Contemplative Resources

Lection Divina as Contemplative Pedagogy

Mindfulness in the Classroom

Playbill Review

Use for drawing, sketching, visualizing connections to learning.

Bullet Journal Reference

Contemplative Pedagogy at WFU

Ignatian Examen

A reflective prayer that prompts you to review your day through gratitude and introspection. This document is from Bill Zuelke.

Needs of the Soul: Silence

A podcast episode from “The Minefield” that explores silence:

“For each of the last three years, we’ve devoted the holy month of Ramadan to some deeper theme — one not constrained by the demands of the news cycle or the clamour of democratic politics. The point is to give greater attention to the health or condition of the moral life: what once might have been called the care of the soul. The point is not to be introspective per se, or even to retreat to the seclusion of the interior life. Instead, the point is to understand those practices, habits, relationships and even sacrifices that provide the conditions within which the moral life — let’s call it, a life unmoored from what Iris Murdoch described as ‘the fat relentless ego’ — can flourish.” – The Minefield Click here for more information.

h/t Vance Ricks

Clearness Committee Documentation

Clearness Committees from Parker Palmer

Clearness Committees from Sarah Beth Terrell

Clearness Committees from Scott Pierce Coleman

Other Practices (Written and Compiled by Evelyn Jadin)

Lectio Divina Option 1

This is a traditional Christian spiritual practice, which was developed in the 4th and 5th century CE, before books were widely available to all. It contains 4 “stages” or steps to help us ingest the passage and wisdom it offers. These stages are Lectio, Meditatio, Contemplatio, and Oratio. The step of Lectio/Reading is repeated several times. Traditionally the whole practice is done in silence, except for the reading of the text out loud. Feel free to do the whole practice in silence as it was traditionally done, or adapt it to have more group sharing.

Begin by randomly picking a sentence in the chapter you are exploring

  1. Lectio (Reading) Pick a sentence at random. Read the sentence aloud slowly several time.
  2. Meditatio (Meditation): Settle into silence. Notice a word or phrase that jumped out at you. Sit with that word or phrase. Repeat it silently to yourself over and over again. Rest in the word. Notice what happens are you silently repeat the word or phrase.
  3. Lectio (Reading): Read the sentence aloud again twice.
  4. Contemplatio (Contemplation): Consider the text and the word you gravitate towards. Did any wisdom arise for you? How does this wisdom speak to your life and your community? How are you being invited to change? What message is the text sharing with you
  5. Oratio (Prayer): This is a time to settle into “prayer” or a time of intentional reflection if prayer is not a word that speaks to you. Allow to see what arises in the silence. Are you invited to set any intentions going forward.

Lectio Divina Option 2

This version of Lectio Divina was adapted from the traditional form of Lectio for its particular use with Harry Potter and the Sacred Text (please adapt to your needs) by Casper ter Kuile and Vanessa Zoltan. Please feel free to use this adapted form.

As with the original version this contains 4 “stages” or steps to help us ingest the passage and wisdom it offers. This version is slightly different than traditional Christian practice.

Begin by randomly picking a sentence in the chapter you are exploring.

  1. Reading: Read the sentence aloud – what is the literal meaning of the passage
  2. Allegory What metaphors are hidden in the text? What symbols can we find in the words that are used? What are the symbols or allegorical ideas that strike you?
  3. Reflection: How does this text speak to you, in your life, today? And how can we read it in terms of the theme of the day

Invitation: What is the text inviting you to? What actions are you invited to take?


Havruta, which means fellowship, companionship, or friendship, is a Jewish practice in which a pair explores the Torah together. It is a traditional rabbinic approach to Talmudic study where people sit together in relationship and talk, discuss and debate the text. In this way truth is exposed through conversation. Each person in the conversation is shining a light on different parts of the truth and “the whole conversation is a gesture towards the truth”

We will be expanding this practice and use it as a group. If you would like to learn more about Havruta you can follow this link.


  1. As the facilitator ask a question about the text and then you offer an answer to the question.
  2. The group then answers the question and asks another question if one arises.
  3. Continue in this manner – going back and forth offering wisdom and answers to the question
  4. At the end see if the group has come to any conclusion or agreed upon answer.
  5. Wrap up the practice by affirming the wisdom shared and summarizing where the group came to in terms of an answer to the question.

Ignatian Prayer: Guided Imagination

This practice was developed and popularized by Ignatius of Loyola. Ignatian Prayer invites the person to use their imagination to project themselves in the text. By doing so you enter into the story in a new way. You can imagine yourself as a character and see, taste, smell, and feel, what is happening in the story. The hope in doing this practice is that you gain new wisdom and insight into the text.


  1. Pick a passage from the text ahead of time that is about a paragraph long.
  2. Before reading the passage aloud invite the participants to imagine themselves in the text to pick a character or perspective to see, hear, and feel from. Invite the participants to get lost in the story and to pay attention to what arises for them in the process. Invite people to close their eyes if they are comfortable.
  3. Read the text aloud slowly.
  4. Once you are done go around the room and invite people to share what they noticed.
    1. Who did they imagine themselves as? Or what perspective did they have on the scene?
    2. What did they see, hear taste, feel, and/or smell?
    3. Did any wisdom or insight come to them through this process?
  5. Close with gratitude for the sharing and insights that arose.


This is a practice used by medieval monks, as a way help in thier the Lectio Divina practice. In the practice monks would record sentences that jumped out at them, or sparkled, for them from Scripture and Lectio Divina Practice. The journals they recorded the texts in was called Floralegia, which literally means “The book of Sparklets.” As a Floralegia were created new texts were formed. Different sparklets were placed next to each other and in doing so brought out new wisdom and insights.


  1. Invite people in the group to pick out a sentence that sparkles for them from the chapter. What sentence jumps out?
  2. Go around the room and read the sparklets aloud and give a short explanation of why those particular words sparkle.
  3. You can even write them on the board.
  4. Go around and read the sparklets in different order.
  5. Discuss:
    1. How do the sparklets fit together?
    2. Do the different sparklets shed light and wisdom on each other?


Pardes is a traditional rabbinic way of studying and exploring scripture. The practices involves for levels of interpretation called: Parshat, Remez, D’rash & Sud. These layers are intended to bring you deeper and deeper into the text.


Pick a sentence at random. Read it aloud several times.

  1. P’shat (pronounced peh-shaht’ – meaning “simple”). What is the simple and literal meaning of the text? Explore this together as a group out loud.
  2. Remez (pronounced reh-mez’ – meaning “hint”). Read the sentence aloud again. Ask that those gathered to think of one word they resonate with. Then think through together how this word is connected to the rest of the book but also to the rest of the series.
  3. D’rash (pronounced deh-rahsh’ also called “Midrash,” meaning “concept”). Read the sentence aloud again. Ask each person to try to find or imagine if there is a deeper meaning to the text. Another way to phrase this question is “is there a piece of wisdom being shared in the text?” The question “If I were going to preach a sermon on this piece of text, what would it lead me to say?”
  4. Sud (pronounced either sawd, or sood [like “wood”] – meaning “hidden”). During this part of the practice you are looking for the Sud, which is a secret. The sud does not come from logical thinking and is not the meaning of the text, instead it is an insight about life from the text that simply arrives. Sometimes a sud will arise and sometimes it won’t. To enter this stage simple have a few moments of silence and see what comes from the silence. After the silence see if a sud arose for anyone.

Worship Sharing – Quaker Tradition

“Worship Sharing” is a time to reflect out of the silence in response to open-ended questions or “queries.”


Facilitator writes a query based on the reading and shares it with the group. The facilitator then invites everyone into a time of listening silence. Everyone, including the facilitator, are welcome to share out of the silence, in a thoughtful and meditative way, their response to the query. Others may do the same being sure to leave some space in between sharing and never to respond directly to what was shared before. Facilitator ends this time with a handshake.

Books and Apps

Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids

This introduction to mindfulness meditation for children and their parents includes practices that can help children calm down, become more focused, fall asleep more easily, alleviate worry, manage anger, and generally become more patient and aware.

The Checklist Manifesto: How To Get Things Right – by Atul Gawande

We live in a world of great and increasing complexity, where even the most expert professionals struggle to master the tasks they face. Longer training, ever more advanced technologies—neither seems to prevent grievous errors. But in a hopeful turn, acclaimed surgeon and writer Atul Gawande finds a remedy in the humblest and simplest of techniques: the checklist. First introduced decades ago by the U.S. Air Force, checklists have enabled pilots to fly aircraft of mind-boggling sophistication. Now innovative checklists are being adopted in hospitals around the world, helping doctors and nurses respond to everything from flu epidemics to avalanches. Even in the immensely complex world of surgery, a simple ninety-second variant has cut the rate of fatalities by more than a third.

More info:

Oak – Meditation App

Pleasure Activism – adrienne maree brown

How do we make social justice the most pleasurable human experience? How can we awaken within ourselves desires that make it impossible to settle for anything less than a fulfilling life? Editor adrienne maree brown finds the answer in something she calls “Pleasure Activism,” a politics of healing and happiness that explodes the dour myth that changing the world is just another form of work. Drawing on the black feminist tradition, including Audre Lourde’s invitation to use the erotic as power and Toni Cade Bambara’s exhortation that we make the revolution irresistible, the contributors to this volume take up the challenge to rethink the ground rules of activism. Writers including Cara Page of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation For Justice, Sonya Renee Taylor, founder of This Body Is Not an Apology, and author Alexis Pauline Gumbs cover a wide array of subjects—from sex work to climate change, from race and gender to sex and drugs—they create new narratives about how politics can feel good and how what feels good always has a complex politics of its own.

Building on the success of her popular Emergent Strategy, brown launches a new series of the same name with this volume, bringing readers books that explore experimental, expansive, and innovative ways to meet the challenges that face our world today. Books that find the opportunity in every crisis!

This is a project by Guilford College’s Friends Center Staff – Learn more about the Friend Center for Quaker Studies and Multifaith Collaboration