Volume 6 / Issue 1 SPRING 2020

5 0 S p i r i t ua l i t y S t u d i e s 6 - 1 S p r i n g 2 0 2 0 Notes [1] Let us mention, for instance, books of Eckhart Tolle, in particular his bestseller The Power of Now. Tolle’s med - itation method does not involve any object in comparison to the Christian forms of meditation, including Lectio Divina , which are based on the concrete content from the Scripture. A non-object form of meditation can also be found in Christian spirituality in the West (e.g. in The Cloud of Unknowingor books of John of the Cross). These meditations, however, have a different goal and methodology according to which some specific non-ob - ject form is revealed in the higher level of contemplation. [2] In order to clarify these terms, we would like to distinguish between reflection, meditation and contempla - tion in Christian spirituality based on activity of our mind. Reflectionor pondering (discursive contemplation) involves our mind working on some text or stimulus. The person works actively with the purpose to discover the benefit of a certain idea for his/her life. Meditation is a passive activity characterized by concentration and attention with the purpose of (a) “emptying” our mind, or (b) letting the idea that has “caught our attention” to work on us (e.g. a passage or a word from the Scripture). Contemplation (silent contemplation) is the highest level of a passive prayer (that can stem from meditation) without the person working on some stimulus. It is about remaining in the presence of God without being occupied with any thoughts. The thoughts can even be disruptive. It is a state of some inner stillness and silence in the presence of God, who is always present. Given this clarification, we can refer to Lectio Divina as to an active form of prayer or contemplative reading. It can sometimes be referred to as active meditation. [3] In terms of psychology of religion and spirituality, it is worth drawing attention to experience from the practice of many Christians that is known in spirituality as “the dark night” (mostly associated with the Spanish mystic and theologian John of the Cross). It is a nega - tive experience manifested in an inability to meditate or reach out to God. It is not the kind of aridity that is commonly experienced by those who engage in contemplative prayer and meditation. In terms of Christian spirituality, however, aridity is a specific stage of spiritu - al life ( Říčan2007, 101). [4] Neuropsychology is a subcategory of neurosciences that draws on neurological and psychological research of the brain and describes the connection between the brain and behavior, and between psychological and neurophysiological phenomena in the norm and pathology (Kulišťák 2003, 30). Neurotheology is a branch of neuroscience that seeks to understand religious experience and behavior from the perspective of neuroscience. According to Newberg, neurotheology seeks to understand the relationship between the brain and theology and more broadly between the mind and religion without giving preference to either one of the disciplines (Newberg 2010, 1). [5] There was an interesting experiment involving London taxi drivers who had to memorize a great deal of information about the city’s landscape. The study showed that this daily activity affected changes in the brain morphology, particularly those related to memory. In this context, it can be assumed that regular practice of  Lectio Divina has similar effects and leads to changes in the brain (Green 2015, 26) .