06 Sep Power Food for the Modern Soul
We live in a world today where access to words are instantaneous. Children and adults can acquire complex technical data and information of every sort by the touch of a cell phone or a keyboard. The delphic oracle (Google or Bing) can give us the impression that knowledge is—literally— “at our fingertips”.
The question remains: To what extent do we practice, apply, and internalize the information we daily receive.
When I was a Benedictine monk I was introduced into the ancient spiritual practice of feasting upon words that were believed to possess high levels of energy. This took time, lots of quality time of waiting upon the silence in order for the words to take root in our hearts, like threads in a hand-woven blanket.
It is a paradox that in order to access the high-frequency energy that some words possess, one must slow down the pace of rapidly-moving thoughts by training the mind through concentration and simple awareness of the electrical charge that emits from words.
Depending upon the essence of the words, their source, or who spoke or wrote them down one will experience a low or high charge, much like an alive, fading, or dead battery in an electrical device.
The great scriptures of the world—for instance, the Bible, Torah, Koran, Avesta, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and Tao Te Ching— are considered such because of the high frequency charge they hold, despite their age.
Take a moment and sit in quiet with one of your favorite books, a poem, or even a self-help book like Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now or Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements and connect with its level of charge. How do you feel when you are in contact with it: enlivened, deadened, sad . . . joyful?
Below is a summary of the four-step monastic practice called lectio divina (literally, “divine reading” in Latin). I have added a fifth step and provided a working title. Use this method with your books and see what energy can be derived from this process.
1)lectio (reading): the quiet reading and/or singing of different passages from a (spiritual) text to access its energy (taking a bite or nibbling)
2) meditatio (meditating): tuning into a text’s higher vibration of energy (chewing on the word).
3) oratio:(praying) savoring of the energy charge of certain words.
4) contemplatio (seeing): digesting of certain words until they become part of the body, mind and heart.
**5 ) iunctio (merging) [union]: becoming one with the energy of a highly-charged word by the silent repetition of one word in accordance with the breath. The body, mind and heart internalize the word through repetition, similar to the East’s Guru yoga or japa and the West’s non-verbal calling upon the name of the Master.
May this practice assist us in reaping the fruit that can come to us when we feast upon living words.