The practice of reflection and contemplation deepens our understanding of a spiritual principle.

It allows the true meaning of a spiritual teaching to magically move from our head into our heart, and thus penetrate our entire being and way of life.

These days people are eager to receive many spiritual teachings and often zip right into meditation, skipping over the practice of reflection.  As such, it has sometimes been called “the lost zone of contemplation.”

We may have the good fortunate to receive powerful spiritual teachings.  But, what will happen if we don’t take time to contemplate them?  There’s a real danger they will easily slip through the cracks of our mind, leaving no permanent imprint whatsoever.

Contemplation is integral to understanding the real meaning of a spiritual truth, which is often multi-layered. It also helps us to bring the teachings alive in all that we do.

We are what we think

Today, I invite you to reflect upon these words from the Buddha.  You can choose a single verse or reflect upon them all.

“We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with an impure mind,
And trouble will follow you
As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart.

We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with a pure mind,
And happiness will follow you
As your shadow, unshakeable.

‘Look how he abused me and beat me,
And how he threw me down and robbed me.’
Live with such thoughts and you live in hate.

Look how he abused me and beat me,
How he threw me down and robbed me.’
Abandon such thoughts, and you live in love.

In this world
Hate never yet dispelled hate
Only love dispels hate.
This is the law,
Ancient and inexhaustible.”

from The Dhammapada

[Translation by Thomas Byrom, Shambhala, Boston & London, 1993.]

Is contemplation a part of your life?  Please take a moment to share any inspiration or insights you found in these verses.

If you liked this article, please share the link.  Thanks so much! Sandra

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