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Oasis - Spiritual Reading

Oasis-Spiritual Reading


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Spiritual Reading Process

1. Sit quietly for at least two minutes paying attention to the movement of your breath and the steady beat of your heart. Imagine the charged thoughts in your mind becoming as still as a soundless pond under the reflection of the sun. As you feel your mind becoming more settled and silent, notice the presence of the Holy One around you, and let yourself rest in that presence.

2. Begin to read the material before you slowly and deliberately. Whisper the words or phrases that attract your heart. Linger over them, waiting for them to empty themselves over your mind and soul. You might ask the words what they really want to say to you, and then wait patiently for their reply.

3. You may be tempted to move quickly to the next sentence, but try to remain with what you have read – turning it over in your mind, looking for nuances, chewing it as a cow chews a cud. When you feel the words have nothing more to give you, begin to read again.

4. Continue this process for the time allotted. You may find that you read through an entire chapter, or perhaps only one small paragraph. The amount of text covered is unimportant. The encounter and dialogue with the text is what is critical.

5. Say a prayer of thanksgiving to heaven for the wonder of knowledge and the gift of wisdom. Sit in silence to see if God has a response to make to you.

6. Spend a few minutes recording in your journal a few of your new learnings or the questions that have emerged from your reading and reflection.

7. End your journal entry with the one short thought that you will carry with you throughout the day.

From The Brothers Karamazov
By Fyodor Dostoevsky

“Do not forget to pray, my boy. If your prayers are truly sincere, every day a new fervor will appear, a new thought of which you were unaware before, and that will give you new strength. You will understand then that prayer is education. Remember this, too. Repeat to yourself every day and as often as you can: ‘O Lord, have mercy on all those who will appear before You today.’ For every hour, every second, thousands leave this world and their souls appear before the Lord, and no one knows how many of them leave this earth in isolation, sadness, and anguish, with no one to take pity on them or even care whether they live or die. And so your prayer for a man will rise to the Lord from the other end of the earth, although he may never have heard of you or you of him. But his soul, as it stands trembling before the Lord, will be cheered and gladdened to learn that there is someone on earth who loves him. And the Lord’s mercy will be even greater to both of you, for, however great your pity for the man, God’s pity will be much greater, for He is infinitely more merciful and more loving than you are. And God will forgive him for your sake.”

Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky, was born in Moscow in 1821, the second son of a staff doctor at the Hospital for the Poor. Dostoevsky graduated as a military engineer from the Army Engineering College in St. Petersburg, but resigned his commission in 1844 to devote himself to writing. His writings, which include Notes from Underground and Crime and Punishment, deal with moral and philosophical questions and had a profound influence on the the twentieth century novel. He died in St. Petersburg in 1881.


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