PRAYER AND MEDITATION
Prayer and meditation are the foundational training techniques of all Spiritual and Energetic practices. Whether reciting mantras or visualizing the energetic movements of energy inside or outside of the body, the ability to "still the mind" and "focus the intention" onto a particular respiratory breathing pattern or imagery in order to facilitate the opening of higher energy centers, is of primary importance in the cultivation and transformational process.
Although the word Meditation has been used as an all encompassing description of internal training methods, it actually has many very different definitions according to how it is applied, especially in the pursuit of true spiritual attainment. Meditations are defined by the purpose and goal of what you are trying to achieve. Meditations that focus on relaxation in order to reach a state of tranquility, or meditations that focus on energetic movement that is structured towards the cultivation and storage of energy, or meditations that focus on opening energetic centers to achieve Enlightened states of awareness, there are a multitude of meditations and a multitude of combinations of use to reach the goal you are trying to achieve in performing a particular meditation.
On the path of Spiritual Transformation, Prayer and Meditation is defined as "the means of establishing an intimate relationship with your higher power". Whether we're referring to Christianity and God and Jesus Christ, or Daoism and the 3 Pure Ones, Tai Shang Laojun, and the Dao, or Buddhism and Padmasambhva, Buddha, and the pursuit of the Highest Spiritual Attainment, or the Muslim faith and Allah, and Mohammed, what all of these and other Religious and Spiritual traditions have in common is the belief in and pursuit of a Power that is higher and greater than themselves.
Regardless of what each Spiritual tradition chooses to believe the form of that Power manifests as, whether they believe it manifests in the form of a Higher Being or as a Divine Light, or Infinite Space, all believe that it is the Original Source of all existence and creation. Each tradition believes that attempting to establish an intimate relationship with this Higher Power is vital to achieving any degree of spiritual growth, and that spiritual evolution cannot be obtained without the knowledge of, interaction with, and fusion of, one's self with this Higher Power, this is the sole focus and aim of any Spiritual practice.
"Prayer and Meditation" are used synonymously and defined in terms of "Prayer" meaning to "speak", and "express" to the "Divine" (your higher power), any thoughts, desires, wants or needs you have for yourself or others. "Meditation" is defined as a state of "listening", for answers, clarity, insight, and understanding into to the prayers you have just prayed, by simply quieting one's self and dissolving into a state of "Openness and Receiving" and listening with the Body, Mind, and Spirit. One must be accompanied by the other this is the true balance of "Yin and Yang".
To ask in prayer, and never take time to listen separates you from developing an intimate relationship with the "Divine", and although listening is better than asking in comparison, because it affords you the opportunity to be open to Divine communication, that too represents an energetic imbalance that is in opposition to what you are trying to achieve, which is a fusion and union with the "Divine", a state of "At-one-ment". To accomplish this you have to be able to speak through the mouth that which is in your heart, and then accept that which is given back to you in response to your speaking it into existence.
A relationship by definition is "to relate", and this can only be done by expressing yourself in prayer truthfully and honestly and then listening openly, you communicate by "asking", and you receive by "listening", if you Pray and Ask, for help, understanding, protection, healing, guidance, or whatever is in your heart, you must also Meditate and Listen equally, and always end with being grateful.
Gratitude is the final element needed when ending Prayer and Meditation, because it reflects the honor and respect that we feel for being heard, and acknowledges the assistance given to us through Divine Communication. Without gratitude, which can also be translated as "Acceptance", we are filled with expectations of how we feel our problems should be resolved and we stop being open to the possibilities of what is beneficial to us and we fall into a state of "Entitlement" in trying to control the outcome of the events in our life instead of surrendering them to Divine will, we make it more about "My will" and not "Thy will".