a simple "Love ya! Good night!" or similar. In doing so, it became more meaningful than nearly anything I had ever done before in the church. Some people thrive on formula and that's fine. For me, following a formula typically saps the life out of things. (Maybe that's why I don't like going to the temple?)

But now, even though I am uncertain of the existence of a god, let alone the LDS god, I still think that prayer is meaningful because it puts me in a state of mind to be aware of my own feelings and sort them out and find peace. Whether it is a god or myself bringing about the peace is irrelevant; it is the effect that matters.
I began to pray differently too - had some things happen that made me very angry at G-d, so instead I started my prayer - not "Father in Heaven... but just calling out to any benevolent spirit who might happen to be kind enough to listen. It does feel like there are spirits of all sorts out there watching over us, I just now am uncertain that any of them are "all-powerful" or "all-knowing"... as heaven as it is on earth, just a bunch of people up above as it is down here - with different countries, different groups... I do close in the name of Jesus - not sure about the Savior's dad, but I don't have any problems with Jesus.

I think prayer - reaching out to anything and anyone - is healthy. I don't think any of us are alone, that every hair on our heads are seen by more than we can imagine.

Thanks for sharing!
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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