The meditations I have put on this site so far have been heavily influenced by a type of Christian spritiuality referred to as Ignatian - after Ignatius of Loyola, who wrote about the method of contemplating/meditating on the scriptures by using our imagination.
Ignatian spirituality is the spirituality of the Jesuits - it was Ignatius and nine of his companions who founded the Jesuit order (The Society of Jesus) in 1540. Today, many people - not all in the Roman Catholic church and not all belonging to the Society of Jesus (well, you can't if you're a woman!) - use Ignatian spirituality to enhance their own walk with God.
If you're interesed and want to read more, try these:
The Way of St Ignatius - Margaret Hebblethwaite - Fount - ISBN 0 00 628101 X
The Ignatian Workout - Tim Muldoon - Loyola Press - ISBN 0 8294 1979 9
One of the classic methods of prayer that Benedictines use is called Lectio Divina - pronounced - lekt-see-o di-vee-na. It means Holy or Spiritual reading and is a way of 'praying the scriptures'.
Sometimes, I think that in our busy 21st century world we have a tendency to live in our heads – thinking. We're busy. There's lots going on and we have lots to think about. So sometimes it's good to try and move away from living in our heads - and to deepen our awareness and our sensing of the world around us and of God’s presence in that world.
The blocked passage below comes from the Bible. This is how you might approach it using the method of Lectio Divina:
Read it through once slowly. Then read it again – slowly. And perhaps, even a third time. S...l...o...w...l...y!
Maybe part of the passage - a word or a phrase - seems to be more significant to you than another. Choose the word or phrase that speaks to you the most. Or, perhaps, it's the whole passage!
Whatever it is, now repeat this word/phrase - s-l-o-w-l-y - several times.
As you repeat it, try not to analyse it – don't do a mental Bible study on it. This is a time for savouring, not studying. Think of a piece of rich chocolate that you have popped into your mouth (I hope you like chocolate!). It is slowly melting and filling your senses with that delightful - m-m-m-m... well, chocolatey sensation.
So, just continue to repeat the word or phrase over and over - slowly savouring it in your spirit. Just let the sense of it fill you, feed you, delight you.
Here's the passage - from Isaiah chapter 56.
Thus says the Lord:
Maintain justice, and do what is right,
for soon my salvation will come,
and my deliverance be revealed.
And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord,
to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord,
and to be his servants —
these I will bring to my holy mountain,
and make them joyful in my house of prayer;
for my house shall be called a house of prayer
for all peoples.
Thus says the Lord God,
who gathers the outcasts of Israel,
I will gather others to them
besides those already gathered.
Now, how was that for you? Tell God in a short conversation.