Chapter 29: Engage In Regular Spiritual Practices
Workbook Chapter Twenty-Nine
Engage In Regular
Self-Correction Exercise: What Is The Most Effective Way To Pray?
Barry K. Weinhold, PhD
If you wish to use a more traditional form of prayer, here are the steps I would recommend you use as you develop your skill to pray effectively.
Create a peaceful setting for your prayer. Since prayer is a developable skill, it is good to control the externals such as the setting as you develop your ability to pray. Later the externals will not be as important.
Be specific about what you are praying for. Vague prayers generate vague outcomes. Honor yourself and whom you are praying to with clarity, directness and sincerity. The subject of your prayer should include a request for a specific outcome. It is also important to add disclaimers like, “if this prayer is in my highest good” or “I ask for this or something better that is in my highest good. The same is true if you are praying for someone else.
Be clear in your intentions. Remember the basic law of prayer: Ask and you will receive. Prayer helps you develop your ability to ask clearly for what you want. Be sure that what you are asking for is what you want in the long run.
Carefully frame the language of your prayer. Consider writing out our prayer and examining it for clarity, accuracy, intention, consistency, integrity, appropriateness and alignment. As you develop your skills, you probably will not need to write out your prayer.
You may also ask yourself some of the following questions to make sure the language you chose is what you want to say: Is it really what I want? Is it in my highest good? Will it benefit me and all other beings? Do I fully understand the implications of my request and the results I want? To whom are you praying? Do you have to pray to a specific deity for it to be effective? What if you don’t believe in God? Most prayer is addressed to the God or deity of your choice, but it doesn’t have to be directed at one specific God. The following are some options to consider:
Direct it to other beings in the spirit realm such as guides, teachers, avatars, angels, and other ascended masters.
Send prayers to friends or other human beings, sentient beings, ancestors and relatives.
Communicate with other realms of spirit including the mineral realm, the plant realm, the animal realm and all the spirits connected to these realms.
Communicate with your own “higher self” to enhance your spiritual self-reliance, compassion, inner strength, personal responsibility and self-trust.
No matter how you direct your prayer, I recommend adding at the end of the prayer that whatever you are asking for be for the “highest good of all concerned,” including yourself.
Delivery of your prayer. People ask, “should I pray silently or do I have to speak the words aloud for it to be effective.” Actually, either method will work. I prefer saying my prayers aloud whenever I can. This allows me to hear my own words and feel the vibration of them. Hearing my prayers also gives me an opportunity to edit them and make additions. Whichever way you prefer, make sure they come from your heart and soul filled with love and feeling.
Receiving what you ask for in prayer. This can be the hardest part of prayer. Do you believe you deserve to receive what you have asked for? Surprisingly, many people have a twisted belief that they are not worthy to receive very much so they often don’t ask for much. If this is a problem for you, pray for assistance in finding and releasing your denials and twisted beliefs that prevent you from receiving what you truly deserve.
My Experiences With Prayer
My own memories of prayer were in church on Sundays as a teenager. I remember praying silently for the health and welfare of others I knew and I always prayed for wisdom and a better understanding of myself.
I also prayed to increase my ability to create harmony and balance in my life. At the time I didn’t completely understand why this was important to me, but I trusted somehow it would help me. I always had a belief that my prayers would be answered.
I remember attending a lecture one evening by Marion Zimmer Bradley the author of the book The Mists of Avalon, in Bath, England. We were part of a group touring Stonehenge, Glastonbury and the other sacred sites of that area. She told a story of a child that became ill with a fatal disease and the child’s parents and friends were asked to pray to save the child’s life. Eventually their prayers were answered and the child did not die.
However, the child remained in a comatose state without any way to communicate with anybody for the rest of its life. Marion pointed out that prayer sometimes, although seemingly answered, is not in the highest good of all those involved. I remembered this and began to add to my prayers the caveat, “I ask these things if they are in my highest good and the highest good of all those I pray for.”
About 2000 I began to study the Co-creative Science of Machelle Small Wright. She believed that it was important to connect with the forces of “involution” or nature and the forces of “evolution” or the soul/spirit connections that includes the Ascended Masters and our own Higher Self or realized self.
She developed a form of prayer she called “conings.”8 At her urging, I created my own Medical Assistance Program and selected a Team of Ascended Masters who are all members of the Great White Brotherhood of the Light to respond to my prayers. To initiate a coning, I follow these steps:
I state an intention to open a coning (wait 10-15 seconds for the intention to be received)
I then call in the specific deva I want to be involved in my coning. Usually it is the Over-lighting Deva of Healing, if I need some help with a medical problem. (I wait 10-15 seconds until I can feel some sense of the connection in my body).
Then I call Pan and all the nature spirits into my coning, which helps ground my requests. (Again, I wait 10-15 seconds for this connection to occur)
Then I connect with my Higher Self and my I Am presence. (10-15 seconds)
Finally, I connect with my MAP Team consisting of members of the Great White Brotherhood of the Light. (10-15 seconds)
Then I lie down and close my eyes and make whatever requests I wish to make in my coning session.
Coning sessions usually last 40-60 minutes.
At the end of the coning session, I consciously disconnect from each of the elements that I called to help me.
I use this form of prayer quite often and I have incorporated it into my meditation practice. So, when I am meditating I may also be operating a “coning.” This means that in my meditative state I am open to receive what I asked for in my “coning.” I find this to be a very helpful practice and I do it on almost a daily basis.
I can use a coning for almost any purpose. For example, before I teach a class or meet with a client, I open a coning and call in my Professional Team to assist me (this team consists of people like Virginia Satir, Carl Rogers, Fritz Perl and Carl Jung).
I might ask for help in finding the best way to reach the most people at the deepest levels in the class I am teaching or to find the best way to help the client I and going to meet with. I always add the caveat that what I ask for serve my highest good and the highest good of those I am serving.
The Six Inner Truths of a Spiritual Warrior
Barry K. Weinhold, PhD
In order to become a Spiritual Warrior, you will have to understand and live your life out of your own truths. You will not be able to find these truths in the world around you, but they must be found in the world inside of you. These inner truths are keys on the journey that leads to individuation and self-realization, the essential goals spiritual warriors. These are at the core of how you see yourself, if you wish to become a servant leader.
The First Inner Truth. Spiritual Warriors need to focus all their efforts toward the advancement of human consciousness. The way to do that is to attain individuation and self-realization, which is the only way to consciously know God.
The Second Inner Truth. Spiritual Warriors have to pay attention to all their thoughts and feelings as much as their actions. As spiritual warriors purify their thoughts and feelings, the purer their actions will be. Their inner knowledge of themselves should be their guide to their actions.
The Third Inner Truth. Spiritual Warriors have to know that who they are is not what they do or how others see them. Who they really are is only discovered as a result of their commitment to self-reflection and self-correction.
The Fourth Inner Truth. Spiritual Warriors have to be resolute in their pursuit of the truth. Nothing should deter them from this pursuit. Their actions will help them determine how well they know themselves. If they encounter failure or resistance as a result of their actions, this only tells them look inward to correct any mistaken thoughts, feelings or beliefs they may be interfering with their actions.
The Fifth Inner Truth. Spiritual Warriors must stay connected to all life. It is all God and if they see “others” as not part of them, they are not connected to God. God dwells in everything and spiritual warriors need to resist the tendency to see themselves as separate from all life in any way.
The Sixth Inner Truth. Spiritual Warriors need to regard all that they see as in perfect harmony and balance with the universe. If anything seems in conflict with this core knowing, it means the spiritual warrior does not fully understand the perfection of the universe and has to work harder to achieve this core inner knowing. This is just an indication that the spiritual warrior cannot see or understand this perfection.
All conflicts of this sort are because the spiritual warrior does not yet see the truth about what he/she sees and has to continue to do inner work until he/she can recognize that truth. The spiritual warrior will know he/she has found it when he/she sees the perfections that were there all the time.
The Inner Weapons of The Spiritual Warrior
Barry K. Weinhold, PhD
After you have begun to live your life according to the Six Inner Truths described above, then you can begin to develop your arsenal of inner weapons in order to operate effectively as a spiritual warrior. These weapons will help you make sound decisions on behalf of yourself and in your work with others. Like any tools, they need to stay sharp and this will require your daily attention to them.
Your Inner Spear. Your Inner Spear corresponds with your self-awareness. As a spiritual warrior you must be able to understand what in your personal history has contributed to who you have become today and why you do what you do in various situations. This skill of self-reflection is vital to your success as a spiritual warrior. It also means that you have the ability to penetrate the false illusions you have created for yourself and have the ability to correct them when you see they do not represent who you really are. Daily meditation and prayer can help you keep this tool sharp and effective.
Your Inner Sword. Your Inner Sword corresponds to your inner discrimination. By utilizing your Inner Sword, you are able to cut through the bullshit and get to the underlying truth about what you are observing. This single-edged sharp instrument represents your sharp, single-minded intellect that you need to have to take decisive action or make quick decisions. The razor-sharpness of your Inner Sword is also used to help you live in harmony and balance with the laws of the universe and with Divine Will.
You must continually sharpen your Inner Sword so that it is ready for use when you are called to take decisive action. As you reflect on what you see on television and read in the newspaper or on the Internet, you need to reflect on what the truth is behind what you are being told.
Your Inner Arrow. Your Inner Arrow corresponds to your inner will power as a spiritual warrior. It refers to your ability to concentrate or develop a one-pointed focus that enables you to hit the center of the center of the target you are aiming at and achieve the goals you want to achieve.
Typically, you will master your Inner Sword and your Inner Arrow before you master your Inner Spear. This means that your will develop your intuition at a later stage than you develop discrimination and will power.
While your intuition is being developed, you should continue to make decisions through deliberation and with good discrimination. However, when your Inner Spear is fully developed it will become the principal weapon you will use as a spiritual warrior.
Your Inner Shield. Your Inner Shield is the love and compassion within your heart. When your love and compassion is very strong, your Inner Shield will deflect all attacks that are directed at you and you can never be defeated. You should carry this Inner Shield everywhere you go to protect yourself from attacks of any kind. If you find yourself in any danger of attack, your foes will not even be able to see you even though you are standing right in front of them.
The Middle Path of the Spiritual Warrior. To become a spiritual warrior, you will need to walk the “Middle Path” between the extremes of behavior, while embracing some of the principles of the balanced philosophy of Taoism. Lao Tzu and other of the great masters throughout history have demonstrated, the best path is the Middle Path that exists between the extremes of the masculine and feminine principles, or Yin and Yang.
Taoism espouses a lifestyle that is the balance of the masculine (fiery, active, intellectual) and feminine (watery, cool, passive, emotional) principles. Too much or too little activity either way can be harmful, just as can too much exposure to either hot or cold, or too much time spent in either light or darkness.
Besides living a balanced outer life, you need to also cultivate an inner balance of masculine and feminine traits. Your goal should be to be prepared for all challenges. You can best do that when you possess an inner balance.
The Self-Discipline of the spiritual Warrior. To live the life of a spiritual warrior will need to be disciplined in body, mind, emotions and spirit. You will need to keep your physical body fit and healthy, maintain a healthy diet and do regular exercises. Your mind and emotions should be kept in check by striving to focus on generating positive and uplifting thoughts and feelings.
Again, regular meditation is a good tool for assisting you to be completely present in the moment and not succumb to extraneous thoughts. In order to keep your mind steady, you need to adopt meditational practices outlined above. You may also use daily affirmations to help you keep your thoughts focused on your goals.
Open-Heartedness: An Essential Skill of the Spiritual Warrior. As I stated above, if you want to be an effective servant leader you need to have developed your sense of inner knowing. You also will need to open your heart and heal any wounds that you find in there. This will help you see what fundamental problems need to be addressed and how to become part of the solution instead of becoming part of the problem. Having an open heart that has healed helps you connect with other openhearted life-giving people (not just like-minded people) who individually and collectively are actively involved in changing the world.