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. Shouldnít this really be called contemplation? Perhaps the distinction doesnít 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. Donít 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 oneís 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).

60 comments

Jeanne R
Jeanne R9 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R9 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R9 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R9 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R9 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Miranda Parkinson

well said Dr Chopra!

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Margaret C.
Margaret C4 years ago

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?

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Thorn Briar
Past Member 4 years ago

Thank you

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Martha Escalante
Martha Escalante4 years ago

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.

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Elena T.
Elena Poensgen4 years ago

Thank you :)

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