Thursday, September 9, 2010

Posture in Prayer: Into the Silent Land

 You may recall that early in the summer Michelle and I began a conversation on Into the Silent Land by Martin Laird, O.S.A.  As it continues, I'm over at her place, writing about posture in prayer

What do you do with your body when you pray?

(Image here.)


  1. when I do my daily (almost daily) silent prayer I try to find a comfortable position, sitting on my bed, usually. When I pray in church I like to stand. Kneeling to pray has never been my thing...

  2. I was learning centering prayer the same time I was learning yoga so I would pray at the end of the yoga session, flat on my back. I found the relaxation of the yoga prepared me wonderfully.

    If I go really early to church or go during the week when the building is locked but we all know where the key is hidden, then I sometimes lay prostrate in front of the altar. I find that comforting.

    But most of the time I pray on the go. Washing dishes, driving the car, sitting at my desk. I have tried prayer while sitting straight up in a chair and haven't been very successful at it.

  3. My favourite position is sitting on my blanket box in the bedroom with my back against the wall. The view outside is into the garden with a decidious tree to one side. I've been sitting on the box for about 10 yrs now, so I find it tells my body, 'now is your time to enter into prayer'. It usually does. Thanks to for Hope's comment re: laying prostrate in front of the altar. I remember a time in my early Christian life when I was recovering from a loose lifestyle and returning for the first time to God and I'd do that. It was a place of mercy, mercy, and deep thankfulness for God's forgiveness. Occasionally I find myself praying when walking. If I have the dog its harder. But on a retreat, walking is a good time to take into my life via the senses, the goodness and joy of being in God's presence.

  4. breathe into it, and I am not being too snarky. On retreat I prayed once a day flat on my back breathing into my entire body, one part at a time.