02 February 2013

Reading Mariechild Together: The Vibrations of Prayer

"[A]s the guitar string stirs the piano's song[,]" so prayer moves through the air, says Dhyani Ywahoo.

Diane Mariechild's response to this wondrous simile is so beautiful. I shall not even try to add my poor words to it.

But I would like to link it with the January 31 page and also describe how I serendipitously read another writer's take on prayerful ways.

I am listening now to a book called "One Hundred Names for Love" by Diane Ackerman. In it she describes arriving at home from the hospital in which her husband has been for weeks, after a massive stroke that took away his language and comprehension. She realizes she needs to find ways to center herself and goes on to describe two that she uses immediately. One is to take long walks and create spontaneous haiku based on the nature she is observing. The other is to sit quietly and do something called "toning," which she says is a fourteenth century practice. She tones on successive vowel sounds after a few deep sighs, "ah...oo...ee...oh...."

Here's the phrase that caught my ear and makes me think of Ywahoo's poetic, musical analogy. Diane Ackerman says that toning is a "tonal massage," and goes on to describe how the vibrations loosen cartilage and sinew and muscle.

I love the idea that toning is prayer moving through me, as the guitar string stirs the piano's song.

I would love to hear from you. Click on Comment below, or email me at carold.marsh@gmail.com. Thank you.

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