Gateways to Enlightenment: Prayer and Meditation

‘’When meditation is mastered, the mind is unwavering like the flame of a lamp in a windless place. In the still mind, in the depths of meditation, the Self reveals itself’’

Bhagavad Gita

Modern life compels so many of us to rush, to live in a constant state of frenetic energy in an attempt to do it all and more and as a result we often end up sacrificing activities that we enjoy, those that rejuvenate us, that sustain us and that help us evolve. In this fast-paced, technology-driven world we live in, we all need to be reminded occasionally that there is more to life than achieving success, to making money and to putting other people’s needs first. Your spiritual needs should occupy an important spot on your list of priorities.

Taking the time to engage in spiritually fulfilling activities replenishes us and prepares us to deal with another day and all the challenges it may bring. Making time for activities that contribute to your spiritual growth has little to do with being selfish and everything to do with your well-being and self-care practice. Regularly taking the time to focus on your soul’s needs ensures that you can nurture yourself, spend time with your thoughts, experience tranquility and expand your spiritual boundaries. Taking time to nurture your spiritual needs gives you more energy and allows you to tap into your higher self and connect with the universal flow of life.

Two of the most powerful tools we can use to connect with our higher selves are the complementary practices of prayer and meditation.

When we pray, we express our innermost thoughts and feelings; essentially, we are asking the universe for something. It is a sort of petitioning to the Universe/God/Source Energy, it’s a petitioning to the Divine; it’s a reaching out. Through prayer, we use our thoughts, our intentions, our will so to speak, to compassionately influence and change our outer world as we would like it to be.

Meditation on the other hand, is turning inward, paying attention to our inner selves and centering our consciousness so that our minds are open and clear. The purpose of meditation, of looking within, is to remove all outside distractions and quiet the continuous ramblings inside our heads so that we make space to hear the voice of the Universe/God/Source Energy.

Whereas prayer is making a request and speaking to the Universe, meditating is the Universe speaking to us. To receive the blessings, the light, the love, the wisdom, whatever it is the Divine wants to bestow upon you, meditation allows you to receive. This is the very reason we quiet the mind, the emotions and the body, we become still, to be able to hear, to listen, to receive messages from the higher source.

When I first started meditating, I remember not knowing how to do it and this is a common theme for those new or just starting out on their practice. When I started out trying to stop the chatter in my head and withdrawing inwards from the outer world of the senses, I found that concentrating on a candle flame focused my mind; today I prefer to concentrate on the breath or repeat a mantra.

My advice to anyone beginning their meditation journey is to simply notice the activity of your mind, which is always thinking, oscillating between past events and worries about the future. Be gentle with yourself and observe your thoughts without trying to judge or control them. As your meditation deepens, you will start to feel detached from thoughts and sensory experiences, allowing them to simply flow in and out without any interference.

Even if your prayer is a simple expression of gratitude or your meditation is a quick ten minutes of following the breath, consistent practice can transform your life in profound ways.


With much love and light

Patrizia x

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