Why do we pray?

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
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yosomolo
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 6:34 pm

Why do we pray?

Post by yosomolo »

I want to create a new discussion here. Something that would help to benefit everyone who reads this.

The question I pose is this:

Why do we pray?

A very open ended question but there are no wrong answers.

Lets discuss on this :namaste:
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Vasana
Posts: 2099
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:22 am

Re: Why do we pray?

Post by Vasana »

Because praying is a kind of aspiration. It can bring hope, inspiration and encouragement and so on aswell as helping to reaffirm positive inclinations towards conditioned and unconditioned virtue of body, speech and mind.

Aspiration is one of the 10 paramitas found in the Ten stages Sutra and is also a skillfull activity in Mahayana too.

Prayer is in one way of re/setting of our spiritual direction and trajectory.
Last edited by Vasana on Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
Om Mani Peme Hum ། 'A Ah Ha Sha Sa Ma
'When alone, watch your mind,When with others, watch your speech' - Old Kadampa saying
Sentient Light
Posts: 345
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:40 pm
Location: Pacifica, California

Re: Why do we pray?

Post by Sentient Light »

Prayer is a means of cultivating certain qualities of mind -- like compassion, altruism, resolve, humility, etc. -- which is capable of resulting in a radical transformation of the mind when practiced diligently with right view.
:buddha1: Nam mô A di đà Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Quan Thế Âm Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Đại Thế Chi Bồ Tát :bow:

:buddha1: Nam mô Bổn sư Thích ca mâu ni Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Di lặc Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Địa tạng vương Bồ tát :bow:
A Ah Sha Sa Ma Ha
Posts: 1488
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:01 am

Re: Why do we pray?

Post by A Ah Sha Sa Ma Ha »

yosomolo wrote:Why do we pray?
Because we are desperate...
and I'm talking about praying from the heart...
not prefabricated stuff, written by someone else...
gut wrenching prayers from a heart that longs to be ...
longs to be heard, from some unknown intelligence ...
longing to end the suffering that so many endure...
longing to end your own suffering...
we wish for some miracle...
or peace of mind...
yosomolo
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 6:34 pm

Re: Why do we pray?

Post by yosomolo »

All very good answers!

This is my take on prayer

We pray because we suffer from Samsara, we are constantly in suffering and would like to find a way to end our suffering in the samsaric world.

We pray also because we care, we love ourselves and we don't want others to share the same fate as us. We pray because we care about other people and we don't want to suffer.

To care and to keep all sentient beings in our minds all the time is to practice mindfulness, to pray for all sentient beings is to find a means to end of the suffering that we all share and to find enlightenment together. To be the light in the moment of darkness. To be the one who becomes the one who liberates all sentient beings.

Prayer and praying is that what I feel.

What do you guys think? :namaste:
Fortyeightvows
Posts: 2870
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:37 am

Re: Why do we pray?

Post by Fortyeightvows »

this thread has a nice explanation:
http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=8894
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