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Letters to Corinne

Meditation - What, Why, How: Meditation – More avenues to explore!

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

Meditation – More avenues to explore!

Dear Corinne,

You may feel that with Christmas on the horizon, now is not the time to be exploring other forms of meditation!  However, with Francis de Sales quote in mind, “Half an hour’s meditation is essential each day, except when you are busy.  Then a full hour is needed.”, here are some further ideas for you.

Firstly, there is a visual equivalent of the Lectio Divina, called unsurprisingly Visio Divina!  In this you take a picture or photo to ponder on and see what God would reveal to you through it.

There was a time, before I was married, when I met regularly once a week with a friend for a shared hour of silence, before we went to work.  She had a book called Mountain Songs – Selections from the Psalms that she sometimes brought with her.  We would look at one of the beautiful photos in silence and then share what we felt God had been showing us through it. We would then have breakfast and go to work!  On the last occasion we met in this way, she gave me the book as a gift!  I still have it!

More recently, I have used Visio Divina with our meditation group, in the following way, using pictures from the calendars that my brother has sent me, of New Zealand Scenery:

  • Now pick up your picture…
  • Look carefully at it…
  • Notice the location, the weather, the time of day…
  • Notice as many details as you can… the terrain, the vegetation, any animals or birds, any water, textures, shapes, colours…
  • As you look, ask God what he is wanting to highlight to you through this picture…
  • Take your time…
  • Now place yourself in the location…
  • what feelings/thoughts emerge as you engage with the location/scene?…
  • What is God saying to you?…
  • Ask God for a verse and let His words take you deeper into silence with Him…
  • Let the picture lead you into a time of silent prayer…
  • What feelings or emotions are stirring within you?…
  • Offer these to God…

Finally, spend a few moments in praise and thanksgiving for what you have received from God, during your time of reflection with this picture.

I am sure you will have suitable photos amongst your vast selection!  Or you could use the photos from the longer meditations that you have downloaded from Into Deeper Waters!

These are guidelines as to how you may do a Visio Divina.  They are not set in stone!   They are flexible!  You can spend as much or as little time on each part as seems appropriate for you, at the time you are doing it!  As with any meditation you can come back to the picture/photo from time to time, and on each occasion you may find that God shows you something different.

Take some time this week and have a go!  Let me know how you get on!

Next time we will look at ‘hesychasm’ – what is that? I hear you say?!  Well it is a tradition from the Eastern Church and it involves the practice of repeating a simple prayer over and over again.  No, it is not mindless repetition!  I will explain more about it in the next letter.

Hope your preparations for Christmas are going well.

with love

sig-dorinda-web

Written by Dorinda Miller; © D Miller 2015. For full credits please see the site credits page
This letter is from the series: 'Meditation - What, Why, How'