The Energy of Prayer, How to Deepen Your Spiritual Practice by Thích Nhất Hạnh
I’m not religious, nor did I grow up in any specific faith tradition but I have always felt a connection to what some call the Divine, or the universe, or God. I pray daily, often in a spontaneous way, and sometimes in a more ritualized manner such as when I sit down for meditation. I pray to get in touch with the present moment, to express genuine and heartfelt gratitude, and to receive support and guidance. I pray to be happy.
When I read The Energy of Prayer, How to Deepen Your Spiritual Practice I was excited to learn that Thầy shared a similar understanding of prayer. He writes, “[…] when we pray in Buddhism, we are praying both to ourselves and to what is outside of ourselves; there is no distinction. If, in truth, we are practicing, then we can see that we also have the same substance of love, mindfulness, and understanding as all the great beings. God and we are of the same substance. Between God and us there is no discrimination, no separation. The energy of mindfulness is a real energy, and whenever energy is applied there is change.”
For Thích Nhất Hạnh, change is manifested “[…] from this powerhouse we call mind,” further adding that “prayer always has a result, but the level of the result varies. […] It may be creating results that we cannot yet see.” Thầy reminds us that “to pray effectively, our body and mind must dwell peacefully in the present moment.” Only then are we “able to truly feel that the present moment is a wonderful moment. […] Happiness is always something simple.”
I recommend this book to anyone who particularly enjoys the spiritual qualities of their mindfulness practice, and to anyone who feels compelled to delve deeper into it.
Written by Sarah Arriagada, International Rights and Art Coordinator