But when you begin to hold your tea in mindfulness and concentration, and when you drink your tea in perfect mindfulness and concentration, if you look like performing a ritual, and that is already a prayer. When you walk, and if you enjoy every step, if every step nourishes you, transforms you, every step is a prayer.
So, in the teaching, in the practice of Buddhism, in the tradition of Buddhism, there is no really distinction between meditation and prayer. Because when you are mindful and concentrated, you have insight, you get in touch with the Buddha land, with the Buddha, with the sangha. And when you really pray, you get in touch with Jesus, with the Kingdom of God. And getting in touch like that should bring about the transformation and healing.
And when there is mindfulness, concentration and insight, there is no longer distinction between the one who prays and the one to whom we address our prayer. And that is why the communication is deep, total. And the transformation and healing should happen, must happen.
In Christianity, our friends say, "Living each moment in a presence of God". If you live in mindfulness, concentration and insight, you never leave God. You are always in touch with God in the presence of God.
When you live in a free moment in your daily life in the presence of God, it means your daily life is a prayer. And they are those who were capable of doing so. And in Buddhism, we learn that there are very concrete ways to generate the energy of mindfulness, concentration and insight. And our practice consists in generating these three energies. And if these energies are there, there will be no longer any separations between the one who is praying and the one to whom we address our prayer.
And when you practice mindfulness, sitting, walking, cooking, washing, you don't feel that you waste your life. You are living every moment of your life deeply and your life becomes a prayer. And much happiness and peace result from that kind of living.
Buddha and Jesus were living every moment of their life deeply in mindfulness, concentration and insight. So, their life was a prayer and our life can also become a prayer.
Meditation Hall at Plum Village