This past Monday, we looked at a monktastic way to read literature. So much of our daily reading is centered on gaining information quickly and with minimal effort. That’s not necessarily bad in itself since we need breaks and different levels of attention and some work should be done as efficiently as possible. But if that comprises most of our reading, then we might start scanning things that should not be scanned. We might lose patience with poetry or stories that demand something of us.
The ancient practice of lectio can be a way to slow us down a little bit each day and maybe look at that poem for what it is and not a repository of information.
But that’s easier said than done, so here’s some resources to think about ways we can incorporate the practice of lectio into our reading.
I’ve linked here a few times to this resource, but I haven’t spoken directly about it enough. Ruso not only offers a secular lectio model here, but he also provides a handout to implement it in the classroom. If you’re interested in contemplative pedagogy or in helping your students responding to texts in a slow and careful way, I would strongly suggest his lesson.
The Suburban Hermit recently posted on lectio divina and it’s a must-read. I can’t emphasize enough that this is a practice of reading that balances our current Orwellian obsession with information at the expense of relationship.
Ever since Benedict of Nursia wrote his Rule, lectio divina has been a central practice of the monks and nuns who have taken his name. Considering this, what better place to learn more about the practice than from the accumulated experience of 1500 years.
This is one of the first books I read about the practice. It is a very down-to-earth and practical explanation of lectio that includes ways to overcome difficulties like drowsiness while reading.