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Student Practices for Finding Inner Voice


“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”Т 
―Т Rumi

Lectio Divina, or “divine reading” is traditionally a form of contemplative practice from the Christian faith tradition where one studies scripture seeking messages from God.

Today, itТ is sometimesТ used in secularТ waysТ as a contemplative practice where one meditates on a text of choice, often times a poem, seeking individual connections and meanings.


Mary Oliver (whose poem is seen above), Rumi, and Rilke would all be good choices to engage in a secular (or spiritual) version of Lectio Divina with poety. In addition, here is a Rilke-inspired poem by Natalie Eibert called “Let Everything Happen to You” that works beautifully. Т I think many passages fromТ Alan Watts prose/parablesТ could be used, too.


I am drawn to the ancient practice of Lectio Divina for multiple reasons. The first is that articulate language, beauty expressed in the form of the written word, has always been a “strange pull” of mine.Т I am magnetized towards my visual and visceral response to words. Т I read the words of Mary Oliver,

“let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves”Т 

and feel the phrases curling around me, blanketing me in relief, release, and comfort.Т I see myself anew, a creature desirous of the most earthly pleasures, receiving what is most needed.

Read more about a lesson using secular Lectio with Andrea Patton and a sample one of her students wrote here.Т 

– By Brandi Lust

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