Applied Contemplative States
By Dr. Paul Anderer
“Contemplative Practices” or “Contemplative States” are meta-terms that encompass the study, practice, and idiosyncratic experience of meditation in all its derivations in daily life, from a single focus on diaphragmatic breathing to prayer. I will refer to self-observation, self-reflection with pause or slowness, with calm and serene approach, born of the quality of breathing and the management of it (self-regulation) combined with the ability to focus.
These practices increase the skills and capacity for concentration and quiet the mind in the midst of overwhelming distractions and highly automated actions (without awareness) that fills everyday life. The calm state facilitates exploration of our values, purposes and meaning of life; results in greater empathy and communication skills, reducing daily and cumulative stress; and ultimately in self compassion, compassion towards others and conscience.