Prayer in times of pain and trouble

Embodied Kabbalah

Dana ganihar | baruch brenner

In times of distress, be it the magnitude we are experiencing in Israel, or a personal crisis, a set of reactions causes us, in Gendlin’s words: “to break back to a more primitive level”. During these times we become less able to expand our consciousness and certainly not to enter the field of prayer.


But during these times, prayer can rise in different ways and from different places of the soul.


In times of trouble, beyond the pain and the shock we experience, it is possible to be aware and recognize that the crisis uncovers ‘something’ that no longer works. ‘Something’ is over. Patterns, norms or habits that we could ‘get along with’ or accommodate yesterday, no longer work. This frail state is indeed dark, but if we are awake to it and ready to create our life from a new source – it can contain within it an emergence of a new life possibility.


We want to suggest that beyond all understandable emotions and humane reactions, we must also be concerned with deliberate processes, so that when these times shall pass, we do not inevitably return to previous patterns and normal consciousness. Prayer can be the place where deep processes of this kind can gradually happen.

In this course we want to offer a model that is both new and ancient. A model that allows new life processes to occur. A model that, throughout generations, has been given different names. One such name, and perhaps the most central one,  is the “Prayer consciousness”.

This model contains deep wisdom about consciousness processes, unique ways of relating to reality, and the knowledge of how to develop the ability to be  co-creators in creation. 


This course covers the following topics:

  • Different types of prayer in times of need, their special meaning, and the states of consciousness from which they arise
  • Pristine consciousness
  • Malchut (royal) consciousness that has nothing of its own
  • What is dynamic consciousness and the process consciousness
  • How to be the revelation of the Divine within a situation
  • How to carry forward the ‘new’ that seeks to be born, without hindering it with opinions
  • How to expand the ability to suspend a position, opinion, ideology
  • How to be a co-creator with the creator even in times of difficulty

“There are times when reality hits us with force and shatters our perception of reality that we have held onto, and with it collapses/cracks/undermines the earlier consciousness. During twilight, one is left embarrassed and confused, filled with uncertainty and asking for a new understanding that can clarify the reality that has been revealed. We have no choice, a new consciousness asks its way. This consciousness is the ‘hidden Torah’ inside the events of life. A new Torah that emerges from the darkness and the unknown. A Torah that is learned without words in the processes of transformation that emerge in the darkness.”

Rabbi Pedia Nagar

course details:

8 consecutive sessions on Tuesdays

course starts on October 24th

time: 19:30-21:15 (Israel), 17:30-19:15 (London), 9:30-11:15 (LA, California), 12:30-14:15 (New york) 

Dates: Oct 24th (intro session), Oct 31st, Nov 7th, Nov 14th, Nov 21st, Nov 28th, Dec 8th, Dec 12th 

Join the course

price: 210$
Please write to us if in need of financial assistance to

For more information:


Shakio is a space for collaborative exploration founded by Dana Ganihar, an experienced Focusing instructor and a teacher of the philosophy of Eugene Gendlin, and Baruch Brenner a multidisciplinary artist, rabbi and certified Focusing instructor who investigates and teaches performance art and Jewish mysticism.

 Baruch Brenner is an Israeli Focusing facilitator, theater director, actor, singer, teacher and an ordained Orthodox Rabbi. Over the last 25 years, he has been a leading innovator in integrating Jewish and spiritual practices with experiential work in theatre, movement and vocal arts. He was the artistic director of the Vertigo lab in the eco-art village, and a research fellow and member of Jerzy Grotowski theater ensemble.

Dana Ganihar, M.Sc., has been a Focusing Coordinator since 2007. Over the last couple of decades, she has led numerous workshops and seminars exploring the work of psychologist and philosopher Eugene Gendlin. Dana has initiated cooperative research exploring the potential impact of Focusing and TAE on diverse fields, such as biology, architecture, creative writing, and religion, in institutions including the Technion, Bar Ilan University, and Tel Hai College.
Dana has served as a board member of the International Focusing Institute for three years.


“Standing in front of the gateways of prayer, taking time to breath, observe, listen. Doing this together, even if within zoom-frames, in conversation and silence, with the lucid guidance of Dana and Baruch..this is a gathering with new and known depths, personal and universal, temporal and infinite – we’ve been blessed to have this opportunity” Prof. Sara Sviri, Writer – The Sufi Anthology

“Focusing is the art of paying attention to what exists and what will come into being. Prayer is the opening of the heart to the infinite. Dana and Baruch attentively and delicately take us as partners on a wondrous path of practice and recollection of the secrets we all already know. Highly recommended!” Rabbi Dov Singer, Rosh Yeshivat Makor Chaim

“Working with Baruch and Dana has been a very important and deeply stabilizing experience. Especially when the Corona measurements hit us and fear and insecurity spread I felt I was coming home when entering our shared space. I am so unspeakably grateful for being part of this group where failure does not exist and trials are welcome. Where being human gains a whole new depth.” Judith Weisz

“The Art of Prayer opened for me gateways of love towards fellow humans, the world, the the understanding of our communal becoming, and a participation in the processes of creation. Many thanks.” Sigal Golan, Psychotherapist

“The Gates of Prayer are a profound experience that have brought a deep peace and colorful joy into my conflict ridden life.” Inga von Staden

“Touching upon the inner language of authentic prayer, the mystery of communication between human beings and the infinite and connecting with the depth of human experience – this course has provided me with great inspiration. The experience, knowledge and originality of Baruch and Dana transported me from the conceptual to the actual tools of spiritual work”. Yair Harel, Founder – the Piyut Website

“The course opened for me actual gateways for entering into the my self and from there to explore the sacred space inside. It generated in me new awareness with the field of prayer, based on personal experience of observing my flowing life spring. This is a meeting with mind-diamonds that have been polished with accurate spiritual labour.” Rabbi Avi Luria

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