"Lectio Divina is that wonderful Christian, monastic practice of deeply reading, ingesting, pondering, meditating, sitting in the presence of small bits of sacred text until the thing breaks open in your heart."
- Cynthia Bourgeault
The process below is derived from those published on Busted Halo.com.
To tune in, maybe light a candle, not because it’s necessary, but because the flame and fragrance are calming. Maybe pray something like, “God, let me hear from you.”
Read the passage. This first reading is an opportunity to get to know the passage, listening carefully for any words or phrases that seem to jump out. It’s important not to force things, but rather watch for what resonates.
Re-read and reflect on those words or phrases that resonate or "jump out".
Avoid slipping into “study mode” rather than listening to what God might be saying. Maybe ask, "God, make your message to me clear."
Maybe record thoughts in a journal, talk with a partner or small group of friends, or have an honest conversation with God, an important form of prayer.
Lastly, spend a little time in silence, sitting quietly, allowing God to work. When the mind starts to wander and dart here and there, bring it gently back to stillness again. Contemplation can be broken down into "con" and "temple" or "get with the temple, the temple within."
Personally, I often close by thanking God for the experience and then... go about my day.
"But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
- Matthew 6:6
"Centering prayer is consenting and surrendering to God. The spiritual journey does not require going anywhere because God is already present and within us."
- Thomas Keating, ("Open Mind, Open Heart" page20)
The process below is derived from "Contemplative Outreach" whose link is provided and Thomas Keating's "Open Heart, Open Mind."
Choose a time, posture, and place that work for you and are peaceful. (For example, in the early morning, seated on a pillow on the floor by a window.)
Close Your Eyes
"Choose a sacred word that expresses your intention of opening, consenting and surrendering to God's presence." - Thomas Keating (For example, "shalom," "spirit," "freedom," "wisdom," "center," "open," "presence...")
Return to the Sacred
"Gently place your sacred word in your awareness when you begin and each time you recognize you are thinking about some other thought." Father Keating likens the sacred word to "prayer hands," though an inner gesture of directing our consciousness towards God.
At the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes. Gently open your eyes.