The Fascinating Question: How Do You Pray?

Welcome to my blog! As a practitioner of healing arts and the creator of an anthology of spiritual writings, it's my joy to encourage people to contemplate and share their own journeys. Many thanks to the Huffington Post staff for offering me another way to connect.

I came to the attention of HuffPo through my 2014 book How Do You Pray? The experience of putting the anthology together changed my life. It all started with a vision.

I woke up early one morning in 2008. It was still dark outside but the room was illuminated and I heard the words, "How do you pray?"

"Is it an hour a week at a designated place of worship or do you take your prayers out to the streets? Do you pray like your parents, culture or tribe, or did you develop another way? Do you pray to God or do you have another special name, or no name at all? Is it a monologue or a conversation?"

As the words continued, I saw a kaleidoscope vision of our humanity as our divinity. The essence of prayer as our oneness with all of life. I saw people all over the world singing, dancing, praying, praising. They were bowing and whirling, kneeling and prostrating, meditating and celebrating. I smelled the incense and burning herbs and tasted the sweet nectar of devotion. I felt the love for each other, the Earth and the divine. It was so clear that we are one people with one spirit with so many beautiful names.

I began to ask this question of everyone I met. "How do you pray?" I'm still asking. It isn't a one-time answer. It plants a seed that continues to grow and blossom and sends shoots out to the collective.

I was led to ask the question of religious leaders, spiritual guides, shamans, scientists, atheists, healers, activists and other lovers of humanity. Many answered enthusiastically, and 129 of those responses birthed How Do You Pray? as published by Monkfish Book Publishing. The prayers, poems, meditations, experiences, paintings and photos in the book are diverse, interesting and inspiring. They touch our lives and who together we are becoming.

My plan for this blog is to update at least every two weeks, sharing excerpts from the book along with reflections and experiences I've had on this journey. My prayer is that as we read the prayers of others we will see that we have more in common than we have differences. Also that there are many forms and flavors of prayer, yet a common essence of oneness and love.

I invite you to share in the comments your response -- or your response for today! -- to the question "How do you pray?" And please join our community on Facebook. I welcome your reflections and questions.

I don't claim to be an expert on prayer and sit in the inquiry myself -- how do I pray? This blog is an altar to the mystery that we cannot always explain, the questions we cannot always answer.

My intention is for this little corner of the internet to be a sacred space. May your heart and mind be open as you read about this fertile question and the prayers, poems and stories of the luminaries who share so deeply.