Contemplation – The Buddhist Way
The Buddha said that our mind defines who we are. If we are to find a lasting way to peace, fulfillment and joy, it must be through our minds. For us to find fulfillment, there has to be, sooner or later, a shift from the material and even the corporeal, to the psychical, with a subsequent relinquishing of even the mind. There is evidence now that focussing on what we deeply value for ourselves and for the world brings not just lasting contentment but even better physical health. Contemplation is a way of repeatedly investing attention on what brings us truly joyful and truly meaningful existence. Contemplation isn’t like thinking. It is a powerful and profound way of centering our whole being on that which creates a state of unconditional joy and causeless absorption. Absorption and immersion to be truly lasting have to be independent of our physical circumstances and can with experience, be attained with a repeated returning to a focus on the futility of our dependance on centres, physical or mental.
Here at Insightopen, we discuss a novel paradigm that derives from Dzogchen, a school of buddhism. It centres on meditative contemplation. Contrary to popular belief, a calm state of focus can come even from contemplating the perturbation in our lives. In fact, willing contemplation of what is immediately disagreeable is proven to bring greater psychological flexibility over time. That is just to say that contemplation is not about feeling good, it is a practice to create a psychophysical milieu that lets us experience unconditioned, unthwarted being despite obvious suffering.
Skillful contemplation is a blending of reason and intuition. It is an analytical process that stops short of being discursive. The goal of the contemplative process is causeless absorption and the way to achieve this is not through a negation of the details that inform our lives but through alternatively focussing on and sifting through the schemas that we tend to emphasize to ultimately and repeatedly reach a way of living that is centerless.