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.
“ I am breathing,” we say.
In fact, there is only breathing. The “I” is not doing a thing. Breathing just happens.
What makes it tick?
That is a question without an answer. It does not matter. It is an utterly meaningless question.
Do we see that?
I could come up with every single theory. I could come up with every single belief and every single concept to explain breathing, how it happens and how it begins… God could give you the “answer,” but still an “answer” is not what is important.
What is important?
That breathing exists. Acknowledge it. It is an experience. When we are aware of that experience, we could begin our “knowledge” about breathing.
Knowing its length, its depth, its relaxing properties, as well as how emotions appear when there is a lack of flowing movement in our breathing.
“Knowing” is Being it.
Then we could observe “our” stomach, lungs, thoughts, feelings and posture, become aware completely of that which we call “I.”
Isn’t that an amazing, divine being?
Are you in awe of experiencing a body through senses, thoughts, emotions and feelings through this human experience? Are you in elation when you recognize the “I”?
No? It is the same old thing to be aware of that stuff?
We take for granted what it is, a wonderful experience.
It is through this “falling in love with your divinity,” how there could be an appreciation of another. You are unique and so is that one.
It is through appreciation of that divinity how a magical source of inspiration appears.
Why is inspiration so important?
Because it drives our life. It teaches us without a willingness to teach. It is no longer about following to become someone. It is no longer about the greed to “have it,” to “be it” just to feel important.
Inspiration is the nutrition of the soul.
Look at the Ocean. Isn’t that a source of inspiration?
Isn’t that the moment when appreciation is born all by itself in a natural way?
That appreciation is necessary to relate with everything in Life.
“Being good” is no longer a moral duty or an obligation, because of a promise, a code of conduct or something external.
That inspiration is natural, subtle, gentle. There is no effort or learning required.
Become immerse in the stillness of the Ocean. That is called “contemplation.”
As our world of movement meets stillness, then stillness will appear, all by itself.
The mind used to moving from place to place, only needs to be united with the stillness of the Ocean to taste that sensation beyond the perception of an “I.”
It is at that point, when we meet Oneness.
“I am everything and everything is I.”
In that wonderful feeling we may need to peel off the language barrier, the “misunderstanding” which separates:
Let us take away the “I.”
“Am everything and everything is.”
It is in that nonsensical phrase, full of grammatical errors where we could find the deepest meaning of Life.
No need to look somewhere else.
A reader asked to elaborate in the following excerpt of a previous writing (“Sensual pleasure in spirituality.”)
“Thinking separates the subject and the object. It is in that separation when “loneliness” arrives. However, not only loneliness arrives but everything else that we believe to be “me.” Neediness, emotional traumas, addictions, taboos, beliefs, etc.”
Someone who I exchange sharings about topics related with ego; referred to me to one of the books by Alan Watts, “The Wisdom of Insecurity.”
He said, “I found [it] to be very powerful, especially his statement that experience, I, and the present moment are all the same.”
Do we see the “craziness” of saying that experience, the “I” and the “now” are all the same?
How many people experience that? Do we “experience” all of those things to be the same?
What separates the “I” from the experience? It is obviously a thought. Thinking. Isn’t the experience of the “I” the same as the “now”?
Do we see that there is a Totality, which has been dissected into parts by our wonderful thinking?
Could we see inter-beingness?
There is a huge, enormous difference between “seeing things intellectually” and experiencing them.
Intellectually, we could make sense as when someone describes the flavor of a meal. We could separate the different ingredients of that meal, list the quantities needed of every ingredient and even learn how to cook them using the same temperature and the same timing every single time; however, if our taste buds are unable to taste, then what happens?
Exactly the same as having intellectual understanding and not experience. A meal is meant to be eaten.
It could go down to the stomach or we could taste it, enjoy it… just like life.
Mathias, the wise tree; mentioned to Ananda at one time.
“Knowing comes through contemplation.
When you observe and respect the rhythms of Nature and learn to be part of it, then your movements will be accordingly harmonious. “
Walking, breathing, feeling.
It is in that contemplation of Nature and not in reading books how the intellectual stuff vanishes. With that; our continuous thinking which brings separation.
When you are fully aware that everything is “you” and not just a part, the “I,” or the “soul” all by itself, then that concept will be let go by our own experience of the Totality.
The “Drama of life,” which is the “now” and the experience of that Drama of life are the same. The experiencer, which is the “I” or the soul or some other label cannot be separated from everything else…
Do we see that?
How could we feel alone?
Because that consciousness of Totality hasn’t been experienced or if experienced, it is for a limited time.
It is individuality false, a mirage?
No. It is just another state of consciousness. Someone who could go from one state of consciousness into the other; obviously is not alone when alone.
The experience of Totality brings paradoxically, individuality in Totality. There are so many species of beings with a particular function in the Universe. Individuality will bring Totality as well, once that experience of being an individual cannot be tolerated anymore. In other words, when that “ego” is unbearable. That means suffering.
Collective consciousness is moving at this time into what has been labeled as “Oneness.”
However, we could do the pretty talk or we could experience it …away, in the little corner of silence… or we could experience both.
“Nothing is better than the other…” just different, for the one who appreciates every flavor/ experience that life brings, after all that flavor is “you.” 🙂
Thank you for your question!
I will explain from the “dictionary” of my experience. Meditation is to heal the self by complete awareness of the being. This meditation is not just to sit down, but it can be done, “while walking and moving around.”
When we are learning the “feel” of mediation, we can perceive thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations coming in the way. Through concentration, we can be “single pointedly” in our purpose, which is to “feel” the self. Then, the rest becomes background noise as long as you can hold that concentration or when that concentration becomes “contemplation,” that is the awareness and experience of the blissful self. Those “stages,” could be just summarized on consciousness of the being, the self; that is soul consciousness. That brings healing, changes and that is self-transformation in itself.