Is prayer meditation? Where prayer and meditation meet.

May 20, 2009

I just read a beautiful and thought-provoking quote from Ramesh Balsekar’s Net of Jewels.

“True prayer means not solicitation but communion. Prayer is communion in the same sense as that in true meditation there is neither a meditator nor anything meditated upon.”

When I read it, I felt a “yes!” inside. It was one of those “that-feels-so-true-but-I-can’t-say-why” moments. It seems to describe a state of oneness that could be seen as both the goal and means of both meditation and prayer. What the quote conveys to me is beyond words, and yet usually I associate prayer with words. Perhaps the deepest form of prayer is indeed beyond words. 

What do you feel? What do the words “prayer” and “meditation” mean to you? Is prayer the same as meditation?


6 Responses to “Is prayer meditation? Where prayer and meditation meet.”

  1. Claire on May 20th, 2009 6:45 pm

    For me, I can say the above quote is true. For many years I was involved in a very rigid, religious belief system. During times of “prayer”, I did have wonderful moments of oneness. For personal reasons, I left that religious system and grieved the loss of a personal relationship with “god”. A few years later, when I started a meditation practice, I was delighted (and surprised!) to find that very same experience! I certainly respect whatever path individuals may be on religiously and spiritually and while there are many disagreements on dogma, I can’t help but wonder if all seekers experience very similar things whether they call it meditation or prayer or something else?

  2. Mary on May 21st, 2009 9:35 am

    Thank you for this beautiful comment, Claire. I imagine the same experience does get called by many names, and ultimately it seems like an experience that is beyond words!

  3. Ian on May 23rd, 2009 7:32 pm

    I loved the initial post and Claire’s response. I also was in a strict religious background. When I left, I felt like there was a hole inside me. I’ve since filled it with meditation but every once in a while I find myself trying to commune with God. Every time I’ve caught myself and said “no that was the old me’ never realizing that I’m looking at two sides of the same coin. So I can commune with God without the religious trappings.

  4. Mary on May 24th, 2009 10:04 am

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing this, Ian.

  5. Lotus on May 29th, 2009 4:00 pm

    I very much resonate with the above quote too.

    I once read this – prayer is like talking to God, while meditation is listening to God. I thought that makes quite a bit of sense.

    I essence of it all lies in the true communion with God or The Divine within or whatever you want to call it.

    I like the saying – The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart. – Helen Keller

    And for me – it cannot be seen, touched nor heard. It is that beautiful feeling inside, whether while in meditation, prayer or just being there on the top of the mountain or by the ocean. Sometimes I feel it when I am in a trance-like dance. It is magical when you feel that connection with that Source of indescribable peace, love,etc – that bliss.

  6. Mary on May 29th, 2009 5:12 pm

    Lotus, thanks for adding your comment. Reading it evokes that experience!

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