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Contemplation or Meditation?

Contemplation or Meditation?

Jesus wanted others to contemplate God and the spiritual life. He wanted their minds to turn in the direction of the soul, which is where the line between meditation and contemplation blurs.

Commonly we hear someone say, “I’ll have to meditate on it,” meaning that some idea or situation needs deeper reflection. Shouldn’t this really be called contemplation? Perhaps the distinction doesn’t need to be drawn too strictly. In deeper contemplation, the idea or image you begin with leads to silence.

Contemplation begins with a thought that attracts you; as you consider it, its attraction expands and deepens. As it does, a feeling emerges from the idea or image that you began with. Whatever the feeling, if you stay with it long enough, a change occurs. By subtle degrees the feeling becomes impersonal. It is no longer suffused with personal associations and memories.

Something may be glimpsed behind the screen of thought, a sense that you had entered a deeper reality. Next, you may sense a hidden presence that cannot be described but can still be felt. Grief may give way to joy. Awe may give way to ecstasy, wonder to a sense of lightness or floating. These changes signal the approach of the soul. They transform an everyday idea into something rarefied and pure.

This process is spontaneous and takes place according to its own timing. As you read the verse that follows, sit for a few minutes to reflect on it, letting your mind go where it will. Don’t try to force the words to create an immediate shift inside.

And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

Whatever you feel, let the words stay with you for a while. Let them incubate, and be patient. A result will come in time.

Adapted from The Third Jesus: The Christ We Cannot Ignore, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2008).

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Deepak Chopra

Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D. continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over 49 books with 12 best sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than 35 languages with more than 20 million copies in print.

55 comments

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10:09AM PST on Jan 29, 2013

well said Dr Chopra!

12:07PM PST on Jan 22, 2013

Anne M., you are the main one who needs to "over-think" this article. If you could see beyond you desire to get through it so fast, you would understand what he is saying.

If you would just be still a moment and think about what he is trying to tell and show you, you would have a better understanding of your problems, feel you joys more, and maybe come to understand what other people are really telling you.

What, are you afraid of what you might find it you try this?

5:47PM PST on Jan 8, 2013

Thank you

2:09PM PST on Jan 6, 2013

Andy, I agree with you. There is also a biblical system called tithing, meaning you give one-tenth of your salary to the church(whichever yours may be). That way you'll be blessed, not necessarily only monetarily. Meditation and Contemplation are basically the same, I say. And to those who are "too busy" to read the bible, it's a sad thing, but it's their choice and their life. It's strictly between them and God.

1:31AM PST on Jan 6, 2013

Thank you :)

11:49PM PST on Jan 5, 2013

Nice ideas, thanks.

11:13PM PST on Jan 5, 2013

Jesus Christ taught that for every dollar you give God He gives ten dollars back. This is by way of rich spiritual gifts, rather than a great investment for money lovers. You give money to God by giving it to the poor, and early Christians gave all their money to the poor so that they could have all the spiritual gifts in order to be Saints. If Deepak Chopra wants to become a Christian Saint then he is going to have to give all his wealth to the poor, what a great way to start the New Year. Only those few that do follow this path are worth listening to when they preach.

11:09PM PST on Jan 5, 2013

NONSENSE - '' EXCLUDING '' THE PART ON JESUS, AND GOD...

10:26PM PST on Jan 5, 2013

I THINK MR. CHOPRA REALLY '' OVER -THINKS '' EVERYTHING IN LIFE... BETTER TO SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE, NOT CLUTTER YOUR BRAIN WITH ALL THIS NONSENSE...

9:24PM PST on Jan 5, 2013

Daydreaming.

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