Prayer – a human function


Into what am I embarking myself with this prayer project? Where am I driven to? How deeply wilI I dive into prayer? Which longing, which desire drives me into this? - Is it a pretext, because simply praying I would not allow myself? Or because I would and could not choose which practice of belief, which faith I would like to live. I do not know, but I do recognize that it does something to me: all the encounters of the last year, the discussions I had, my first prayer in a small Beduin mosque in the Egyptian desert. I did the muslim prayer movements, probably quite amateurishly but something happened with me.

All I know about the Bible, about faith, I know from Sister Doris, at least it is her I remember most distinctly. Her way of telling stories was so thrilling. She told us-the children of my village-the stories of the Bible, the stories of the Old Testament and about Jesus in such a wonderful and exciting way.
At the age of 9 at a children holiday camp organized by nuns I was asked to give my heart to Jesus. The whole week seemed to be organized in order to prepare this solemn act beside paper chase, crafting, singing and praying. It was horrible, I felt in a delemma. I so much wanted to participate and yet felt a strong resistance to fulfil this expectation. I did not know if I was able to sincerely give my heart to Jesus. The small person I was suffered an inner split.  An inner conflict started and was for a long time part of me.

Feldenkrais' „Prayer“ lesson was most impressive to me and had a direct impact, a particular presence was in the room, I felt very present and obviously the others too. This movement sequence starts very simply by putting the palms of the hands together. At the end one comes from the knees up to standing and goes back on the knees putting the head on the floor. It was and still is fascinating to me how easily and clearly everybody could follow.

At one moment I started improvising with elements of this lesson. I combined it with the idea to add silent language, which means that I used movements of the mouth and tongue and a branch in my hand... this was the beginning of the project.

Heike Schmidt