Learning to read in a meditative way is a skill, an art, and a way of spiritual growth.
It used to be called “Lectio Divina” – a way of pondering a short text to allow all of its secrets to be open gently to the meditating mind.
We are so used to skim reading today – news, images, websites, emails – that there is a great danger we skim read life.
We can skim and skate on the surface and never get to the heart of things. We can completely miss the depths.
But blessed are those who delight and meditate.
Gerard Hughes in “God of Surprises” says meditative reading is like sucking a sweet. Let the tastes go round your mouth. Don’t rush it, crunch the sweet and swallow it quickly. Take your time. Let your mind dream and spin out ideas starting from the phrase. If it goes too far away, bring it back to the phrase. Start by making yourself do it for 30 seconds, then a minute, then maybe a bit more.
Start with some favourite or well known phrases:
“The Lord is my shepherd”
“God is love”
You could try meditating on a short phrase in the morning, and sometimes one in the evening, too. You may find that the phrase comes back to you during the day, or during the next day, and then you find yourself thinking some more, and seeing still further depths you had not noticed before…
If you try meditative reading, I hope that you will find delight, you will be able to meditate, and that you will learn about the depths that our lives and this universe has to offer.