I’ve been thinking a lot about the shape of a prayer. What does it mean to pray without ceasing? And what does it mean to remind myself of God, through the practice of prayer? I’m the kind of person who does yoga and feels stressed out doing it. Yeah, a regular caffeine nut.
Much of my life is intellectual jibber-jabber. I like bodily prayer because I can surrender to God in ways that I cannot do when I talk about prayer, circling around the body part of the practice. I have recently started practicing simple prostrations along with my usual sample of rosaries, novenas, and the like. This has been a lot like journal writing in that I will feel a rock in my stomach having to do with sadness or anger that I ignored through intellectualizing – or elation, magical, yummy feelings that take my into a high-fly zone. I like the surrender the prostration provides. I like the repeated movements. I feel like if I bring up prostration prayer I should be prepared to talk about the history of prostration, but really, here’s what I got: Jesus prostrated. Christians still prostrate. And an American Sufi showed me a Catholic prostration and gave me the tape of a rosary. So that is to say that the civilized Catholics shouldn’t do that isn’t the point of this. And besides, I said informal prostrations, so bah.
These past few months it has been hard for me to journal and work on creative writing because I am reminded of events I don’t want to remember. For a healing class I am taking we had to journal all week about sadness. I didn’t do the assignment – it was too much. To sit down and THINK about sadness??? Yet through my work in the Writing Center on campus, I remember that we model practices for taking care of your writing in a healthy manner. A mentor this summer said that it is good to have multiple projects, so when one drain is plugged up, you’ve still only got one drain. I guess it’s good my drains aren’t blocked completely and I am working on many projects. I remember to pray and it is release, a bodily giving-up – and knowing that, I am going to do my journaling for next week – just dive in. It is on happiness, perceptions of happiness, expectations of happiness, and…happiness.