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Contemplative Reading for the Cultivation of Intuition

With Elizabeth Rovere


Poetry opens the door for a part of us waiting to reveal. Contemplative reading allows us to have one eye open on the inside toward wonder and awe. This is rebellious in a culture that conditions us to look outside of ourselves for answers. In this class, we look within, to let the in here guide us out there! We learn and experience the art of contemplative reading and reflection through which our intuition is heightened along with other non-rational and rational ways of knowing.

We will focus on authors who address the power of love, fierce compassion, and the unrelenting strength of the heart. We will read from the works of bell hooks, Yrsa Daley-Ward, Marianne Williamson and Rumi.

Love is already. We aim to cultivate its awareness.

The art of text-based contemplation is known as cintya-bhavana in India and lectio-divina in the West. 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, and appreciation for life. Contemplatives were then 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. Reading comes alive through a meditative practice that often renders one aware of the present where one’s own history and future aspirations coalesce in the moment.

The Readings

Consider the following:

Hearts, turned, twisted and stomped upon yet remain open and willing, because how else is there to live… —Yrsa Daley-Ward

Love is the essential existential fact. It is our ultimate reality and our purpose on earth. —Marianne Williamson

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. —Rumi

Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape. —bell hooks

bell hooks (1952 – 2021) was an American scholar, feminist, activist and Buddhist. 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. Yrsa Daley-Ward (1989 – ) is a popular Instagram poet, author and storyteller of Jamaican and Nigerian heritage, who lives in Brooklyn and London. Marianne Williamson (1952 – ) is an American author, spiritual teacher and political activist, and former presidential candidate.


• Learn the art of contemplative reading : cintya bhavana / lectio divina
• Become acquainted with the work of bell hooks, Jalal al-Din Rumi, Marianne Willamson and Yrsa Daley-Ward
• Be able to apply this technique to other forms of reading

Participants are recommended to purchase the following:

All About Love: New Visions, bell hooks
A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”, Marianne Williamson
Bone, Yrsa Daley-Ward
The Essential Rumi, New Expanded Edition (trans. Coleman Barks and John Moyne)

Faculty: Elizabeth Rovere

Schedule: Three Mondays: December 5, 12, 19 from 6:30 – 8:00pm ET

Tuition: Regular fee: $90 / Supported fee: $60

The tuition is 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: Register here


December 19, 2022 from 6:30 pm8:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 6:30 pm on Monday, repeating until December 19, 2022


December 19, 2022
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Event Category:


Online Only
NY United States


Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science
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