Last week I went and sold off some of my old books to a second-hand book store, whilst I was in there I picked up a couple of newbies. One titled 'Broken Body, Healing Spirit- Lectio Divinia and Living With Illness'. The 'broken body, healing spirit' spoke to me, so I took the book home. I proceeded to just about read the book in one sitting, becoming so intrigued in the concept that I gave it a try instantly. Following my initial experience I was impressed and felt sure that I had to write about it. It's a simple practice, yet provides a map of how to go about daily reflection and to create space for listening to our body.
Lectio Divinia is approached in stages as follows: silence, reading, meditating, praying and contemplating. For anyone like myself, who may be a little offput by the word praying, I know the word probably has religous connotations for most, but if you like you can borrow my view, that prayer means 'focussed intent'.
Here's the map:
Silence: Sit still and take time to be aware of your body, to feel it. Observe your breath, become aware of the stillness and presence within. This is a time to make yourself available to yourself, to invite grace into your experience.
Reading: The concept is that you read something that is sacred to you, the book I read uses the bible, however you might have poems, blogs or other texts which are sacred to you. Read a passage and allow for a word or passage to resonate, to become your focus for meditation on this day. The question is, what do these words say to me today? What comes up for me?
Meditation: Once a word or phrase has captured your heart, stop reading and allow the words to become the source of contemplation, 'meditatio' today. Allow stirrings, thoughts, images, feelings etc. to arise as you rest on these words. Allow them to ignite whatever it is that needs to appear for you in this moment.
Prayer: From that which has emerged during meditation, choose an image or word or feeling that you wish to take forward into the day through focussed intention. It's encouraged that your prayer move beyond yourself to encompass others, perhaps those experiencing something similar to you or the people who support and help with the particular illness or difficulties you face. A prayer can be as simple as 'I am supported in healing my fears, I only choose experiences that nurture me. May all those who experience illness know peace'. It may also be a single sentence to affirm or taken from scripture or your favourite book of healing.
Contemplation: Allow yourself to rest here in this space, allowing yourself to be as you are, to feel supported and nurtured and in the presence of the divine/all that is/god/buddha (and the list goes on).
Would love to hear from you if you try it out or have done something similar.