What is true contemplation?
With contemplation one is more likely to reach enlightenment and some
contemplation is necessary in the path to knowing my true nature. Even
though ultimately we cannot guarantee enlightenment by acting a certain
way or doing a certain practice, there is a much higher likelihood of direct
experience (satori) and full realization when contemplation is regularly
engaged. When I make true contemplation a way of life and closer than
breath itself, I am dramatically increasing my likelihood of awakening.
So what is contemplation and what is true contemplation? Contemplation
itself is based on the past and it is based on knowledge. If I contemplate my
existence or the nature of a bird or another human being, I always start off
with what I already know. I may contemplate if I am different or the same
than the flower in front of me and notice how the flower effortlessly blooms,
just like how my body effortlessly functions without my doing. I need
knowledge and I need a link to the past (memory) to engage in this
contemplation. So contemplation is dealing with what is already known.
Inquiry deals with the unknown. Inquiry is the hum of “I don’t know”
(for more detail you can read my article, The power of I don’t know). As we
need knowledge to even begin to contemplate, inquiry is the unknown and
is the byproduct of the intelligence that brings about all of life. So if I
inquire, I am opening to that which I don’t already know. I am surrendering
to “I don’t know,” I am surrendering to the unknown.
True contemplation is a perfect union of contemplating and inquiry.
Meaning, that even though I am accessing my mental archives to create the
contemplation, I am also fully surrendering to what I don’t know. This is
what I refer to as true contemplation. In enlightenment, the contemplation
of “who am I” leaves forever, but the hum of inquiry, of “I don’t know,” is
omnipresent. Learning how to marry the contemplation and the inquiry is
invaluable. This marriage I refer to as true contemplation.