Concentration Meditation Contemplation

by Eugene Halliday

In every meditational procedure there are distinct steps to be taken.

(1) We decide to meditate.

(2) We withdraw our attention from the things of the external world.

(3) We concentrate our mind upon some interesting subject.

(4) We analyze this subject into all its parts and study these parts and their relations with each other and with the whole of which they are parts.

(5) We hold the pattern of the whole analytical process together in an act of comprehension of its meaning. This is called contemplation.

Concentration means ‘with one centre’. It requires that we set up in the mind some single idea of such a kind that to it we can refer every other idea that we have. Such an idea gives us the power of unifying our mind, and so of bringing it into peace and harmony.

Meditation is a mental process in which we disclose progressively the meaning of our central thought; we must proceed by defining our use of the words we use to express this idea. Our mind compares ideas, notes their similarities and differences, grouping them together in patterns. It is precisely the discovery of a meaningful pattern that is the object of meditation.

Contemplation, unlike meditation, does not follow a sequence of ideas through time. IT CONTEMPLATES PATTERN. Contemplation is essentially silent; to attain it we must still every mental process. Then the pattern discovered by the meditation process will be able to have its own effect on our mind.

WHOLENESS of awareness appears only in contemplation, NOT in meditation. Our mind and soul is bathed in wholeness, a wholeness which transmutes itself into PEACE and HARMONY of being.


In each of the ideas and aids to meditation which follow you should be looking for a pattern. When you feel you have found that pattern, then hold it in CONTEMPLATION. This is most important. The time reserved for Contemplation should be at least half of the time set aside for your daily ‘meditational’ period.


To prepare ourselves for that transcendent awareness where, by the increase of sensitivity, insight and comprehension, we take up our rightful position as mediators between the Intelligent Source Power of our being and the material world around us.

[ Skrt. Samyama = Dharana + Dhyana + Samadhi – cp. Dhyana w. Gk. dianoia = ‘discursive reasoning’ ]