Chapter 2: The Stretched Soul Makes Music
Meditation is a totally different dimension. Kabir will suggest meditation, Buddha has suggested meditation, I suggest meditation. Meditation is a different approach: it has nothing to do with God, it has something to do with you, with your mind. It has to create a silence within you, a deep utter silence. In that utter silence you will start feeling the presence of God.
Prayer is a consequence of real meditation. Only a meditator can pray because he knows, because he feels; because now God’s presence is not just an argument, not a logical thing, but something experienced, something lived. And then prayer is no longer a complaint. Then prayer is a surrender, then prayer is pure love - no desire attached to it, no conditions. It is sheer gratefulness.
Let prayer come after meditation. You meditate. Meditation will prepare your heart, it will cleanse you. It will cleanse you of your thoughts, it will throw out all the rubbish that you have been carrying in your head for ages, for lives; it will make space for prayer to happen. Meditation is like preparing the ground for a rosebed: prayer is like a rose. First you have to prepare the ground, you have to remove the weeds, you have to change the soil, you have to throw out all the stones.
Meditation prepares the bed. And only in a prepared bed can you plant roses. Otherwise weeds will overrun your roses and weeds will exploit the whole soil and your roses will not get much, they will be poor roses. And if there are stones in the ground the growth of the roses will be stunted.
First prepare the ground, then prayer happens on its own accord. Prayer is something that you cannot do. Meditation is something that you can do because it has something to do with your mind. It is your mind, you can do something with it. Prayer has something to do with God. God is beyond, far away, one does not know where. What is his address? What is his name? Where to send these prayers? So you can go on praying to empty skies and deep down you know that this is all futile. But maybe.perhaps it works, perhaps it doesn’t work, but it costs nothing so one goes on praying.
First prepare yourself in meditation. Meditation means a thoughtless silence, a thoughtless awareness, peace. When that peace is there, one day prayer bursts forth. You simply see a bud opening in your being, your heart becomes a flower and there is much fragrance. That fragrance is prayer. You bow down. Now God is no longer far away, he is very close by - you are bridged by your flowering.
Prayers done without meditation are formal, foolish. Prayers done without meditation are meaningless, a sheer wastage of time and energy and life.
I teach you meditation, and prayer cannot be taught. When meditation has happened, one day you stumble upon prayer. Prayer is grace. Meditation can be of effort, but prayer happens effortlessly. Forget about prayer and forget about God; you have first to do great work upon yourself. Be absolutely concerned with only one thing: how to drop the mind. In the dropping of the mind is all - prayer will arise. Prayer is a reward to a meditator; it is a consequence.