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Contemplative Reading for Intuition Training and Consciousness Development

With Elizabeth Rovere

Thank you for your interest. All seats have filled for this offering and registration has closed.

Travel through time and span cultures through contemplative reading and shared experience of the work of Mary Oliver, Jalal al-Din Rumi and Saigyō. Within this class we learn the timeless arts of contemplative reading and reflection for the sake of developing our intuitive wisdom and expanding our conscious awareness.

The art of text-based contemplation known as cintya-bhavana in India and lectio-divina in the West — works to stimulate the process of experiential learning and intuitive realization. In medieval times, monks and nuns would read and reflect upon the impact of a sacred text on their minds, bodies, and spirits. Often, a felt response awakened a greater sense of meaning, awe and appreciation for life. In this way, contemplatives were able to access deeper layers of intuitive wisdom missed through reading analysis, or more left-brain cognition.

This practice involves listening to passages read aloud while in a meditative state. Practitioners are cued to listen for words or phrases that stand out, and to relate the passage to things they have read or experienced in their lives. We read for reflection and experience in the moment… not to get to the end! Reading comes alive through a meditative practice that often renders one aware of the present moment where one’s own history and future aspirations coalesce in a sense of timelessness.

Consider the following:

Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and the stars mirrored in your own being. — Rumi

The wound is the place where the Light enters you — Rumi

In my dream I saw the spring wind gently shaking blossoms from a tree — Saigyō

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world — Mary Oliver

Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life? — Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver (1935 – 2019) was an American Pulitzer prize winning poet whose poems focus on the natural world. Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207 – 1273) was a Sufi Mystic from Persia who wrote ecstatic spiritual poetry, focusing on love and the unity of being. Saigyō (1118 – 1190) was a Japanese Buddhist monk who lived much of his life in solitude and who embraced the natural world as well as humanity.


• Learn the art of contemplative reading : cintya bhavana / lectio divina
• Become acquainted with the work of Mary Oliver, Jalal al-Din Rumi and Saigyō
• Be able to apply this technique to other forms of reading from how-to manuals to sacred texts!

Participants are recommended to purchase the following:

The Essential Rumi, New Expanded Edition (trans. Coleman Barks and John Moyne)
Gazing at the Moon, Saigyō (trans. Meredith McKinney)
Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver, Mary Oliver

Faculty: Elizabeth Rovere

Schedule: Three Mondays: November 1, 8, 15 from 6:30 – 8:00pm ET

Tuition: $75 for all three evenings. (Can’t make all 3 dates? Each session is recorded and will be available for 6 weeks for those who registered.)

Location: Online via Zoom

Registration: Registration has closed. All seats have filled.


November 1, 2021 from 6:30 pm8:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 6:30 pm on Monday, repeating until November 15, 2021


November 1, 2021
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Event Category:


Online Only
NY United States


Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science
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