The Buddha taught: “If you are standing on one shore and want to cross over to the other shore, you have to use a boat or swim across. You cannot just pray, ‘Oh, other shore, please come over here for me to step across!'” To a Buddhist, praying without also practicing is not real prayer. -Thich Nhat Hanh
This is a beautiful quote…and the message is so complete that it stands on its own… However, I’d like to take it a step further and ask what are you praying for?
If, for example, you are praying for peace, you must become peace. By not reacting to a situation that is not to your liking, you can breathe through those moments and realize it’s not that serious. By not believing everything you think and being truly present in each moment, you can live in the now instead of dwelling in the yesterdays and tomorrows. Then you will find that you have peace.
If, by chance, you are praying for love, you must become love. It is only through giving love that you are able to receive it. So instead of praying and/or waiting for someone to love you, go share your love with someone else and you will find it multiplied.
Or if praying for happiness or abundance, know that you can make the decision at any moment to be happy….or you can take action and go do what you know you must to achieve abundance. There’s no real secret…behind the scenes of any success story is a lot of hard work.
In other words, the prayer must become the practice. Afterall, the work is the Buddha ;)
Photo source: Walking on Water by Stoleac Cosmin (super cool!)