Meditation and Contemplation
Meditation and contemplation is an excellent topic to share with you, and I am excited to have our first guest blogger on YourStressIsGone.com contribute it! I have known Jan Wininger for 4 years now, and she has become a close and valued friend (along with her husband Dave). Jan is blessed with an impenetrable zeal for life, and she has the power to bless people with her positive attitude and enthusiasm. I recently learned, she is one of the few that is able to reach a truly deep state of meditation, and so I am so pleased she is sharing her thoughts here with us…..
We incur many kinds of stress from many sources. Naturally we try to lessen our stress. Some people do this by exercise, others may prefer listening to music, or being absorbed in a hobby, any kind of distraction. However successful those venues may be, they are only temporary. They don’t really solve the problem and may not decrease the stress in a meaningful manner. It is a natural reaction that we seek a way to induce peace and calm within ourselves. A balancing of the negative and positive energies.
“Meditation is the soul’s perspective glass ” -Feltham
“Meditation is the life of the soul; action is the soul of meditation; honor is the reward of action: so meditate , that thou mayst do.”- Quarles
Meditation is both calming and rewarding. Contemplation is rewarding also. These must not be confused.
To contemplate a thought or concept is to focus on its meaning. Contemplating is easier than meditating. To meditate, one must empty one’s mind. Contemplation is focusing on a thought. As you focus, different levels of meaning will emerge. You will begin to mentally associate the idea with the main thought, you will lead yourself to deeper insights and understanding. It is perfectly fine to think while contemplating. The key is maintaining your focus.
We are all on a spiritual path, however, we are all moving at different speeds.
Contemplation and meditation are not easy. They require self/honesty and removing our defences. We are conditioned and taught to be analytical, yet this is counter productive when contemplating and meditating. Contemplation and meditation are about being free to explore. Contemplation will lead you to a clearer understanding of your spiritual nature. When you focus on one thought, eg kindness – you open yourself up to associations connected with it. kindness – perhaps your mother, a friend, an act. It may elicit a feeling. It can be quite rewarding when you focus on the spiritual act of the word kindness. With more experience of contemplation, you will gain and develop a sense of inner peace. This can become a part of your daily routine!
More balance = less stress.
We contemplate everyday without knowing it! How do we contemplate? Begin by finding a quiet place to relax alone. Take your time. Focus on a thought and then think about on its responses and then let the responses multiply. Contemplating may evoke memories, insights. Try to contemplate only one thing at a time. If you don’t succeed the first time, repeat the same thought again at another time until you develop more insights. As you practice, your mind will stray but there still is a connection to the original thought. Contemplating should be pleasurable for you. Its purpose is to become liberated, and not hung up on the process.