Blogs


Notices

Can "prayer" be secular?

Old 02-02-2012, 05:45 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
☯ ⓌⒾⓁⓁ☯
 
Zencat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Oxnard (The Nard), CA, USA.
Posts: 8,279
Blog Entries: 12
Originally Posted by choublak View Post
Well atheist churches exist, so why not?
LOL. Yes, atheist pray to one less God than Christians do .
Zencat is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Zencat For This Useful Post:
Bamboozle (04-03-2012), soberlicious (02-03-2012)
Old 02-17-2012, 07:27 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
Member
 
nycguy83's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 51
Originally Posted by Zencat View Post
I will use a mantra for creating personal transformation instead of petitioning a God/HP to do the job for me.
Same here, if I meditate I will use a mantra at times, but it certainly is not prayer... just a repeated phrase that calms me and perhaps penetrates my subconscious.

Is there some other powerful entity or entities that is listening in to my thoughts?

I suppose I don't have proof that that isn't the case, but it doesn't strike me as very likely, given the state of the world around us, the senseless suffering and the utter lack of concern nature displays to the wants, needs, pains, and desires of sentient creatures.
nycguy83 is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to nycguy83 For This Useful Post:
topspin (02-18-2012), Zencat (02-18-2012)
Old 04-03-2012, 03:45 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Mpls., MN
Posts: 20
Prayer did not work for me for a long time. Then I got a tape by a man who does a lot of program's on pbs about spiritual stuff and another man told me that he listen's to him. Still, another person in our family said that her nursing friend listen's to him also so I went out and found some of his stuff and listened to it. The one tape that helped me was on meditation, it helped me to pull the Gerbil off the wheel for a while each day.

The reason i am saying this is because then, and only then, has saying a prayer, a certain prayer I learned in my church way back when I attended now puts me right to sleep.

I guess the thing is for me, does it work....lol...do I find comfort in it, does it bring relief.

It does, whether I believe in this deity I am talking to or not, it brings me relief and that is a huge thing for me.
tiredoftryin is offline  
Old 04-03-2012, 04:11 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
Member
 
stillsleeping's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,419
Blog Entries: 33
Hia,

interesting thread - I like this one...

As a liguist, I can tell you that the word prayer definitely involves a god/deity/religion. It's right there in the definition. As to who you are praying to, well I guess that's where the discussion comeis in. Some people are talking to a god, others to the universe, but essentially prayer is where you believe someone who is in a position to respond is listening to you. Otherwise it's meditation or something similar.
stillsleeping is offline  
Old 04-03-2012, 04:13 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
Member
 
stillsleeping's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,419
Blog Entries: 33
Originally Posted by nycguy83 View Post

Is there some other powerful entity or entities that is listening in to my thoughts?
...better not be...

stillsleeping is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to stillsleeping For This Useful Post:
Zencat (04-03-2012)
Old 04-03-2012, 04:40 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,125
I'm interested in the pure psychology of prayer,something along the lines of prayer simply pulling ourselves out of ourselves, concentrating on becoming a better person, hoping against hope that someone I see with a deformity or withered limb will have a better day, can find happiness.

And I also thing the concept of meditation and/or prayer are very similar, whether we believe in a deity or not.

I believe in what I will never know...and that's a lot.

I do AA, my sponsor is Buddhist, and she tells me to pray. Asks if I pray about whatever problem arises.

I think humility is the start, that simple acknowledgement that I really am squat in most every context I can think of, and it's that open-mindedness that then gets me out of my own head and provides a willingness to believe in what I will never know, and that is that I will never know much in the grand scheme of things.

Make sense? Nope. But I do think prayer and meditation in the Buddhist tradition are closely linked as far as having any power, be the power of powerlessness or the power of deconstructing ego. Just rambling folks.
MemphisBlues is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to MemphisBlues For This Useful Post:
GirlFromCO (04-03-2012), GrowingDaily (04-05-2012), shockozulu (04-04-2012)
Old 04-03-2012, 04:45 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
Member
 
stillsleeping's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,419
Blog Entries: 33
I like the idea of humility, of believing that there are more powerful important things than me in the universe, but asking them for, for example, serenity, to me is very different to something like meditation. In meditation, I'm looking into myself for answers, and listening to the world, and even the universe, around me for inspiration, help and insight. But I can't ask it for help, because there is no part of it that is listening to me.
stillsleeping is offline  
Old 04-03-2012, 04:48 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
Member
 
stillsleeping's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,419
Blog Entries: 33
Originally Posted by stillsleeping View Post
I like the idea of humility, of believing that there are more powerful important things than me in the universe, but asking them for, for example, serenity, to me is very different to something like meditation. In meditation, I'm looking into myself for answers, and listening to the world, and even the universe, around me for inspiration, help and insight. But I can't ask it for help, because there is no part of it that is listening to me.
Man, I am so very sorry for the overwhelming number of commas in this post. How embarrassing.
stillsleeping is offline  
Old 04-03-2012, 06:06 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
Member of SMART Recovery
 
onlythetruth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,722
Originally Posted by stillsleeping View Post
Man, I am so very sorry for the overwhelming number of commas in this post. How embarrassing.
Heavens, there was nothing wrong at all with what you wrote--your punctuation was entirely correct.

One of the best writers in the world--Jane Austen--used a lot of punctuation, too!
onlythetruth is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to onlythetruth For This Useful Post:
topspin (04-03-2012)
Old 04-03-2012, 06:13 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
Member
 
stillsleeping's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,419
Blog Entries: 33
Originally Posted by onlythetruth View Post
Heavens, there was nothing wrong at all with what you wrote--your punctuation was entirely correct.

One of the best writers in the world--Jane Austen--used a lot of punctuation, too!

Agggghhh! I know, and I hate it! Oh boy, please don't get mad at me for that...

The problem is that I think in clauses (heh, there are not many people I could have this conversation with ) and frequently subordinate as I go along, merrily splitting the main clause as my train of thought takes me somewhere else. So I keep track with the, as you said, perfectly correct and rather pedantic commas.

But, and this is the bit I don't want you to hate me for, reading Austen drives me nuts. Beautiful social observation but far too many commas heh heh

And I'm aware that I've started two sentences with dependent conjunctions...

Nerd alert!

xxxx
stillsleeping is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to stillsleeping For This Useful Post:
onlythetruth (04-03-2012), topspin (04-03-2012)
Old 04-03-2012, 08:53 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
Member
 
m1k3's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 2,884
Funny, in meditation I'm not looking for anything and I'm not, not looking for anything. I'm simply sitting and counting breaths. Thoughts come, thoughts go, feelings come, feelings go and I still simply sit and count breaths.

The best description I heard for the type of meditation is to do this:

When you sit, sit like a mountain. Your thoughts and feelings are clouds. The mountain doesn't hang on to the clouds and the clouds don't move the mountain.

As for prayer, I don't do it. I don't feel that there is any need to pray. I am complete as I am. I neither want nor need help from an outside spiritual source.

Your friend,
m1k3 is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to m1k3 For This Useful Post:
GirlFromCO (04-03-2012), stillsleeping (04-03-2012), topspin (04-03-2012)
Old 04-03-2012, 12:45 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
☯ ⓌⒾⓁⓁ☯
 
Zencat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Oxnard (The Nard), CA, USA.
Posts: 8,279
Blog Entries: 12
Originally Posted by nycguy83
Is there some other powerful entity or entities that is listening in to my thoughts?
Originally Posted by stillsleeping
...better not be...

Zencat is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Zencat For This Useful Post:
stillsleeping (04-03-2012)
Old 04-03-2012, 01:32 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
☯ ⓌⒾⓁⓁ☯
 
Zencat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Oxnard (The Nard), CA, USA.
Posts: 8,279
Blog Entries: 12
Originally Posted by m1k3
Funny, in meditation I'm not looking for anything and I'm not, not looking for anything. I'm simply sitting and counting breaths. Thoughts come, thoughts go, feelings come, feelings go and I still simply sit and count breaths.
I do much the same as m1k3 when it comes to meditation except I don't count my breaths. In my meditation practice I stop the thoughts from coming and sit with a clear mind. Doing such I sit in nothing other than pure awareness. Its very calming in that state.

I guess I barrow from a Buddhist tradition that has no prayer included in their practice. Buddhist monk Pema sums it up nicely for me.
"Non-theism is relaxing with the ambiguity and uncertainty of the present moment without reaching for anything to protect ourselves. ... Nontheism is finally realizing there is no babysitter you can count on." -Pema Chödrön
I also have no babysitter that I can count on. If I am the problem, then I am the solution. Meditation brings me many of the solutions I seek.

As for humility goes with regards to the universe and everything within it. Yeppers, I am miniscule compared to the power of a supernova or the sun or even the local electrical power plant. And the list go on with the things that have more power that little ole me. I'm best off paying close attention to what I'm doing or not doing. I may not be able to exert great power over most everything in life, I can however control what I'm doing, especially when it comes to putting a bottle full of ethanol to my lips. I'm not attached to a puppeteer dancing me to the liquor store by any means.
Zencat is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Zencat For This Useful Post:
GG733 (04-25-2012), m1k3 (04-29-2012), stillsleeping (04-04-2012), topspin (04-03-2012)
Old 04-03-2012, 06:00 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
Member of SMART Recovery
 
onlythetruth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,722
Originally Posted by stillsleeping View Post
Agggghhh! I know, and I hate it! Oh boy, please don't get mad at me for that...

The problem is that I think in clauses (heh, there are not many people I could have this conversation with ) and frequently subordinate as I go along, merrily splitting the main clause as my train of thought takes me somewhere else. So I keep track with the, as you said, perfectly correct and rather pedantic commas.

But, and this is the bit I don't want you to hate me for, reading Austen drives me nuts. Beautiful social observation but far too many commas heh heh

And I'm aware that I've started two sentences with dependent conjunctions...

Nerd alert!

xxxx
Ha! A woman after my own nerdy heart! I love it and readily forgive the dependent conjunctions!

I do like Jane Austen, but I don't hate you because reading her stuff drives you nuts. You are right: her writing is incredibly convoluted, and I can see why you wouldn't like it.
onlythetruth is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to onlythetruth For This Useful Post:
topspin (04-03-2012)
Old 04-04-2012, 05:02 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Mpls., MN
Posts: 20
interesting thread - I like this one...

As a liguist, I can tell you that the word prayer definitely involves a god/deity/religion. It's right there in the definition. As to who you are praying to, well I guess that's where the discussion comeis in. Some people are talking to a god, others to the universe, but essentially prayer is where you believe someone who is in a position to respond is listening to you. Otherwise it's meditation or something similar. ...


Sorry I do not know how to quote on here but to the above I am just saying this...

you are right.
tiredoftryin is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to tiredoftryin For This Useful Post:
stillsleeping (04-04-2012), Zencat (04-04-2012)
Old 04-04-2012, 05:29 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
Member
 
Charon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 1,758
Originally Posted by stillsleeping View Post
Hia,

interesting thread - I like this one...

As a liguist, I can tell you that the word prayer definitely involves a god/deity/religion. It's right there in the definition. As to who you are praying to, well I guess that's where the discussion comeis in. Some people are talking to a god, others to the universe, but essentially prayer is where you believe someone who is in a position to respond is listening to you. Otherwise it's meditation or something similar.
What if you believe that there is a force, not omnipotent, not omniscent, that exists - like gravity or electricity - that we don't have a clue about but that we can tap in to.

Nevermind (like Emily Latella - SNL) - just realized that probably fits the definition (semantically) of meditation. Don't matter if it's external or internal. I guess it's prayer if you believe it's external and meditation if you believe it's internal. I guess my question is - does it matter if it works?
Charon is offline  
Old 04-04-2012, 05:37 AM
  # 37 (permalink)  
Member
 
stillsleeping's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,419
Blog Entries: 33
Originally Posted by Charon View Post
I guess my question is - does it matter if it works?

No way! I am not a spiritual person, in fact a friend has just suggested that I try breathing. I think the suggestion was, just shut up and breathe, dammit! ...so I am a long way from either prayer or meditation. But I love language and etymology, and this interested me.

I don't disbelieve in god. I don't know what's going on. I don't believe in a loving god. At the same time, the fact that we and everything in the universe are all made from the same transfering energy is obvious. And the fact that at an atomic level there is no such thing as a solid object, so essentially we are only energy, only energy that lives and loves and fcks and breathes... well, start thinkin like that and I probably should pray.

Stupid Coffeenut, makin me breathe...

stillsleeping is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to stillsleeping For This Useful Post:
Charon (04-05-2012)
Old 04-04-2012, 05:43 AM
  # 38 (permalink)  
Member
 
stillsleeping's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,419
Blog Entries: 33
Originally Posted by tiredoftryin View Post
interesting thread - I like this one...

As a liguist, I can tell you that the word prayer definitely involves a god/deity/religion. It's right there in the definition. As to who you are praying to, well I guess that's where the discussion comeis in. Some people are talking to a god, others to the universe, but essentially prayer is where you believe someone who is in a position to respond is listening to you. Otherwise it's meditation or something similar. ...


Sorry I do not know how to quote on here but to the above I am just saying this...

you are right.
Hey Tired, if you look in the bottom left of the post you'll see a little button that says Quote. Click on it and it'll include the post as a quote. You can delete the bits you want to keep as long as you keep the quote brackets at the beginning and end.

xx
stillsleeping is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to stillsleeping For This Useful Post:
tiredoftryin (04-05-2012)
Old 04-04-2012, 06:13 AM
  # 39 (permalink)  
Member
 
m1k3's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 2,884
StillSleeping, you might like Buddhism. No god required. One of the main teachings of Buddhism is dependent co-arising. There is nothing that is independent from everything else, everything is interconnected. For example I often view myself as an independent person living in the universe, but in reality I'm not. I have genes from both my parents, who have genes from both their parents and so on and so forth back to single cell creatures living in the primordial ooze. But it goes even beyond that. I drink water, eat food, breathe air, all of which I can't live without. I am a part of this planet, made from chemicals and atoms that have existed here since the planet was born. And the planet is made of bits from suns that lived and died billions of years ago. If any of that is missing then no me.

So, while our sense of being an independent self can be useful it is an illusion.

Then to make it even worse, everything is changing. Everything is always changing and nothing is the same from day to day. I am not the same person that I was yesterday or 5 years ago or when I was a teenager. As the Buddha said, everything is on fire (change). The whole universe is burning, I am burning, you are burning, all is burning.

Pretty cool when you think about it. I am an illusion. There is no independent me and there is no me that exists beyond the current moment. I am constantly being born and dying over and over again from moment to moment and I am linked to everything that has ever happened that lead to this moment. Think of it as sitting in the front seat of a roller coaster racing up and down the track from moment to moment. The track you have already traveled had to exist exactly the way it did but it is just memories as you are no longer on that piece of track anymore. The future is the next piece of track racing towards you. You have no control over where you have been and no control over where you are going so you might as well sit back and enjoy the ride.

Your friend,
m1k3 is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to m1k3 For This Useful Post:
Charon (04-05-2012), GG733 (04-25-2012), soberlicious (04-28-2012), stillsleeping (04-04-2012), Zencat (04-04-2012)
Old 04-04-2012, 07:27 AM
  # 40 (permalink)  
Member
 
stillsleeping's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,419
Blog Entries: 33
Thanks my friend Mike

I need to think about that. I'm going to the pub now (gulp) but I'll load it again on my phone in the car and have a proper read. xxx
stillsleeping is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to stillsleeping For This Useful Post:
m1k3 (04-04-2012)

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:50 PM.