Saturday, October 02, 2010

Meditation versus Contemplation

In meditation, we notice what is.
In contemplation we create a structure to connect with something specific.

In meditation, the whole mind is invited in.
In contemplation, the mind is harnessed toward a need.

In meditation, nothing is left out.
In contemplation, bracketing "shuts out" the to-do lists, etc, in favor of the perceptual moment.

In contemplative photography, we are given a prompt and taught to be loyal to the Flash of Perception. In Haiku, another contemplative form, we are attuned to nature and given the tight structure of 5-7-5. In Ikebana, the teachings of natural form are used to channel the mind into arranging flowers. In Contemplative Prayer, one comes up with a word or phrase to come back to, making the prayer an opening rather than a request. In Labyrinth walking, in Yoga, the body is given a physical structure and the mind presents through that. In Contemplative Writing, the mind is told how long and what about, and shows up in that form.

An overall sense of trust and acceptance arises (eventually) out of meditation.
A gap in consciousness naturally arises out of the Contemplative Experience.

A lot gets processed in meditation, even if we don't wind up "thinking about" much.
Almost nothing gets processed in Contemplation, though direct connections and "breakthroughs" are common.

The two really do need each other to balance out, but either way is "A Way" to clarity.