How Meditation and Contemplation Help

Meditating and Contemplating

In keeping with the theme of Being Spiritual what is the difference between contemplation and meditation? Both are powerful practices.

Meditation offers a daily discipline and the opportunity to access deep states of peace which is very potent and reminds us of the power of peace.

Contemplation challenges us to drop the assumption that we know the answers to any question or that there is only one answer. It encourages us to open more and more to a deeper understanding of any situation by using a quote, or a challenge as the subject for our contemplation.

Consider contemplating about your dislike of someone or yourself, or a grudge. Contemplation will teach you to bring them up into your awareness and be with them.

Instead of shunning them, or judging them, or deciding that you know that you were wrong, that you don’t deserve to let that go or to be forgiven, you allow it to move through you.

What does that mean? You just let it keep rising up in your awareness and you “be” with it. Like meditation, you standing back from it just let it be there and work in your consciousness.

We most often judge such experiences, saying, “That’s done. I know what it means; it’s over.” Or we shun it and push it away or project it on to other people. Contemplation lets the situation move through you. You might have this yucky feeling, this heavy feeling, this judgmental feeling, and instead of then ending the whole thing or guilt-tripping yourself about it, you stand away from it, and just allow it to be there and move through you.

I have a lot of compassion for the times we get stuck in forgiveness issues, please check it out on my site: www.ellensutherland.com or, write to me in the blog and maybe there are some areas that you are looking for a perspective that I might be able to offer.

Both practices are potent, though only contemplation can be carried with you throughout the day.

I look forward to hearing from you and peace to you.

Read transcript:

Show »

Hello and welcome. I am Ellen Sutherland and we are Being Spiritual.

This week the quote was from my book, from the Contemplation section of my book, “At Your Heart’s Pace,“ and it was about how we become blinded by the part of our mind that believes it knows, the “I-know” mind and how to use contemplation in its stead.

Instead of saying “I know” and immediately believing that you are right, you would pull something into your self and just be with it and let it work through you; let it work with you. Every time you come to a conclusion or an answer, you let that answer continue on. That is the idea (of contemplation).

I thought that it might be helpful if I talk a little bit about meditation versus contemplation. I think that meditation has a profoundly important place in our spiritual life to discipline our self to watch our thoughts; to stand back and watch our thoughts. To reach, even if only for moments, states of deep profound peace, is a very helpful and opening experience and it lifts our consciousness into higher strata, if you like, of awareness and energetic. So if our intention is to become Realized or Enlightened, our focus is to lift ourselves into higher and higher states. We lift our selves into being peaceful, being joyful, being happy, being without grudges, being without any of the negative fields of energy.

Contemplation, on the other hand, though not as obviously disciplined in that you don’t sit down once or twice a day, for a specific amount of time, no matter how you are feeling, and do your practice, do your meditation. Contemplation is more ongoing.

Contemplation allows you to weave your spiritual self and life into every aspect of your being. If you are in traffic, if you are at work, if you are mowing the lawn, what ever you are doing – shopping – whatever people do. You can be contemplating some aspect of your spiritual focus. You can be contemplating the very abstract ideas of unconditional love, for example and realize through contemplation that it is actually a potential in your life.

You can contemplate your whole dislike of someone or dislike of your self – some of the grudges – some of the parts of you that you are less than kind about. You can bring them up into your awareness and be with them. Instead of shunning them, or judging them, or deciding that you know that you were wrong, and so you don’t deserve to let that go or to be forgiven. You can actually allow that to move through you. What does that mean? You can allow it to keep coming up and being with it and like meditation, standing back from it and just letting it be there.

Most often what we judge, we either shut the door on it, saying, “That’s done. That’s what it means, it’s over.” or we shun it and push it away or project it on to other people, while contemplation lets the situation move through you. You might have this yucky feeling, this heavy feeling, this judgmental feeling, and instead of then ending the whole thing or guilt-tripping yourself about it, you stand away from it, and just allow it to be there and move through you.

Meditation has a wonderful place (in a spiritual life) and I encourage that kind of spiritual discipline and the whole understanding of realizing the peace that deep and profound meditation can bring you. Even nano-seconds of that peace, shifts and changes your consciousness.

At the same time, contemplation is a very powerful way to be spiritual, to live your spirituality. It is not something – you know in meditation or in Reiki practice we give our self a Reiki treatment every day, (unlike meditation or Reiki) it is not something that you stand up from and get on with your life. In contemplation you are always moving through the issue, or the understanding, or the wonderful saying, or whatever it happens to be – the concept – you always move it through you it is with you until such time as you reach a place of peace with it.

I hope that is understandable. I understand – that is what my work is – that sometimes it is tough to let go of the past. I have had bazillions of things to let go of because of how I lived my life. I wasn’t very wise. I didn’t start out very wise, let me tell you. I have a lot of compassion for the times we get stuck in forgiveness issues, please check it out on my site: www.ellensutherland.com or, write to me in the blog and maybe there are some areas that you are looking for a perspective that I might be able to offer. I look forward to hearing from you and peace to you.

About ellen

Ellen Sutherland shares her work through her sites: http://www.beingspiritual.com, http://www.ellensutherland.com and her book: "At Your Heart's Pace",
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