Main Menu

Lectio Scientia – Reading Meditation

lectio

 

Lectio Scientia

 

The meditation of Lectio Scientia, or “Scientific Reading,” is a secular version of the monastic form of meditation Lectio Divina, the “Divine Reading” of the Order of Saint Benedict. Lectio meditation is divided into four stages: reading, meditation, willful focus (prayer) and contemplation. Lectio Divina is traditionally a private prayer done between the offices and Lectio Scientia proper is also practiced as such. All Order of Science meditations involving reading is called Eating From the Tree of Life, wherein the literature is symbolized by leaves, and the form of meditation on the content of the reading is life-affirming.

The space used is referred to as the Temple Laboratory. Furniture may include a cushion or chair on which to sit as the Holy Throne; any objects suitable for an Ancestral Shrine, such as a candle, incense, and reminders of predecessors; a Ceremonial Bell; and literature on which to meditate. Any space may be used and no furniture or paraphernalia is necessary, so if you do not have a candle or a bell, you can improvise or just sit in one place and recite the liturgy. All that is required is the meditation.

As with the Daily Offices, the practice incorporates the first six steps of meditation: a proper physical environment; meditation posture; relaxation; the Return to Tranquility Exercise and Deep Healing; concentration; and breathing. Visualization begins with the Mind Palace. After one has entered the state of calm one reads passages from the Office of Readings. Contemplation entails visualization and thinking about the passages and asking oneself questions about their content. One then engages the will to establish in the mind the focus of one’s actions in life. The meditation concludes with a period of stillness and silent mindfulness.

 

 

 

The Mind Palace Meditation

 

The science monastic may begin the exercise by lighting a single flame or flames in the four directions.

Standing at the Ancestral Shrine within the Temple Laboratory the meditator sounds the bell twice and ascends the Holy Throne. The monastic first raises awareness from the bottom of the spine to the crown of the head, then focuses the concentration in the “Third Eye” between and just above the eyes, visualizing himself (or herself) as the High One, the Immortal Emperor (or Empress) upon the Holy Throne.

The High One sits on the Holy Throne in the East of a circular temple surrounded by the four elements and the eight cardinal points of the compass rose, on a fertile mountain island in the center of the universe. There are seven seals upon the spine of the immortal monarch and the twelve spirits of life on their thrones surround the throne of eternity. All of the Immortal Illuminati surround the High One. The life of the monastic, all of human history and the history of Earth, amount to but a speck among the dust of galaxies below the High One.

Visualization of the ideal laboratory, the Holy Palace or heavenly city, is unique to each individual. For some, a sea surrounds a four-cornered castle, revolving, with music, wine and feasting within, where there is no disease or old age. The Mind Palace may be a palace, monastery or temple growing out of a forest or snowy mountain peak. The structure could even be a hermitage or single cell.

The Holy Palace is the architecture of holistic symbolism. The palace is surrounded by a moat that symbolizes the physical body. The outer walls are the senses, emotions and thoughts. The gates are purification, the inner guide, humility, awareness and observation. A river is the essence of life; health, love and communication. The highway following the river to the castle is the Way of Life; sacred honour. The tree in the garden is truth and enlightenment. The temple or castle within is tranquility and peace.

The furniture within the palace may be used as a mnemonic device if the monastic has material that needs to be memorized. The Mind Palace may be used to memorize material by visualizing the material interacting with locations and furniture within the palace as the meditator imagines walking through the palace. The Daily Offices may be memorized in this way. Otherwise, the Mind Palace meditation is simply the culmination of the first six steps of meditation mentioned above: a proper physical environment; meditation posture; relaxation; the Return to Tranquility Exercise and Deep Healing; concentration; and breathing. This is the proper preparation for Lectio Scientia and the Daily Offices.

 

 

 

Lectio Scientia

 

 

Reading

 

After the daily meditation, the recitation opens with,

“A reading from… (title).”

As the text is read concentrate on its meaning and think about the who, what, where, when, why and how.

 

Meditation

 

Visualize what is being read and explore the emotions it evokes.

The reading concludes with,

“So mote it be (or ‘Amen,’ or ‘Giving thanks,’ or preferred final phrase.)”

 

Prayer

 

When one reads or recites scripture and grasps the meaning of it, one can then meditate in tranquility, making the breath soft and silent and the mind still. In the famous lines of the Laozi: “Emptiness to the utmost limit; tranquility in the center.”

Cultivate calm. Then, direct your intention or willpower, and your attention, toward void. This is mindfulness meditation that leads to insight into the nature of reality. In this stillness and silence one communes with the One.

 

Contemplation

 

Sitting in stillness and silence in mindfulness meditation leads to what science monastics call enlightenment. Contemplation in this context refers to this enlightened state, being at peace in mystical communion.

The monastic may do this no-mind meditation for five, ten or fifteen minutes and then stretches before rising. The monastic closes the ritual with a short benediction, such as,

“In the name of the One, the Law and the Good, we give thanks.”

The meditation concludes with the extinguishing of flames and sounding of the Ceremonial Bell.

 

 

 

Order of Science Devotional Calendar

 

The Lectio Scientia Cycle

[SPECIFIC SELECTIONS ARE DETERMINED BY THE READER]

 

Season I – Spring: History (March 21 – June 20)

 

     Overview of History of Universe and Civilization (March 21- April 20)

 

  • March 21 Spring Equinox
  • 22 Taxonomy – MetaHub
  • April 1 History of the Universe
  • 6 History of Life on Earth
  • 11 History of Mankind

 

     Histories of Aspects of Civilization (April 21- May 20)

 

  • April 21 History of Civilization Overview
  • 22 Earth Day
  • 23History of Food
  • 25 History of Fashion
  • 28 History of Industry
  • May 1 History of Music
  • 4 History of Theatre
  • 7 History of Art
  • 10 History of the Written Word
  • 13 History of Mathematics
  • 17 History of Money and Banking

 

     Biographies, Period or Location Histories (May 21- June 20)

 

  • May 21 Sima Qian, Records of the Grand Historian
  • 22 Herodotus, History
  • 23 Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War
  • 24 Xenophon
  • 25 Aristophanes
  • 26 Sophocles
  • 27 Euripides
  • 28 Livy, History of Early Rome
  • 29 Tacitus
  • 30 Cassius Dio
  • 31 Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars; Edward Gibbon, Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire
  • June 1 Eusebius, History of the Church
  • 2 History of the Popes
  • 3 History of the Franks
  • 4 Einhard, Two Lives of Charlemagne
  • 5 Saxo Grammaticus, History of the Danes
  • 6 Heimskringla
  • 7 Geoffrey of Monmouth, History of the Kings of Britain
  • 8 Gildas, The Ruin of Britain
  • 9 Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
  • 10 History of the Dukes of Normandy
  • 11 Mike Ashley, British Kings and Queens
  • 12 African History
  • 13 Asian History
  • 14 European History
  • 15 European History
  • 16 Indigenous American & Australian History
  • 17 American History
  • 18 History of the United Nations
  • 19 History of Meditation
  • 20 History of Monasticism

 

Season II – Summer: Politics (June 21 – Sept. 20)

 

     Political Philosophy (June 21- July 20)

 

  • June 21 Summer Solstice
  • 22 History of Political Philosophy/ Anthologies
  • 23 Zhu Yi on the Four Books
  • 24 Plato, Aristotle and the Biography of Alexander of Macedon
  • 25 Polybius
  • 26 Caesar, Civil War, Gallic War
  • 27 Cicero
  • 28 Seneca
  • 29 Plutarch, Lives
  • 30 Erasmus
  • July 1 Thomas Moore
  • 2 Machiavelli, The Prince
  • 3 Robert Filmer, Patriarcha
  • 4 John Locke
  • 5 Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan
  • 6 Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • 7 Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations
  • 8 Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws
  • 9 Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay, The Federalist Papers
  • 10 Benjamin Franklin
  • 11 Thomas Jefferson
  • 12 George Washington
  • 13 Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx
  • 14 Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
  • 15 George Soros
  • 16 Robert Muller, New Genesis
  • 17 Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X
  • 18 Puyi, From Emperor to Citizen; Chairman Mao, Little Red Book
  • 19 Capitalism and Socialism
  • 20 Multi-Party System Democracy

 

     Political Science (July 21- Aug. 20)

 

  • July 21 History of Law
  • 23 History of Warfare
  • 25 Political Science
  • 27 Political Statistics
  • 29 Political Communication
  • Aug. 1 Comparative Politics
  • 3 Comparative Government
  • 5 Your National Government
  • 7 How to Vote
  • 10 Contemporary Issues
  • 12 Business: Starting a Business
  • 14 Business: Management
  • 16 Business: Accounting
  • 18 Business: Finance
  • 20 Business: Marketing

 

     Contemporary Governments (Aug. 21- Sept. 20)

 

  • Aug. 21 Constitutions, Laws and Government Documents of Leading Nations
  • 24 Regional Governmental Organizations
  • 27 International Governmental Organizations
  • 30 International Law
  • Sept. 2 Corporations and Political Contributions
  • 5 Political Action Committees (PACs)
  • 8 Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs)
  • 11 Science in Government
  • 14 Science-based Politicians
  • 17 Speeches

 

Season III (Autumn): Spirituality, Meditation and Monasticism

(Sept. 21 – Dec. 20)

 

     Historical and Present World-views and Systems (Sept. 21- Oct. 20)

 

  • Sept. 21 Autumn Equinox
  • 22 History of Philosophy
  • 23 Egyptian Myths and the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Sumerian Myths and The Epic of Gilgamesh and Persian Myths and The Hymns of Zoroaster
  • 24 The Tanak and the Talmud
  • 25 Homer, Iliad and Hesiod, Theogony, Works and Days
  • 26 The Hymns of Orpheus, Ovid, Metamorphoses and Virgil, the Georgics, Aeneid
  • 27 The New Testament, Apocrypha and the Gnostic Gospels, Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Book of the Twelve Apostles and Sayings of the Early Church Fathers
  • 28 Documents of Christian History and Saint Augustine, City of God, Confessions
  • 29 The Song of Roland and El Cid
  • 30 Celtic Myth and Legend and Taliesin (Welsh Poems)
  • Oct. 1 Beowulf, the Eddas (Younger and Elder) and the Norse Sagas
  • 2 Dante, The Divine Comedy, Langland, Piers Plowman and Chaucer, Canterbury Tales
  • 3 Leonardo Da Vinci
  • 4 Holy Grail: Legend of the Holy Grail, Chrétien de Troyes, Perceval and Sir 5 Thomas Malory, Le Morte D’Arthur
  • 5 Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, Thomas Kempis, Imitation of Christ,  William Shakespeare, Rosicrucian manifestos and Handel’s Messiah
  • 6 Miguel De Cervantes: Don Quixote, John Milton, Paradise Lost, Lord Byron, Don Juan, Goethe, Faust and William Blake
  • 7 John Neihardt, Black Elk Speaks
  • 8 Ramayana, Laws of Manu and Vedas
  • 9 Mahabarata, Upanishads, Samhitas and Sutras
  • 10 Patanjali, The Eight Limbs of Yoga and Mohandas Gandhi
  • 11 Chinese Myths and the Tibetan Book of the Dead
  • 12 The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, the Chinese Classics and Yijing (I Ching)
  • 13 Laozi, (Lao Tzu), Daodejing (Te Tao Ching)
  • 14 Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu) and Liezi
  • 15 Sun Tzu, The Art of War and Classics of Tai Chi Chuan
  • 16 The Dhammapada and Early Buddhist Literature
  • 17 Han Shan
  • 18 Diamond Sutra and Sutra of Huineng
  • 19 Dogen’s Fukan zazengi
  • 20 The Way of the Samurai, Risuke Otake, Katori Shinto-Ryu, Warrior Tradition and Miyamoto Musashi, Book of Five Rings and Morihei Ueshiba, The Art of Peace

 

     Comparative and Integrative Theory and Practice (Oct. 21- Nov. 20)

 

  • Oct. 21 Indian Syncretism
  • 23 Chinese Syncretism
  • 25 Ancient Alexandria, Egypt
  • 27 Alchemy
  • 31 Day of the Dead
  • Nov. 1 Renaissance Syncretism
  • 4 Sir James George Frazer, The Golden Bough
  • 7 Anthropology
  • 10 Aleister Crowley, 777
  • 12 Joseph Campbell, The Hero of 1000 Faces, The Masks of God
  • 14 Royal Art Society Week

 

     Monastic Rules and Universal Spirituality (Nov. 21- Dec. 20)

 

  • Nov. 21 Monastic Rules: The Vinaya
  • 22 Monastic Rules: Chinese Daoist Rules
  • 23 Monastic Rules: Chan and Zen Buddhist Rules
  • 24 Monastic Rules: The Rule of Saint Benedict
  • 25 Monastic Rules: The Rule of the Order of Science
  • 28 Humanism
  • 30 Secular Humanism
  • Dec. 3 Order of Science Week
  • Dec. 10 Human Rights Day
  • 11 Meditation
  • 20 Day of Silent Meditation

 

 

Season IV – Winter: Natural Science (Dec. 21 – March 20)

 

     Philosophy (Dec. 21- Jan. 20)

 

  • Dec. 21 Winter Solstice
  • 22 Indian Philosophy
  • 23 Chinese Philosophy
  • 24 The Ancient Mysteries
  • 25 The Birth of Science: The Ionian and Early Greek Philosophers
  • 26 Sophists, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato & Aristotle
  • 27 Hippocrates & Galen
  • 28 Athenian Philosophy, Stoicism, Neoplatonism
  • 29 Pliny the Elder
  • 30 Vitruvius, Ten Books of Architecture
  • 31 Ptolemy
  • Jan. 1 New Year
  • 2 Augustine, City of God & Thomas Aquinas
  • 3 Immanuel Kant & Spinoza
  • 4 David Hume
  • 5 Tycho Brahe & John Kepler
  • 6 Copernicus & Galileo Galilei
  • 7 Francis Bacon
  • 8 René Descartes
  • 9 Thomas Malthus
  • 10 Isaac Newton, The Principia
  • 11 Diderot & Voltaire
  • 12 Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species
  • 13 Henry Gray, Gray’s Anatomy
  • 14 Albert Einstein: On Relativity
  • 15 Aleister Crowley, Book 4, Magick In Theory and Practice, The Equinox
  • 16 Sigmund Freud & Carl Jung
  • 17 Carl Sagan, Cosmos
  • 18 Stephen Hawking
  • 19 Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens & Sam Harris
  • 20 Contemporary Scientific Philosophy

 

     History of Science (Jan. 21- Feb. 20)

 

  • Jan. 21 History of Medicine
  • 30 History of Science
  • Feb. 9 History of Technology
  • 20 History of the Calendar

 

     Applied Sciences (Feb. 21- March 20)

 

  • Feb. 21 Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus, Topology
  • 23 Scientific Method
  • 25 Physics
  • 28 Chemistry
  • March 3 Astronomy
  • 6 Climatology & Meteorology
  • 8 Geology
  • 10 Biology
  • 13 Anthropology and Archaeology
  • 16 Sociology & Political Science
  • 18 Technology: Engineering, Mechanics
  • 20 Meditation & Mysticism