I came across this today and it inspired me to delve deeper into something I’ve heard, but not really looked at closely before. I read some articles, but decided the graphic below summed up the main points they covered better than I could. The sites where I got the quotation and the graphic are linked below.
The job of Medieval monks, “more than anything else, was to focus on divine communication: to read, to pray and sing, and to work to understand God, in order to improve the health of their souls and the souls of the people who supported them. For these monks, the meditating mind wasn’t supposed to be at ease. It was supposed to be energised.
“Their favourite words for describing concentration stemmed from the Latin tenere, to hold tight to something. The ideal was a mens intentus, a mind that was always and actively reaching out to its target. And doing that successfully meant taking the weaknesses of their bodies and brains seriously, and to work hard at making them behave.”
From How to reduce digital distractions: advice from medieval monks by Jamie Kreiner, associate professor of history at the University of Georgia. Bolding by CtH.