MEDITATION VERSUS CONTEMPLATION?

Q:  What is the difference between contemplation and meditation?

A:   Contemplation and meditation are about the inner work towards personal realisation of Reality.

I can’t answer from experience because my realisation of Reality was different. It didn’t come from special focus/concentration, contemplation or meditation. It was spontaneous.

I remember knowing at about five years of age that my destiny was to find my soul and return it to what I then called “God”.

Ten years later I was called by what I call MER (the Mystical Experience of Reality) to experience Reality for the first of many times, every year, until I was in my late thirties.

So focus, contemplation and meditation were not my path to Reality. Contemplation was a tool subsequently used to inspect Reality and human life.

Meditation, surrendering, never worked if I invoked it. It came as a fruit of my constant rededication to the  joyousness of Reality’s love, guidance, defence, encouragement and unending presence.

It’s been an effortless process, though not without its frustrations and futile attempts to take my destiny into my own hands now and again …

Being involved in humanity is not easy for a mystic.

(However, I’m much encouraged that leading scientists are more and more aware of the fundamental centrality of the mystic experience in humanity’s evolution).

Today, constant promptings continue to play a big part in the perennial inner work against lust, anger, greed, attachments and ego, the veils between humans and  Reality.

SEEKER?

As for you, it seems you’re called, you’re a Seeker.

That which you seek seeks you, so you might as well give in, because Reality doesn’t.

My recommendation would be for you to consider practising complete surrender, one bit at a time. That’ll mean a lot of sitting quietly, waiting, listening, resisting thoughts as they arise, staying blank, avoiding distractions. This is the inner work. It’s constant. It’s what you’re all about. Ultimately, nothing can separate you from your destiny, your joy and acceptance in Reality. You’ll never want to be just human ever again.

Follow this way and you’ll be taken through all the focus, contemplation and meditation you need …

I hope this is helpful.

Mysticexperiences.net

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4 thoughts on “MEDITATION VERSUS CONTEMPLATION?

  1. Good morning Keith, Only seconds after I printed both your mails I see your new post. Thank you! It is my intention to MAKE time today to sit in my sun room and think about your answers. Hugs dineke

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  2. The terms “contemplation” or “meditation” may mean the reverse (discursive vs. nondiscursive) in Eastern versus Western faiths. Discursive is a process of reasoning.

    From Wikipedia:
    Centering Prayer is a method of meditation used by Christians placing a strong emphasis on interior silence. The modern Centering Prayer movement in Christianity can be traced to several books published by three Trappist monks of St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts in the 1970s: Fr. William Meninger, Fr. M. Basil Pennington and Abbot Thomas Keating. The name was taken from Thomas Merton’s description of contemplative prayer (a much older and more traditional practice) as prayer that is “centered entirely on the presence of God”. In his book Contemplative Prayer, Merton writes ““Monastic prayer begins not so much with “considerations” as with a “return to the heart,” finding one’s deepest center, awakening the profound depths of our being”.

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    1. “Reasoning” is a spiritual ensnarement in my experience, Ron. Too human …

      In my reading of Merton long ago I got the impression he struggled against the pricks of being merely human. He never seemed to realise the error. Did this effect his spiritual progress? Do his books now seem mere artefacts of religious anthropology? It seems to me it is our own experience of Reality that matters. It seems to me we have to offer ourselves to It bereft of all other influences.

      All good wishes,

      Keith.

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