I cannot teach you prayer, but I am prayer. And I need not fall on my knees to pray, I am prayer. You just imbibe my being, you drink me as much as you can, my presence, and it will teach you what prayer is. Every morning I am teaching you what prayer is! Every moment when you come to me I am teaching you what prayer is. I am in prayer. You just be a little open. Just open your doors, let my breeze pass through you. It is an infection. Prayer is an infection.
I cannot teach you how to pray, but I can make you prayerful. Get more in tune with my presence. And don’t keep these questions inside your mind because they will be the barriers. Just be vulnerable…and it will happen. One day, suddenly you will see the heart is singing and something is dancing within you, some new energy, as if in a dark night a sudden ray of light has entered your being.
That is prayer! – you cannot do it, you can only allow it to happen. Meditation can be done, prayer cannot be done. Meditation is more scientific that way, it can be taught. But prayer? – prayer is absolutely unscientific, it is a matter of the heart. Feel me, and you will feel prayer. Touch me, and you will touch prayer. Listen to me and you are listening to words which are full of prayer.
And then, sometime sitting silently, let there be a dialogue, a dialogue with existence. You can call existence God or father or mother; all are okay. But don’t repeat any ritual. Don’t repeat the Christian prayer, and don’t repeat the Hindu prayer, don’t repeat the Gayatri Mantra and don’t repeat namokar. Don’t repeat any mantra, Indian, Tibetan, Chinese…don’t repeat! Create your own mantra, don’t be a parrot. Can’t you say something to God on your own? And don’t rehearse it, don’t prepare for it. Can’t you face God directly as a small child faces his father or mother? Can’t you say something to him? Can’t you say hello?
Let prayer happen, don’t prepare for it. A prepared prayer is a false prayer, and a repeated prayer is just a mechanical thing. You can repeat the Christian prayer; you have crammed it, it has been forced upon you. You can repeat it in the night and fall asleep, but it will not make you aware, because it has not been done as a response!
I have heard….
A great mathematician who used to pray every night with a single word: he would look at the sky and would say, “Ditto.” What is the point of repeating every day the same as yesterday? What are you doing when you are repeating the same prayer again and again?… “ditto” is better! Why bother God every day with the same repetition? Say something if you have something to say. If you don’t have something to say, just say, “I don’t have anything to say today.”
Or just be silent – what is the need of saying? – but be true. At least between you and the whole, let there be truth; that’s what prayer is. Open your heart.
I have heard: Moses was passing through a forest and he came across a man, a shepherd, a poor man, a dirty, poor man, with rags for clothes. And he was praying; it was prayer time and he was praying.