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.
“Meditation makes you strong like a mountain, you become awake, strong, and humble too. This strength does not bring any Ego in you, because you become aware that the same witnessing soul exists in everybody, even in animals, birds, plants, rocks.
A rock has its own way of sleeping, tree has its own way of sleeping, and birds still a different way of sleeping, the method of sleeping is different but deep down at the core of every being is the same witnessing, the same God. That makes you humble, Even before a rock, you know that you are nobody special…. “
How in a deeper way one can come to this realization that has been described in the above paragraph, considering yourself as nothing special even in front of a rock?
Thank you for your question.
Have you observed rocks and pebbles? It is Ahnanda’s experience that they have a level of consciousness, but probably you have not experienced that, or you wouldn’t be asking this question.
Do you know how dolphins “sleep”? They sleep and are awake at the same time! Sleeping is a word that we understand from the “normal” human perspective, but in Life, there are so many variations! Remember this: Life offers so many varieties of things that humans reject or accept according to their own made up “filter.”
The words in that paragraph about meditation are merely pointers. “Meditation” is a word with so many meanings.
You cannot become what has been described in that paragraph. That is someone else’s experience.
Do you want to consider yourself as nothing special?
Obviously because you thought you ARE special. Perhaps the above paragraph comes from someone that you consider special, authoritative and you want to be that… “special” by being nothing special. 🙂
You cannot BE what you ARE not. But you can fake it.
All living beings are “unique but not special.”
Do you see the uniqueness of all?
What makes something from unique into special?
Your particular value system. Your needs. Your conditioning. Your attachments.
It is all about that “I” (you.)
To say “I am nobody” is considered by many, an insult. It is viewed as low self-esteem. In our society we are trained to be “Somebody” and to get high self-esteem through that “achievement.”
A “spiritual” person may get offended if insulted, but yet he says: “I am nobody.” Or to demonstrate how “humble” he is, he may be a floor mat for everyone. That is fake. Paradoxically, through that act of being “humble” he is looking to be someone “special.” Just like Christ, Buddha or anyone “famous.”
Enjoy the farce, but discover it in yourself. That is where everything starts and finish. That is “my” viewpoint.
I know that you are able to grasp what I am trying to convey without quoting me, without using these words as the “ultimate truth.” They are not.
Otherwise, here is a more accepted “spiritual” answer with spiritual “practices” and “Spiritual” keywords:
Do this exercise 5 times per day on an empty stomach:
1. Visualize for 2 minutes that you are a pebble in the street.
2. Meditate 15 minutes every day on your own nothingness and then breathe deeply 3 times while pronouncing the “OM” mantra.
3. Do this for a 1 month without failure and you will see improvements. The rock on the street and you will be one. There will not be a difference between both of you.
If you don’t get any results that is because you are not performing the exercises correctly. Do them again for another month.
We cannot become a paragraph. To be “nobody” comes by itself after we have reached the utmost point of being “somebody.”
So who are we, nobody or somebody? Both. That is the full experience. Enjoy the ride from point A to point B. That is all. That is the “effort,” the “purpose of Life.”
When you are “up” in a roller coaster ride, it is sure that you will go “down.” Otherwise, you wouldn’t have the complete experience. So it is in Life. It is a game.
Until December 1st! 🙂
Since our society is heavily influenced by continuous DOING, there is no possibility to unwind as a lifestyle, but only for a couple of hours a week if at all.
Some individuals will look for some “practice” (DOING) to allow them to stop for a little time before continuing with the “rat race.”
Others, tired of the mundane competitive experience are persecuted by their own consciousness to look for something different, something “eternal,” “spiritual” to “achieve.”
A society using the cliché “Time is money;” is doomed to live an unhealthy life. However, “time is money” will pay the bills to try to regain lost health later on. That is the irony.
When the “teaching” is to DO, and Life is judged based on the things that I DO; then BEING is left aside. BEING is no longer accounted for.
This is the most important and revealing realization: Our society values DOING over BEING.
That is why, we don’t know ourselves but we DO things to look like a role model.
What is the value of BEING, if I need to BECOME someone else by DOING things?
There is no value, until Life puts us in the situation when we need to “stop and take the time to smell the roses.”
Go, accomplish, become someone, believe that you are important, needed and admired… Conquer the world! (Paraphrasing a TV ad to join the army.)
Once you conquer it, there will be NOTHING TO DO.
What would you DO then? 🙂
DOING NOTHING, at the most superficial level means to stop acting.
As when we sit down for a few minutes to “meditate.”
However, even though we may be sitting; our minds are racing, DOING things. Have we noticed that?
Let me “fix” that: Let me put some soothing music. Let me give you a “mantra” to repeat 1000 times. Let me ask you to think about God, a flower, heaven, etc. to “control” the mind.
If our mind gives up, then SOMETHING happened: We had a wonderful experience. We become believers, although the trick may only work sometimes, we do not know when or how. It just happens.
For someone who is used to DOING things, DOING NOTHING is MEDITATION.
DOING NOTHING at a deeper level means to WITNESS.
Witnessing the “inside and the outside” is a deeper meditation.
But, DOING NOTHING while DOING, is the masterpiece of living Life, YOU ARE MEDITATION, although; you ARE NOT. Hard to understand?
Life itself is MEDITATION.
However, if we are not there yet, we could start with a 2 hour meditation class, twice a week until SOMETHING happens. No refills. 🙂
If we could just observe a thought as if it was the opinion of someone else, we could learn the art of knowing who we ARE through the conditionings of what we have learned.
It is that simple, but the idea that “my thought is mine, “ is destroying the opportunity.
“I wanted” to write something today. “I” did not know what to write. Most of the times “I” don’t. The thoughts are merely flowing. It would be a lie to say: “These are MY thoughts.” This awareness allows for what some call “creativity.” When “I” am not, there is… creativity.
It is not “I” being inspired, but merely catching the thoughts and putting them in writing.
Many times “I” get surprised that “I” could write “religiously” in 2 blogs. “I” wouldn’t be able to, if “I” thought that it was “I.”
Am “I” some sort of medium or channel? Everyone is. It is just that we don’t realize it.
We are “ONE.” Right? We like that “concept.”
That ONE is expressed in many ways through many people. That oneness is expressed through many individualities to go back to the source, ONE. That journey is what makes up Life.
A thought is what connects us with everything, to that changing oneness at any given time. It is only a connector but most believe that to be “I.”
OBSERVE the thought in a non-judgmental way, so it goes through “you.” That is all. Reject it or show favoritism to it, and it will stick around.
Both ways (rejection or favoritism) help to build our ego. We will build a personality framed by ideas of what is “good or bad.”
What is the source of that discrimination?
A 3-year-old child does not know what “good” or “bad” means. He learns though the conditioning of his parents. If he touches his genital, he may see disapproval from his parents, he may feel the rejection coming from them, their conditioning. That is the starting point.
In “Spirituality” for the masses, thoughts are separated as “good/bad, wasteful, neutral, etc.”
All that labeling is meant to give the seeker a way to “choose” what he should think.
It cannot happen.
Despite the efforts of the seeker, thoughts will come in unfiltered. However, the individual may impose a thought in top of the natural one, to make himself believe that he is “changing his thinking.”
That is an illusion.
In a world conditioned to DO things to “change the world,” we cannot DO a thing to change “our” thoughts from the root. Have we observed that?
As we ARE so our thoughts shall BE.
However, we do not know who we ARE, for we are busy DOING changes to look like someone else: The guru, the saint, the angel, the artist, the star, the rich and famous, etc. That is what we call to be “creative,” to copy someone who is accepted, deemed to be worthwhile, “successful.”
Every time we hold on to a particular thought, we become defined by it. It is that definition which will confine us, through the security and comfort of beliefs systems and ideas to preserve that thought.
Living through thoughts we forget what is “real.”
Are you connected with “social media”? through “virtual communities”?
That is the world of the mind and ideas. Because I write a note or post a picture to others, I believe that I am connected, that I have a relation with others.
That is not so. It is only superficial.
It is like watching the Ocean through a camera and being able to hear the sounds of Nature through a CD. There is no presence. No reality.
However, our minds have been trained to believe that this is the “real” thing. It is less satisfying and fulfilling, but for the mind; there is no difference.
It is when we go beyond the mind, when “reality” has a different shape.
Beyond the mind is “no-mind.”
That is meditation. That is to feel life rather than to verbalize it with another thought…
“According to Krishnamurti, meditation is Life. According to Osho, meditation is a technique, according to Tolle, meditation is….”
That type of comparison and quoting of “words of wisdom,” maybe what we have learned in school when writing a paper on whatever topic. It may sound scholarly, very Wikipedia like and scientific; but for those seekers who are in Life to be one with it, the above is completely meaningless. It has no value other than trivia, intellectual information.
Being one with Life is not about complying with our ideas of what we/Life should be. For example, if someone meditates, that is alright but do not be naïve in believing that what you are DOING is “true” meditation. It is just your own spin of it, your perspective even though you maybe following some Guru’s recipe to the dot. Meditation is what you believe in , what you have experienced, but not what you have read or heard.
Many times, followers will be copying the “words of wisdom” of their gurus, and using them as if those were their own realizations. In the scholar world, we give credit to the source of our “wisdom” if is not ours; but in “Spirituality” because there is no copyright on experiences, something is “yours” if you have experienced yourself. Then, talk about it, explain it with your own words. Say “in my own experience.” However, most like to say at this point, “the truth is….”
One of the most celebrated cliché phrases in “spirituality” is: “Every religion talks about the same truth, just in different ways.”
We are sold on that cliché, for it is nice to acknowledge every religion, or spiritual path as having the “truth.” We will make many friends, and sell many books through that phrase.
Nevertheless, whoever is saying that does not know.
“The truth” is not some story about redemption.
Find the truth in yourself.
Cryptic, huh? Similar to the cliché “know thyself.”
Here is the catch. Those who know cannot give more details about it. Why? Because it is a personal experience. Life will give those experiences to those who are ready. Every attempt to explain a personal experience to others by “enlightened” people, has evolved into a religion/spiritual movement thanks to unaware followers.
There is no “method.” No “solution.” No “practice.” Although, to get there, we may have gone through many methods, many solutions and many practices before.
Because we need the experiences to get us to the point of being ready.
Many spiritual books have been already written, many concepts have been followed to attain God, Salvation, self-realization, etc.
My “money back guarantee” is that none of them, can take us to our own truth. None of them.
It takes awareness, being awake, de-conditioned, “tabula rasa,” transparency, unadulterated honesty, etc. (many words to refer to the unexplainable) to get there. This is a process through Life experiences, not chapters of a book to be read and studied.
On this path of knowing your own truth, misinterpretation from others, misunderstanding from others, opposition from others are sure to come our way. That is the story of many “avatars” throughout human history: Imprisonment, persecution, even crucifixion.. but once they are death; they are remembered through the memory of confusing human writings. 🙂
The spiritual “marketplace” is open for buyers! The “office world” has expanded its domain from the mundane to the divine! 🙂
It is a big confusion out there. “Seekers” want something, but they don’t know what that is.
Yesterday, I was with a “spiritual group.” The leader started out reading D. Chopra. The theme of his explanation was “ I am the Universe.”
Evidently someone did not find that interesting and started talking about the “burden of the body and his desire to fly.” Then, someone spoke in a lengthy fashion about being “a flying yogi.” She could fly (levitate/ move around through astral body) while meditating and like her, there were others. Interest appeared, the “I want that too” took over. Finally, someone spoke about meditation and how Science has proven that “meditation is good for you.” This person informed the audience that “meditation can cure many illnesses and make you peaceful by setting up the day for you.”
As I open my email, someone is selling “Tantra.” It can cure ED (erectile dysfunctions) she claimed, and give fantastic orgasms… Not only that, it can also give “illumination.”
What are you looking for?
Do you want to claim “I am the Universe,” even though, your consciousness shows that you are only your ego?
Do you want to fly and say “I can fly, you don’t” and accumulate “flying miles’ points”?
Isn’t meditation the “new thing”? look at all the benefits! We don’t have to DO a thing! Just sit there, close your eyes, repeat a mantra, put some incense, some light music on…But remember to pay to “learn” the technique… better say, give a “Love donation.”
Is Tantra the “magic pill”? Look, you get it all! “Magical thinking” has never been so good! Just bring your plastic (Visa/MC) or your paper money to keep the magic going!
Whoever invented “$$pirituality” created the “elixir of Life.” People are looking for hope to resolve their apparent unsolvable issues. After scientific research is left aside due to its limitations, anything will do. This is good! It creates openness in individuals, it brings them hope and desire for quality of Life.
All of the above is part of the journey of many. Needed experiences that will make them grow, change, transform… but the question remains: What are you looking for?
Thus, go look around! Search for saviors, gurus, god, spirits, ego trips, blissful pleasures! You will learn a lot if AWARE, if not; your search will continue “improving”: Money, power, status, greed in this Life and the one after… Eternal Life!
Until awareness knocks at your door. Are you AWARE?
Who is searching? Isn’t it “I”? Who is that “I”? Aren’t you the “Universe”? Why go into the immensity of “out there” when you can go “in there”? Is there truly a difference between “out there” and “in there”?
Whenever you look in, what do you see? Is that you?
Now we are cooking!
The search is over when you find NOTHING rather than SOMETHING. Even though we may know this intellectually, we must go through the process to KNOW that the object of search does not matter. What matters is the process of searching. That is , Life experiences. 🙂
If you observe yourself, all activities performed are motivated by self-preservation.
That self-preservation could be physical, emotional or learned conditioning.
To eat is a physical need. To feel loved, an emotional. To win a competition, learned conditioning.
Fear appears when the mind foresees that one of those “needs” may not be available, and self-preservation is at stake.
Great fear means great “I-ness.”
Fear is not a “bad” thing. It just goes out of proportion through the stories stored in our minds.
There can be fear to relate with others. There can be fear of being in a relationship, there can be fear of change, of being different.
The “I” wants to remain unchanged.
In some extent, the “vices” are but the expression of utmost fear.
The mind could come up with ways to “regulate” that fear; but those are artificial solutions which are short lived.
At one point of our lives, we may need to sit down and recognize our fears and how those fears are an obstacle for new experiences.
The safety of fear is a conditioning of our society.
To trust Life is a level of safety which is unknown by most.
The “I” thinks that he can trust his control over things and people.
That controlling mind is a sign of fear.
Beyond religious tales on “salvation,” beyond society’s blurb on “morality,” there is inside us a big doses of fear, which is sugar coated with the word “security.”
Do you stay in an unhealthy relationship due to “security”?
Do you keep yourself trapped in a belief system for “security”?
The keyword to recognize is not security but fear.
Fear maintains the division, the separation. We fear what we don’t know, but to know means to BE and that is the journey to walk.
We ARE when there is not a bit of rejection in our hearts for something or someone.
It is not called acceptance, for to willingly accept means to cover our rejection with yet an ideal created by our minds.
We use the word “accept” to understand each other, but when we put that word in “practice,” it is fake. Our rejection will be there masked, sugar coated by a word, the mind.
There is a snake crawling. Did you observe your feelings? No?
Then, perhaps decided to “practice” acceptance?
Recognize fear. Nothing wrong with that. If that fear stays with you as a traumatic experience, as an ongoing rejection; then that is the perfect time to know a bit more about yourself, your emotions, your conditioning, your beliefs.
Do we call that spirituality?
Call it with any label.
As that fear dissipates, then peace appears.
Did we practice any meditation for that?
When your stomach is empty and you feel hungry, eating a little candy can give you enough sugar to mask that hunger.
That is meditation as a “practice.”
When it is not a “practice,” meditation is to live Life in awareness.
Whenever there is awareness, there is peace.