The Art of Praying session 3
Elijah Summer School Week 2 Day 4— Wednesday 3rd August 2022
I offered a few thoughts in response to a question which seems to increase my engagement.
Baruch asked for a line from a prayer. I offered, “Our father who is in heaven, holy is your name.” He then asked if he could work with me to demonstrate what he was teaching. “O no, I hadn't realised I had volunteered myself into the experience.” I somehow went with the moment in which I found myself trusting him in the process.
I said, “Our father who is in heaven, holy is your name.”
He then asked that I consider the words, and feel them. I found myself going deeper. I became more conscious that I wasn't just saying the words but that I was speaking with God. It was as if I was thinking in my head and mouthing with my tongue now I was dropping further into my heart.
I found myself pausing and breathing before I said, “ Our” and then I paused. Was it like the word forming fresh like bread in my mouth? “Father” this was emotional. Was it that I was aware of other people watching via zoom that brought me to a new consciousness? I was feeling a reverential and emotional connection as I mouthed “Father”.
I like to think that as I say the ‘Lord’s prayer’ I say it with meaning but Baruch had got me to think again. I could use more than my mouth and my head I could use my body. I could allow the thoughts in my head to reverberate through my body. Indeed perhaps the thoughts in my head had originated in my soul and maybe it would be best to speak from there.
“Who…. is…. in …. heaven”……. “Holy….. is…. your….. name”
My body was engaged as I could feel it. I hadn’t expected to fall into a different state but here I was experiencing it.
Baruch indicated that maybe I should say it with less breathing and pauses but I had fallen into something that resonated. He encouraged us to ‘listen to the text and feel the impact on us’. I was feeling the impact but I would take the instruction into the ‘Breakout room with my partner’.
They had chosen a Jewish prayer and they did as we were instructed. As I listened and they exercised I could hear the difference in their prayer, moving from the head to encompassing the heart to the whole body.
Had it taken the two previous sessions in which I had been resistant to find this place?