Who am I? Where am I going? What is life? These are the 3 big questions that philosophers and mystics down through the ages have sought direct answers to through the practice of contemplation. These age-old techniques of contemplation remain relevant for self-reflection, but can also make a major contribution to ordinary, every day problem solving.
Also to mention that contemplation will be the special focus of our 2017 meditation retreat over the weekend of June 2 - 4, set amidst the delightful landscape of the Lower Hunter Valley, out from Cessnock - so details of that soon, but first
Thought for the day
Tell me and I will forget
Show me and I may remember
Involve me and I will understand.
~ Old Chinese proverb
Learning contemplation provides us with a reliable doorway into understanding and wisdom. Contemplation helps us to make sense of our life, our world, and our place within it. Contemplation provides the clarity and insight to make good decisions, and as such, naturally generates the confidence and commitment required to follow those decisions through to conclusion.
Getting to know ourselves, who we really are beyond the obvious facts of name, family status, job, address etc.: getting to know who we really are requires some introspection.
For many of us when young, life was full of plenty to do; plenty to occupy us; plenty to distract us. So for many, it is not until older age that we pause for some self-reflection.
True, for many this looking inwards to make sense of life and its circumstances is propelled by the pressures of adversity - major life changes, major health issues. But for a happier few, maybe it is just that yearning feeling that there is more to life than all that is obvious on the surface. Maybe the recognition of how extra-ordinary it is to be alive; how precious life is; and the resultant urge to make the most it all.
In truth, it is not just a cliche; what does it all mean?
So when this urge for the search for meaning dawns, how to proceed? Is the answer to read a particular book? Speak to a particular person? Go to a particular place?
Well all these things can be useful of course, but ultimately the answers, the truly satisfying answers, lie within. Contemplation provides a reliable means to search for meaning. To seek answers. To find our way.
And while contemplation has been taught in all the great traditions, in more modern times, these same techniques have proven to be highly effective for problem solving.
Speaking personally, contemplation was at the heart of my own recovery from cancer as I faced a myriad of complex questions and difficult choices in my quest for healing. More recently, contemplation has guided me in my personal, family and business life.
The contemplation techniques that you will learn on our retreat this year, lead to a clarity that is backed by a deep sense of your own inner wisdom. As a result, the directions that come with it, the goals that emerge from these practices, will feel very 'right' for you.
The insight we are talking of has as one of its features the confidence of certainity. It comes with a deep inner knowing and no doubt. No one else will need to confirm such an insight for you; it will be easy to feel confident about, easy to commit to and it is highly likely to work well.
LEARN MORE OF CONTEMPLATION ON RETREAT
During each meditation retreat we present, we cover the techniques of meditation generally, do a good deal of practice together and also give particular attention to a specific theme.
So in June, as well as having the opportunity to deepen our meditation together, we will explore the theory of contemplation and practice several key contemplation techniques - the problem solving ones, as well as the ones for introspection such as "Who am I?"
All accompanied by great food and great company. Deeply regenerative.
And a hint - speaking personally, this is one of the best retreats we present; I love this topic and have seen it help people profoundly. Highly recommended!
FOR FULL DETAILS, go to our 'What we do/Meditation retreats' page.