Prayer is a means to engage your best reasoning and intuition to meditate into the space of non-reasoning. There is no better time to do so than falling asleep to instill a sense of connectedness with your essence. Prayers done before sleep help you collapse the day’s events, calm your mind, and lull you into the dreamspace where you will obtain specific help from essence. When you wake, you will find new abilities to know and express your desires (see the Vespers practice). You may wish to prepare by placing a notebook or tape recorder next to your bed to record your dreams (see the Dream Practice). This practice builds on the Sonter (Breathe in Essence), Rest in Rose, Access Alternatives, and Address and Release Your Fears practices. (See all Practices.)
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To begin, sonter essence and begin an inner conversation. Trust that your essence wants you to have what you desire. Remember that you are talking to a friend who knows you intimately and knows your innate goodness. Ask for what you want or need—this is called petitionary prayer—but don’t stop there. Keep going.
As you relax and open up to essence, let yourself access alternative views. Your contrary self will help you notice new thoughts and ideas coming into your consciousness and give you a sense of what is and is not in your ego’s control. What is in your ego’s control, you can access ways to address. What is not in your control, ask essence for help.
For example, perhaps you fear you will be judged negatively by a group of people, and you pray that you won’t be. Your contrary self will help loosen your expectations by suggesting, for example, that even if you throw up on someone, you will still be lovable. Then you find a sense of safety. You realize that people’s judgments are not in your control. You discover that what is in your control is that you not judge yourself negatively. You ask for essence’s help in doing that. Then you breathe into the dreamspace while allowing the love of essence to reinforce those feelings of self-acceptance. In the dreamspace, you realize a passion for being with others that you hadn’t known before. When you wake, you recall a dream that illustrates this, and move into your Vespers practice with a heart full of love and wonderful new ideas for expression.
You might pray for essence to provide certain, happier outcomes in the world, but you sometimes need to get through the sorting part of petitionary prayer to understand that there are reasons for the world being the way it is at times. You can be happy in the world of sorrows without needing feal that you have to control it: you don’t. You sometimes need to accept this, and discover what it is about the situation that can control and what you can do to remedy it, in ways small or large.
When you allow yourself to not fear the problems that your ego can’t solve on your own, you will have more sense of your essence self than you did before. You will realize how everything is as it should be, and move into a sense of equanimity—the composure you feal from holding little judgment and allowing your ego self to relax into a supporting role.
As you continue to pray, you will find your wants distilled into a state of realization that is called contemplative prayer, that you may also consider Resting in Rose, or Samadhi, or whatever you want to call it: it is the experience of your essence selves. And when you do, you will count your blessings, and this is the best prayer you could provide yourself. For to determine that you already have exactly what you need, and express your gratitude for it, is the best prayer there is.