Treating things as sacred is difficult work that is deeply rewarding

We treat secular things as sacred because traditionally sacred texts are often associated with a lot of baggage. (Hey — so is Harry Potter. But maybe a different kind of baggage.) Treating secular things as sacred is easier if you use spiritual technologies that already exist. Because we use texts, we use text based analysis practices in order to engage with Harry Potter.

Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina is a four step reading practice, based in a Carthusian, monastic, Christian tradition. It is about going deeper and deeper into a text in order to apply it to your own life.

What is Lectio Divina and how do you do it?

Vanessa and Casper give a little more context and history on Lectio Divina



Havruta is a Jewish practice of conversation over a text. Havruta is usually used in Yeshiva/religious school settings. It is a structured conversation around a text, based in asking questions.

Sacred Imagination

We adapted this practice from St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit sect of Christianity.

This practice asks us to imagine ourselves into the text and wonder about the sensual elements of the text: what would we experience with our 5 senses if we were in the scene, on the page?


This is essentially a quote journal! But one in which you collect your quotes and then read them as if they are their own text. The term Florigegia comes from a monastic tradition in which the psalms are used as the source text. 

  • Love: Dobby’s Reward (Book 2, Chapter 18) – the episode where we learn this spiritual practice from Professor Stephanie Paulsell.


This is a four step Jewish reading practice from the middle ages. Pardes means orchard; and the idea is that you can pluck any sentence from a sacred text, like a piece of fruit from the orchard, and bite into it and be nourished.


This believes that our contributions and thoughts about the text are as important as the text itself. It is the monastic practice of looking at previous monk’s comments and taking those into consideration with the text. In Judaism, the tradition is embodied in the Talmud. 

Four Reliances

The Four Reliances are a list of guidelines for a student of the Buddha Dharma.  In this context we are adapting them to think about meaning in text beyond its most literal interpretation.

  • Here’s a helpful overview of the practice.
  • And here is the document Matt mentions in his introduction to the practice, in the Book 4 Chapter 2 episode!

Other Resources

We love these other resources about sacred practices