Using Lectio Divina to Improve Your Self-Esteem
LectioDivina is an ancient form of Christian (Benedictine) meditation. This meditative prayer is sometimes called “Sacred Seeing.” Lectio Divina follows specific steps as a process: lectio or reading a passage; Meditatio or meditating on the passage or image; Oratio or praying (I add – in your own way); Contemplatio or contemplation on it; and, Actio or action based on your new insights. Modified below.
- For a few minutes sit in calm, self-abiding meditation and just rest.
- Now ask yourself this question: “What strengths do I have?”
- Write a short paragraph noting the kinds of strengths you know you have.
- Now take five long, deep, slow breaths and close your eyes if you are ok with that. Think carefully about the strengths you listed. Contemplate them as you meditate again.
- Now in full conscious awareness, read that paragraph over and over slowly. Read it five or six times, and go deeper into your awareness each time you read it. Really concentrate.
- Answer the following questions about improving your self-esteem by using your strengths. Best to use a form of free association here; simply see what comes into awareness without great effort.
- What is the pattern of your strengths? If you come up with something, add it to your paragraph.
- Who are you when you have lived experience using your strengths. If something new comes up in your consciousness, add this information to your paragraph.
- When are you most likely to use your strengths? Follow the same procedure as above.
- Where are you most likely to live by your strengths? Follow the same procedure again.
- How does you using your strengths look? Make an image of it, or recall the last time you used your strengths. Notice anything significant, and add it to your paragraph.
- Now relax again, and read your longer paragraph over five more times. Read slowly, and add deeper concentration each time you read it. Go into it deeply!
- End with a short story about your future use of your signature strengths.
- Go back into light meditation with long, slow, deep breaths and just relax. Notice how you feel right now. Remember your strengths are always with you, but you need to use them.
Anthony R. Quintiliani, PhD., LADC
From the Eleanor R. Liebman Center for Secular Meditation in Monkton, Vermont and the Home of The Monkton Sangha
Author of Mindful Happiness