Prayer and meditation are important to me. I’ll admit, though, that I am easily distracted. I start praying and the dog barks or the neighbors’ kids laugh, and I’m instantly thinking about something else. I’m one of those people who need tools to focus.
I began a new routine today, one that I hope to stick to. I began by writing in my journal – the one saved for positive thoughts and positive memories. This act of recognizing peace, beauty and blessings in my life helped to get me into the proper mindset for part two, which was literally counting my blessings.
Some time ago I purchased a Mala, which is traditionally a Hindu or Buddhist tool for meditation. I purchased it for its beauty, and it resides in my special space. Today I picked up that Mala and tried it as a tool to focus for my prayer practice. Holding the tassel, I began my prayer by thanking God for the many blessings in my life, including my family and my improved health. I asked God to bless the people in my life and asked that as I said each name, that He would bless that person with joy, hope, peace and health, and to bring into their life anything that they needed.
There are 108 smaller beads on the mala. As the string of beads slipped through my fingers one at a time, the names of 108 people in my life came to me, one after another. 108 blessings. I know about the struggles in some of their lives, and as those names came to me, I prayed for those situations. Others I simply prayed that their lives would be filled with the blessings that they bring into my life.
I had no mental “prayer list.” The names and faces came into my mind one after another. I was somewhat surprised by some of the names that came to mind. Some were people who had hurt me, and along with praying for blessings for them, I prayed for help to forgive long-ago hurts.
108 people, 108 prayers, 108 blessings. As I closed my prayer, I thanked God for such a rich life. I thought it would be hard to come up with 108 people to pray for, but as I write this, the names and faces keep coming.
My life is blessed – truly blessed.