It happened: In the sea there was a ship, a ship which was carrying many Mohammedans to Mecca. They were on a pilgrimage. They were all surprised by one thing: because they were all pilgrims going to the holy of holies, each was praying all the five prayers prescribed for a Mohammedan every day -- except a Sufi mystic. But the mystic was so radiant with joy that nobody dared to ask him why.
Then one day the sea was very rough and the captain declared, "There seems to be no possibility that we can be saved, so please do your last prayer. The ship is going to sink."
And everybody fell in prayer except the Sufi mystic.
Now this was too much. Many people gathered around the mystic. They were really angry and they said, "You are a man of God. We have watched you, you have never prayed. But we didn't say anything; we felt that this would be disrespectful -- you are thought to be a holy man. But now it is unbearable. The ship is sinking, and you are a man of God -- if you pray, your prayer will be listened to. Why are you not praying?"
The mystic said, "To pray out of fear is to miss the whole point, that's why I am not praying."
And then they asked, "Then why did you not pray when there was no question of fear?"
He said, "I am in prayer, so I cannot pray. Only those who are not in prayer can pray. But what is the point of their prayer? Empty rituals! I am in prayer, in fact I am prayer. Each moment is a prayer."