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The Power of Intention, Being Present, and Prayer Part 1 & 2

Karnamrita Das

(this blog is recorded on the full blog page: quick time player is needed; works best with Firefox or Explorer; if you are using Google Chrome it will automatically play, so if you don't want to listen, mute your speakers.)
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Part 1
[The following was a talk I prepared to give at a recent wedding at the Bhakti Center in NYC. It is a summary of what came to me during a 3 week period before the ceremony in the early morning. I chanted and prayed with the intense focus of speaking not just information, but truth that could be applied. As it turned out I had a profound experience which demonstrated the power of intention, being present, and in prayer. As a result I could write and speak about these topics with conviction and realization.] My wife and I have been entrusted to be the hosts or master of ceremonies of this wedding. We are more comfortable being facilitators, as we often are in workshops, rather than “masters.”

After meditating on the deeper meaning of our role, I came to the conclusion that my wife and my real function is to “hold the energy of this ceremony,” if you are familiar with this expression. I am a firm believer in the importance of setting intentions for each day, and every endeavor we make, so I would like to suggest to you that we share this intention of holding the energy of the wedding by offering our prayers and blessings throughout the ceremony. Thus, in addition to being a witness of this joyous celebration, please also make an intention to be a participant, by praying and giving your blessings throughout the ceremony, to help with the best possible outcome.

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We are actually an intentional community, though a temporary one, of shared purpose, consisting of our combined energy. To do this requires we are all as present as possible, or we could say that we must practice mindfulness, using this as a way to focus our mind on prayer and giving blessings. I like to ask myself at different times: Am I fully present? So I ask you to ask this question to yourself during the ceremony, and if you feel you are not present, to regroup, and pray to be present. You can also try a process I will give toward the end of my talk.

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Growing up I was an expert at not being grounded or being present in my body, and “checking out” from a particular situation and my life in general. Thus, having been a master at that, I can say with some authority that it isn’t a great way to live all the time, even though it saved me during my childhood. We live in a “witness culture” where we are conditioned to watch movies and TV or take pictures of other people living. So being present and practicing mindfulness is an important skill to have that will help us better focus on prayer and whatever we do—to be active rather than passive. And with prayer we can all realize our highest potential.

The soul has the power to activate different kinds of energy by the power of the mind’s focus. The science of yoga, meditation, and prayer, is based on this idea. What we focus on increases in power and expands or becomes stronger. Emmerson said that we become what we think about all day long. And the Gita, which Emmerson studied, instructs us in the same principle: whatever we think of at death we become—and what we gravitate towards at death will be determined by how we live our life. We could also consider this Gita verse, moment by moment, as each second dies to make way for the next, and so our life is built one moment at a time.

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Everything is energy! Science teaches this and so does the Bhagavad Gita, although the Gita also teaches us about the soul and God—spiritual energy. We, the soul, can call forth the energy of love, kindness, happiness, compassion, and healing—or hate, envy, sadness, regret, resentment, or disease, and that energy goes into our environment. The future is created in the present as it interacts with past tendencies or karmic reactions and our current choices. Abraham Lincoln spoke an important truth when he said that, “People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” That is quite a meditation, and is profound. It means, among other things that happiness, or sadness, or love or hate, is a choice. We wear our state of consciousness like garments and it goes into our environment.

You are likely familiar with the term, and have had the experience, of good or bad “vibes.” This means our ability to read the energy of a place or person. Psychics are just very adept at seeing this energy—though we all have it to an extent. Think of this temple, a bar, a business district, an antique store, department store, a battleground, or graveyard. All have the energy of the people who have been involved or lived or died there. We also attract, or see, according to the energy we give. This is also the power of our attitude or faith.

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Part 2
You can help bring forth auspicious energy and blessings through prayer and focusing on the best possible outcome for the couple. You can feel yourself as an instrument of the Divine—however you conceive of that—and bring forth that uplifting energy. Although we are only tiny sparks of Divinity, at present most of us are operating at a far lower capacity then we are capable as part of God. And by being empowered, we can act even above our regular capacity. Even in normal life, every one of us is an energy generator by the power of our focus. Success in life comes from good personal energy management, and being stuck in the same old, same old patterns or problems, means poor energy management.

I’m going to give you, very, very briefly, a process I developed as a healer that I call, “mindfulness plus spiritual awareness,” which could assist you in being more present and in focusing on prayer and giving your blessings. We can each make a difference in this ceremony, the marriage, and in our own lives. Every person here is important and can make a positive contribution—if we are as fully present as possible, and keep connected to our conception of Divinity through prayer.

Before my healing sessions, I would first center myself in my heart—in the yoga system the heart is considered to be the seat of the soul—and be aware of feeling the spirit of love, giving, and healing. I hope you will try this in your own way. Then 3 steps: First, I would ground myself and pray to be as fully present as possible, by feeling connected to the Earth and all living creatures. Second, I would feel connected to the Universe and the higher beings. And thirdly, I would connect to the Source of all, my higher spiritual power, or for me, Radha and Krishna, Gaura Nitai, and those who serve them. We souls are also citizens of the Earth and the Universe. You can visualize this as a “Y” (like outstretched arms reaching upward) connected to your heart and enabling you to be much more than you would with only your own energy. At this point I would give out this combined energy for healing and helping.
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As a healer, if you use your own energy, you will fell depleted, but when you bring forth these three energies, you will be an instrument, and feel that healing energy coming through you. I would activate this energy by praying constantly to be an instrument of healing and positive outcomes—and we can do the same today. You see here the Deity of Radha, the female counter-whole, or better half, of God—she has her hand out in a blessings poise. And surely you have seen pictures of Christ or various saints with the hand held out in blessing. Great persons give blessings, yet even our humble selves give blessings and curses to others by our intention, attitude, or state of mind—the energy we give out. We also attract, or observe, according to the energy we give. This teaches us the power of our attitude or faith in effecting our lives.

Thus I am encouraging you to consider yourself an active participant in this wedding ceremony by praying for the bride and groom, and everyone present, and by sending your blessings, divine energy, or calling for the best life experience for us all, for all time, and in this joyous celebration. You will be assisted in your attempt by the group energy. I am sharing my experience for your consideration. Whether you believe in prayer or that you can give blessings, I am sure of one thing: if you live your life praying for others and giving everyone your blessings without expectations, in the mood of spiritual service, you will feel uplifted and find the best in life. As we give, so we receive.
[Background music “Sound Healing” by Dean Evenson and Soundings]
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