Miraculous Silence: A Journey to Illumination and Healing Through Prayer

 
9780399175503: Miraculous Silence: A Journey to Illumination and Healing Through Prayer

Regardless of where you are in life—whether you’re celebrating new beginnings, mourning a loss, weathering a hardship, or seeking inspiration—you will find this book of prayers to be the perfect companion.

At seventeen, Mitra Rahbar left her homeland due to political unrest. However, she would soon find her way in an unfamiliar land through an ever-deepening prayer life that led her to her soul’s core. Turning outward, she pursued a life of service—first as a social worker and then as a spiritual teacher, healer, and guide. Having worked with students from many walks of life for more than thirty years, Rahbar has a deep understanding of what spiritual seekers long to learn and how best to teach them.

In Miraculous Silence, she takes us on a journey into the sacred space of prayer and spiritual healing, providing practical guidance on how to pray and meditate, as well as many of her own prayers to inspire and encourage us. Rahbar also suggests images to visualize and meditate on, mantras to recite in every situation, and stones to aid in the healing process. In these practices, prayers, and inspirations, you will find comfort, illumination, and renewal.

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About the Author:

Mitra Rahbar is a spiritual teacher, healer, and guide. Born into the mystical tradition of Iran, Rahbar grew up in Tehran, surrounded by spiritual and literary influences that included her grandfather's Dervish philosophy, her mother's classical poetry, and the works of great Persian poets such as Rumi, Hafez, Saadi, and Gibran. Now living in Southern California, Rahbar is also known as a singer and humanitarian.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

table of contents

preface

From the time I found myself and my voice, I knew and felt my connection to the Divine. I knew God before I could speak—maybe not the word, but I knew God in the very fiber of my being; I knew I had come here with this faith and knowledge. At barely the age of four, in a conversation with my mother, I asked, “Did God create us all?”

“Yes,” my mother replied.

“Then we all have to love each other, because we’re made by the same God,” I said. In that moment, I felt the birth of a greater love in me: God resided in each of us, and therefore we were all connected. We were all the children of God. The seed of my soul had awakened to this knowledge that our Eternal Parent is the sacred thread that weaves us all together in this tapestry of life.

As a young child, this understanding, coupled with my outgoing personality, led me to embrace everyone with a smile and a hug. I felt a knowing comfort in this connection. Strangers at first appeared to hesitate when I would smile at them, but in a matter of moments, each heart would melt at the sight of a young child who would not stop smiling. In a split second, my smile would be reciprocated!

As a teenager, I found myself in a new country—due to political unrest in my homeland—far removed from all I knew, loved, and understood. The trials of immigration, loss of loved ones, financial struggles, and my deep longing for my beloved homeland and family were depleting the reserves of my young life. With the passage of time, my inner baggage was getting heavier. I found refuge in prayer circles comprised of women only. There, in the hours of chanting, and amidst the cries of my many sisters, I would lose myself in the infinite love of the Divine. As a young woman, pregnant tears would burst fervently upon my face, awakening a deep longing that would call to me. The prayers and chants were a much needed quiet for my yearning soul, but deep in my core, I knew that soon I would be unable to withstand the weight of the heavy baggage that remained with me.

The suicide of a dear friend led me to the altar of a sacred sanctuary one afternoon in the midst of winter. My body could not contain my disbelief and shock. I swayed with this grief for countless minutes. Suddenly, I felt a hand on my head. I heard a voice as I lifted my eyes.

“You have cried enough. God has heard you,” said an elderly man with a captivating presence. “Get up,” he said. I got up, in a haze, taken by his commanding demeanor and gentle voice.

In the months that followed, the whimper of my soul was slowly becoming a cry, screaming, “Look at me, look at me.” A choice was upon me: to look or to ignore. The words of the old man kept ringing in my ears. Until that moment, I had understood prayer as going to a place of worship or just talking to God and allowing my soul to be dissolved in the Infinite. But this stranger had proposed a new thought to me: God had heard me. I had been heard. These four words opened the pathways of my mind to a deeper understanding of prayer and my connection to God. They implied that I could have a conversation with God, that He was within my reach, not somewhere far, but here with me. With that, I decided. I looked. I devoted myself to creating sacred space each day and laid my tired body at the gates of God’s love. I chanted, meditated, visualized, used stones, prayed . . . and prayed.

In those years, in the midst of my inner chaos, I chose to delve deeper into my soul, peeling aside the layers of pain, one by one, to create healing. Like a soldier on a mission, I devoted my life to this. I would sit with God, talk with God, and rest with God. As I slowly unraveled, I could see a radiant light at my core—one that was fearless, with beautiful brilliance, as designed by the Beloved. The prayers had taken me to the seed of my soul, beyond the chatter and clutter. I could barely contain myself as my tears would birth a joy and love so profound upon my chest and being. In this silence, I had found the most precious and treasured gift of all: God and me.

When friends would invite me out, I would leave early, thinking, I have a date with God! Sitting in prayer was the best part of my day . . . and of me. He was always waiting, and I was always yearning.

For my entire life up to that point, I had been swimming against the tides of my culture, my peers, my friends, and my age. This had created some inner conflict and discomfort in me, although I had always followed my truth and heard my voice clearly. As I emerged, so did another truth: I realized that the tides were my tides, and I was following my own current; I embraced being different and choosing differently. In this acceptance and honoring of the self, I broke through the walls of judgment, guilt, and self-pity and found a new freedom of self and life. I surrendered to the divine design of the Universe and all its splendor.

In over three decades of work, I have seen the yearning and emptiness we can all experience. I have seen the waves of uncertainty and fear that can wash out our reserve. And I have seen and known that our only real anchor is faith. It is faith that keeps us from staying down. It is faith that lifts us when we cannot find the strength to stand. And it is faith that sits in the space between the fall and the standing.

To me, prayer was and is the best part of me, my life, and my day. I have never known another way but prayer—to awaken the heart and find the deep, loving bond with its Maker. As faith fuels me, anchors me, and guides me, prayer quiets me and connects me more deeply and beautifully to God. In the sacred space of prayer, there is no hierarchy and there are no separations: there is only the child and the Maker. None of His children is more valued, none more precious; all are equally loved, each special and beautiful to the Eternal Parent; there is only unconditional love.

As the prayers found me, and I them, I realized that my life and my breath were a prayer each day. Today I know no other way of facing the travesties or unfairness we all sometimes witness or experience. As I know the sun shall rise tomorrow, I know what our planet needs for its healing is prayer—for prayer is the portal to the goodness, the light, that resides within us. This is the light that will lead us to a world and life of nonviolence, of harmony, compassion, kindness, and ultimately, peace.

As this little book of prayer is now finished, I already miss the journey it took me on—a magical ride into the heart of the Beloved, sealed forever within my soul.

My hope is that this collection of prayers will be a gateway to healing and a portal to self-love and God’s love. As you receive these prayers with your heart, may you further create healing in your life and the world.

With love, I offer you these prayers—these passages to enlightenment, devotion, and healing. As you open your hearts to them, may you feel that the hand of God is lifting you, even when you cannot see it. As you read, may you believe, and as you believe, may you connect to the brilliance and beauty that lies between your heart and God.

I offer you Miraculous Silence.

notes from the author

My hope is that Miraculous Silence will be received as intended—a book of prayers for healing and illumination for all. Here are a few notes, distinctions, and suggestions that I hope will enhance your experience and bring more clarity to the book’s contents:


   · The words chosen to refer to God in this book are not meant to reflect any specific religion, but to allow for interpretation by the reader based on his or her own religious or spiritual background and/or to reflect the popular understanding of universal spirit/energy/source.
   · Many titles are used interchangeably in referring to God—for example, Lord, Father, Mother, Eternal Parent, Beloved, Spirit, Divine, Light, Source, Maker.
   · For consistency and simplicity, the masculine pronoun “He” is often used in reference to God, but it can be replaced with “She” based on the belief system or preference of the reader.
   · Mother Earth is used to refer to the energy—the spirit of the earth—that nurtures us all.
   · The words “Kingdom,” “Creation,” and “Universe” here are meant as a nonreligious reference to all of creation—the space of God’s domain.
   · The words “Amen,” Namaste (Sanskrit, “I bow to you”), Khodaya (Farsi, “oh God,” to call to the Divine), and Shokran (Arabic, “to give thanks”) are used as ending notes for certain prayers throughout the book. Their derivation from different backgrounds reflects the book’s universal outlook.
   · For best results, please release any judgments that might arise regarding body posture or specific mind-sets during the practices recommended here (meditation, mantra, etc.). Allow the practice to take its own form. Let your body and higher intuition guide you.
   · The essence of any type of spiritual practice is intention. When the intention of the soul is to bring forth healing and awareness, all the pieces fall into place and flow beautifully. Intention, along with discipline, patience, belief, and allowance (openness of the mind and heart), are key to a fulfilling practice.
   · Many prayers in the book include suggestions for the use of stones or mantras. These suggestions are meant to further enhance your healing and bring greater illumination to the focus of the prayer, but are completely optional. Integrate any of these suggestions only if you feel moved to, noting that while many choices are given, using just one or two stones and/or mantras is sufficient.
   · Vedic and Buddhist mantras are used frequently in the prayers because these traditions have the largest collections of mantras.
   · During any of the prayers and/or sacred space practices in this book, a white candle can be lit to provide further support in becoming focused and centered. The candle is not only comforting but also enhances our space. When praying for someone other than yourself, you may light additional candles.
   · It is recommended that you remove jewelry (unless it has a special significance to you) and turn off mobile phones and other potential distractions during any of these sacred space practices. You might also run your hands through cold water to neutralize your energy fields.

opening prayer

Prayer is a whisper of the soul.

Prayer is a yearning of the heart.

Prayer is a nakedness of being,

in receiving God.

Let your soul sing this song.

Let your heart beat with this pulse.

Let your body let go

and be with the Light,

as intended.

Speak, sing, be silent . . .

Just open your soul to you.

Open your soul to the Infinite . . .

There,

lies only a place of peace,

a place of love.

When this love is upon you,

when your pregnant tears give birth to release,

when laughter fills each cell of your body with love,

when your sigh becomes a connection

with everything around you . . .

this will be Grace,

upon each strand,

each note,

each pause.

You will be in the highest joy,

in the most poignant moment,

in the most profound comfort . . .

You will be with God.

Allow this,

create this,

and become this:

a light bearer

of the Divine.

sacred space (introduction)

From a very young age, we learn to create space for all we do. We initially learn this from our bodies, instinctively, as we tune into our inner rhythms and, for example, know when we are hungry, and when we need to sleep. As we get older, we create other external spaces for playing, resting, eating, and doing homework. In time, we create physical space for our books, clothes, furniture, and electronics, and time slots for all the important activities of the day. We learn to value and respect these spaces and activities, and they become the fabric of our daily existence.

Soon, however, the life we have created is governed by these allowances. All the available physical space for our possessions, and time slots on the daily “to-do” list, become very congested. And now in the age of modern technology, it has become commonplace for us to fill whatever remaining space we might have with a barrage of “virtual” interactions, such as social media and texting, until there is simply no space left at all.

As a result, we may feel a sense of deep discontent over time, a void beyond what we can even express. Although our lives appear to be so full of activity, so filled with possessions, we may feel restless, anxious, or profoundly unfulfilled. This is the emptiness that results when the heart is void of devotion, of being with God. When we allow ourselves an instant of true quiet, we might hear a whisper or, at times, a powerful cry. This is our soul yearning for the Divine, reminding us that we have a task at hand; no one can ignore this cry for too long, for the anguish and decay will grow deeper and deeper.

The inner child longs for the embrace and caress of the Eternal Parent—the Beloved—and it is only in this connection that the soul can regain its peace. The umbilical cord linking soul to God is never cut, even as our preoccupation with the physical realm and its ceaseless activity seems to take priority.

The irony of this no-more-space/no-more-time reality is this: we have ignored the most important, fulfilling, and life-altering space there is—sacred space. Miraculous Silence is largely about reclaiming this space of worship, of light, of devotion, of connection with the Divine, through prayer and other supportive practices. This is, in fact, the only space we really have that consistently fuels us on the deepest level and provides us with true joy, happiness, and peace.

We create this sacred space physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally within our core. As we open our hearts and awaken to the light that governs the Universe, we connect to the light within our own being. We create a sacred space to sit, talk, and be with God. We may have faith and feel like we know God, but now we recognize that to be at peace, to be fulfilled, to be elevated, and to be enlightened, we must not only believe but also engage in a devotional practice of connecting more deeply with God.

Imagine a beautiful garden, lush with vibrant colors and alive with rich fragrance. We find a space of green grass amidst it, take off our shoes, and sit or lie down and embrace the warmth of the earth. Once we do, we are able to take in the beauty of the garden and bask in the full glory of the sun. Similarly, we need to create the sacred space within by tapping gently on the door of the soul. As it opens, we will see an even more magnificent garden—a feast for our se...

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