The Google definition of contemplation is: 1) Profound thinking about something. 2) The action of looking thoughtfully at something for a long time. 3) Deep reflective thought.
As we will see, Contemplation has nothing to do with thought and the mind.
The dictionary could give a deceiving meaning for lack of inner observation.
Beyond Meditation, there is Contemplation.
Meditation as taught in mainstream is about the mind. To focus the mind, to control the mind.
What should come out of the “technique”, is a moment of tranquility as the mind has been slowed down if for a few moments, from its own “rat race.”
I am amazed as how little we know about the mind. I am not talking about some theory, some explanation. I am talking about “real knowing” that is, to be aware of it.
The mind is a filter. That filter is full of conditioning based upon what we believe to be the world. We look at the world through that filter. What is in the mind becomes our reality.
The mind is used as a repository of data, a hard drive; just like a computer. What is recorded in the hard drive becomes our “Operating System”, the way we perceive the world, Life. Thus, we rely in that filter to “make sense” of the world.
Question: What happens if the hard drive is empty? That experience is Contemplation. It is a temporary “format c:” (In computer jargon.) In that way, we practically could know that we could install different Operating Systems in the hard drive. Then, we could be open to Observe beyond the parameters of our own conditioning. This is a great tool for deconditioning.
Can we observe the world, a tree in Nature, without the filter of the mind, without the “little voice” telling us that we have a “tree” in front of us?
Can you look at the world without spoken language in your mind?
How could we be aware if the mind continuously interrupts with chattering?
We forgot where we put the car keys. Why? The mind interrupted with some unrelated thoughts, the moment we left the keys by the night stand. Are we aware of that?
Why is contemplation important?
Because “Oneness” is only a talk until we have the experience itself of not being the mind. Oneness is in no-mind but meditation is in mind, there is an “I” meditating.
The Greeks had a word for “Oneness.” That was known as “Henosis.” When we Observe without mind, there are no thoughts, no divisions, there is no “I.” That is the description of Contemplation by Plotinus (Greek philosopher writer of the “Eneidas”) and the one that I subscribe to.
We are certainly individuals, but at the same time, a Totality. Oneness with all, when we become aware of our “nothingness.”
The above will not be of consequence for the majority caught up in being an extraordinary “I.”
These individuals want the reassurance to be themselves in this Life and the next one. These are the individuals concerned in resurrecting in front of “God”, to be “saved” for the afterlife, and in being someone in this Life by achieving all the human made up games, to be “better” than others.
That is the way most understand Life. It is a fight for supremacy of “I” rather than living Life.
However, FEAR will be with them throughout their lives and especially when approaching death.
But Meditation is “good enough” for them, as the “I” stands solid, unchanged through the mind.
To be fearless is not “achieved” through the mind, for that is a state of no mind.
That is Contemplation.