Meditation, Art, Connection, & Messages from the Divine
The Art of Insight
I recently discovered the ancient practice of Lectio Divina. Translated to Divine Reading, this is a traditional monastic practice of the meditative reading of scripture and prayer, and connecting with the word of 'God' or a 'Higher Power'. Originally rooted in Western Catholicism, this practice can be adapted to connect with Secular texts and images to receive messages and connect with your own inner wisdom and landscape.
This practice is meditative, creative, spiritual, and imaginative. I found this to be an amazing experience I look forward to practicing on a regular basis. Lectio Divina includes 4 steps- Lectio, Meditatio, Oratio, and Contemplatio. The aim is to offer Sight into yourself and the Divine. To embody an image or text, and step into it with all of your senses. This journey takes you into the image, seeing through different eyes and experiences, feeling, tasting, touching. While is this state you leave yourself open to the illumination of Divine messages coming through. You then respond to the messages in creative expression. This can be art, writing, dance, vocalization, or whatever your creative preference may be.
This is a personal process, but I will walk you through my experience to offer insight and inspiration. Make this practice your own and discover your own Divine Insight to live your life through inspiration! You will find you begin to fold this contemplative practice into your daily life and see magic all around you.
Set up your space.
This practice involves meditation, quiet contemplation and connection. Give yourself the space to listen and create. I enjoy candles, incense, and sometime music during my meditation and creative practices, do what you feel will help connect you to yourself and messages coming to you.
Gather your materials
What is your medium of choice? Have a selection of materials set up to shift into your creative mode during this process. Choose your reference image and/or script. This can be art, photography that speaks to you, a passage or phrase that you feel connected to. I choose multiple images and a phrase that spoke to me and set everything up in my space.
Ground and Connect
Take a moment to get yourself grounded into your body, presence, and stillness. Clear the mind, let go of any distractions and give yourself space to relax. Take some deep breaths and release tension and any stories in your mind. Leave yourself open to this process and take the journey with a mindful lens. It's not necessary, however, I like to take a moment to tune into my root, throat, third-eye and crown chakras to activate that energy. Learn more about the chakras here or listen to my chakra balancing meditation for a deeper experience.
The Four Steps of Lectio Divina
Lectio (Notice/Sight): In this first stage we sit and allow ourselves to see. Look at your image or phrase. Take in textures, colors, details that stick out to you. Notice what provokes emotion or reaction. How does this reference make you feel? What reaction to you have to sitting with it and taking in every aspect of it's existence? I took in the details of the feathers, the expression, the moonlight, the feeling of fluttering and empowerment that came to me while looking at the owl in flight, the cool temperatures of the image, and recited the phrase out loud. (LEC-tee-oh)
Meditacio (Receive/Allow): What is this saying to you? Give yourself space to allow for illumination from the words or images you are seeing. This is where you enter into the piece. How will you show up? Will you be the main image? An aspect in the background? Or maybe the one standing before the scene witnessing this moment? I found myself becoming the owl, sitting on a perch in the moonlight. I closed my eyes and activated all of the senses to feel the wood of the branch below my feet, welcome the wind blowing through my feathers, the cool moonglow illuminating the trees all around me. Tune in to receive the messages coming in from a higher source to allow meaning for you in your own experience. (Med-i-TAH-see-oh)
Oratio (Respond/Invoke): Now is the creative space where your respond to the messages you are receiving through creative expression. I chose mixed-media art, so I began to interpret these images and words from my own insight and messages I was receiving throughout the process. I began with sketching, layering different colors and mediums while staying connected to my breathing and the tuning in from the previous step. Take mindful moments to reconnect, be still, then react. Take the invitation to create your own image, and how will you respond to what you are creating? As your image comes to life, what will it prompt you to do next? Where will you take the transitions, colors, strokes, lines, textures? Take as much time as you need to explore and discover, trust your own process and enjoy the journey. (Or-AH-see-oh)
My messages included shadow vs. light, wisdom, balance, quiet observer, patience, explorer/seeking, soaring into my life with passion, the elements of earth and air, grounding and dreaming.
Contemplatio (Reflect/Observe): After your creative process is complete, take the time to reflect on your experience. Allow it to steep into your consciousness through quiet meditation and mindfulness. Give yourself permission to rest and integrate your experience. Once you have finished the final step you may make notes on your experience, the messages received and how to move forward with the information given. (Con-tem-PLAH-see-oh)
I hope you have found this process a way to connect to your higher self and guides to find Divine creative expression. Explore different ways to practiced Lectio Divina through different creative avenues and begin to see the world through an introspective and creative lens to receive messages and live your magic every day. Thank you to Megan McCoy and Studioworks Creative Academy for introducing me to this wonderful practice.