I pray, that is to say, I send light and positive thoughts towards people and creatures. This light is subtle and yet bright. It is smooth, gentle and warm. It is soothing and brings comfort. It is imbued with stillness from beyond, and peace.

Thought, and the force of will that sends it out, is the essence of matter.

The idea of materializing thoughts used to overwhelm me. My visualizations were mixed with fantasies, which helped me escape my reality in that moment, and weakened intention.

Praying for others was easier at first. Through my spiritual tradition, SRF, I practice daily, sending healing vibrations for the body, mind and soul to all and for peace on earth. The combined positive thoughts for peace projected into the ether, descending like the gentlest stardust into all hearts, must create a more harmonious world than we would otherwise have. And as we all wake up to the awareness of the subtler energies out of which the physical universe is spun, prayer is sure to eventually lose its dogmatic label and be used as a practical tool for good. Daya Mata called prayer “the most powerful untapped resource.”

I started applying will power to prayers for others who had triggered me. When thoughts would bombard my mind with obsessive tenacity after someone did something that roused a strong emotion, I knew that I needed to do something. In the past, I just let the thoughts of hurt or betrayal run their course, analyzing the other person in the process with great attention to the details of their personality, using my intuitive power and all my energy to figure them out - only to feel a little bit of control over my internal chaos.

Some years ago, I decided to try a prayer that a monk of SRF, Brother Bhaktananda, had taught: Picture the person with whom you have the issue in the light, and mentally repeat, for one minute: “May you find peace and harmony, peace and harmony, peace and harmony…” Then spend 15 seconds repeating: “May I find peace and harmony, peace and harmony, peace and harmony.” Do this five times a day.

Doing this with a timer, I often found myself continuing to mentally repeat peace and harmony, and I started to focus on my own trigger and trace my feelings back to the original incident of the deep past that caused them. Then I got to focus on myself, and on my inner child’s feelings towards the adult that did the harm back then. This conscious link would release those negative emotions forever and create the magic of integration and consciousness expansion. The only way I could stop focusing negatively on the other person of the present and get where I needed to be to heal, was through that prayer. It saved me several years of wasting my energy on things I cannot control.

I really have no idea if any of the people I prayed for were affected or influenced by my prayers. Sometimes, I would place someone in the light and see them react. One person I put in the light clearly did not want anything to do with the light. She kept covering her eyes as though the light was hurting her. I felt this resistance, every time I focused on her, and yet persisted to place her in the light. It so happened that I did hear from someone close to this woman a few weeks later, and was told that she had been to the eye doctor recently. She had developed a strange condition in which her eyes got overly sensitive to light, and she was temporarily blind.

That was wild. Of course there is no telling if this was a coincidence or not. I’d like to think not.

But whether or not the people I pray for are receiving my thoughts, my prayers change me. In these particular circumstances they allow me to be neutral towards someone instead of projecting my unresolved trauma onto them and remain in a dysfunctional cycle. I’ve often started feeling really, really good after praying, especially at those times that do require a lot of will power, pulling me out of the negative thought-loophole and creating a new groove for a positive one.

I’ve never thought of prayer as by-passing, or that it it not enough. Of course a situation in the physical world may require physical action, and it would be hypocritical to only pray when there is something you can do to help. But much of the time, we do what we can and it just isn’t very much. To pray is to use our essential creative power to visualize what we want to see happen.

After my meditation, I take time to pray for others, visualizing certain people I love inside the light first. Sometimes there seems to be a response, no matter how far away they may be, and then it’s as though we’re communicating through our bodies of light without the need of electronics. Next, I visualize larger, specific groups of people inside the light - people with health issues, who have suffered sexual assault, refugees at the border, etc. Next I pray for all the children who are being victimized right now, holding them and their innocence inside the light. Next I pray for all those who are perpetrators. It may start with perpetrators in wars, or perpetrators of the one percent, men who use violence, and so forth. I end with a very specific prayer, every day, asking that a pedophile, in the moment he or she is about to commit harm to a child, receive something that allows him/her to get in touch with their humanity, so that it becomes impossible to continue. I pray that a child sexual predator changes his or her mind.

This is a prayer that has developed over time, and I will continue on with it. Prayer is not gratifying in the sense that it shows you results. It needs to be done unconditionally, sending out those thoughts and visualizations to create a new world. The greater the vision, the more all-encompassing the shift, the more angles and details there are to focus on.

This is a prayer from yoga: “Lokah Samastah Sukinoh Bhavantu,” which is Sanskrit for:

“May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.”

Anneke Lucas