Monday, January 19, 2015

The Two Temples - Bringing Them Together In Prayer

A month or so ago, I went to the temple and I felt it was time to write this post. but I didn't feel it was time to publish it till now. So whoever you are, God is listening, and this post is for you.

This post addresses some questions about prayer and why it is sometimes so ineffective. Yes I just said that. It sometimes doesn't seem to get past the ceiling. Why?

Rabbi Phillip S. Berg said: "Prayer is a wonderful thing, but few, unhappily know how to wield it."  (The Star Connection, p 30-31)

Rav Berg talks about how as a body of people the Jews (and many others) prayed to end the holocaust, yet it didn't stop 6 million Jews from being murdered. There are many other examples of this: Cambodia is one. Pol Pots victims were not saved through prayer, etc. Why, besides all the arguments that it was God's well blah blah. Why? I loved this insight he shared.
"The Hebrew word for prayer is tafel, which literally means secondary, a reflection, the periphery channels. Prayer is not central to the issue. Prayers are merely channels, like a driverless vehicle or like a telephone line with no speaker to use it, prayers become a nullity...."
"It's a question of proper channels. If I want to watch the 11 o'clock news and I tune in at 9 o'clock I will not receive the program sought no matter how fervently I desire it. If I insist on watching channel 2, all the power of technology will not permit me to see programming on channel 4." (The Star Connection, p 31)
He mentions how every two hours our prayers are influenced by a different planet. This is not just symbolic. We know  the planets affect us, and from Ezekiel we learn that that during new moons and sabbaths, we have more access to God's "inner court." But if we don't know which planets and which hours and how the whole astronomy thing works, the only work-around is to literally pray always.
Good advice. Yet there are a number of other factors than interfere with prayer. Rav Berg says "To pray effectively, we must understand and be connected." Otherwise, he suggests, that it is little more than idol (idle) worship.

Studies on prayer also have mixed results. Some studies show that people who are prayed for heal better after surgery. Other studies show no significant difference, or the opposite, patients fare worse. One study found that the disparity was in the kind of praying that was done and whether it was directional or non directional. There are two major types of prayer: directional and non-directional. Directional is that type of prayer that wants to order God around and tell him in great detail what they want--like ordering groceries. While it's okay to be specific about needs it is important not to be so tightly gripped about the results. Not being so tightly gripped is what it meant by "intention"--the more open ended, meditative approach--you put it out there and then ask for everyone's highest good and accept God's will and methods.

In some healing modalities, such as Theta Healing, they teach that your brainwaves must be in a certain state in order for your prayer to be effective. Indeed, theta is a powerful state to pray from, yet there are still some prayers that will never get past the ceiling. Perhaps because they are too directional. But maybe there are other reasons.

All of these are good things to ponder, but I think that the critical point here is in what Rav Berg said: To pray effectively, we must understand and be connected.  In order to do this we need to achieve at-one-ment with God. There are many ways to do this, but I want to mention one tool that many LDS people have that is so amazing and yet so often overlooked.

If you are an endowed member of the LDS church and go to the  temple often and if you have been practicing Kundalini yoga (not just meditation) for any length of time, you will hopefully understand what I am about to say here. For everyone else, sorry I can't explain in more detail.

Our leaders have always encouraged temple recommend holders to go to the temple at least once per month. I used to do this a long time ago, until I heard this offhand statement from my local area authority. He said, "Once a month is an inconvenience. Once a week is a commitment." He was so right. So I started going once per week. It was so much more awesome. I anticipated the peace and the inspiration it brought into my life each week and it did help me heal and give me power. But it was still pretty slow when I look back at it.

Now that I know what I know about the body as a temple, I think about how little difference one yoga kriya a month would make. How slow my progress would be at that rate. Once a week would be better. Once yoga class/week was what I did for some time and I loved it. But once I committed to do a short yoga kriya and meditate every day at home, this is when the game changed.

Of course, most people can't go to the temple every day or even once/week because their temple may be a few hours or days away. But surely God knew this. And he gave us something more than just our garments to take home as reminders.

I want to remind people that we don't go to the temple just to watch someone's cinematic interpretation of what happened in the Garden of Eden. We go to the temple to be endowed with power from on high and to learn technology that we need to come into the presence of God.

One thing that we learn there is a way to pray that is said to be the true order of prayer. This true order of prayer is like a yoga kriya in that it's parts need to be performed in a certain manner. We learn this is in the temple and we do this in the temple. However, nothing is ever said about doing it at home or about not doing at home. We are taught that this technology can take us into the presence of God. And that kind of connection, especially while praying, is something I wish to have every day. I haven't shared this with many people, but I've asked around and I know a few people who do use this at home and some on a regular basis like me. Others only use it sporadically when in dire need. Of course, it is something you have to study out on your own, but I got the inspiration to share it now.

Obviously, if a person is going to pray in this manner at home, it would need to be done alone or only in the presence of other endowed members because it is sacred technology. Because the intention is to bring one into the presence of God, the head needs to be covered.

I do this after I have done my morning Sadhana and am very tuned in and meditative. I like to take this time to merge my will with God's, then say my very personal prayers and also pray for others, because these are powerful prayers.

I think that starting a daily practice of bringing the two temples together (body and edifice) in prayer, in your own home (second in sacredness to the temple) can have many wonderful outcomes including keeping the temple in our daily memory. But obviously ponder and pray about it for yourself.

Sat Nam


  1. This may have been meant for more than just me. But I wanted to say Thank You. I absolutely needed this right this very second!!

  2. Hello!?! Why have I never considered this? I mean, it's passed through my thoughts before but that was before I understood kundalini yoga and "mind/body" technologies. I am super excited about this and can't wait to implement it into my prayers. I Like the idea of doing it while tuned in and after a kriya because then you are focused and intentional. Maybe it's not widely taught as an "at-home" use because it could probably be seriously problematic if it becomes just a vain repetition like a lot of prayers can be.

  3. I've been meaning to ask you about this, I took your beginning meditation webinar a while back and you briefly said something about covering your head. I was going to ask if it had any reason to it, like it does in the temple. Thank you, I appreciate you going over this, during this blog post.

  4. Felice, I talked with the Temple President of the San Diego temple today. I asked him about doing this sacred technology at home in private (for example, in my closet). He said it is never okay to do any of the things we learn in the temple at home. He said that we can ponder on the things we learn at home but should not physically do them. This is why the temple says on the outside, "House of the Lord, Holiness to the Lord". He quoted 3 Nephi 17 where the people were sent home to ponder but then asked to come back (to the temple) the next day. The Temple President was pleased in my asking this question and he was very loving. I felt the spirit testify that he was a servant of the Lord and what he was saying was true.

  5. I know it's been a couple of years since this was posted, but I do have a couple of comments on this. I really can't say for sure what the previous posters experience was on a spiritual witness level as I did t experience it as she did. I am not sure whether it is in a temple president's stewardship to be able to make generalized counsel for the entire church when nothing has been stated on this by the General Authorities. I have seen some statements from previous General Authorities that seem to indicate that prior to the early twentieth century the line between the home and the temple was much thinner. There are several statements from early Church leaders that seem to indicate that families held prayer circles around private altars within the home 100+ years ago and were encouraged to do so. This by no means a doctrinal statement or a generalized counsel, but I mean it rather as an interesting consideration as we consider what belongs in the home and what belongs in the temple. For what it is worth to anyone, this page from By Commom Consent has an interesting set of statements made on the subject of home altars: In checking 3 Nephi 17, I don't see that it specifically states that Christ's instruction took place only in the temple. Because that chapter is where He asks for the sick and disabled and the children be brought to him for a blessing, the scene had often been depicted as taking place in a large open public space, but I don't think anyone knows for sure. I think I agree with the counsel to study this out on an individual basis. The temple as a building is sacred, but we have been counseled that our bodies and homes are temples as well.