Chapter 6: Now Is Not Part of Time
The first question:
How should I pray? I don’t know how to properly express this love that I feel into prayer.
Prayer is not a technique, it is not a ritual, it is not a formality. There is no pattern to it. It is a spontaneous outpouring of the heart, so don’t ask how, because there is no how and there cannot be any how to it. Whatsoever happens in the moment is right. If tears come, good. If you sing, good. If you dance, good. If nothing comes and you simply remain silent, good. Because prayer is not in the expression; it is not in the container, it is in the content. Sometimes silence is prayerful, sometimes singing is prayerful. It depends on you, it depends on the heart.
So if I say sing, and you sing because I have told you to sing, then the prayer is false from the very beginning. Listen to your heart, feel your moment, and let it be - and whatsoever happens is good. Sometimes nothing will happen, but that is what is happening. You allow it, you don’t impose your will on it. When you ask how, you are trying to impose your will, you are trying to plan. That’s how prayer has been missed. That’s how all the churches and religions have become rituals. They have a set prayer, a set form: the authorized version, the approved. But how can anybody approve prayer? How can anybody give you an authorized version?
Prayer has to arise in you, it has to flower in you. And each moment has its own prayer, and each mood has its own prayer. Nobody knows what is going to happen to your innermost world tomorrow morning. How can it be fixed? A fixed prayer is a false prayer - this much can certainly be said. A ritualized prayer is no longer prayer - this can be said in absolute terms. An unritualized, spontaneous gesture - that’s what prayer is.
Sometimes you may feel very sad, because sadness also belongs to God. Sadness is also divine. There is no necessity to always be happy. Then sadness is your prayer. Then let your heart cry and let your eyes pour down tears. Then let sadness be offered to God. Whatsoever is there in your heart, let it be offered to the divine feet - joy or sadness, sometimes even anger.
Sometimes one is angry with God. If you cannot be angry with God, you have not yet known love. Sometimes one is really in a deep rage. Then let anger be your prayer. Fight with God - he is yours, you are his, and love knows no formality. Love can survive all fights. If it cannot survive a fight, then it is not love. So sometimes you don’t feel like praying; then let that be your prayer. You say to God, “Wait! I’m not in the mood, and the way you are doing things, it is not even worth praying.” But let it be a spontaneous pouring of your heart.