Wednesday, August 10, 2016

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 232

This is the daily exploration for Friday, August 19, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF HEAVENLINESS

+ Continuing with our exploration of the 12 styles of the Mandala process, we now move on to the style of the Contemplative or Meditator. Edward Bastian writes: 

The Contemplative or Meditator is drawn to quiet and solitary introspection and seeks to discover the truth within or through communion with the numinous.

·         Do you long for inner tranquility, focus and insight?
·         Are you comfortable spending considerable time alone in silence?
·         Are you called to discover truth and meaning through deep introspection?

THE CONTEMPLATIVE enjoys being alone and absorbed in his or her own thoughts, sometimes for minutes, sometimes for hours or even days. It is a manifestation of that aspect of our consciousness
that enjoys observing the world around us and reflecting on the truths revealed through our life experience or the wisdom of the world’s great philosophers, scientists and spiritual teachers. The terms contemplation and meditation are defined differently among various spiritual traditions, so I will offer the following definitions so that we are all on the same page.

Contemplation generally refers to thinking deeply and thoroughly. From a spiritual perspective, it refers to a state of consciousness that lies at the border between pure, non-conceptual meditative insight and the conceptual mind that seeks to name and define ineffable spiritual experience. It is characterized by tranquil concentration and profound observation of both the conceptual and the meditative mind. Contemplation is the state of consciousness through which we travel back and forth between the sacred and the profane, the divine and the worldly.

Meditation, on the other hand, has a slightly different connotation. It refers to a wide variety of practices that bring the mind into a state of focused tranquility and profound insight. Meditation enables the mind to become tranquil, one-pointed, blissful and absorbed in a non-conceptual focus on the Ultimate Reality, however that is defined within a spiritual tradition. Often, meditation is described as a ‘non-dual,’ because in its state of absorption there is no distinction between the subjective and objective elements that occur in normal perception.

+ Since we have already explored the practices of stillness, silence, solitude and simplicity on this amazing journey, we will not be exploring this style for more than this post.  I urge you to keep working on these essential practices and possibly write about them and share your experiences here.  I cannot overemphasize the importance of a consistent practice of contemplation, meditation and prayer.

+ The 12 styles of Mandala: Creating An Authentic Spiritual Path: An InterSpiritual Process by Edward Bastian are listed in SE206.

+ The 7 steps of InterSpiritual Meditation by Edward Bastian are listed in SE21 and SE213.  They are described fully in his book, InterSpiritual Meditation.

+ To get inspired and illuminated by Ed Bastian, I invite you to set aside some time for these videos:  Seven Steps of InterSpiritual Meditation (11 minutes) | 15 minute introduction to InterSpiritual Meditation and the Mandala Process | 2 hour lecture & conversation

+ Spirituality & Practice offers abundant resources on a variety of contemplative practices including: The Practice of Being Present | 12s Gallery on Being Present | The Practice of Attention | 12s Gallery on Attention

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Heavenliness page.  Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Heavenliness” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html

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