INITIATION TO Contemplation

 

A correct understanding of Contemplation

It is different from discursive meditation and other forms. In Contemplation we aim at:

  1. 1.      God experience and not simply at thoughts or emotions about God. This requires that we

have

 

  1. 2.      An awareness of His presence.

Whether we are conscious or not God is present everywhere, always and in all realities. If we become conscious, then we can experience God. It calls for the realization of

 

  1. Our wholeness
    Most of the time we are in a state of brokenness, fragmentation and scatteredness or dissipation or distraction. We need to realize our wholeness constantly. It is brokenness and not wholeness that can be presumed. This wholeness is realized at 3 levels: Persons, Community and the Universe.

a)      Personal oneness and integrity.

b)      Community fellowship and

c)      Cosmic harmony.

It is simultaneous experience of

  1. Universality and unity, totality and simplicity.
    The human person wants to embrace all persons and realities in a single vision and heart as a whole, in a single place, at a single moment, not part by part and in succession but simultaneously in a single look and experience.

For this we need:

 

  1. 5.      Recollection

We need to gather and regather our broken and scattered selves into one; likewise our various organs, senses, dimensions, levels and layers. We have to gather the broken pieces together around one point that is:

 

  1. Concentration or Convergence.
    This has to be done from within if we want to be free and in self-control. For a free person controls and unifies himself/herself from within and on his own.

 

  1. 7.      Interiorization.

By this process one goes ever more to

 

  1. The depth/core/ground of self.
    This is called centering and centering one’s life. This brings one to the state of
  2. Samadhi
    In the depth one rests in passivity/stillness/silence, state of being-which is sharing in God’s own life: Saccidananda (Being, consciousness and Bliss)

The fruits of which are

Peace or wholeness (Santi) Joy or Bliss (Ananda) and Light or Glory

In short, contemplation is to experience God. In the sharp, sustained and intense awareness of His presence in total passivity and emptinesswhich our God fills and where He alone is the sole agent.

 

Stages of immediate preparation:

 

Control/withdrawal/Calming of the senses.

Concentration

Contemplation proper. Climax and result of Contemplation: Passivity and emptiness.

Techniques (Actually what should be done)

  1. Place and atmosphere. Inside the building to facilitate concentration.

Outside, in the open air (cosmic symbols)

  1. Silence Interior and exterior- Total. (No turning of pages, slamming the door etc…..)
  2. Posture (External unification) Maintain the same; remain motionless but relaxed.
  3. Gesture: Maintain the same
  4. Fix the gaze: with eyes open on an external focal point or with eyes closed on an internal focal point or the third eye…….
  5. Calm the senses: External and the internal especially the MIND, the HEART and the IMAGINATION.
  6. Breathe: Regularly/ normally
  7. Concentrate on the breath by fixing the attention on it.
  8. Integrate the “Mantra” with the breath.
  9. Arrive at and maintain a state of passivity/stillness/total silence.

Here beings the Contemplation proper. The grater the passivity and deeper the silence, the sharper will be the experience of God. Duration of silence: 10 to 15 minutes. Minimum: 30 minutes average: 60 minutes ideal.

Conclude the period of contemplation with:

a)      An Act of Adoration

b)      The chant: Om Santi, Santi, Santi (Peace, Peace, Peace); vibration.

CONTEMPLATION IS A LIFE-LONG AFFAIR. The way we do Contemplation is the way we live. Both are one and the same, in a dialectical relationship.