The coolest thing I ever learned via Catholicism is a meditation process called Lectio Divina. This is Latin (d'uh) for reading divine, or divine reading for those who don’t talk like Yoda*.
When you think about the term meditation, no doubt it brings to mind a picture of cross-legged sitting, bindhi glittering over your third eye, while Krishna Das plays in the background. This is a cool way to meditate, especially if you have Pandora. Check out the Krishna Das station -- simply listening makes me feel more zen. But, the more you study meditation, the more you realize relaxation is not the goal. Being calmer is not a goal. Opening your hips is not a goal. Having goals is not the goal. Meditation is simply a chance to watch yourself and your behaviors. Some days I’m a freaky, judgmental, angry person in my mind. Some days I’m all OM. Mediation helps you get to know yourself and then see that you’re no different than anyone else.
Lectio Divina is a way to meditate with the written word. This is how you can do it:
You need to do some transitional activity to prepare your mind. This can be taking a few deep breaths. It can be jumping up and down a fixed number of times. It can be whatever you want it to be. The behavior is not important, only that you are aware that your action is matching your choice of action.
Then, follow these steps:
1. Read a passage slowly, a few times. Pay attention to each word.
2.Write down any words or phrases that capture your attention.
3. Read those words and/or phrases aloud, and then ponder on them, while reading them over and over.
The theory is, the material that resonates with you is your deeper, more aware self bringing worries, ideas, or difficult topics up for you to pay attention to.
Our bodies communicate to us clearly and specifically, if we are willing to listen. ~Shakti Gawain
It’s kind of like eating. You take a bite, you chew on it a bit, and then your brain takes in all of the tongue-data and prepares the body for digestion.
Of course, you can always read this way, but what makes it a meditation is that you have chosen a time in which your behaviors match your choice of behaviors exactly -- hence the steps.
Your body executing your mind's wishes is mindfulness. And, if you have difficulty with it (and you probably will) this is just a mirror to see how easy (not!) it is to get your body and mind on the same page.
I suggest, to tap into your body’s natural wisdom, that you read a few of my blog posts using the process of Lectio Divina. It will help you discover critical information about you. Because you are whom I am writing for!
* If you don’t know who Yoda is, you might be too young to read this blog. Check with your parents, please.