Which Is Better: to Pray Out Loud, or Silently?


Namaste. I presume that the Spirit/Soul is more subtle/fine/powerful than the mind, which in turn is more subtle/fine/powerful than the body. Does this mean that mental prayers/chanting are more powerful than physically audible ones because the consciousness/attention is more interiorized? Or the physically audible ones are more powerful because they automatically carry the mental thought behind them in addition to the physical sound? What is more effective prayer/chanting, inner or outer?

—John C, USA


Dear John,

What an interesting question. In our spiritual practices, the energy and focus we put into them determines how much power we experience from these practices.

Whether it is prayer or chanting, deeply focused interiorized devotion is the most powerful.

However, if the mind wanders and we lose the deep inner focus, then returning to audible chanting is the doorway back into an deeply interiorized state.

It is the same with meditation; we can be very deep for a while, and then the mind wanders, so we begin again with the breath to refocus.

The chakra of the throat, when activated in a spiritual direction, takes us into the essence of that chakra: pratyahara, which means withdrawal from the senses.

When we withdraw from the senses, the energy continues to rise freely toward the spiritual eye or christ consciousness center.

Shifting from audible chanting or prayer to speechless absorption in Spirit just happens naturally. We find we don’t want to disturb the deep inner connection with God through the outer vibrations of the voice.

Just as with meditation, when we go so deep that the breath stops, we recognize the restless nature of the breath itself when it begins again, and the still waters of deep inner peace are ruffled with the action of the breath.

All techniques are meant for achieving a wordless, breathless, inner absorption in Spirit.

In Joy,