Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Three Prayers of Real Power

Odilon Redon - Design for A Prayer Rug (1909)
I will share another Bodhisattvic secret with you. You won't find it in the 84,000 shlokas (at least not expressed so nakedly). There are three prayers of real power.

The most powerful of them is simply "Thine, not mine, be done." This prayer is impeccable.

It is the way of the Tao. It is appropriate in all circumstances. It inherently acknowledges the irrelevancy of our own notions, and flawlessly aligns us with the inexorable turning of the great wheel. It is inviolate and infallible. 

There are two other prayers of power (although the first prayer underlies them both). 

There is a prayer for those who do harm, and a prayer for those who are lost in their own dreams. For those who do harm, simply pray that they get what they need. Not what they imagine they need, but what they actually need -- at the soul level. Because what a harmful person needs most is to encounter justice, i.e., to be confronted by the consequences. For the harmful person, the reckoning is the quickening. This prayer is a formidable weapon. I have wielded it victoriously in battle. 

For those who are lost in their own dreams, simply pray that they get whatever they imagine they want. Not what they need, not even what they really want (often a mystery), but rather what they imagine they want. Consider the dreamer who is offered a choice between accepting the rare gift of real medicine or pursuing some dream-within-a-dream gift that promises so much more than it can deliver. Yes, the dreamer will almost invariably choose the futile pursuit of the dream-within-a-dream over accepting the rare but tangible gift of real medicine.

So simply pray that the dreamer achieves what she or he dream-desires most. If attained, it will turn out to be very different than what she or he had imagined, and the bitter experience will hasten that person's arrival at the place of great disillusionment. And for those who are lost in their own dreams, that great disillusionment is the quickening. 

Yes, yes, "May all beings be well, may all beings be happy" is THE bodhisattva prayer (the one you will find in the 84,000 shlokas). But think of it as the exoteric version, and think of these three prayers as the esoteric versions, the tantric versions. 

There is, of course, a dimension of prayer beyond both the exoteric and the esoteric, but its nature is unspeakable. These are Bodhisattvic secrets. They are open secrets. There is no need to hide them. Only those with eyes to hear and ears to see will understand. As for the others, well, let us pray. 

-- Richard Power, Author, Speaker, Yoga Teacher (RYT500)