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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 Story of the Other Wise Man
by Henry van Dyke

So, one by one, they left the house of Artaban. But Abgarus, the oldest and the one who loved him the best, lingered after the others had gone, and said, gravely: "My son, it may be that the light of truth is in this sign that has appeared in the skies, and then it will surely lead to the Prince and the mighty brightness. Or it may be that it is only a shadow of the light, as Tigranes has said, and then he who follows it will have a long pilgrimage and a fruitless search. But it is better to follow even the shadow of the best than to remain content with the worst. And those who would see wonderful things must often be ready to travel alone. I am too old for this journey, but my heart shall be a companion of thy pilgrimage day and night, and I shall know the end of thy quest. Go in peace."

Henry van Dyke, The Story of the Other Wise Man (Orleans, MA: Paraclete Press, 1984)

Henry van Dyke (1852–1933) American clergyman, educator, and author, b. Germantown, Pa., grad. Princeton, 1873, and Princeton Theological Seminary, 1874. He was pastor of the Brick Presbyterian Church, New York City (1883–99), professor of English literature at Princeton (1899–1923), and U.S. minister to the Netherlands (1913–16). Among his popular inspirational writings is the Christmas story The Other Wise Man (1896).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001
. "van Dyke, Henry," 9 Nov. 2004 <http://www.bartleby.com/65/e-/E-vanDyke.html>.



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