A woman prays on her knees at sunset/DepositPhoto

POEM: Prayer

POEM: Prayer

By Christi Ortiz

How silly my early prayer was
Thinking I needed to somehow reach a God
that was out there...
Thinking I needed to concentrate on my breath
or still a mind who’s nature is to think...
Thinking I needed to do something right
to make something ‘happen’

I did not know the Stillness was already there
Like a deep underground river of prayer always flowing 
even without my awareness
I did not know there was nothing I needed to ‘do’
Nothing needed to happen or not happen,
I could just be, 
just sink into and rest in the Silence

Prayer was inviting me to a deep surrender 
A letting go into the Divine, without effort or understanding
Such ease was possible where my effort lay, 
The fear I couldn’t do it right, that it wasn’t for me...so silly, 
For it is my very nature
A deep Presence within that I could never extinguish nor evade
Hiding in plain sight this God I thought I had to seek

Making prayer so complicated or mysterious
or only a gift for the elite... so silly,
when it’s nature is so abundant, so gracious, so generous 
perhaps it was my great desire that made me fear it so 
or doubt my own ‘ability’
when all I needed to do was show up!
It already lived in me

It didn’t matter what bubbled on the surface,
Distraction, boredom, doubt, confusion, delight, 
all manner of passing clouds will float across the sky, 
it matters not the weather for the day, 
for no matter what, the spacious open sky holds it all
And if I let them go by, I realize I am not the clouds, I am the sky

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