A state of prayer

To live in a state of prayer entails not only uttering sacred verses in moments of devotion; it suggests, too, that throughout the day we should turn our hearts towards God.

I think the most profound communication of one’s love for God lies in complete and radiant acceptance of others, until they feel the warmth of our affection. It doesn’t need to be a communication of ideas or concepts; the unity of God is best preached by seeing the goodness in others, independent of all earthly differences, and acting with this awareness. The more complete such a vision becomes, the more it evolves toward an inclusive experience of God, until “turning one’s heart toward God” no longer implies turning away from the world, but only what would narrow the heart again.

For on this plane the traveler witnesseth the beauty of the Friend in everything. Even in fire, he seeth the face of the Beloved. He beholdeth in illusion the secret of reality, and readeth from the attributes the riddle of the Essence. For he hath burnt away the veils with his sighing, and unwrapped the shroudings with a single glance…

For example, we might interpret “everything” as the world around us; “fire” as those characteristics that jar and annoy; “illusion”, the specious and transitory distinctions between people; “attributes” their worldly qualities; the “veils”, a cloak of manyness obscuring the One; and “shroudings”, the common perception that my neighbor is not my own, truest self. Without God, we live alone, islands of our own making; in Him, we are the sea.