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The Anthropology of Mysticism

A Sampling of Prayers from Around the World

Prayer is the most universal method of establishing a personal relationship with the Divine. The different prayers from around the world demonstrate that God speaks through and to all people. The beauty in each prayer symbolizes that the path to God has many different branches- all leading from and returning to the same source.

Prayer provides both spiritual and psychological benefits. By focusing on the message in a prayer that speaks to us, we are able to focus on something other than ourselves. By turning our attention to contemplation and prayer, we can relieve stress, sadness, anxiety and anger. Contemplative prayer raises our consciousness while helping to heal our souls.

True prayer must come from love. We need to be able to relax into this love and trust in its natural flow. We need to realize that love is the cause of all creation, and love will flow where it is needed when we ourselves have surrendered to it.
- Reshad Feild


Thanks to thee O God
That I have risen today
To the rising of this life itself.
May it be to thine own glory,
O God of every gift,
And to the glory of my soul likewise.
- Carmina Gadelica- Celtic Book of Prayers

House of Breathings

May you who read
these words receive
three blessings from the Spirit.

Receive faith, in mind and body,
to nurture a sense of infinite love.

Receive silence, to make your soul
vast and spacious home for the Most high.

Receive strength, to cultivate relationships
filled with justice, mercy and peacemaking.

A Simple Prayer

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, let me sow pardon.
Where there is doubt, let me sow faith.
Where there is despair, let me sow hope.
Where there is sadness, let me sow joy.
O Divine Master, grant that
I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
- St. Francis of Assisi

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed the by name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,
On Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day, our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever.

O Breathing Life

O Breathing Life, your Name shines everywhere!
Release a space to plant your Presence here.
Envision your "I can" now.
Embody your desire in every light and form.
Grow through us this moment's bread and wisdom.
Untie the knots of failure binding us,
as we release the strands we hold of others' faults.
Help us not forget our Source,
yet free us from not being in the Present,
From you arises every Vision, Power and Song
from gathering to gathering. Amen-
May your future actions grow from here!
- Aramaic version of the Lord's Prayer found in the Peshitta version of the Gospels.

The Cloud of Unknowing

O God unto whom all hearts lie open
unto whom desire is eloquent
and from whom no secret thing is hidden;
purify the thoughts of my heart
by the outpouring of your Spirit
that I may love you with a perfect love
and praise you as you deserve. Amen.
-Author Unknown

O my mother Nut

O my mother Nut,
stretch your wings over me.
Let me become like the imperishable stars,
like the indefatigable stars.
May Nut extend her arms over me and her name of
"She who extends her arms"
chases away the shadows
and makes the light shine everywhere.
O Great Being who is in the world of the Dead,
At whose feet is Eternity,
In whose hand is the always,
Come to me,
O great divine beloved Soul,
who is in the mysterious abyss,
Come to me.
- Ancient Egyptian prayer

The Great Invocation

From the point of Light within the mind of God
Let Light stream forthinto the minds of all.
Let Light descend on Earth.

From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let Love stream forth into the hearts of all.
May Christ return to Earth.

From the center wher the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide our little wills -
The purpose which the Masters know and serve.

From the center which we call the human race
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door where evil dwells.

Let Light and Love and Power
Restore the Plan on Earth.
- Alice Bailey


God within me, God without,
How shall I ever be in doubt?
There is no place where I may go
And not there see God's face, not know
I am God's vision and God's ears.
So through the harvest of my years
I am the Sower and the Sown,
God's Self unfolding and God's own.
- Anonymous

Remember, remember the sacredness of things
running streams and dwellings
the young within the nest
a hearth for sacred fire
the holy flame of the fire
- Pawnee, Osage, Omaha song

Native Blessing

Bless these, our circumstances.
Bless the hardship and the pain.
Bless the hunger and the thirst.
Bless the locusts and the drought.
Bless the things which do not turn out right.
Bless those who take all and give not.
In these circumstances, find growth.
In growth, discover clarity.
In clarity, an inner vision.
- © Nancy Wood, from Spirit Walker

Excerpt from, The Pollen Path

This covers it all,
The Earth and the Most High Power Whose Ways Are Beautiful.
All is beautiful before me,
All is beautiful behind me,
All is beautiful below me,
All is beautiful around me.
This covers it all,
The Skies and the Most High Power Whose Ways are Beautiful.
All is beautiful.
- Navajo prayer and chant

Teach us, and show us the Way.

We call upon the earth, our planet home, with its beautiful depths and soaring heights, its vitality and abundance of life, and together we ask that it

Teach us, and show us the Way.

We call upon the mountains, the Cascades and the Olympics, the high green valleys and meadows filled with wild flowers, the snows that never melt,the summits of intense silence, and we ask that they

Teach us, and show us the Way.

We call upon the waters that rim the earth, horizon to horizon, that flow in our rivers and streams, that fall upon our gardens and fields and we ask that they

Teach us, and show us the Way.

We call upon the land which grows our food, the nurturing soil, the fertile fields, the abundant gardens and orchards, and we ask that they

Teach us, and show us the Way.

We call upon the forests, the great trees reaching strongly to the sky with the earth in their roots and the heavens in their branches, the fir and the pine and the cedar, and we ask them to

Teach us, and show us the Way.

We call upon the creatures of the fields and forests and the seas, our brothers and sisters the wolves and deer, the eagle and dove, the great whales and dolphin, the beautiful Orca and salmon who share our Northwest home, and we ask them to

Teach us, and show us the Way.

We call upon all those who have lived on this earth, our ancestors and our friends, who dreamed the best for future generations, and upon whose lives our lives are built, and with thanksgiving, we call upon them to

Teach us, and show us the Way.

And lastly, we call upon all that we hold most sacred, the presence and power of the Great Spirit of love and truth which flows through all the Universe, to be with us to

Teach us, and show us the Way.

- Chinook blessing litany

May you be at peace, May your heart remain open.
May you awaken to the light of your own true nature.
May you be healed, May you be a source of healing for all beings.
- Part of the Metta meditation of lovingkindness. This prayer can be said in the first person when you feel fear or loneliness in order to remind you that the Divine is with you always.

God loves the world through us.
- Mother Teresa

Posted with permission from this website: Anthropology of Mysticism

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