Come meander with me on the pathless path of the Heart
in these anecdotal,
sometimes inspiring, sometimes personal meanderings of the Heart's opening in the every-day-ness of Life...

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Scattered Heart - Omid Safi

The Prophet Mohammad was once asked what was the one essential
quality for prayers...  Many in the community thought they knew the
right answer.  Some thought the Prophet would say the proper
recitation of Arabic.  Others thought the answer would be lovely
memorization of Qur'anic chapters.  Yet others expected the answer
would be perfect ritual observations of prayer.

Muhammad's answer was: Presence in the Heart...

What is Presence?

It is not so much presence of God.
God is always present.
It is we humans who are absent from our own Heart.
[the spiritual Heart].  So much of our lives are spent in a
fractured state of Heart.  We are, too often, scattered.  We speak of
being scatterbrained.  The truth of the matter is that the scatteredness
is much more systemic.  We are scattered at every level: body, soul,
 mind, and spirit.  We do this to ourselves.  We throw ourselves
 to the past, often clinging to a past pain or trauma.  Or, we hurl
 ourselves towards the future, attaching ourselves to a hope for the
 future, or fear of losing something.
We are in the past, or in the future, everywhere but Here.
To pray with the Heart, to have presence in the Heart, is a remedy.
It is a healing, an unscattering.
This starts with mindfulness, with an awareness of the breath.
When we monitor our breath, simply observe the breath enter into
the heart, and emerge from the heart, our breathing slows down.
The heart rates slows.  Here is where we become whole:
our body, our breath, our spirit become One.
In that moment, in this breath, we are healed and whole.
And what a prayer there is in this breath.
What Presence...
God has always been present, waiting for us.
We ourselves become present, meeting God.
This is the Prayer of the Heart.

To pray the Prayer of the Heart we cannot be anxious about
 the past, or hopeful/fearful about the future.
  We have to be Present to our own Heart's state.

The Prayer of the Heart starts with us where we are: broken,
 fractured, and dis-united.  It takes us by the breath, and moves us
 along to unity, wholeness, and healing.

This is when we realize that tawhid (Unity) is not just about God,
but about our own Hearts becoming unified.
We have to become united [within].
Our inner division, being disconnected from our own bodies,
our own breath, our own Heart is only one part of our lack of unity.
That inner division is reflected in how we as a human community
are divided.  When we are not one with our own Heart, we cannot
see the full humanity of others.

The inner and outer are reflected in each other.  When we are
 internally divided, we will be externally divided.
  If we wish to be united as a human community, we have to
 strive for unity and healing at the
Heart level...

We need the Prayer of the Heart.
By whatever form we pray,
we need to become whole.
May it begin one breath at a time.
May it begin with me...

Omid Safi
excerpted from an article
entitled: The Prayer of the Heart
at: On Being

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