One of the skills that has really benefited me on the path of awakening is contemplation. Contemplation is different than meditation. During meditation we are pay attention to the true Self (awareness). Whenever attention drifts back into thought, we use Self-inquiry or another means to bring attention back to awareness.
Contemplation has a different purpose. Contemplation brings clarity to the mind, so that the mind can operate with wisdom instead of through ignorance. Contemplation provides the opportunity to learn from within yourself, to be guided from within yourself and to receive vision from within yourself.
Let’s take advantage of this third review to enhance our contemplation skills. That’s really what the review instructions are pointing to when they say, “Read over the ideas and comments that are written down for each day’s exercise. And then begin to think about them, while LETTING YOUR MIND RELATE THEM to your needs, your seeming problems, and all your concerns. PLACE THE IDEAS WITHIN YOUR MIND, AND LET IT USE THEM AS IT CHOOSES. Give it faith that it will use them wisely, being helped in its decisions by the One Who gave the thoughts to you.”
The words I have written in ALL CAPS above are words that point to HOW to contemplate. Notice there is a passiveness in contemplation. Instead of thinking hard about the lessons, you read them softly and let insight come to you, like a gift.
What I will do each day during this review period is share different tips to help you learn the art of contemplation. I will start today with a quote written by Regina Dawn Akers. This is something that came to me one day while I was contemplating a quote in The Seven Steps to Awakening. So, this quote itself is a fruit of contemplation:
“Contemplation is not thinking or trying to understand. Contemplation is silent diving into the restful, devotional, open heart of the words, and there being; just being in the state of contemplation without seeking to understand or get answers.” ~RDA
If contemplation is new to you, try contemplating my quote above along with the paragraph I have quoted from the review instructions, and then practice contemplation with today’s lesson. Don’t put pressure on yourself. Just BE WITH the words with the intention to receive additional clarity or a deepening of clarity. I recommend writing down what comes and reviewing it several times throughout the day. It may come in words, as a picture, as a vision or as a feeling. If it comes as one of the latter three, consider making a few notes that will remind you of the experience later.
Regina’s Personal Contemplation of Lesson 111:
Miracles are seen in light. Darkness is the personal point-of-view as seen through ‘my’ thoughts, ‘my’ prejudices, ‘my’ fears, ‘my’ judgments, etc. Miracles are not seen in darkness. They are seen in light. They are seen through openness, through loving all.
Miracles are seen in light, and light and strength are one. This must also mean that darkness and weakness are one. My personal point-of-view is weakness regardless of how smart or right it may feel. Thinking of ‘me,’ ‘what I want,’ and ‘how I want it’ is a position of weakness. Lay weakness aside each time it is noticed, and strength is naturally received.