Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What Is A Contemplative?

I sometimes refer to myself as a contemplative. Some of you may be wondering, “What is a contemplative”? Contemplation and the idea of being a contemplative is usually thought of in the context of spirituality and religion. It is my belief that you don’t necessarily have to be religious or someone that attends church to be a contemplative. In Buddhism, the word “Buddha” means “Awakened One”. In my mind a contemplative is an awakened one, regardless of your personal spiritual beliefs, or at least someone who is in the process of waking up. The waking up I refer to is a spiritual awakening, not a physical awakening. So what does it mean to be “awake”? A person who is spiritually awake is a person who notices things. A contemplative person prefers life in the slow lane. A contemplative person not only notices the roses along the path of their life, they take the time to stop and smell them. Most people rush through their lives. They have tunnel vision and their concentration is focused on getting from one place to another and going from one task to another. They rarely pay attention or notice anything in between. The contemplative person is awake and aware. Little escapes them. They see what most fail to notice. A contemplative person will find joy in a sunrise when many don’t even realize the sun has come up. A contemplative person seeks moments of silence within the noise of the world. A contemplative person understands that the journey is the destination. The practice of mindfulness helps one to have a contemplative attitude. Being where you are and doing what you are doing encourages wakefulness and awareness. As you go through your day today, slow down, be in the moment, and see what you notice that may never have caught your attention before.

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