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Does it Matter if I Pray or If I Meditate?
To Pray is to Create a List
As a child in Catholic catechism I was taught to pray by petitioning the Lord with prayer. The Latin origin of the word pray means to beg. A child drafts his laundry list of prayers for God like a Christmas wish list for Santa Claus. I was taught that God was about getting something. As a child my religious training was that God did things for me if I asked in the right way and I deserved these things. I was taught that spiritual God gives me material things.
To Meditate is to Let God Create the List
My meditation life evolved out of my Catholic prayer life. When I was nineteen years old a drug buddy introduced me to Zen meditation. Later, as a praying mature adult I did ask God for the miracle gift of sobriety and recovery from emotional disorder. I don’t go to regular AA and so I often forget this major miracle. The people I hang out with do not give me any special benefit because I have twelve years of sobriety. If I went to regular AA I could be a big AA speaker and get a lot of mileage out of my twelve years. Instead I only go to Primetime AA where “time is not a tool that will heal my disease of alcoholism.”
In AA I finally started experiencing the meditative state as simply being with God as opposed to reciting a litany of requests for miracles. God knows what miracles I need much better than I do and meditation is the quiet art of simply connecting to this great unknown. My God is silent intuition speaking in a small still visual voice. The purpose of attending an AA meeting is to find God through prayer and meditation. Since I already find God in in meditation it doesn’t really matter if I go to AA anymore. My only purpose in life now is to tell you that meditation is my answer.
Prayer and meditation contain the same content. In prayer I create the content and in meditation God creates the content. Who would you rather have create your life, you or God? I’ll shut up and meditate and let God recreate my life.