What is Lectio Divina, or Sacred Reading?

Lectio Divina is one of the Christian Wisdom practices that we use to connect with and listen to Spirit, especially the way that Spirit speaks to us through sacred texts.This connection between our inner lives and Spirit is the place from which we seek to talk about and move money. 

In the video below, Steven Bonsey walks us through what Lectio Divina is, why we practice it, and the four stages of the practice: reading, reflecting, praying and resting. 

The Method of Lectio Divina

Here are some step-by-step instructions if you would like to experience Lectio Divina yourself:

  1. Choose a short sacred reading to work with.
  2. Sit in a quiet place and read the text slowly, aloud.   Allow the words to wash over you, like warm water in a shower.
  3. Read the text again.  This time notice a word or phrase that captures your attention.  It might be a word that stands out or “shimmers.”  Perhaps it stirs a body response or a curiosity or aversion.  Stay with that word.
    Notice what emotions or memories or thoughts are stimulated by that word or phrase.  Allow the emotion or memory or imagination or thought to arise fully.  What are you feeling – emotionally and in your body?  What are you thinking?  Why are you drawn to what you are drawn to? Or repelled by what you are repelled by? Note: this is not a time to analyze the text in the way we do when we are studying a text. This is an intuitive dialogue with the text.
  4. If you would like to offer a prayer after this time of meditating on your word, please do.   For instance, you can ask for whatever help or grace you desire.  You can pray for another person or about a concern.  You can offer praise or gratitude.  This is a time for an inner conversation with the divine.
  5. Spend a few minutes in silence, letting all thoughts and feelings go and simply resting in the divine.

Lectio Divina is a foundational practice in our work, events and retreats. Lectio Divina is a centerpiece of our monthly Spiritual Practice & Conversation sessions, offered online at the beginning of each month (upcoming sessions posted on our Events page).