Saturday, March 31, 2012

Using Mandalas in your Lectio Divina Practice

I have found mandalas to be helpful in accessing scripture.  The drawing of the mandala helps me to be more open to the scripture's message and helps me to connect on a deeper level with the message and the words.

Lectio Divina is a process to internalize scripture.  There are a couple different ways to do it, but basically it entails reading the passage multiple times.  Between each reading, you are to focus on a piece of the passage that speaks to you and then connect it with something currently in your life.  I have been twisting its use by:

1.  Read a passage.  I have been focusing on the Psalms.
2. Find a section that speaks to me.
3.  Reread the passage.
4.  Begin the drawing of my mandala. (note: my mandalas are not as structured as this.  I begin only with the circle and a center.  And sometimes even the center is optional)
5. Read the passage again.
6. Write a short passage myself about how the scripture, the particular verse, and my drawing relate to me.

In, Go and Do Likewise: Jesus and Ethics by William C. Spohn,  Spohn writes, "The ancient practice of mediation read the text for transformation, not information.  The sacred texts of every tradition have to be read with a listening heart, not at 350 words per minute.  The early monks would hear the scripture read in common and commit phrases to memory so they could continue to be nourished by it in solitude." (pg 137)

I encourage you to try this practice, whether you draw or not.  Lectio Divina is a totally different way to read scripture than I had ever been taught.  While I would not use this as the only way to read scripture it is a usefull tool to deepen your understanding and to become active in your Bible studies.

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