What Is Visio Divina?

Visio Divina is Latin for “Divine Seeing”. It is a spiritual practice that intentionally seeks to view the world around us through the eyes of the Divine. Visio Divina is living your everyday life with a deeper sensitivity to the things you see that are soul touching moments: things that just “shimmer”, standout, and draw you into them. The world around you is begging for you to pay attention and ask Spirit for meaning, purpose, and direction to act with love. Visio Divina is derived from an ancient way of reading the Bible called, "Lectio Divina" which means, "Divine Reading". 

I have been using Visio Divina for over 15 years as a spiritual practice in my photography and believe it is a powerful way to grow into a deeper relationship and union with the Divine at many levels: the receiving of the photo, any editing that is done with looking for shimmer points in the photo, and then the encouragement of the viewer of the photograph to practice Visio Divina. 

It is my prayer that you can become more sensitive to a divine way of seeing the world around you through viewing art, others, and life.


How To Practice Visio Divina

1. Spend this moment right here and now in silence and be still. Prepare your mind to be still and your eyes to be drawn to what shimmers in a photograph so that you will be directed by the Divine and not yourself. This entire practice is a visual prayer. It might be beneficial to close your eyes to prepare your heart to enhance its ability to be completely receptive to Spirit’s guidance and direction through your eyes. This is not a time for deeper concentration, but a letting go and visually listening to the wooing of the Divine.

2. Stand or sit in front of a photograph, any art around you, or even whatever is in front of you in this very moment. Invite yourself to be sensitive to where your eyes are drawn naturally. Your eyes might be bouncing around all over the place, and that is fine. Your mind might take some time to settle. When you can settle think about the following: 

  • What is shimmering and standing out from the rest of the photograph? 
  • Is there something in particular that draws your eyes and attention? 
  • Is there movement in the photo? 
  • Where is the photo inviting you to journey through it? 
  • Are there patterns? 
  • How does light and shadow dance together? 
  • Do you have any particular feelings in your heart when you are drawn into the moment that was received by the camera/photographer/artist or you? 

Allow your attention to roam, and trust Spirit to lead your eyes.

3. Stay focused on the shimmer point you were just drawn to. Spend time receiving it? With a clear mind ask for the Divine to show you meaning or purpose from within the moment the photograph was received by the artist.. These feelings could invite challenge or blessing. Do not dismiss them, but receive them.

4. This moment that is being received is being shared with YOU. Spirit is allowing you to receive it, as well. How is this received moment moving you to action, inviting change within you or your community?

How is the Divine asking for you to respond to the Visio Divina of this photo? We should ask in every moment if we are to be drawn into action.

5. Rest in the presence of Spirit within the photo. You’ve listened with your eyes and heart, you’ve received, you’ve been invited into action. Now, simply BE in the presence of the Divine. Feel free to express in someway this moment through prayer, writing, singing, dancing, art, conversation, silence, etc…

‘May this be a practice that you use in your everyday life, that the world around you and the depths of your own heart can be a Spiritual Practice of Visio Divina. May you be moved to a life lived receiving the Divine in every moment. 

The term, “inspire” is Latin for “breathe in”, the term, “conspire” is Latin for “breathe with”. May Visio Divina become as natural as breathing for you, and may you be transformed so you can bring about transformation. 

May you Conspire with Spirit through your divine seeing, and be inspired by the Divine always breathing in what Spirit is breathing out.’

In Spirit,