We often consider prayer a deliberate act, something that we choose to do, or not. In the 18th century, William Law knew better:
"As the heart willeth and worketh, such, and no other, is its prayer.... For this is the necessity of our nature: pray we must, as sure as our heart is alive; therefore, when the state of our heart is not a spirit of prayer to God, we pray without ceasing to some, or other, part of the creation."
Perhaps as we learn what "part of creation" we have been praying to without knowing it, we can enlarge and re-focus our prayer, until we find that we are not so much praying as being prayed through, and all our own best hopes and the hopes of the world are flowing through us.
A work of beauty requires the diverse and contrary qualities of discipline, hard work, gentleness and love. To create a work of beauty, a human being needs a spiritual life and a rhythm, and those two things need to work well together. By "rhythm" I mean a slower, more thoughtful pace than that which is generally lived in this society.
I believe that life is about finding the beauty inside oneself, and offering it to the world. I want to live a simple life of integrity and beauty; to live and work from the stillpoint, from the silence. I seek peace with myself, I want to be a person of thought rather than words. More than anything else, I am being asked to walk with slowness, thoughtfulness. Slowness invites an awareness of beauty.