Author Topic: Prayer, An Offering of Breath and Attention  (Read 93 times)

Offline nicole

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Prayer, An Offering of Breath and Attention
« on: October 24, 2018, 03:17:29 AM »
Do not take yourself for granted.

Often, when we as teachers of African and diaspora spirituality have to admonish young adherents and devotees to not fall into the "new age" trap of going to the spirits emptyhanded, people misinterpret this as saying that simple prayer is ineffective or unimportant.

This is not what we are saying at all.

The advice, sometimes warning, to avoid going to the spirits emptyhanded is to give something to the spirits to avoid overexposure to inhumane energy and prevent the overtaxing of one's physical body and energy resources. The offering is given as a way to connect to deities or spirits that we can't possibly fully fathom, and who full comprehension of, may create a dissonance that would break out minds, without undue harm. The greater or more important the request or blessing one is thankful for, the greater offering one should attempt to give...and it's not like any offering will do. Certain deities and spirits prefer certain offerings. It is a good idea to be in some kind of alignment.

Sometimes though, the offering one should give is of their own flesh...at least of their breath and mental focus.

The chant or "mantra" is the most obvious example of an offering of breath and focus. One verbally repeats a phrase of praise or a passage from a sacred text or oral tradition to call a deity, spirit, or principle into focus. By devoting breaths and conscious attention to it, we give of ourselves. When done properly, especially after some time of giving observances that included offerings in the past, one not only gives but receives feedback from the deities or natural force or principle. A loop of energy that builds is created.

Aside of the obvious chanting though, normal everyday short prayers can also be effective offerings, so long as one is observant in other ways, and not just when they need something. Even a simple "Thank you for allowing me to awaken, Eshu. Thank you for my sanity Orunmila," in the morning is giving them some of your first breaths of the day. This can protect you from many things that could possibly go wrong if you did not start the day with gratitude.

So don't forget to say your prayers. They are as important as making ebbos.

Blessings and Ashe!

 

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