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True praying is the act of experiencing God, of universal love and unity. It recharges your batteries so that you can bring universal love into the way you live your life.

Prayer is not a spectator event. It is not sitting in a house of worship, watching and listening to others reading from a text to which you cannot relate. Prayer is not asking for favors from some omnipotent being. It is not something you recite without lingering to understand its spiritual meaning. Praying and other religious rituals should not become merely habitual, an end in themselves that amounts to simply going through the motions. Allowing that to happen will prevent you from finding your true infinite nature.

Praying: Feeling the Presence of Your Oneness

Praying is feeling the presence of God, your Oneness with all things. Not a humanoid God outside of you, but the essential Oneness of all that can be found in your spirit. Connecting with your spiritual source will allow you to find the inspiration and meaning of your life.

Prayer can be done anywhere. The nature of the Oneness is found not in the heavens — or in a house of worship — but within yourself. If you search outside for God, you will be forever searching. If you seek God within your heart, you will find the umbilical cord that connects you with your eternal Oneness.

Meditation as Prayer

Meditation is an effective form of prayer. It’s a time-proven technique developed over thousands of years to help you connect with your inner spirit, which will in turn connect you with the unity of all — what some call God. Meditation enables you to shut out the noise and clatter of everyday life and calm yourself down so that the loving sense of unity with all things within you can be sensed.

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Meditating establishes a feeling within that opens up the world of the spirit, which has always been within you. It is not of time and space. It is, in fact, the peaceful yet fully aware state in which you find yourself when you free yourself from time and space.

Meditating must be done regularly in order to avoid being overwhelmed by the noise, rush and pressures of everyday life. Regular practice will make it progressively easier and easier to transform your consciousness into a meditative state.

The Peace Within You

The peace you have been seeking is already within you. It is not a destination or an achievement to be won. It is not something that may come in the future. It is present and available to you right here, right now. You just have to learn to recognize and feel it.

It’s important to note that discovering peace happens outside of your thinking mind. It is an insight. A pure recognition without thought. A revelation. An awakening.

Finding inner peace is a gradual process. The One will not come to you at the beginning. You must regularly open yourself up to your spirit. It will eventually come. Don’t seek it. Just make yourself open to it. The door to your divine spirit will open to you.

Just let yourself float with it. You will feel a calmness and inner quietness. Through that peacefulness, you make yourself receptive to sensing the Oneness within you. You will discover that this is the place where awareness and revelation take place, where you can find your true nature and purpose.

Unless you regularly connect with your Oneness, you will eventually lose your spiritual inspiration, and it will become only an intellectual memory of a great experience from the past. It is best to connect with your Oneness every day, but at a minimum every week, and it does not have to be for a long period of time.                               

Effortless Effort

The purpose of meditating or praying is to quiet the spatial and analytical parts of your brain so that the intuitive portions of your brain can be felt. Material life is tough, active and urgent. It tends to hide the more subtle presence of your internal eternal self. Turn off the TV so you can hear your heart.

When you begin meditating, you will start in the material world. But with continued practice, you will connect to your Oneness and inner self. As you start the process, you will be trying to connect with your Oneness. As you become more experienced, you will find yourself no longer trying. After all, trying is an act of the material world. Trying will keep you in the physical world. It comes from your ego and the world of the intellectual mind and holds you in the physical world.

Let it go. Don’t try. By trying you are seeking something you do not already have. You are assuming that what you want is not already here and now. It is and always has been here and now. You will attain it by allowing openness and harmony to overcome you by letting yourself be absorbed into it.

Life longs for life. If you open yourself to it, your spirit will find you. It has been waiting for you. You just have to sensitize yourself to it and let it emerge.

Enter into loving awareness. You will grow into opening yourself up to perceptions that you did not previously sense. You will morph into an open concentration.

In the practice of Tao, it is called “effortless effort.” Open yourself up to the beauty of the moment, and it will find you.

Finding Your Way

There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but they all lead to the same place.

Since we are individuals, each of our paths to Oneness begins in our own way, from our own place and from our current level, or stage, of consciousness. It is influenced by our family’s religion, ethnic heritage, our life experiences, and the stage of development of our soul.

Inspired teachers from many traditions have long recognized that the core of all religious and spiritual beliefs —even humanistic, agnostic and atheistic beliefs — is universal love, Oneness, a feeling of the unity of all.

Aren’t you greater when you are a part of a cause for a purpose larger than yourself? You become inspired to greater goals. When you feel the spirit of the Oneness, you will be drawn to follow it. It will lead you from your surface individuality to the universal spirit deep within you. It will free you of self-centered thoughts, of your ego.

You must not focus on the differences between your path and that of others. In order to be at one with the One, you must look beyond the differences to the commonality within all paths and all people.

Sensing the Sense of Oneness

“The world is won by those who let it go,” said Lao Tzu, the spiritually enlightened founder of Taoism.

The One cannot really be understood intellectually. It must be felt and revealed. It is intuitive.

Don’t think about it. Explanations will not help you. They satisfy the rational mind, and the rational mind is not the path to Oneness, to higher consciousness, to spiritual enlightenment.

Think of a star in the sky. You cannot see the star when the sun is shining during the day. Only when the sun disappears is the star, which has always been there, perceived. Your everyday life is loud, and the subtle music of the eternal is very hard to hear above the din. Open yourself to listen to it. Eventually, continued regular meditation will allow you to sense the presence of your inner spiritual nature.

Opening Up to Oneness

The spirit may open to you when you least expect it, but it is more likely to happen when you have quieted yourself. Again, it is not found through intellectual reasoning but by inner calm and clear openness. You sense it with your spiritual eyes, or what some people have called “the opening of the inner eye.” Many people have described it as light, and light is a very good metaphor -- it is like turning on the light in a dark room and seeing it for the first time. But it is not a light in the earthly physical sense of the word. It is an illumination of your consciousness. An awakening, a recognition, a realization.

It can also be described as an opening. Your being opens up for the first time in your life. It opens to a reality that is more real than the earthly reality you have experienced up to then.

Buddha first tried extreme methods such as starvation and deprivation. He eventually found his Oneness by not trying. He found it through balance and from quieting the forces of the physical world. Likewise, you will not find your true self through extremism or through hard effort. It is the opposite. You will not find yourself when you bounce back and forth between one extreme attempt and another, but when you find peace at the place where your earthly vibrations are at a minimum.

It may be a new place for you, but it is not a scary place. Quite the contrary. In that place you will find yourself at peace with yourself. You will be happy. You will have no fear of new ideas. You will be totally open to people with different beliefs and lifestyles. You will have lost your insecurities. You will see the value and beauty in all people and things. You will notice that people respect you and will be drawn to you. You will have become a light to the world.

Copyright 2023. All Rights Reserved.
Printed with permission of the author.

Book by this Author: Awaken Your Soul

Awaken Your Soul: How to Find Your Inner Spirit and Life’s Purpose
by Theodore Orenstein

book cover of: Awaken Your Soul by Theodore OrensteinAre you searching for greater meaning and purpose in your life, but feeling disillusioned by traditional paths and methods? Look no further than Awaken Your Soul. A Journey to Inner Spirit and Life's Purpose by author and spiritual seeker Theodore Orenstein. In this powerful and inspiring book, Ted Orenstein shares his own journey toward discovering the indescribable yet undeniably real experience of higher consciousness - a reality that transcends religious, spiritual, and humanist beliefs.

Drawing from a variety of sources and traditions, including Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism, and even atheism, the author offers readers a unique and insightful perspective on what it means to find one's inner spirit and life's purpose.

For more info and/or to order this book, click here. Book is available as a hardcover, paperback and a Kindle edition.

About the Author

photo of Ted OrensteinTed Orenstein writes, speaks, and teaches about spiritual enlightenment. He enjoys sharing that there is a purpose and direction to the universe, and that it is good. A former lawyer, Ted’s mission is to help others find greater meaning and fulfillment, and a deeper understanding of why people are what they are. He is the author of Awaken Your Soul: How to Find Your Inner Spirit and Life's Purpose

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