Prayer and Meditation: Fundamentals for Finding Our Way Home
In the beginning, the original sin committed was the “sin of separation.” We, as souls, separated ourselves from God. We knew, in part, what we were doing, but our awareness was certainly fragmentary. Like teenage children fleeing the parental nest, we were naive and impatient. We presumed to know how the cosmos worked, only to discover our ineptitude with material things. Ever since our downfall, we lost souls have remained scattered in levels of consciousness throughout the universe, attempting to overcome self-indulgent temptations and find our way back. Some have overcome the trap of material lust in dimensions beyond the earth plane, and have remained as way-showers and teachers. Others remain on the wheel of reincarnation until they love all things without desire.
God, in its infinite wisdom, granted us free will and prepared a return route to our original togetherness.
Prayer and meditation are the fundamental implements for finding our way home. Of course, God also incorporated a few rules and conditions when the sojourn was mapped out. In harmony, we can only return when we are more—never less. To accomplish this, our lessons lie in how we deal with each other. Learning by experience is the only way humans learn. So, to overcome ignorance, the rule, “Whatever we give out to others we receive, “ became a natural law. This law of cause and effect, or karma, can stretch over eons of time, and over many lifetimes, in order to show us the other side of the coin, and place us on the receiving end of what we have given out. It can be instant karma (especially if you know you are doing something wrong and do it anyway). The law of grace overrides the need to physically go through and experience where the tables have been turned, as long as you understand the experience from all sides.
It should be understood that it is all too easy to create a dependency on someone or something else to take your troubles away. All too often, we look outside of ourselves for help, before we try to help ourselves. Yet, you own the problems. They are yours to solve, not for God or someone else to take away. After all, adversity has come into your life for a purpose. “God helps those who help themselves” is a worn but accurate saying. It means you are never alone. Solutions and opportunities beyond your normal realm of thinking are available to help you out of your bind. Miracles do exist and they have their purpose. Remember that you will not experience any hardship or difficulty that you cannot bear. If you succumb to the circumstance, it is because of your fear, not because you are abandoned. If you turn your back on God, God cannot help you. Knowing you will take full responsibility for consequences in the future allows your present decisions to take on new meaning. God isn’t going to pull you from a disaster you’ve created, but, by prayer, a way out can be shown.
Prayer requires a singleness of purpose. It is a process that takes time to manifest, from the unseen into the world. Be selective and careful about what you pray for! “Dear Lord, give me strength,” translates into problems coming into your life to make you strong. “Dear Lord, make me wise and tolerant,” translates into dealing with the cunning and deceitful who will tax your patience and provoke you.
Prayer should be looked upon as a request for aid that will provide the people, circumstances, materials, or opportunities to solve your predicament. For example, “Dear Lord, please send those who can and will aid me in rebuilding our burned house.” Or for healing, “Dear Lord, we ask for healing of (name of person or type of illness) to be sent now, and we give thanks for that. It can be accepted and is accepted by this person. Amen.” This type of prayer is a petition to the benevolent force of God—or Love—to intervene, not to interfere in someone’s life. Remember to always ask for help, otherwise, there can be no help given—it would be an intrusion upon your free will. Rev. Alex Holmes, a longstanding Anglican minster who instructed me in the “laying on of hands” once told me, “When I remember to pray, helpful coincidences come into my life. But when I forget to pray, they don’t, and I have a hard time of it.”
In its simplest form, prayer is what you think about all the time. Have you noticed that when you need something and you constantly think of it, it comes to you?
In meditation, one passes over the threshold of the conscious mind and into the unknown. The seeking mind can be likened to a skin diver plunging into a deep pool. With each dive, more is learned about how to dive and what awaits the diver. At the deepest levels, treasure can be found and, once found, revisited at any time. Until then, the seeker has no bearings, or familiar surroundings and is quite vulnerable. Protection is needed. Meditation is not a simple state. I assume the reader to have had some experience with meditation—perhaps from quietly awaiting the solution to a problem. This could be called surface meditation, as you are still able to see where you are. As you enter deeper states of mind, you reach out without knowing what you may contact. A prayer of protection should be used. This is the prayer I use before each deep trance reading, even though I have been doing daily readings for eleven years: “Dear Lord, please protect this inquiring mind from any and all negative influences, regardless of source. Amen.” This is necessary because there exist those lesser-evolved souls who are stuck in the astral plane and feed on emotion. Usually strong emotions, like fear, lust, and acts of violence give these misguided entities some vicarious life again in the earth. Possession and aggravating voices in your ear or vile, filthy remarks when using automatic writing are evidence of these souls. Do not be afraid of them or of ugly faces you may encounter in early states of meditation. These are simply mischievous spirits. Even though they don’t realize or refuse to believe they are discarnate, they cannot interfere with you. If your mind is strong, you need never fear.
In meditation, you can visit the same planes that you do in deep sleep each night. Pray for spiritual enlightenment and build your soul through the mind’s meditation.
Simply put: prayer is talking to God. Meditation is God talking to you.
This article was originally published in the March/April 1989 issue of Body, Mind & Spirit magazine.
I always find your articles and books so calming and positive. They never cease to put me in an excellent frame of mind. Thank you!
I wanted to emphasize a point that Mr. Cottrell (Dr.) makes here with a small shift of perspective so certain things in this world make sense. People who disbelieve in “higher things” have no Divine influence or ongoing input in their lives. It surprised me when I learned this because it is hard to imagine. God does not interfere in the disbeliever’s life.
Thank you for the article.. the knowledge that you share with us always gives me food for thought on my path to spiritual self development.. appreciate your work..