Meditation, a method of contemplation
Updated: Feb 21, 2019
Meditation is merely one of many methods that fall under what are referred to as the Contemplative Practices.
Meditation is one of many ways, practices of building awareness, in turn discipline and focus. Many people get caught up in the mysticism and surface level awareness, knowledge they have of topics. This in the case of meditation, yogic practices leads to missing the whole point of the practice. From my understanding through experience and self-conducted study and research, meditation includes understanding yourself- from how your habits have formed, facing up to your repressed/suppressed emotions- why they are there, addressing those reasons etc. Understanding yourself entails building the habit of self scrutiny, self judgement -questioning everything that pops up in your mind and getting to its root source. This helps untangle the many habits we've formed subconsciously throughout existence. But its not limited to that.
To my understanding, the point or purpose is to learn to be aware, fully conscious not just when your sitting in the lotus position in a monastery or a meditation studio but in every aspect of your life- from action to thoughts. Thoughts don't disappear like magic, they're there but you are building the awareness, discipline and focus required to not give value to them and be selective about them.
A few practical implementations in everyday life would be for e.g.
When in conversation having the ability to listen intently, attentively to someone's words as a neutral observer and not being a selective listener who pays more attention to the thoughts running inside their head as the speaker talks.
When learning the guitar, I on focus the sounds of the strings- is it ringing properly, what does this chord sounds like, are my fingers positioned properly...etc.
Learning to discipline your self to not give into your indulgences whether it be a habit of dependence, an obsession with material things or an habit if over eating.
All in all, it is a method of learning to be an astute observer, valuing existence, building the capacity to exist moment by moment- a manner of living life. No preoccupation with past nor future and unaffected by the words, judgements of others simply existing, appreciating and making due with what you have with full awareness.
Just think about the number of eggs that die off every time women under go the biological phenomenon we have termed menstruation. Consider the millions, billions, trillions of sperm cells males have "sacrificed" for purpose of sexual stimulation over procreation. You, I were initially two separate parts, that came together one each of those millions, billions, trillions of eggs and sperm. But you, lucky you, some how gained consciousness- you exist, you're alive that in itself is a huge privilege. Many of us fail to realize this.
As with learning a guitar or another language the sooner you start in life in practicing meditation the better you get with time. Its about training our mind.
Ancient knowledge and practices should be implemented based on the context of the modern world- humans, being just a species of advance monkeys, have a tendency to be dogmatic- inclining to convention, monkey see monkey do. The world around us, even we physically are changing every moment but we deliberately choose to stagnate our minds, our understanding of things.
From the data points I've collected, observing myself and others as well as reading books on behavior, psychology- we have a tendency to incline to convince and comfort and we'll come up with a thousand and 1 excuses to NOT do something rather than get out of our comfort zone and take, make a conscious effort to grow. Instead choosing to be gullible, dependent, stagnant and immersing ourselves deeper into the cesspool of self-indulgence generation after generation.
To my understanding, there is no point to existence whether you're an ant or a human but in being human you have the capability to understand not only yourself but the larger universe around you- the only difference between the millions of species that existed, still exist and us. I consider existence of this form to be wasted if not spent in the pursuit of curiosity because life is merely a moment to observe. We barely exist 70 years on avg. the universe and even the rock we stand on has been existing for millions, billions, trillions of years.
Please make a conscious effort to pickup and adopt a Contemplative Practice. Realize its immense benefits through implementation, experience. Take a step to living a more sound, in that way, a better life.
A few source for reference, I urge you to conduct further self study on the matters addressed above and in the sources below:
Comment on Meditation and Yoga:
However, these practices are only a few of the many practices that fall under the overarching term of contemplative practice. These are practices that help cultivate and ultimately transform the inner life, bringing balance, wholeness and well-being to both the inner life and outer experience. Cultivating an authentic and meaningful contemplative life can come from formal practices such as meditation but can also come from experiences with nature, art, music, poetry, relationships and many other things. Everyone is contemplative but not everyone relates to formal practices such as mindfulness and yoga.