Is participant experience relevant?
It's okay if participants haven't seen the inside of a classroom in years.
Physical trust needed
Mental trust needed
--Printouts of the text (I find it works best if each participant has their own printout so that they can refer to it throughout the exercise. You can either print the text on a full sheet of paper, leaving lots of blank space for them to write in, or ask them to bring their own journals or sketchbooks.)
30 minutes – 60 minutes
Experience level of the facilitator
taken part OR some facilitation experience
Number of facilitators
Tables & chairs in a quiet space
CHARACTER OF THE METHOD
Level of activationcalming
Woo-Woo Level – How touchy-feely is this method?
From 1.Rationalist-Materialist “No feelings here, folks.” to 5.Esoteric-Shamanic Bleeding Heart:
A step-by-step creative process adapted from ancient monastic practices for deepening your relationship with a particular text.
ALTERNATIVE NAME OF THE METHOD
Sacred Writing, Sacred Listening, Sacred Reading
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
"Lectio Divina" is Latin and translated as "sacred reading". Lectio Divina is an ancient monastic practice originating from Benedictine monasteries. It can be done with any meaningful poem, inspirational or sacred text.
St. Benedict, adapted by Christine Paintner, Abbey of the Arts
PREPARATION (excluding materials)
It's important to release the thinking mind in this process.
First prepare: take time to become present, have your tools ready, connect with your breath, draw your awareness down from your head into your heart.
1 Lectio (Reading, Listening) ~ 5 minutes
Read the text slowly -- really slowly. Way more slowly than you usually read. Listen for a word or phrase that calls you, lights up for you, disturbs or resonates or beckons. Don't read with your mind. Read with your heart. Listen with the ear of your heart.
2 Meditatio (Reflecting, Receiving) ~ 10 minutes
Savor the word. Allow it to unfold for you. Sit with it. Repeat it. Don't THINK about it, just be with it and let it do whatever it is going to do with your subconscious. Allow images, memories, feelings to emerge. Notice them. Keep coming back to the word or phrase.
3 Oratio (Responding) ~ 20 minutes
Listen for the invitation. This is the phase where the monks would pray, but here we ask participants to free write or to draw (or if the space allows, to dance in free movement). Imagine the possibility of a creative source moving through you.
4 Contemplatio (Resting) ~ 10 minutes
Come back to silence and stillness and let the experience reverberate. Feel your body. Breathe.
5 Operatio (Realizing)
Taken as a call to action, this lesser known fifth phase continues until the next time you initiate the Lectio phase! So for some, this could be a long time! Listen for divine messages in every action and every experience of your day.
6 Reflections ~ 10 minutes
Allow time for sharing. Invite anyone who would like to share what they created or reflect on their experience to do so (extend if you have a larger group or people seem to want to share a lot).
Texts that we have used for Lectio Divina in the past have been the following:
One day you finally knew
This is what you shall do;
This being human is a guest house.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
Welcome and entertain them all!
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
Be grateful for whoever comes,
Use whatever sacred or meaningful text is significant or interesting for your participants. The text should be short. One verse or a few lines.http://abbeyofthearts.com/books/lectio-divina-the-sacred-art-transforming-words-and-images-into-heart-centered-prayer/