I recall a prayer I learned to recite during my Lutheran upbringing: “Our Father who Art in Heaven, hollowed by thy name…” The Lord’s Prayer was a ritual, some words I had to memorize. I enjoy the rhythm of the words as much now as I did back when I was learning it. I enjoy my memories of an entire congregation reciting the words together. Oh, our synchronicity! Oh, our collective appeal to the Almighty to “give us this day our daily bread!” We’re in this together. All in need of bread! I recall beautiful, elevating moments attending church services on Sunday.
I also recall my young mind trying to fit some kind of image to those words. “Our Father,” was an enormous grandfather who wore a long robe and had a white beard as shiny as the moon. “Heaven” was a place inhabited by disembodied choir voices and winged angels who played flying harps. “Hollowed be thy Name” meant nothing much to me, except for maybe some level of awareness that it is not polite to say, “God Dammit!” or “Jesus Christ!” when you stub your toe.
As a child, I never would have dreamt that prayer would have anything to do with the muscle plexus just beneath my belly button, called my navel point. Surely my tongue moved around in my mouth when I recited the Lord’s Prayer, but I thought absolutely nothing of it. So, how would I ever conceive that in order for my prayer to be powerful and effective, I should synchronize the movements of my navel point pumping and the tip of my tongue hitting the roof of my mouth?
I am grateful I know the experience of reciting the Lord’s Prayer in a congregation of hundreds as well as I know the experience of deeply meditating on the sensations of my navel point snapping back toward my spine at the same time tip of my tongue hits the roof of my mouth. They are experiences I can add to the record of experiences that make up the genetic code of my existence. They are experiences that qualify as dharma, all expressions of my devotion to the divine. Wonder how many of these I can accumulate today–if you are reading this, may one thousand blessings shower upon you, oh Beloved!
After practicing Day One of the Meditation for Word Power, every time I said or thought the name “Albert,” my husband called. (Albert happens to be his name.) Also, this is subtle and may only be my fantasy, but I think I noticed my children were slightly more attentive when I spoke to them. But…I do not want to promote an effect of a meditation that is simply my wishful projection and not a real effect. If my children really were more attentive, it’s too soon to celebrate that for fear of jinxing it. But wouldn’t that be every parent’s prayer answered–imagine if there were a meditation that could work to help a mother’s words penetrate her children’s ears! Oh, what bliss!
Prayer for today, August 26 (Yogi Bhajan’s birthday):
May all children grow so deeply attentive and alert that they hang on their wise mother’s every word. May they obey, obey, obey in order to one day, in their turn, be able to gracefully command, command, command! May a mother, if she so pleases, be attentive to her navel point and her tongue. May She ever increase her word power!
“Those who do not learn to obey shall never command.” Yogi Bhajan