While there is some overlap between meditation and contemplation, they are very different. Contemplation involves pondering over ideas and concepts while meditation is about letting go and focusing on the present moment. The former is an intellectual process, and can be practiced anywhere, even when you are not in a quiet place. The latter requires more discipline and commitment, and should only be practiced with the guidance of a trained professional. Both are equally valuable and can lead to profound transformation in one’s life.
While meditation is practiced for its calming effect, contemplation is a practice in which one concentrates on an object without any external stimulation. Contemplation also helps cultivate a peaceful mindset, and it has both psychological and physical benefits. Both require more practice, but contemplation often leads to greater well-being and happiness. While meditation is a powerful technique that helps us reduce stress, contemplation helps us focus our attention and become more peaceful.
While contemplation involves the focus on an object, affective meditation focuses on an object outside of the self. A spirit that easily contacts God is often described as an affective one. In this case, the soul looks silently at the grandeur of God. Affective meditation, on the other hand, is more devoted to the process of communication with the divine. As the soul matures, it becomes more affective.
The difference between meditation and contemplation lies in the way the practice is carried out. Contemplation is the process of contemplating a spiritual text and meditating on it. The difference between contemplative and religious meditation is the intent behind the practice. It requires concentration and focus on breath, intention, and worldview. As a result, contemplative meditation allows people to deepen their communion with God. When combined with prayer, the benefits of both forms are immense.
Research shows that meditation can help lower blood pressure by as much as 30%. It also reduces anxiety. Many people practice meditation as a way to reduce anxiety. A few minutes of meditation in the morning can help make a huge difference in a person’s day. The benefits of meditation cannot be overstated and are timeless. So, the question is: Which one is best for me? And how do you find the time for this practice?
One method, called Practicing the Presence of God, was popularized by the 17th century monk Brother Lawrence. It was revived in the twentieth century by an evangelical missionary. It involves a 15-minute running conversation with God during which thoughts, feelings, and perceptions permeate the mind. The goal of this form of meditation is to be in the moment. There is no right or wrong way to practice meditation.