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Off The Mat Yoga: Make Each Day a Prayer

Meditation | Meditation for Beginners

First—let’s define what a prayer is. If you’re like me, when you hear the word “prayer,” you conjure images of a kneeling devotee, palms clasped tightly, mumbling an outdated form of English (with words like “thy”) to a long-haired, robe-wearing, staff-brandishing man, making determinations about who gets what, all whilst thinking intently about something you desire—be it for yourself or another.

This is a valid and reasonable description of how we commonly define prayer—a devout petition to God or an object of worship. However, when I suggest “make each day a prayer,” I am calling in something slightly different.

The deference to higher (or that-which-we-don’t-fully-grasp) reality (God) is still present, but rather than relegating the act of prayer to something we do a few times a day, at night, or when shit hits the fan—the prayer here is defined as an action of gratitude, present in ALL that we do.

Prayer As Gratitude

It might seem a tad rosy (or completely idealistic) to request gratitude in all our actions—life after all has its challenges—so perhaps we need to recalibrate first with a little perspective.

If you’ve ever witnessed, or have been a vessel for, childbirth—chances are you can easily conjure a memory of a particular realization of just how miraculous our lives are. (Of course, there are many examples that illuminate the brilliance of life; this is just one obvious, and quite common example.)

Pause. Witness your thoughts right now. Look down at your skin. Now, as you’re observing your thoughts and contemplating your body: remember.

Everything about you right now is a snapshot, a frame of a moment of time, a moment that stands in a tremendous tapestry of moments that conspired to bring you to now—an experience of a miraculous confluence of synchronicities.

Your Presence Here and Now

…is an amalgam of circumstances that brought your parents together; circumstances that allowed for the necessary reproductive collaboration to persevere through impossible odds, circumstances that enabled your little fingers and toes to take form, circumstances that exist in a world we take for granted, one that we will never ever fully understand.

There was a world before YOU that did not carry your flesh, did not hold your thoughts or capacity for creative potential, and there will be a world that exists without YOU once again.

Our technology has trained on a world, both in the microscopic and telescopic realm that evades our best attempts at definition—it is impossibly vast, intensely small, and doesn’t adhere to our attempts of rule construction. Life is mystery—through and through.

Now—come back to your thoughts. Visit the mild annoyances, the list of tasks begging your attention, the hang-ups, the minor and major beliefs, the convictions, the fears, the memories that flit in and out of your awareness, and KNOW…it is all just happening now, and can just as easily not be happening tomorrow.

You can choose to let your life be limited by your awareness, or you can allow your life to expand within your awareness.

There is no one who can tell you that what you believe is untrue, that your thoughts don’t matter, that anything about who you are and what you do is unnecessary.

And yet…I know you don’t consider the utter brilliance of your life each moment of each day. You don’t consider the unlimited potential of YOU, that you don’t live with a Holy Shit I’m Really Fucking Alive mentality in all of your hours.

How To Make Each Day a Prayer

To make each day a prayer is to bow before the mystery and grandeur of YOU. It is to unstick ourselves from what sticks us to a narrowly perceived view of self.

To make each day a prayer is to bow in gratitude to every moment—to know somewhere deep inside that every moment matters NOW just as it did when moments were aligning to make your life possible in the first place.

Make each day a prayer. Go and live with a “hell yeah” mentality. If something doesn’t feel aligned with your deepest intentions, let it “be gone.” It all matters and yet…it doesn’t.

Make each day a prayer. You deserve it.

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