lundi, novembre 16, 2009

espace prière

When we flew to the Cork Film Festival, I noticed these two signs (near the bathroom...) at the Charles de Gaulle airport. I suppose that spaces like this do exist in every big airport. The interesting thing is that the french syntagm "Espace prière" (prayer room) is translated: "Meditation Area". However, the differences between prayer and meditation are numerous. Prayer is an act of addressing (God) for the purpose of worship or petition, while meditation is a process that leads to a state of consciousness (google search). Prayer is an act whereas meditation is a state; meditation being the first and necessary step (state) for prayer (act). Prayer is active while meditation is passive. Prayer involves two spiritual receptacles: the transmitter and the receiver, while meditation is not an adress to (God). I add that I may be totally wrong making these statements.

espace prière 2

The second red sign offers a variation of the first one: the "Meditation Area" has become a "Multi-Faith Prayer Area". I don't think that there were 2 different spaces in the airport, one for meditation and one for multi-faith, so I assume that the meditation area has been absorbed by the multi-faith area on the second sign, which is closer to the door. Also interesting is the position of the body sign: the human representation sits on his knees, his arms have disappeared, while prayer and meditation both involve arms. It is strange to have chosen the legs bended as the body sign for prayer/meditation.

hongkongprayerroomkansai prayer roomtaipeiprayerroom

Three more photos from Asian airports (Hong Kong, Kyoto and Taiwan), where you can see that Asians do keep their arms when they are praying, while occidentaux lose them.