Exercise: Contemplation

Reference: A Scientific Approach to Meditation

When mindfulness is practiced, thinking becomes contemplation. Problems are solved by looking at them non-judgmentally and recognizing the relationships. One looks around to get the missing information instead of trying to “figure it out”.

Meditation Exercise:

Contemplation

Purpose:

To contemplate thoughtfully.

Pre-requisites:

Complete Exercise: Name and Form.

Instructions:

In this exercise you contemplate thoughtfully. You may do this exercise while sipping coffee in a café or strolling along a river. You may even find a place where you can sit comfortably for a while without being disturbed. Then patiently observe the world go by.

Prepare yourself as in earlier exercises. Observe the environment and the people in a casual, easygoing manner. Observe name, form, characteristics and all possible associations.

When you perceive some anomaly (inconsistency, disharmony or discontinuity) become very alert. Do so even when explanations are provided. Look more closely around the subject area that seems out of place and focus on what does not make sense.

Be non-judgmental and follow the trail of what continues to be puzzling. The trail may take you to some childhood question that never got answered, or to some confusion in school that never got resolved. Apply all aspects of mindfulness to these unresolved questions, confusions and emotions. Consult references from books and Internet as necessary.

The trail may also take you to some traumatic incident that you feel emotional about. Let the attitudes, emotions, sensations and pain purge themselves out. Follow through with what does not make sense to the end of the trail. Exhaust all such trails until the missing piece is found.

Continue this exercise for at least 20 minutes. You may repeat this exercise as many times as you wish.

End of Exercise:

When you can contemplate thoughtfully by following all trails until they are exhausted, then this exercise is passed.

NOTE 1: At any point you may return to a previous exercise if you feel that you need to complete it.

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