Prayer Ties are made in many cultures as distant geographically as the Tibetans and the Cree, in cultures as diverse as Islamic, Buddhist and Native American- as a way of conveying the wishes and desires in our heart to higher vibrations of saints, the elements, Gods or the Universe.
Prayer ties can be used without the influence of any particular tradition, when we feel uncomfortable, full of unmet needs or a call to connect to spirit.
As we make the ties, we feel grounded, and as each wish/desire/want/need moves from us into that piece of cloth, we begin to calm down, feel light, begin to empty out the desires that were burdening us.
Tying each cloth around some grains, that in itself is also healing. From my learning of Sujok Smile Healing I know that our finger tips are powerful conduits of healing, so it is no wonder that the prayer ties, the grains, the feel of cloth [“print”] and thread all help us.
Then, when the prayer ties are let go into the air, or water, or earth, a feeling of such blessing descends. We have sent out our prayer, our very own personal desires and wishes, with no one to chide us for having them, no one telling us we are not worthy or cannot or should not or any such limiting thought. We wish whatever comes up and we let it go to be fulfilled as the universe, the Creator, the Gods, our higher self, destiny — or whatever we choose to call it – wills it….
The Native American system of using prayer ties works beautifully with people of all ages: adults, young teens and children. As it is performed in a sacred space, it allows for the handling of obvious and suppressed desires. It is in keeping with the highest traditions of spiritual energy work; and is therefore particularly suited for children and parents today. The method outlined here was taught to me by K’sitew, founder of Medicine Reiki
There are many purposes for prayer ties, and they can differ a little with the tribe. The ceremony can involve family members and friends; so this is a beautiful way for a family to pray together- or to access the wholeness of nature- regardless of the religious background. The actions required are enjoyable for children, regardless of how well they can focus!
Here is a suggested way – there is nothing didactic about it; and you can use the method you like, be creative and enjoy!
• Small squares of cloth, of any color – they can be any size. For children, take a size that they can easily tie together, perhaps 2” square, so that the fun aspect is used, and not the skill aspect. The child could help with cutting, and choosing the colors, as appropriate.• Cornmeal – a box will last for many sessions• Thread
Preparing the ties
Indoors or outdoors, prepare a sacred space by acknowledging the directions, and perhaps saying a little prayer to the guardians of the directions.
Each person makes their own ties. A bit of cornmeal is placed in a piece of cloth, while the person says the prayer in their heart. The best way to ask, is to thank the universe for providing what we think we want. For example, “ I am thankful for getting good grades in my test.” “I thank the universe/God/Great Spirit for the gift of good friends.”
The cloth is then tied up into a pouch with a long piece of thread, which is not broken off. The next prayer tie is then made, with the next desire/prayer, tied to the first one. In this way, keep making prayer ties, all joined with the same thread, till there is no more any desire/prayer left within.
When they are all made, ‘smudge’ them i.e. burn incense, sage, dhoop or something similar so that the smoke gets into the prayer ties.
As each desire within is emptied into the cloth, it is transmuted into prayer. It is important to allow each desire to surface and transmute, without judgment.
“It’s like putting a prayer into the cloth”, says Yashodhara, aged 10.
There is a feeling of lightness as desires leave and are sent out.
Giving out the prayer to the universe:
The prayer ties are then given to the universe through one of the flows of nature:Flowing water, air, buried in the earth for the processes of earth, or burned.
As you do so, watch for any messages you get back- how did the fire burn? Did a bird, insect or animal call or appear? Did a breeze brush your hair? Become aware of the messages from nature.
What a wonderful way to involve senses and action, into emptying the self of desire, staying in mindfulness, and then using an element of nature to connect to the creator energy!
Children enjoy the sense of ceremony and ritual that making prayer ties gives them. I suspect they also enjoy the opportunity to light a fire, dig the earth or toss or tie the tie to a tree, or water if that is the chosen way to send the prayers on their way.
Yes, a prayer – even a request for material things – is a connection to the creator source. It does not matter what brings ego to prayer: the point is, that once it is in prayer, a channel has been once more opened, for communication of soul with Source.
Q: How many prayer ties should I prepare for my first ceremony?
K’sitew: There is no ‘correct’ number. Part of the purpose of the prayer ties is to transfer your desires from within you to the prayer ties. So first you need to be clear about what you are seeking. Then continue to make the prayer ties until you have transferred all of your wanting to the ties. It feels something like your purpose, wants and desires draining out of you. When you feel empty, you have made enough ties.
There is no magic number of ties. I have seen hundreds, though the norm for this list is far lower. The purpose of the ties is to shift your sense of wanting out of yourself and into the ties. This process of freeing yourself of desire opens you up to accept. So…..
When you make the ties you need to be aware of your emotional state, especially the state of wanting, desiring, seeking (of an attunement is this particular case). Keep making ties until you have transferred all of your neediness into the prayer ties. When you are drained, you have made enough ties. 🙂
Q: is there anything else I should be doing to prepare?
K’sitew: No. The real preparation is at the Spiritual level.
The externals are just aids and symbols, so follow your heart in this.
About prayer, wanting and asking
K’sitew: There are sound reasons for this approach. Basically wanting something is founded on the belief in scarcity and lack. That is, we want something because we do not think we have it. Multiple spiritual systems teach us that the universe responds to our deepestvthoughts and beliefs. Thus we create our own reality (or illusion, if you like). For example, God says in Neale Walsch’s CWG, Book 1, “When you want something, that is exactly what the universe provides — The Wanting.” It also says, the universe responds not to our surface thought, or even the thought behind the thought, but to the thought behind the thought behind the
thought. This is what linguists call the meta-message. Other spiritual schools teach the same basic notion using different words. Prayer Ties provide a spiritual practice which aids us in removing the meta-message of want and lack and absence. Thus the prayer ties move us out of the negativity of lack and into a neutral or positive state. They release us from expectations and outcomes. And, strangely enough, this is exactly when the blessings flow and miracles happen.
So I don’t care if you make 10 ties, 100 ties or 1000 ties, no number will do what needs to be done without the tie maker cleaning his own house of desire. A million ties are not enough, and one may be too many. 🙂 Listen to you heart!
Peace, K’sitew ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~