Category Archives: Prayer

The Power of Spiritual Hope



The openness to possibility is essential on a path of awakening and freedom. In this talk we explore what makes up mature or spiritual hope, and how two meditation practices of presence can nourish our hope.

May all beings remember the depth of our longing for full awareness, for love, for aliveness.
May we trust the heart and consciousness that is always already here.
May we live from the fullness and depth of who we are, from that love – from that awareness.
And may our awakening of hope, of inner freedom, serve creating a more just and compassionate world.
Namaste… ~ Tara

Photo: Tara Brach


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Three Dimensions of Conscious Prayer



Prayer can be a creative, vibrant and infinitely tender part of our spiritual awakening. This talk explores the dimensions of embodied presence, sincere expression and silence that bring transformational power to our prayers.

God speaks in the silence of the heart, listening is the beginning and ending of a prayer.

Mother Teresa

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Meditation: A Witnessing, Kind Presence (19:55 min)



Starting with scanning through the body and awakening the senses, we then rest in presence, with the breath as a home base. The meditation invites an openness to whatever arises, and a gentle kind attention if we encounter physical or emotional pain.  We end with a prayer that includes our own being and all beings (from the 2017 archives).


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Meditation: Calling on Our Inner Bodhisattva (21:12 min.)



We each have within us the very source of wisdom and love. This meditation calls forward that essence, our awakening heart, so we can seek guidance and nurturing for the parts of us that need a healing attention. 


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Spiritual Hope



Spiritual hope opens us to possibility and energizes us to manifest our potential for love and wisdom. In contrast to attachment or egoic hope, which is the grasping for what will benefit a separate self, spiritual hope arises from trust in the openhearted awareness (bodhichitta) that is always and already within us. This talk explores how, as individuals and as a society, we can nourish spiritual hope, and create the grounds for healing and radical transformation.

“The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. What I want is so simple I almost can’t say it: elementary kindness.”  

Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

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Meditation: Calling on Loving Presence (18:18 min)



Often, when we’re really struggling, the only way to find compassion for ourselves is by reaching out to a larger source of love. We might for instance take refuge by calling on the Buddha, Divine Mother, God, Jesus, Great Spirit, Shiva, or Allah – reaching towards a loving awareness that is great enough to offer comfort and safety to our wounded self.

When we feel held by a caring presence, by something larger than our small frightened self, we begin to find space in our heart for the difficult currents of our life, and for the lives of others. The suffering that might have seemed “too much” can now awaken us to the sweetness of compassion. [Note: recorded during an IMCW 7-day silent retreat]

In French: Inviter la Présence bienveillante


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Conscious Prayer – Finding Refuge in Loving Awareness (retreat talk)



Prayer is a communing with our enlarged being. This talk examines less conscious forms of prayer, and how we can evolve the power of our prayers by opening into the depth of our longing, and reaching toward our true belonging (from the 2016 IMCW Spring Retreat).

How I yearn to belong to something, to be contained in an all-embracing mind that sees me as a single thing.
And I yearn to be held in the great hands of your heart.
Oh let them take me now.
Into your hands I place these fragments, my life, and you my God spend them however you want.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

A Prayer:
Refuse to fall down
If you cannot refuse to fall down,
refuse to stay down.
If you cannot refuse to stay down,
lift your heart toward heaven,
and like a hungry beggar,
ask that it be filled.
You may be pushed down.
You may be kept from rising.
But no one can keep you from lifting your heart
toward heaven
only you.
~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés


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Discovering the Power of Prayer



We all know the pain of separation and have a longing for connection. When we silently listen to and contact the depth of that longing, we are at the root of transformational prayer. This talk looks at what prayer is, who/what we are praying to, the shadow side of prayer, and ways of cultivating our prayers so that they become authentic vehicles for spiritual awakening.

Refuse to fall down
If you cannot refuse to fall down,
refuse to stay down.
If you cannot refuse to stay down,
lift your heart toward heaven, …
ask that it be filled.
You may be pushed down.
You may be kept from rising.
But no one can keep you from lifting your heart
toward heaven
only you.

A Prayer by Clarissa Pinkola Estés


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Power of Prayer: From Longing to Belonging



When we bring a full presence to prayer, it becomes a powerful pathway of homecoming. This talk explores how prayer heals the pain of separation, and offers practical guidance in what poet John O’Donohue calls “unearthing our ancient belonging.”

“What’s it like if you bow your head and whisper and call on something larger?”

from earlier that evening: Meditation: Relaxed Attentiveness

photo: pixabay.com


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Ask the Friend for Love – exploring living prayer



Prayer, when cultivated consciously, energizes and guides us on the spiritual path. This talk investigates the difference between wanting, with its narrow fixation, and the prayer that arises out of our deep heart’s longing. We explore how living prayer, the prayer that arises from consciously inhabiting longing, can carry us home to loving presence. As John O’Donohue writes, prayer is the bridge between longing and belonging. ~ (a favorite talk from 2010)

photo: Katia_M/Pixabay


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