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PRAYER, CONTEMPLATION AND MANTRA

Without the possibility of direct contact with the Ultimate, all human effort with regard to spirituality and religion would be in vain. The truth of wisdom, holiness and divine inspiration would be a mockery. The adversaries would be confirmed in their assertions, that religion is just a projection of people's own (small) mind. During the centuries accounts have been given - mainly by mystics - of undeniable in depth insights into the Transcendence, though*. Their or anybodies' phantasies could have never invented them. Ever since, people who "had seen (been!) the Other Shore" have exhausted themselves in giving guidance on the Path of prayer, contemplation and meditation.   

* For the Christian tradition, see: Evelyn Underhill "Mysticism", 2004 Oneworld

I consider myself as occupying a humble position in that tradition. It came only late, after I had re-discovered the Great Mother as the Ultimate Reality. Before that, there wasn't any "other" in my life, no need to address myself to anybody. Surely, devotional poems of Kabir, Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross f.i. really touched my heart. But it was only recently, that I felt the NEED to address to the Unknown Dimension of the Mother, myself. The Light can be attained, realized or "possessed", Nothingness Beyond - the Cosmic Vacuum or Womb - cannot. Hence, not realization, but devotion, worship and surrender, are the highest stages on the Path. And with it the urge to relate myself to it.

Many consider "prayer" to be a lower level, compared to meditation. It is NOT. Obviously, the way how you address yourself to the Ultimate is decisive. It was the main issue at the time of Teresa. She was increasingly dissatisfied with formal prayer. So, she embarked on the Path of Contemplation. In the East, prayer existed mainly in the form of mantra, the inner whispering of a syllable or (sacred) word. In Buddhism, meditation has always been THE gate toward Realization. With the opening up of non-Western traditions, all these approaches became available to us. They were (are) fertilizing each other. Through them and my own insights e.g. experiences I found a very "workable" synthesis.

What is crucial, though, is a deep longing for "meeting he Mother". Without it, no prayer will be answered. The motivation can be different, from wanting "to know Her", to "praising Her", to "asking for favors", to "the desire to become healed". The common denominator is the preparedness to surrender, to put your life entirely in Her hands (lap), without holding back anything. How do you surrender to Nothingness, though? Isn't that creating fear? Yes, it might. Therefore, beginners (and who isn't) may temporarily use the help of the imagination. Two examples. One is to imagine the Mother as a Cosmic Womb, including everything, without exception. The other is to identify yourself with the one you were as a child, imagening the Mother as some kind of physical appearence.

1. Tuning in

In between these two extremes, there are countless other possibilities. Often, these come to you spontaneously. However, the main gate to the Mother is to create a context (in yourself), through which resonance becomes likely. In order to vibrate with the Presence of the Mother (Her Light Body), you have to be present, as well. It is all about becoming aware. In order to realize this, contact with your body is a first pre-requisite. It is through "feeling awareness", that this contact is established*. The result is the fusing of awareness and the body: your "aware body". At this stage a fruitful context is created. You are now "body to Body" with the Great Mother, indeed, two spitting images. It is the stage of being tuned to each other. It can be completed by especially becoming aware of (feeling!) your back. Maybe you didn't know, but the Beyond is on your backside**. To intensify it, you may visualize your back bathing in transcendental Light.

* For details, see "The Universal Way".

** That's why the halo's of Buddhist and Christian saints is on the backside of their heads. It symbolizes the center of Consciousness.

2. Watching and accepting

Once having created a context you may then turn to the content of your inner space. This content consists of a ongoing flow of thoughts, feelings, emotions, desires, fears, anxieties, dreams, phantasies, insights, commentaries, intuitions, judgements etc. In psychology this is called the "psyche". Because of the inner distance you created, most of these contents are just passing by. They come and go, while you - your inner observing - is watching them without interfering. You enjoy the game of being free, while giving freedom to your flow. However, everyone knows, that not everything goes that smooth. There are emotional complexes, that stubbornly return, taking you out of your center all the time. They appear stronger than your watching. For a (short) while, they are in command "doing with you what they like". The core of the problem is, that these complexes are living a life of their own, causing all kinds of undesirable situations. In order to become whole, they have to become integrated, though. It is a process of watching, feeling and accepting. It corresponds with the second step of The Universal Way: "Personal Integration".

3. Giving everything back

Ultimately, everything originates from One Space, Mother's Space. We only "borrowed" our thoughts, emotions and desires from Her. She lets us identify with them in order to make (social) life possible. Spiritually, they serve as lessons. They are the obstacles that invite you to further grow on the spiritual Path. The greater the obstacles, the greater the chance of progress. First you accept your own responsibility. Hence, you ALWAYS watch and accept, whatever comes to your mind. Sooner or later you reach the limit of what you yourself can integrate. This is the moment that you start calling the Mother for help. So, after we have watched and tried to accept, we may subsequently start giving everything back to where it belongs, to the Mother. First, you deeply realize, that everything is in Her Space. You thus don't shirk your responsibility, but rather give the contents back to where they belong: in Mother's "Lap". You allow them to take up their natural place, once again. Once they are integrated in the Mother's "web of life", all kinds of interactions are taking place, through which this particular content is going to be transformed. If it is valuable to your life, it may come back to you as insight, intuition, a moment of joy, a shivering, tears, gratitude, compassion, strength or reflection. If not, then it disappears in the myriad of events of the "web of life".

This procedure is the essence of contemplation. It may replace the old ways of prayer and even meditation. Its surplus value is the combination of creating the context (the meditative part), personal integration (wholeness) and surrender (oneness). To certain extend, to whom you pray is irrelevant. If the conditions are met, praying to God, Allah, the Virgin Mary or the local spirit, may be surprisingly similar. It is your inner attitude that is decisive. This is one part, though. The other part is determined by how close the object of your devotion is to Reality. The more close, the stronger the resonance, e.g. the more powerful your prayer. Simply, because resonance with Reality is incomparably superior to connecting to a derivative. That's why the quest for Truth is so important. In our case, it is the Nature of the Mother, that is settling everything. She embodies the Ultimate Truth, going deeper than any other understanding of the Transcendence. In practice, if you give back a difficult problem to Her, whispering "O, Mother, your Womb is much more able to handle this than I do, while IMAGINING that your problem disappears into Her unfathomable Depth, then your prayer is far more effective, compared to those who pray to a (vague) God (or any number of His images, concepts or idea's, originating from arbitrary interpretations of a book, church or dogma), the latter lacking this ultimate power of receiving your plea.*

* For more, see: "Mother Blog"

4. Mantra/Healing/Enlightenment

Above mentioned goes for mantra too. Based on insight into the True Nature of the Mother - being a Cosmic Vacuum in which everything dies, while being reborn - a mantra can be exactly being geared to the Reality it tries to establish contact with. I feel very fortunate to present you a very powerful one, indeed. It goes like this. As part of your overall body awareness you watch and feel your breathing. Once established, you start whispering "death" with every breathing out, while repeating "rebirth" with every breathing in. The secret is this. In keeping the exhalation in its lowest point - which is emptiness - for some seconds, your breathing in will spontaneously originate from it. The longer you hold on, the more powerful the breath*. This is corresponding with the Cosmic Process of everything old, worn-out, ugly, sick and accumulated dying in the Cosmic Vacuum (Womb), while giving birth to the New, the Fresh and the Young. It is the way the Light is being born out Darkness; it is the way the whole universe is continuously renewed. By complying with it, Cosmic Power will be bestowed upon you. Microcosmos is reflecting macrocosmos. In case of the need for healing, you simultaneously imagine the location of your sickness, while letting the flow of renewal run through the affected parts. Watch and feel it! This you practice "24 hours a day".**

* The more Empty you are, the more Mother's Fullness (Her Light Body) will manifest itself through you. Being Nothing, you are everything!

** Especially in the sacred moments before falling asleep. See: "Mother Blog".

Once your cup is empty, the Mother may pour Her "tea" into you. Especially in moments of total "forgetfulness" about yourself, She may bestow Her limitless Light Body upon you. It is an overwhelming Experience of unimaginable joy and gratitude. From that Moment on you never will be the same, anymore, ever.

* See: "Threefold Realization"

Previous culminates into the "Mother of God" "mantra"*. "Mother" during exhalation and "of God" during inhalation. You do it with surrender and feeling awareness e.g. feeling and watching. Soon the exhalation will be pouring itself into the lowest point of your pelvis, disappearing into bottomlessness. It is the metaphor for the Abyss of the Cosmic Womb. An experience that can be shared by both women and men! The mystery: the deeper you let your breath - together with your inner whispering - go into the groundless ground, the more powerful your breathing-in is. Emptiness as a pre-requisite for Fullness. The Divine born out of the Depth of the Primordial Mother. The Mother giving birth to the Light through wu-wei, effortless effort. Once you experience this, the deepest secret of the universe has revealed itself to you. Bottomlessness as the Source of limitless power. It proves that "God" isn't the Ultimate Reality. It is receiving its Radiance from the Realm Beyond: the Cosmic Mother.  

* E.g. "Mother of the Goddess"

In the first stage, it is you - your ego - who is doing the mantra. By practising it 24 hours a day in full surrender to the Mother, the whispering increasingly will originate from a different center: your True Inner Self. From that moment on the mantra will come from your innermost Core. It is very subtle, continuously giving rise to gratitude and joy. There is a third stage, though. A stage in which the "Mother of God" mantra coincides with the Reality Beyond. From that moment on "the Mother is whispering the mantra", sharing Her Essence with you.  

5. Purification/Catharsis

There are two kinds of Realization. One as the result of self-effort and one bestowed upon you by Grace. The former mostly being the extension of ego-ambition, while the latter happens because of the lack of it. In the first case you force the Ultimate to comply with your desires. The underlying motivation varies from feeling miserable to the ambition of becoming a great teacher. All these cases are based on greed. You lack something and the Ultimate is summoned to give IT to you. This could even be forgiven - knowing human weakness - were it not that the underlying ego-aspirations won't dissolve, not even after Enlightenment. On the contrary, the latter will only stimulate the former and vice versa. The result is a person, who uses Realization to boost his or her own ego-ambitions.

Some would say, how is this possible? Haven't people in the East been striving for Enlightenment for centuries? Aren't those traditions - Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism - highly respectable? Didn't they enrich the West in an unparalleled way? Isn't the Buddha a symbol of righteousness, purity and holiness? Yes, you are right, it is all true what you are saying. There is one big difference, though. It is the circumstances in which were are living. In the past, somebody who got Enlightened was taken care of by the rules of religious conduct, norms and values, tradition and the structure of society*. Realized Ones had to play a role, that was openly or secretly scrutinized by his or her environment. Moreover, those societies as a whole were very much embedded into spirituality and religion. Materialism was despised or at least looked down at. How different the situation we are in today!

* Although many Realized Ones boosted about the fact that they attained "absolute liberation", the practice of every day life did have a limiting effect on most of them.

In our society ego-addiction is promoted as being the highest value. All efforts are concentrated on "having" rather than "Being". More, more and more is the motto. Individualism is praised, instead of moderation and balance. "To make a difference" is portrayed as the ultimate goal. Fellow human beings are considered as tools to achieve personal aims. Everybody is using everybody, everybody wants to be the first, the most famous, the richest, the most powerful, the sexiest, the coolest, the most successful, everything at the expense of others. Spirituality is not an exception. On the contrary, it is being exploited for various ego-goals, from "feeling better", stressmanagement and entertainment to improving the effectiveness e.g. profit making of big business. Enlightenment, once the highest ideal of purity has become a commodity, something to HAVE. With it, both religion and society have reached rock bottom.

It is the reason, why purification/catharsis are indispensible on the spiritual Path. For further details, see: "The Universal Way" and "Mother Healing" f.i.    

6. Gratitude, praise and joy

MOTHER PRAYER

Perfect Emptiness
Womb of the All
Abyss of Nothingness
Mystery of Mysteries
Giving Birth through utter
Self-emptying
Origin of all that is
Of Being and the whole of existence
Mother of God
The universe and the green earth
The grass, the trees, the animals, people
The rivers, the rocks and the clouds
In the selfsame Eternal Moment
Taking everything back into Your Lap
Let us continuously
Die and being reborn
Restoring the Wholeness of Life
Mother, Eternal Wisdom
Law of the Universe
Refuge to the lost
Liberator to all oppressed
Comfort to those who suffer
Destroyer of evil
Healer of the sick
Sacred Ur-Ground
Loving Mother
Empower us

7. Compassion e.g. action    

Every stage on the Path has its own corresponding level of compassion e.g. action. It ranges from loving yourself to loving everybody/everything around you. It is the core meaning of spirituality. Eventually you are part of the Whole, while the whole is part of You. It is the essence of "loving everything as yourself". I was granted to make this journey. Hence, my entire life is a witness to that. For the last ten years, I have tried to put the Indescribable into the describable. Now, the moment as come to put everything into practice. Maybe we are encountering similar obstacles. Mother people are lucky. With Her at the "background" an infinite Source of inspiration, commitment and inclusiveness is available. Especially to those who consider connecting "inner and outer" as the goal of life. They are the true hopefuls on this earth. "Personally", I feel very much connected to everybody who has the courage to commit him or herself to the only problem worth living for: "Healing the Planet". Let's join efforts!

Related links
Mother Healing
Mother Blog 

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  2005 Copyright Han Marie Stiekema
Last revising: 08/09/12