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Meditation vs. Contemplation: What’s the difference?

with Kelly Deutsch

Hey lovely humans!

Kelly here, with another burning question.

What’s the difference between meditation and contemplation?

It’s different than most people think!

Here’s what the mystics have to say - in under 3 minutes.


Keywords and Tags:

  • Mysticism

  • Divine intimacy

  • Spiritual journey

  • Contemplation

  • Sacred

  • Neuropsychology

  • Ancient wisdom

  • Modern science

  • Embodiment

  • Ecstasy

  • Divine union

  • Transformation

  • Spiritual practice

  • Presence

  • Search for meaning

  • Theology

  • Gnosis

  • Esoteric knowledge

  • Interior life

  • Stillness

  • Love warrior

  • Union with God

  • Infinite longing

Books /Websites


00;00;07;03 - 00;00;35;27

Kelly Deutsch

Welcome to Spiritual Wanderlust, where we explore our interior life in search of the sacred. Many of us will travel the whole world to find ourselves but here will follow those longings within to our spiritual and emotional landscapes. In each episode, we'll talk with inspiring guests, contemplative teachers, embodiment experts, neuropsychologists and mystics with a blend of ancient wisdom and modern science, along with a healthy dash of mischief.

00;00;36;10 - 00;00;43;14

Kelly Deutsch

Will deep dove into divine intimacy and what it means to behold. I'm your host, Kelly Deutsch.

00;00;53;09 - 00;01;17;08

Kelly Deutsch

A number of you have asked what the difference is between contemplation and meditation. Are they the same thing or how are they different? If you've hung out in spiritual circles long, you may have heard these terms you use interchangeably. And while they are both forms of mental prayer, there's one big difference Meditation is where my effort predominates. It's my quest.

00;01;17;12 - 00;01;42;16

Kelly Deutsch

It's where the mind is active. You might think of the reflection of Lexy or Davina or the imagination of Ignatian meditation. The focusing on your breath or the mantra and releasing and centering prayer or the rosary. It's taking a walk in nature. Listening to music. Contemplation, on the other hand, is where God does all the work. God quiets the soul You don't do anything.

00;01;43;04 - 00;02;11;13

Kelly Deutsch

You're no longer reflecting, focusing, doing anything with your mind. It's more of a gaze a silent love. My favorite shortcut for that is wonder. You can't produce it. You can prepare for it. You know, you could go on a hike or head to the ocean. You know, where you're likely to encounter beauty, get grounded in the earth. But whether that hike sucks, all the words out of you and leaves you awestruck.

00;02;12;09 - 00;02;36;21

Kelly Deutsch

That's not up to you. Contemplation might feel more like simple admiration when you look up at a tree on fire with these crimson leaves or appreciate the chatter of a stream, it might feel like a gentle presence or a stillness a tugging interior, or maybe a longing. But it's often so subtle that we don't even realize it at first.

00;02;37;00 - 00;03;02;17

Kelly Deutsch

And the transition between the two between my efforts of meditation and the simple stillness of contemplation, that's where The Dark Knight of the Soul happens. That's what we'll talk about in another video. So contemplation emerges from meditation. We constantly ebb and flow between the two. Our efforts divine gift My mind is thinking again, and then I'm quiet again.

00;03;02;20 - 00;03;25;18

Kelly Deutsch

Sometimes it's shorter. Sometimes it's longer. But it definitely doesn't mean that God loves you more or you're holier If you have these longer moments of stillness as if going to the ocean and the number of waves indicated how much the ocean loved you, you know, versus somebody who went there on a still day, they don't correspond to. Strictly speaking, we don't practice contemplation.

00;03;25;26 - 00;03;51;10

Kelly Deutsch

Contemplation practices us. We practice meditation. That's where we start, where we open ourselves and practice being receptive to the holy. If you'd like to learn more about how to practice that, about being receptive, check out my video, How to Pray Contemplative Prayer. And if you found this video helpful or clear, we'd appreciate a link or subscribe tells the Internet gods that they should share it with more people.

00;03;51;19 - 00;03;54;03

Kelly Deutsch

Catch you on the next video. Thanks for watching.

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