There is Always Time for Prayer

I’m a procrastinator.

I don’t know when or why it happened but to steal from Ayurveda, I’ve become quite kaphic in nature. I think this slow down has come from decades of burning the candle at both ends and now, my body and spirit are saying “Slow it down. Breathe. Enjoy the little things”. It seems to take forever to get anything done and I become easily distracted by watching the kittens play, the birds hop from tree to tree, and just as I’m about to get off the couch, I seem to notice that my cup of chai still has just another sip left and it is begging me to finish it. Well, you get the point…

Recently, I was visiting my home-away-from-home, The Himalayan Institute in Honesdale, PA. I love this place. In fact, as I write this blog, my eyes are welling up with tears because of the incredible love and compassion that envelops you the moment you walk through the door. The bright smiles, big hugs and genuine love from Roxi, Joy, and April that greet all who enter through the doors, encourage you to just exhale and BE.

One of the most beautiful experiences of HI is the gathering of the community for prayers at daybreak, and at the end of the day. We gather in the Sri Vidya Shrine and sing for 10 minutes or so and the feeling of peace and love that is stirred never cease to amaze me. The Bible says “when two or three are gathered in my name, there I am with them” and you can truly feel the Divine surrounding and nurturing you during these moments and, truly, throughout the day.

I have also begun to join some of the residents after breakfast to sing the Annapurna stotram in the kitchen. One morning, I wandered into the kitchen, and surprisingly, no one was around. I eventually found Marc, one of the chefs, and asked if we were going to sing. He seemed unusually rushed and said, “is there no one here to sing with you? Hmm. It is my day off and I was just picking something up…” He stopped for just a moment and continued, “Yes, let us sing. There is always time for prayer.  It is important for us all, and it is important for me”. And so, the two of us sang this beautiful chant, well he sang it beautifully, and I fumbled along in my tone deaf way, but his words “there is always time for prayer” have stayed with me for several weeks.

We always seem to make time for everything but prayer and I often why. Why is it that I always find a reason to postpone doing the things I love and I know serve me well? I KNOW that practicing yoga makes me feel good and is good for me, and I KNOW that prayer makes me feel good yet these practices, at times, seem to fall to the side.

There is something truly magical about the power of prayer and in this season of busy-ness, I invite you to pause for just a moment and pray. It doesn’t have to be fancy, or long, formal. Just pause for a moment, inhale, exhale and BE.

May you find, love, joy and peace this holiday season.

Pam

P.S. If you’d like to listen, and learn, the Annapurna stotram, you can find it here: