Self Care With Lectio Divina
What is it?
How do you do this?
Why bother?

Lectio Divina = Divine Reading
(lectio = reading / divina = divine)

Robert Farmilo

Reading self-help books a certain way will implant the core meaning of the titles into your brain, heart, guts, and bones.

The core meaning is the seed which grows into the outcome of the intended result of the title of the self help book you are studying by reading in a certain way.

HUH? What?

When you read the self-help book in a certain way (the Lectio Divina way), you will get the results promised in the title of the book. The core meaning of the title of the book is the seed which will be planted inside of you, inside your mind, heart, soul, and guts. This seed will grow into the intended results promised in the title of the book.

That is what you are going to get in this to read in a certain way. You can apply this lesson to most all the reading you have coming your way.

Personally, I'd do it with the really important stuff that you're gonna be reading.

This method is designed for reading scripture from the Bible...and to become absorbed by the spirit of the word.

Oh, and don't let the religious stuff get you all huffy. Extract the parts that work.


Four Steps:
"Seek in reading and you will find in meditation.
Knock in prayer and it will be opened in contemplation."
--- St. John of the Cross

Step One:
This leads to step two.

Step Two:
Think. Meditate on the meaning of the words.
This leads to step three.

Step Three:
Pray. Focus your awareness on intended outcome.
This leads to step four.

Step Four:
Contemplate. Absorption into quiet stillness in the presence of God. Becoming acutely aware of the presence of God.

Before you start step one, please prepare yourself.
Your main objective?
"Be still and know that I am God."

Sit quietly and in silence.

You are not seeking information or motivation.
You are listening for the inner message.
And you are to ponder this communion as you listen.

This pondering weighs and considers but with a light and gentle mental touch. So, NOT analytical, okay?

You open your mind and keep it open, no anticipation or expectation, just simple innocence...and this thing gets crazy 'cuz now you get some of that deep spirit inspiring you.

The next part is when you enter into the meaning of what you are reading. You share the essence of the topic. 

Instead of focusing on the "why" part of the topic, and the "how" part, too --- you let the essential spirit interpret for you.

The prayer part is you speaking to God.
In the Christian deal, God answers you through scripture from the Bible.
So you pray to God and then you read some scripture.

The prayer deal needs a deep dive. You may not be down with the whole praying deal. I get that. 

But...for those of you who are willing to do it, the next step is to get telepathic with God, 'cuz God is telepathic.

The final stage of the four step method is union with God.
The how-to part is with contemplative prayer.


It is silence. The symbol of the world to come.
Silent love.
Unbearable to the outer man.
The kindling that feeds the fire of love.
The kiss of God.

This word contemplate has the idea of a temple inside of you. That is the template bit of the word contemplate. You enter your own, personal, inner temple, and you sit inside it, with it.

And the with it part is the union with God deal.
But how do you do this contemplative prayer stuff?
You need a method that works, right?


Open with a brief prayer.

Ask God for guidance. 

READ the passage slowly, word-by-word. Let the words trickle. It is possible some words will capture your awareness and grab your attention. It is possible that some words will resonate in your heart. Go even slower when this happens. Be with those words. Taste those words, slowly.

REFLECT by reading the passage one more time. Let your awareness consider what it is God is sending to you. 

Here are some basic filters to use with your attention to awareness of awareness.

Use the following as filters to run your session of Divine Reading.
  • What is God saying to me?
  • What is God asking me?
  • What is God offering to me?
  • And what are the corresponding feelings being stirred within me?

Respond by once again, taking your time, slow down, read the same passage again --- word-by-word, letting each word slowly form in your awareness.
This is your part of the Lectio Divina when you tell God what is happening for you. Tell God, from your innermost heart, what your feelings are...and the realizations and insights you have observed and witnessed during this session of Lectio Divina.

Now you offer all this to God.

In your mind, think the idea of offering to God all your feelings and insights. 

For the feelings, it might go something like this: "God, here are my feelings of blah blah blah. I give them to you, God. I offer these to you."

Insights come to you and you offer them back: "The way I am with so-and-so is like I used to be with my mother. I act like I am okay with such-and-such, but really I have a lot of resentments. The passage I studied with you today brought me this realization about myself and the way I am. I offer this to you, God."

The idea of offering up to God isn't for you to get your halo shined or to get anything. Nope. It is a straight-up give-a-way to God, no strings.

IF you get something back, either right then and there or later on...that's your bonus round. But don't go expecting something when you offer up your feelings and insights that arise during your Lectio Divina.

REST once you have made the journey. Sit with yourself. This means you are sitting with God, too --- because God is you, and you are God. Perhaps in this little slice of being in a very simple state of awareness, you can let the asking happen.

"What are you saying to me?"

"What is it you want me to know?"

During this rest time, you might find yourself rereading the same passage. And more feelings and "ah-ha!" might bubble up from inside of you. Once this has happened and subsided, please offer them up to God.

Now you are done with your session of Divine Reading. It is now your time to close it all up with a simple prayer to God. "Thank you, God," is a good one.

Okay, now is the time, IF you are into it, to write down your observations and notes that have come to you during your journey with Lectio Divina.

Overall, it is best to leave the notetaking to this closing period of your time with Reading Divine.

Obviously you are co-opting this methodology and applying it to non-scriptural books like self-help / self-care topics. You might legitimately wonder if the four steps of Lectio Divina can be used to read books that are not the Bible, Quran, Veda, Torah, and so on.

Yes, you can use this four step method to inculcate yourself with the deepest parts of intention contained within the topic titles and text of a book like The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People.

Or, how about this book written by Epictetus.

IF you have stuck it out this far, you are ready to know how this all will work for you reading a self-help book.

When you select a specific title, you are choosing to take care of yourself --- we can call this self-care. And self-care is definitely a form of self-help.

You are looking, seeking, to make a change, and usually it is some habit we want to have or not have. 

What about achieving some specific outcome, like being a better public speaker?

When you read your self-help book and you do it the Lectio Divina way, the result will be a deep bonding with the intended goal and the motivating spirit inside you.

The motivating spirit is you directing your will (your awareness of awareness) in cooperation with the Really Big Spirit.

You absorb the outcome that is contained within the title of the topic of self-care and self-help that you are reading.

During your reading, when the tendency to analyze and dissect is noticed by you, this is the moment when you can return to being quiet inside, letting the thoughts slide away.

When there is a nice big gap between your thoughts, begin to read the words without your intellect, stop trying to understand what the words mean on the surface.

As you step out of the way, this is the moment you let the other parts of you begin to be with the words. You let the spirit reveal the parts that will unite you with the intended outcome.

Okay, well good luck with that. 

By far the best self-help and self-care manual is this one:

Okay, okay. When you read that blurb for the book, it really does sound like every other self-help deal out there. The same silly words that you find in all the get-it-now, this will change your life --- and even if you never use it, think of the money you will save.

Stuff like this stuff also is so familiar.

But there aren't many self-help/self-care books that promise this:

It is the art and science of baiting the enticement factor of the offer with juicy, glistening, shininess. IF I use the right buzz-words, you are going to be hypnotized into clicking through, all the way to the checkout page, and all the way buying the promise of real and lasting change.

I am careful to make sure you can see the authority markers. Like this next image for you to contemplate:

And right now, you can get this same offer for a different price. See how this influences you?

The next piece of the puzzle is the teaser text. Little hints about what you are gonna get when you get the book.

This is how the titles of what the book is intended to do for you enters into your sub-mind, going in under your radar. And the title begins to influence you towards the outcome suggested by the title of the book.

Or...does it? Does any of that really happen to you?

You need PART THREE of this series about SELF-HELP and SELF-CARE.


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