Contemplation is a technique for the generation of meaningful insight. The results form contemplation are very different from intellectually understanding something. It is also different from looking up an answer and then being content with it.
|Insights cannot be looked up.|
As a society today we are used to finding every answer through google on our smartphones. But relative, rational answers leave us without the deeply satisfactory "aha"-moments when our minds have seen through a question on their own.
Contemplation reveals something that is beyond the rational mind. Here I want to take you through the contemplation process. Contemplation means holding a statement in your mind. Being with the openness that emerges, when an answer is not immediately available. When you contemplate, you are not thinking. You are not trying to come up with a verbal answer in your thoughts. True insight is different.
What is contemplation as a spiritual practice useful for? The spiritual path is about deconstructing false beliefs. It is not about learning a teaching and then adopting it as a new belief-system. It is about replacing belief with direct, true knowing.
The process of contemplation requires openness and the willingness to remain in the state of not-knowing. When you read a statement and do not the answer or whether it is true or not, you have to resist the temptation of the mind to jump to an early conclusion. What you are looking for is not a thought.
Remaining with the phrase and letting a true insight arise in the emptiness that you hold it in. This is what you are looking for with this practice. Contemplation is the process of being present with the difficulty posed by a question that cannot be rationally answered.
Read the title of this article again. The title is a phrase that makes a statement about the thinking mind. The tool that you are using all the time to navigate your experience. In asking questions such as "Who am I?", we are looking for absolute Truth. We are not asking, what is something in relation to something else. Or how does A behave when influenced by B. Those are relative questions, that can be explained rationally. In relative terms, some thoughts are truer than others.
Absolute truths are beyond all of that. Facts and information are not wisdom.
There is no such thing as an absolutely True thought.
When contemplating the above statement, your rational mind quickly runs into a wall. If there is no such thing as an absolutely True thought, then even that thought must be false. And if it is further true, then even that statement about the statement can not be true...
The thinking mind cringes. And maybe you start to feel a little uneasy. You want to get away from this state of not-knowing. But just be present and observe where the statement is pointing towards. Do not even direct your attention. Hold the phrase patiently in silent awareness.
Analyzing or philosophizing is not what you are looking for either. Those thoughts may arise in your awareness. Do not interact with your thoughts. Let them arise and fall away again. Then the true meaning of the phrase can germinate within you.
To gain the actual insight from this article you got to do the practice. The true meaning of this article is not in the rational understanding you get from reading it. This is a pointer. This is the easy part. Now you got to follow through and do the hard part. Contemplate and do not stop before a transformational shift in your experience of the statement has occurred.
But you cannot "do" the shift. When it happens it comes as a gift of grace. You can only provide the right circumstances and open yourself up to receive it.