I find it very interesting that in all of the indiginous shamanic practices that I am aware of, we always bring in the directions before proceeding with our sacred work. Bringing in the directions is the inviting of the beings such as angels, Boddhisatvas, Buddhas, and guiding beings who have dedicated their existence to being there for us. In Tibetan Buddhism, it is taught that those beings are actually always there, right in front of us. Prayer and opening the directions appear to be calling those beings closer to us, but in reality it is a way to slow down and therefore clarify our minds so that we can feel their presence. Within the New Kadampa Tibetan Buddhist tradition in which I study and practice, every single practice begins with calling in the field of merit. This is another way to refer to calling in enlightened beings before we engage in the rest of the practice. I feel that if we all became aware of this practice of calling in the holy beings and applied it to our lives every day, our world would be a different place. I have seen great changes in the way my home feels when I keep the directions open. My clients and students have noticed a greater clarity in their lives by doing the same. Having the directions open or the field of merit in place creates a clearly organized field of energy. Without that field, we tend to be at the mercy of whatever fields are exuding from the world around us.