As I continue working with clients who want to use yoga to address their disease conditions, I also find myself turning to prayer as another energy tool to help them. I often wind up my meditation sessions with prayers for my clients, but just today it dawned on me that I could use my asana session (generally an hour or more) to continue sending energy to them. Since I practice slowly and inhabit poses for many breaths, I find this a good time to use my sankalpa or yogic intention in prayer for healing the people with whom I work. I find this is a great way to stay focused and channel my energy toward a specific purpose. This is also an effective method to be engaged in my sadhana or personal devotional practice. Yogini, Katherine Ghosh speaks of this in terms of postures of consciousness.

If you are a secular person you may find the idea of prayer a bit uncomfortable. There are many ways to pray, and I’ll bet that even if you’re an atheist you could find one to suit you.

Prayer in its most basic terms, for me, is about energy transfer, not about religion or asking the favor of any deity. It is simply the use of psychic intentional force to have an affect on the object of your prayer. It is not necessarily a matter of religious faith.

Intention is a powerful force. Evidence for this proposition is abundantly supplied by the many scientifically designed tests whose purpose is to measure the effects of the focused intention of a cooperating group. The work of Dean Radin, Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, in his book Super Normal, clearly demonstrates the effect that his test subjects were able to exert over the results delivered by a random numbers generator and many other experiments that measure clairvoyance and telepathic potential. Not only does Radin document his own work, but refers to work done by others for decades from all over the planet. It’s a great read and offers us many novel ways to think about energy and how we can use it.

This is by no means a slight to those who practice a religious faith or their supplications on behalf of those for whom they pray. Religious or secular prayers, both channel energy for a desired purpose.

One of the main points that Radin makes in his book is that human beings have latent mental abilities that we ignore and allow to lie fallow. Along with Radin’s work, Transcendental Meditation Groups offer tantalizing evidence that when group meditations occur in troubled neighborhoods, violent behavior and crime decrease. Together, evidence of this nature demonstrates what focused intention and unity of thought can do.

Thoughts, intentions and prayer are all forms of subtle vibrational energy. Everything humans have created started out as the merest inkling, daydream, or inspirational insight. Einstein often received inspiring dreams from which his scientific ideas emerged. Charles Dickens also claimed that his fertile dream world fed his successful writing career. Einstein also thought that imagination was more important than knowledge.

The difference between a vain imagination and some concrete result is focus. Focused prayer, meditation, sound (as in chanting, a precursor to song) water the seeds that sprout in our consciousness.

I have mentioned the science of cymatics in other blog posts. Cymatics shows how focused sound vibrations move and order the shape of matter whether a certain frequency breaks glass or forms a beautiful sand mandala.

Prayers, thought, and sound, because they are forms of energy, do the same thing. Focusing and thereby harnessing the power of intention is psychic leverage we can use to move mountains. Eastern and western religious traditions agree that creation began with the creative intention expressed in sound. We have the same power to effect change in our lives and the lives of others when we magnify our latent energy through prayer and focused intention.