Shades of Pray

The past couple of weeks have been laden with a deep sense of change. Loss. Struggle. DSC08668Conflict. Beauty. Alienation. Death. Misunderstanding. Illness. Insecurity. And a slew of powerful dreams – including one in which I heard a torrential downpour, waking up to the near-certainty of flooded ground outside.. only to find parched earth outside my window instead.

In the wake of these undulating emotions, I craved peace. I found it through prayer.

Not in the conventional sense, mind you.

Unlike others around tDSC08660he world, who have been flocking to indoor spaces – to churches, temples, syngagogues, mosques and Mecca; and even unlike the Balinese who almost daily venture to their temples en plein air, I sought refuge in a pool. There, in the shadows of frangipani and coconut palms, banana trees and shrines laden with incense and offerings, I swam (another version of ‘meditation in action’) – and prayed.

I prayed for she who died far too young; for he who was losing faith and agility; for she who lost her way in our friendship; for he who could not take responsibility – and for myself, who was on shifting ground.

Then, I ventured into unsettling territory: the realm of forgiveness – and apology. I reflected on it, wrote about it, doodled around it. Then I read an insightful if not irreverent essay about it. I wondered whether I was practicing forgiveness – or paying lip service.

Not for trivial matters, those that I’d long forgotten about; but those that had taken on a life of their own, larger-than-life, super-grudge size. Those, I acknowledged, were dragging behind me, draped all over me, sewn onto my skin like patches or bruises of permanence. I prayed for dissolution, for the dress of stubbornness to fall by the wayside, for my damaged skin to be cleansed of the weight and discoloration… I prayed for forgiveness to flow.

DSC08663Mornings, my prayers rose with the sun. Then, in late afternoon, after a day filled with schedule and busy-ness, I’d pray for letting go of residue, for more faith and hope in tomorrow, for accepting what is. And practicing gratitude.

If you only say one prayer in a day, make it “thank you.” – Rumi

Ahhh, ’tis the season of prayer…

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Amit, Love this post. Prayer can be such great solace, storms have a tendency to elicit them. Regardless of outcome, peace often invades the heart. Blessings.
    P.S. – Just created a page for Healing Pilgrim on my blog. Doing it for all those who have done guest posts. Please check it out and let me know that you are okay with it. Would it be possible to get a small photo of yourself to include?
    Thanks Steve

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