Since I’ve been late the first two weeks with my reminders about Collective Prayer Sundays as to some parts of the world, I thought I’d do it early this week and combine it with another challenge. So the reminder part: every Sunday you’re asked to find a minimum of 10 minutes somewhere between 7 and 11:59 p.m. in your time zone to pray, meditate, chant, affirm, etc. for peace. Suggested chant: May the Earth (or the world) be filled with lovingkindness, may she be well, may she be peaceful and at ease, may she be happy.
Just asking you to commit 10 minutes a week. If you can gather some people and give a little more time, fabulous. But every part of the Oneness contributes to the state of the world, so whether you chant alone or with others you’re still offering peace to All That Is.
For the challenge this week I want you to consider chanting as a practice that can bring mindfulness, or ability to be present in the moment. I suggest that you take on this challenge as a separate 10 (+) minutes of chanting and that you chant for yourself (see last week’s challenge) but if you’re pressed for time do it as part of the regular Sunday practice. As you chant do your best to keep your mind clear. I’ve found over the years that it’s perfectly possible for my mouth to repeat a chant over and over while my mind wanders hither and yon over subjects that have nothing to do with the chanting.
One trick I use to hold focus is to try to see the words as if they’re being written across my inner vision at the same time that I chant them. Sometimes I just catch myself thinking and pull my mind back to the chant. However you do it, try to note what your mind is up to. If you keep thinking about other things while you’re chanting, make some notes at the end of your practice. Pay attention to where your mind wandered — did it just ramble off to grocery lists or did it throw up thoughts that resisted the words of the chant? Did it jump to problems and issues instead of staying with peace? Any ideas about why those particular thoughts came up at the same time as those words of the chant? Did the thoughts affect how you felt while chanting? Did you note any difference between how it felt when you kept your mind clear versus how it felt when your mind wandered?
If you want a conversation about your experience, post comments here or on the Sundays page. Or if you have a lot to say write a post on your blog and tag it with CollPraySun so everyone can find it by searching that tag. As always, tag it also with B4Peace to participate also with Bloggers for Peace. I’ve put up a page for this on Facebook but so far I haven’t had the energy to try to figure out how to make a like for that page show up on here (translates to: I’m not fond of techie stuff so I’m just not doing it yet).