Tag Archives: Peter Russel

Peter Russell – Praying To One’s Self

Standard

friend recently asked if I ever prayed for anything. My response was yes, but not in the conventional way. I don’t pray for intervention in the world, but for intervention in my mind, for that’s where I most need help.

We usually think of prayer as an appeal to some higher power. We might pray for someone’s healing, for success in some venture, for a better life, or for guidance on some challenging issue. Behind such prayers is the recognition that we don’t have the power to change things ourselves—if we did, we would simply get on with the task—so we beseech a higher power to intervene on our behalf.

Trying to change the world occupies much of our time and attention. We want the possessions, opportunities, or experiences that we think will make us happy—or conversely, avoid those that will make us suffer. We believe that if only things were different we would finally be at peace.

This is the ego’s way of thinking. It is founded on the belief that how we feel inside depends upon our circumstances. And if things aren’t the way we think they should be, we start to feel discontent. This can take various forms—disappointment, frustration, annoyance, impatience, judgment, grievance—yet whatever its form, the root of our discontent lies not so much in the situation at hand, but more in how we interpret it. For example, if I am stuck in a traffic jam, I can see it either as something that will make me suffer—being late for an appointment, missing some experience, or upsetting someone—and so begin to feel impatient, frustrated, or anxious. Or I can see it as an opportunity to relax, and take it easy for a few minutes. The same situation; two totally different reactions. And the difference is purely in how I am seeing things.

When I catch myself feeling upset in some way, I find it helpful to remember that my annoyance might be coming from the way I am interpreting the situation. If so, it makes more sense to ask, not for a change in the world, but for a change in my perception. So that is what I pray for. I settle into a quiet state, then ask, with an attitude of innocent curiosity: “Could there, perhaps, be another way of seeing this?” I don’t try to answer the question myself, for that would doubtless activate the ego-mind, which loves to try and work things out for me. So I simply pose the question. Let it go. And wait.

Often a new way of seeing then dawns on me. It does not come as a verbal answer, but as an actual shift in perception. I find myself seeing the situation in a new way. One memorable shift happened a while ago when I was having some challenges with my partner. She was not behaving the way I thought she should. (How many of us have not felt that at times?) After a couple of days of strained relationship, I decided to pray in this way, just gently inquiring if there might possibly be another way of perceiving this.Almost immediately, I found myself seeing her in a very different light. Here was another human being, with her own history and her own needs, struggling to navigate a difficult situation. Suddenly everything changed. I felt compassion for her rather than animosity, understanding rather than judgment. I realized that for the last two days I had been out of love; but now the love had returned.

The results of praying like this never cease to impress me. I find my fears and grievances dropping away. In their place is a sense of ease. Whoever or whatever was troubling me, I now see through more loving and compassionate eyes. Moreover, the new perspective often seems so obvious: Why hadn’t I seen this before?

The beauty of this approach is that I am not praying to some external power. I am praying to my self for guidance—to the true self that sees things as they are without the overlay of various hopes and fears. It recognizes when I have become caught in the ego’s way of thinking, and is ever-willing to help set me free.

Thoughtful Thursday #56 How to be a Wizard by Peter Russell-Spirit of Now

Standard

How to be a Wizard

A wizard allows synchronicity to manifest.

We cannot make synchronicities happen. It is in their very nature to occur “by coincidence”. We cannot control or manipulate the world in order to create synchronicities—their source is not of this world. Yet we can encourage their appearance; we can open ourselves to them.

A wizard opens to synchronicity by following three basic principles.

The first principle is that of wholeness. The more rested I am, the more relaxed my mind and body, the more in touch I am with my self, the more free I feel, the easier my soul, the more whole I am. And the more whole I am, the more synchronicity seems to occur. Conversely, when I am out of balance, tired, stressed, frazzled, wrapped up in concern or in some other way off center, synchronicity does not manifest nearly so abundantly.

A wizard allows inner wholeness to be a priority. A wizard keeps rested, relaxed, centered and clear.

A second characteristic of synchronicities is that they tend to support our needs. They seem to bring us just what we need, at just the right time. It is as if the Universe has my best interests at heart, and arranges for their fulfillment in ways which I could never have dreamt of. It is, to quote a renowned Indian teacher, “the support of nature”. We support nature by centering ourselves, and nature supports us back, providing the opportunities to fulfill our needs. This is what makes them so magical and remarkable—such a coincidence.

However, if we do not know what we truly want or most need, or if two desires are in conflict, the synchronicities that manifest may not be in our own best interests. We may want something one day, have it the next, and not want it the day after. So before “cosmic choreography” can support us, we need to be clear on what it is we really want. The more we are in touch with our highest intention, the more we find that nature supports.

Intention is not desire. Our desires are our beliefs as to how we might get what we want. We desire money because we think it might buy us greater peace of mind. We desire a mate because we think we will then be happy. Sometimes these ways work (for a while); sometimes they don’t. Sometimes something completely different may give us what we need. Cosmic choreography knows how to fulfill our intentions far better than we do. Our task is not to force the world to be a certain way, but to be aware of our underlying intention, and so provide a direction in which synchronicity can flow.

Wizards are clear on their intention. They know what it is they really need; what underlies all their many wants and desires. Wizards hold this intention in their mind. And then let go. No attachment to how or when; just a simple openness to whatever may be—and a silent delight in the synchronicities that come to be

And there is one more principle I have discovered. I can sit alone in my cottage in the middle of a forest, at peace in myself, centered and whole, and clear on my inner intention, yet here few coincidences occur. Significant coincidences nearly always seem to involve other people in some way. It is as if our interplay with others gives cosmic choreography greater opportunities to reach through to us.

This is the third principle of wizardry—a principle I call “zipping and zooming”. Playing our part in the world, and allowing cosmic choreography to play its part.

Although we may not be able to make synchronicities happen, we can create environments that foster their occurrence. We can create an inner environment of wholeness and high intention; and in our outer lives we can engage ourselves fully in the world, mix with the social field, go out and play. Play whatever game and role best fits our intentions. Play it with our soul, fully. Play it in whatever way brings us inner wholeness, enjoyment and fulfillment—there is, after all, no point in suffering while we play.

These are the three principles of wizardry: Wholeness, Intention, and Zipping and Zooming.

And if you need a mnemonic to remember them by, simply take their initial letters, W I Z—a wizard wizzes.