Psalm 95:7 For he is our God, . . . O that today you would hearken to his voice!
In the last couple of weeks as I have been recuperating from back surgery I have listened to a fair amount of music. Music centers me and reduces the amount of pain I have which means I can take fewer pain meds and that means fewer side effects.
As I was listening one day to Barbers “Adigio for Strings” I realized I was practicing a form of Lectio Divina, I hadn’t noticed doing that before and since then have purposely practiced what I call Audientes (that’s Latin for hearing) Divina. I have discovered some interesting insights and, I must admit, a greater sense of being as I went deeper into the music, or rather the music went deeper into me.
So I don’t know if anyone else has ever practiced this before, or have thought about it like this, but I am offering what I have been doing as a gift of my recuperation. Below you will find a clip of Samuel Barber’s Adigio for Strings and the instructions for my practice. I usually listen to chants, or instrumental pieces but I am sure there are other genres that produce the same meditative moments. If you find this useful, since this is a new way to “Hear God” as a practice at least from this perspective, please, let me know what types of music you use to enter into the quite center. Who knows maybe I too will hear the still small voice in something I haven’t tried before.
Samuel Barber - Adagio for Strings, op.11. Uncut
Original broadcast from the Albert Hall in London September 15 2001.
Leonard Slatkin conducts the BBC Orchestra.
Instructions for Audientes Divina
- With your eyes closed listen to the music and let the music wash over you, entering deeply into your consciousness; what images does the music bring up for you? Remain with the image for one to two minutes. If you would like, jot down a few words about the image.
- Listen for a second time, with your eyes closed, as you listen let the music carry you deeper into your center. What in the music moves your closer to your inner center? What do you feel as you listen? Engage your imagination. Where are you in the music, or has it transported you to somewhere else? What do you see from that perspective? What deeper meaning emerges?
- Respond to what you are feeling and your images with prayer. Did your experience of the music remind you of, a particular experience, person or issue for which you’d like to offer thanksgiving or intercession? Or, as you listened to the music did it offer a deeper understanding of being part of the universe, life itself. Offer your thoughts to the Divine as an offering of who you, where you are at this moment and as a blessing for the journey you will continue on.
- Rest in your quiet center. Breathe deeply. Relax your shoulders, arms and legs. Let your body relax and set your mind free to hear what the God has to say to you words that have no sound.
May you hear the voice of the Divine in the music of life.
Ruth Jewell, ©August 4, 2015