This has been an intense season of change in my life. Last spring I started studying with a meditation teacher after a synchronistic meeting. I had already been engaged in a meditation practice- survival meditation as I thought of it. I did not start meditating to enhance my life, or because I thought it was something I should do as a spiritual person. I started meditating because I felt like if I didn’t, I might just lose myself in the Universe and be unable to manage being alive. And my practice deepened further when my healer/teacher withdrew from my life. By last spring I was ready to get some guidance and focus to stabilize and enhance what I was already doing. The method I studied was a hindu/yogic style practiced and taught by Paramahansa Yogananda. As soon as I began the techniques of this path, something happened that surprised me, but maybe shouldn’t have.
Jesus returned to me. I think this happened for a number of reasons. Firstly, I had not engaged in devotional prayer for a very very long time and praying that way brought me back to practices I had engaged in many years before as a serious disciple of Jesus. Secondly, well, Jesus and I had a thing. We had a deep and committed relationship until I up and left him in the late 90’s.
Since Jesus came to me again, I have found myself closing a large circle in my life. I find myself feeling comfortable thinking of myself as Christian….almost. I have found a few Christian mystics who feel like my tribe and my people, something I searched for with very little success early in my life. I find myself reading the Bible again with eyes opened in a very different way than they ever have been. Jesus and I made up.
I am in the midst of transition where I cannot see what will happen next and it seems terrifying at times. I would never ever have thought I would find myself praying something as traditional as the Lord’s Prayer, but I seem to be profoundly coming back home in an alive and authentic way that has included saying and appreciating this prayer….almost. Some things about Christianity still chafe. The almost exclusive referencing of God as male, the literalism that sometimes dominates reading of biblical text, and especially the institutional atrophy that has reduced some churches to rote supporters of a social status quo. All of that feels dead. However, there is a reason the Lord’s Prayer is said so frequently. I incorporated it back into my personal prayer mostly for the line, “Give us this day our daily bread” which I feel is another way of recognizing that the whole Universe is a gift running through my hands and doesn’t belong to me at all. And yet, in this moment, I have everything I need and so much more.
It is hard for me to pray this prayer without modification. It holds powerful truth, but for me it also holds some pain. So, what does one do? Retranslate.
Here is my Lord’s Prayer that I’m trying on in the morning and evening:
Source of all Love, in this eternal now,
may your Presence be honored.
Align all life with your Life and bring us all into awareness of our belonging as we realize the truth of our oneness with you.
Gift us all the resources we need each day. Transform our brokenness with the generosity of your healing love as we extend healing love to one another.
Please do not keep us in darkness, but redeem our trials with new life.
This practice is breathing new life into me that I could never have imagined for myself. I hope as you read along, it offers you an invitation to new life as well.
What are the resources you need this day?