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  • Writer's pictureSally

Preparing for Pilgrimage | How to Pray

I'm in the Salt Lake City Airport, a bit nervous, as I wait to board my Delta flight to Paris. I decide to meditate and talk to JC about how best to relax during my red-eye. I’ve never been one to sleep on planes so I've anticipated reading the book The Magdalen Manuscript by Tom Kenyon & Judi Sion. After drifting off, JC brings up a topic I’ve been ruminating over the past few months: prayer.

While praying has always come naturally for me, it’s also felt too casual and disjointed. Today, JC offers me a direct plan—a relief given that I’ll soon be visiting sacred sites. His suggestion:

  1. Recite “Love Universe” (see below)

  2. Offer gratitude

  3. Open your heart

  4. Listen in stillness

Love Universe is the poem I wrote as a substitution for the Lord’s Prayer, which I find too stifling. Offering gratitude is giving thanks, especially for whatever arises in the moment, like the daisies that greeted me this morning, the relief from my cold, etc. JC said if I were to be in a place to genuflect, it would be appropriate but not necessary to do so. Opening the heart means sitting back in the pew, or wherever you are and just “talking from the heart” about both the good and bad. Spirit, like all of us of us, enjoys good conversation. Most important is the final step of listening in stillness, noticing the feelings that arise in that stillness. This is like the wonder & awe practice my guides taught me this year.

Full disclosure: Stillness is what I least practice. But it’s so important because that is when the conversation can begin on their side. By the end of our talk, his suggestion became even simpler. Showing me an image of myself in profile, behind a church pew, Jesus listed the following:

  1. Stand / Speak

  2. Kneel / Offer

  3. Sit / Open

  4. Relax / Listen

This is the prayer method I intend to practice on my pilgrimage. Any good practice takes some discipline.

Love Universe

by Sally O'Brien

Love Universe

Everywhere and ever present

Wrap us in your love!

Help us be mindful

As we walk certain

In our beliefs, in our values and in our intentions.

Sustain us with sustenance

Grateful for our abundance

Always aware of our holy light.

Help us lose judgment

Upon ourselves and upon others

So we may step into fear &

Accept the the whole-hearted love

You so readily emanate.

Nudge us into curiosity

Hold us when we miss the mark

So we may live in truth

This perfectly imperfect life.



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