May 25, 2024Tonya Stanfield0 comments

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ― Rumi



  1. Bead group 1 - Grow aware of a troubling thought or emotion and the situation or person(s) that are a part of it.
  2. Bead group 2 – Allow yourself to feel the sensations attached to this situation, person, and thoughts in your body. (You don’t have to feel the fullness of it, if it’s too much.) Name the primary emotion behind it. (Example: anxiety, fear, anger, shame, etc.)
  3. Bead group 3 – “Welcome” that emotion by praying the Welcoming Prayer. Note that you’re not welcoming an injustice or abuse or illness, you’re welcoming the emotion and sensations this has caused inside you. Our emotions come to us to teach us. Sometimes, they persist simply to remind us we need to take more time to heal.


Welcome, welcome, welcome.

I welcome everything that comes to me today because I know it’s for my healing.

I welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons, situations, and conditions.

I let go of my desire for power and control.

I let go of my desire for affection, esteem, approval, and pleasure.

I let go of my desire for survival and security.

I let go of my desire to change any situation, condition, person, or myself.

I open to Love and Presence and Divine action within. Amen.


  1. Bead group 4 - Sense any shift inside you. Was there a certain word of the prayer which captured you? Linger on that phrase. Let it speak to you. Breath it in and breath it out. Let your awareness return to the last line of the prayer and rest there for moment.
  2. Bead group 5 – Let go. Close your practice with a full inhale and exhale. Know that you can return to this practice as often as you need to.


“What we resist will persist. But, what we allow ourselves to feel can heal.” – Uknown

The Welcoming Prayer is where mindfulness and contemplative prayer meet in one powerful practice. This is an alternative to waging war with unwanted, repetitive thoughts and painful emotions that catch us up in a never-ending loop of negativity and self-judgement.

If we simply didn’t feed negative stimulus and memories with follow up stories of blame and self-critique, those things would pass through our nervous systems in a matter of minutes. However, most of us have a top ten list which creates a veritable inner storm inside us. Your top ten list is the unresolved hurts, issues, and worries that grab hold of your imagination, move in, and just won’t let go.

Neuroscientists tell us that 95% of what you think about today, you will also think about tomorrow. So, if you’re finding you’re spending your life at war with your own thoughts and emotions, this practice is for you. If you’re in a stressful season of life and need a way to discharge inner storms, this practice is for you. If you’ve been hurt and dealing with simmering anger or shame, this practice is for you.

“Thinking is a great gift, but a terrible master.” – Dr. David Benner

The Welcoming Prayer teaches us to stop being at war with our inner life and rather “allow” and even “befriend” what plagues us. This creates a counterintuitive “shift” which makes healing possible.


“You cannot solve a problem with the same level of consciousness that created it.” - Albert Einstein


Eckhart Tolle teaches: You are not your thoughts. You are not your emotions. You are not your opinions.  So, if you’re not these things: Who are you? You are the one aware of them. This awareness offers us a tiny bit of distance from the storm inside and drops us into a different level of consciousness, into Connection and Love. From this vantage point we can often find perspective, hope, or a sense of Presence. From this space, we can find a way forward.


*This practice was created by Mary Mrozowski and made popular by Father Thomas Keating


Suggested Uses:

- For dealing with a nagging sense of humiliation, shame, anger, or hurt.

- Identify one of your top ten thought loops which causes an emotional inner storm inside and apply the Welcoming Prayer to it as often as needed.

- To welcome the day.

- A great practice for challenging seasons of parenthood and the inner storm of impatience, anger, or worry this can cause.


Further Resources:

Modern Mystic Cynthia Bourgeault offers a fabulous teaching on The Welcoming Prayer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bClyhR2ZPc

Read more about it at: https://www.contemplativeoutreach.org/welcoming-prayer-method/


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