Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry: When Knowing Becomes Love
“Contemplative practice means, among other things, becoming practiced in solitude. This does not mean brooding or self-indulgent musing, but instead practicing a special form of recollection of the past, mindfulness for the present, and envisioning of the future in a manner that is enlivening, clear, and insightful. We learn to be properly solitary, and to carry the depth of our solitude into the world with grace and selflessness.” — Arthur Zajonc
When we turn to meditation, we are turning toward renewal, peace, and insight. Initially, we may take up contemplative practice as a means of tapping into the abundant resources of the mind and heart that bring serenity, but the meditative journey leads further—to the place where wisdom and love unite.
In Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry, Arthur Zajonc offers an overview of the meditative life, weaving practical instruction together with the guidance and inspiration of the world’s great teachers, from Rudolf Steiner to Rumi, and from Goethe to the sages of Asia.
Zajonc reminds us that an ethic of humility grounds all practice, and that care of the soul is the basis for sound spiritual reflection and understanding. The author carefully describes each stage of the path and includes many recommended practices.
Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry is the fruit of many years of personal practice and teaching. Arthur Zajonc developed his orientation toward meditation through working with hundreds of university students and professors, as well as with contemplative groups in the U.S., Europe, and Australia.
C O N T E N T S:
1. Overview of the Path
2. Discovering the Door
3. Finding Peace, Cultivating Wakefulness
4. Breathing Light: A Yoga of the Senses
5. Words, Images, and Encounters
6. Contemplative Cognition
7. Contemplative Inquiry
About the Author
Arthur Zajonc, Ph.D., is the Andrew Mellon professor of physics and interdisciplinary studies at Amherst College and is currently the director of the Academic Program of the Center for Contemplative Mind, an organization of 1500 academics supporting the appropriate inclusion of contemplative practice in higher education. Dr. Zajonc is the former General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in America, a cofounder of the Kira Institute, past President of the Lindisfarne Association, and a senior program director at the Fetzer Institute. He has served as scientific coordinator and editor for several dialogues with the Dalai Lama: The New Physics and Cosmology, held in 1997 and published in 2004, and “The Nature of Matter, the Nature of Life” (2002, unpublished). He was also moderator for the 2003 MIT dialogue, published as The Dalai Lama at MIT (2006). Dr. Zajonc is the author Catching the Light (1993, 1995), coauthor of The Quantum Challenge (2nd ed. 2005), and coeditor of Goethe’s Way of Science (1998).