top of page


Bushveld sunset.jpg

In this reflection we will explore the theme of thirst from an inner contemplative perspective. I will weave together the talk with music, readings and guided prayer.

Opening music:

Listen to the following piece of music as an opening prayer.

As the deer longsJ Philip Newell and friends
00:00 / 03:09


As the deer longs for flowing streams

So my soul longs for you


Talk length: 15 minutes

Guided prayer:

I invite you into a time of guided prayer, using the guided meditation below.

Guided meditation: thirst
00:00 / 10:02

End the time of guided prayer by listening to or singing along with the following chant:

In this momentBrie Stoner
00:00 / 03:52


In this moment I welcome Thee

Ever giving Thyself to me

Sacred Reading:

Read the following passages slowly twice or three times, and spend some time in quiet reflection.

Psalm 42 extracts (from Psalms for Praying)

As a deer longs for flowing streams,

so longs my soul for You, O Beloved.

My soul thirsts for the Beloved,

for the Living Water.

When may I come and behold Your face?

Why are you cast down, O my soul?

And why are you disquieted within me?

My hope is in the Beloved, my strength and my joy,

O my soul, open the door to Love!

Water from the Well of the Soul

This world-river has no water in it.

Come back, spring.

Bring water more fresh than the prophets knew,

from the fountain that pulses in the well of the soul. ...

You are the honored guest.

Do not weep like a beggar for pieces of the world.

The river vanishes because of that desiring.

Swim out of your little pond. ...

That water rises in the date tree and in the roses in your cheek.

When it flows toward you, you will feel a deep contentment.

The nightwatchman shakes his rattle as part of his fear.

You will not need him anymore.

Water itself guards the fish that are in it.

~ Rumi

Meditative Drinking:

  • Get a clear glass, and fill it with clear water.

  • Spend some time looking at the water. Notice how clear it is, invisible, odourless, flavourless, easily overlooked, so easily taken for granted – yet so vital for life.

  • When you are ready, lift the glass to your lips, and take a sip of the water. Try to do this with a childlike simplicity. Feel the coolness in our mouth. Notice the sense of wetness, and as you swallow, receive the gift of this water into your body.

  • Now give thanks in whatever way feels true for you.

Isaiah 43:19 “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

For Further Reflection:

I encourage you to spend some time in further reflection on this theme. Below are quotes from the talk and some additional quotes for further reflection.

James Finley: "We must come to our prayer the way a child takes a drink of water." 

Isaiah 55:1-3 "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you without money, come, buy, and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost! Why spend money on that which is not bread, and your labour on that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of foods"

James Finley: "There is a small village through which flows a river from which all the inhabitants draw their sustenance. One day a child follows the river up through the thickly wooded hillside. After many hours, alone and exhausted, he follows the river into the shadows of a solitary glen. And there is the Source. There, from the hidden, virginal opening, silently surges forth the icy life-giving water from which he has drawn his life and refreshment all the days of his life. He lowers himself slowly and gently and drinks—knowing the river fully for the first time, for he communes with it at its source."

Meister Eckhart: "The greater the delight in outward things the harder it is to leave them ... God must enter into your being and abilities, because you have bereft yourself of all possessions, and become as a desert, as it is written, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness" (Matt. 3 : 3). Let this eternal voice cry out in you as it wills, and be as a desert in respect of yourself and all things."

Cynthia Bourgeault: "One does not ‘snatch’ at insights, illuminations, experiences, because the only known route to unitive freedom is in the dying, in the moving not toward more, but toward less. ... It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that one dies to the lesser in order to ‘gain’ the greater. But the great spiritual teachers (of which Jesus was clearly among the greatest-of-the-great) do not say that. You do not die on a cross to ‘set up’ the resurrection; you die on a cross because the willingness to give it all away is itself the original and ultimate creative act from which all being flows."

I still haven't found what I'm looking for (by U2):

I have climbed highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you
I have run
I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

I have kissed honey lips
Felt the healing in her fingertips
It burned like fire
This burning desire

I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of a devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

I believe in the kingdom come
Then all the colors will bleed into one
Bleed into one
But yes I'm still running

You broke the bonds
And you loosed the chains
Carried the cross
Of my shame
Oh my shame
You know I believe it

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

Ending prayer:

O Love, You are my Beloved,

and I long for You,  my soul thirsts for You;

All that is within me thirsts,

as in a dry and barren land with no water.

I call out to You in my heart,

sensing your presence, closer than breathing.

Because your wondrous Love is Life in me, 

my lips will praise You.

I would radiate your Love as long as I live,

becoming a blessing to others

in an overflow of your freely flowing living water.


(based on Psalm 63, from Psalms for Praying)

Ending music:

You are everythingBrian Doerksen
00:00 / 05:04


My soul is yearning for Your living stream
My heart is aching for You
All that I long for is found in Your heart
You are everything I need

You are the thirst
You are the stream
You are the hunger living deep inside of me
You are the food that satisfies
You are provision for the journey of our lives
You are everything You are

We would appreciate any donations so that we can continue making resources like this available at no cost.
Donate here...
A very warm thank you to all of you who have donated so generously.

To see a list of additional resources click here...

If you are not already on our mailing list you can subscribe here...
Deeper cover smaller.jpg

Sharon's book that was previously called "Contemplative Living" has been republished by AnamChara Books under the title "Deeper: Finding the Depth Dimension Beneath the Surface of Life". The Kindle version is available from Amazon, and the hard copy version can be ordered from or Takealot, or from your local bookshop through Ingram Distribution.

bottom of page