Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Revision: A Prayer for B'reishit

Lord, hear my prayer—

My mind is filled with falsehoods about You.

Today let me rewrite.

Give me the courage to delete the rotten first second third and hundredth drafts

That deny You,
That blame You,
That slander You.
It is time.

Guide me to write a different, better story.

Teach me the true meaning of the garden, the snake, the apple, and the fall.
Scrub from my mind the lazy oft-told tales of punishment, trickery, and abandonment.
Let me retire the ego’s clichés and distortions, O Lord, and bid farewell to the misconceived central character:
the psychopathic, jealous trickster,
the crude caricature of paternal retribution,
the off-planet deity watching over us impassively, folded-armed, while we rot and writhe, our cries falling on deaf God ears.

I declare this vision of God to be false, and I ask that any remnants of this lie be erased from the crevices of my consciousness.

Let me learn anew. Let not the guilting of grandparents lead me to fear and reject the guidance of the other:
The Sikh,
The Sufi,
The Shaman,
The Hindu,
The Buddhist,
The Christian,
The Gnostic,
The Kabbalist.
If it is wise and true
—If it bears Your cosmic fingerprints and the quiet perfection of Your voice—
I will listen.

Let me live with the compassion of Buddha and Quan Yin and Mother Mary,
Let me write with the sacred clarity of Rumi and Hafiz, Wordsworth and Blake.
Teach me to surrender like Mohammed and pray like David,
To be fiery like Rama and fierce like Jesus.

May I not fall into the deification of any man—for You alone are God—but may I let the example of their light guide my path.

When I am weeping like Arjuna on the inner battlefield, may beautiful blue Krishna—the divine charioteer—lift me up and remind me of the Truth:

I am That.
Thou are That. All this is That.
That alone Is and there is nothing else but That.

Let me remember the divine dance of the Mother-Father, always, lest I fall into the dog-eat-dog foolishness upon which so much cruelty and injustice is based.

(When the Father said, “Let there be light,” the Mother answered, “And there was light.”)

Erase the imprint of atheism from my mind, Lord.
And while You’re at it, please remove: guilt, shame, anxiety, depression, comparison, competition, vanity, arrogance, and sloth.

Let the false prophets and holy bullies turn inward.
May they recognize the battle is never outside themselves.
For You do not exist in the world of opposites.

The madness of this world is our own.
We created it, we perpetuated it.
You do not endorse it.
You are innocent.
We have created You in our image.
Forgive us.

How am I to know I am being heard?
Because I am speaking to myself.
You and I are not separate.

Heal the wound in my psyche that stubbornly claims otherwise,
For this is the ego’s well-constructed and persistent lie:
You are alone you are alone you are alone.

Like a train schedule blaring on a loudspeaker, it is repeated. Over and over.
Daring us to relent and believe that which is false.

The bite of that apple was terrible indeed.
It convinced us we were not You.

Let me bear the weight of the responsibility for these errors of thought, speech, action, and perception as I learn to walk the razor’s edge of virtue.
May I always hear the steady vigilance and unending love of Your voice guiding me home.

All else falls away.
Only that which is unchanging is True.

Thank You, Mother-Father God,
 for this new beginning.

I get this link a while back from my friend. It's a Jewish prayer written by Josh Radnor. For those who don't know, Josh Radnor is an American director, actor, producer, and writer. He is best known portraying Ted Mosby, in the hit CBS series How I Met Your Mother. The prayer is excerpted from Unscrolled, a book about the new meaning of the 54 Torah portions which is written by 54 Jewish writers.

I am a Catholic, so I don't know much about Torah and Jewish initial teachings, but we do share some of the belief systems since Jesus was of Jewish descendant. The first time I read this prayer, I was moved because of the beauty in the words he used. It was a beautiful prayer, so humble, yet so divine. The more I read, the more I get the point, the more I'm in awe with this prayer. As human, we're not supposed to be so narrow-minded and drawn into our own religion and belief that we ignore other teachings that may complete what we think we already know.

We already know that truthfully, all religions are good, and the main teachings is to bring peace to the world. We know that, yet we haven't achieved peace yet. Not even after 2000 years. Not in the world, not even inside our own religions. The prayer is an interpretation of what might be, from Josh's point of view. If only we are humble enough to acknowledge other teachings, if it is wise and true. If only we are humble enough to listen. Yet we are trapped in hatred, of each other's religion, of each other's beliefs. We are too hung up on our differences that we are blinded and easily steered away from peace that we so desperately seek.

The madness of this world is our own.
We created it, we perpetuated it.
You do not endorse it.
You are innocent.
We have created You in our image.
Forgive us.

This paragraph is so simple, yet so powerful. It's a wake up call, a reminder that we built our own hatred towards each other. We are locked inside our own definition and we're not allowed to peek outside. Our fear are so strong that they allow our self not to look beyond our own understandings. Yet we believe that others are false. We are trapped in delusion that others are trying to misguide us, even when we have no idea of others' definitions. Let us achieve peace inside us, by accepting what might be.

Let the false prophets and holy bullies turn inward.
May they recognize the battle is never outside themselves.

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