Want to feel the heart of inspirational meditation? Here's A VERY ANCIENT art, practiced at one time by most God-seekers.
It is the technique known as lectio divina - which is the Latin terms for, "holy listening", or as I like to call it: 'Spiritual Listening'.
--a slow, contemplative praying of the Scriptures which means to get into deep thought.
Now before you click off the page, because you think that this is too deep for you--consider this:
Holy listening enables the scriptures--the Word of God--to become a means of union between you and God.
This ancient practice has been kept alive in the Christian monastic tradition (which is wonderful, by the way. If you live within 25 miles of a monastery or spiritual retreat center--visit if you can!)
Time set aside in a special way for holy listening will enable you to discover in your daily life, an underlying spiritual rhythm.
Within this rhythm you can discover an increasing ability to offer more of yourself, your life and relationships to God.
Adding holy listening boosts the power of inspirational prayers and helps you to accept the embrace that God continuously extends to you.
Ready to give it a try? Let's go:
Step 1: Reading/Listening
THE ART of holy listening begins with building your ability to listen deeply, to hear with the "ear of your heart".
When you read the Scriptures you should try to allow yourself to listen for the still, small voice of God (see 1 Kings 19:12)--
--this is the “faint murmuring sound” which is God's word for you--it is God's voice touching your heart.
This gentle listening is a "tuning in" to the presence of God in that special part of God's creation--the ancient Scriptures.
In practicing inspirational meditation we need to follow the command to "listen" and turn to the Scriptures, knowing that we must “hear” --
--in other words, listen--to the voice of God, which often speaks very softly.
In order to hear someone speaking softly we must learn to be silent.
And it doesn't end there--we must learn to LOVE silence. If we are constantly speaking or if we are surrounded with noise, we cannot hear gentle sounds.
If that's the case, then practicing holy listening, requires that we first quiet down in order to hear God's word to us. This is the first step of holy listening, appropriately called "holy reading."
The reading or listening which is the first step in holy listening is very different from the speed reading which most of us apply to newspapers, books--even the Bible.
Here's what to remember: holy listening is reverential listening--listening both in a spirit of silence and of awe.
You should be listening for the still, small voice of God that will speak to you personally--
not loudly--but intimately.
In holy listening you should read slowly, attentively, gently listening to hear a word or phrase that is God's word for you this day.
So practice your reading and listening, and see what happens!
Are you ready for more spiritual listening?--Continue on to Inspirational Meditation, Part 2.
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