The answer is both (will expand later, I'm working right now)
We all know that making the mind still is the central activity in meditation; therefore, it must be a good thing.
I was really inspired by your second part of the question
“Which is most important in my training, contemplation or stilling the mind?”
In my opinion, and experience, I found that the combination of the two activities is a perfect partnership in working within consciousness.
Here is a good way to try and visualize the situation.
Try to see your consciousness as a large pond where the water is constantly disturbed by the wind and falling objects, such as leaves, causing a constant pattern of ripples on the surface.
Now this pond theoretically represents the universe as you witness it through your five senses, and it extends in all directions into infinity with you at the center of observation.
Observation is the key in this particular situation, because you have to see that you are the observer of your chosen limitation (choice) from an unlimited potential (source) that is surrounding you.
Now here is the paradox and we have to get our head around it somehow.
You are the observer of this pond and the pond is you.
It is a feedback loop with the endless question, which came first, the chicken or the egg?
So how do you catch your self being responsible for what is being created through you.
You need to see what is happening and how it is happening through you.
For this you need clarity of consciousness (at least when you are conducting experiments with your consciousness)
In a chaotic pond you cannot see the effects of the ripples that are disturbing the surface; there is simply too much going on.
So you have to completely calm everything until you have a still pond with no ripples whatsoever.
You have to take you mind down from the chaos….down from the worries….down from the responsibilities…down from your own identity….until you are just the observer looking at a still pond
You have to bring yourself to a complete standstill in your mind and be comfortable being there for the next part.
Now drop a single pebble of your choosing and watch the ripples created by this single pebble, upon the calm water of your pond; watch it as it expands in a wider and wider and wider circle all the way to the edges of infinity.
What is the pebble?
It’s a single clear vision, a Thought or a Dream that which you wish to participate in.
When you have a single ripple in a calm pond you are holding a clear vision of an un-distracted thought and you are following its expansion to its fullest potential as you see possible from your standpoint.
In this state of mind you will have no problem holding your vision for 17 seconds or longer.
What you are doing with your mind is no different from a cat coming to a complete standstill before pouncing on its prey, or a sniper completely halting his/her breath before taking the shot.
But you can only do this if you have practice and familiarity with the Calm quiet thoughtless capacity of the mind and the Clear, confident knife edge of a finely sharpened power of concentration.
Both of these skills are developed in activities such as meditation, martial arts, fine arts, music, model building, reading, daydreaming etc.
Then you can apply it in real situations.
The next time you find yourself in a crisis, picture your mind as a pond and completely still your attention (like I said, you need prior practice to be able to do it in any situation), then take the cause of your crisis and drop it in the middle as a pebble and observe your choices of action unfold, while still maintaining calmness within you.
With practice, you will be amazed at how you will stay calm while everybody else around you starts to go crazy and you may even be accused of not being empathetic enough.
With practice you will see that Calmness of the mind creates an ideal environment to focus on the things you want.
An apt comparison is the difference between an ordinary light bulb where the light is scattered with a poor range, and a laser beam where the light is highly linear (not scattered) giving it an unbelievable range of travel.
On a final note, with the practice of being calm, you can also catch yourself worrying about things, which you can then examine and let go.
In the past when you worried you didn't have a point of reference from which you could catch yourself.
Calm self observation is that point of reference.
I believe there is much more to it than just the two options asked about......... but of the two, I definitely pick stilling the mind.
When the mind is still we get a deep calm and a profound state of inner peace and well being.
If you take it a step further and still the mind with meditation the benefits are even at a cellular level. You can actually improve your physical health by meditation.
When I contemplate things I notice that I just get caught in circles...
I say if you want to expand your level of consciousness, meditation after physical exercise is the way to go!
answered 09 Nov '10, 03:16
Daniel, I believe it is about taking control of our thoughts. Throughout the day ,many thoughts go through our minds, some are welcome and others are not. Practicing to still the mind, allows for the individual to maintain focus on what is desired and to exclude what is not. We have to be watchdogs of our minds because there are so many things out there competing for our attention (TV, radio, other people). It is easy to become distracted but if you practice to train your mind to focus only on what you desire, your life will be more successful.
answered 09 Nov '10, 00:06
Are you able to still your mind from all thoughts, if so, more power to you, but if you are still having problems with stilling the mind, them let the thoughts come, and go, until you can feel the stillness without the distraction. If you dare to focus on the thoughts coming in, and going out, you will loose your ability to remain in the stillness of your meditative state.
In essence, stilling the mind is extremely important to meditating effectively, and you are better able to connect to your higher self to get answers, and insights more readily!
answered 11 Nov '10, 05:05
Inactive User ♦♦
I wish only to point out that the original question was, "What do I gain from stilling the mind from all thoughts?" Then the question changed into one that asked which was better, stilling the mind or contemplation...The original question has not been answered, and I would like to ask for an answer to that particular question! What IS to be gained from stilling the mind? Only the Traveler provided a partial answer to this...I am hungry for more than what he had to say.
If I re-posted the question, Barry would have closed it for being a duplicate!!! What a Catch-22!
answered 31 Jul '11, 22:48
To answer your question Jai, I'd say a higher state of awareness is gained which provides us with the ability to see things from a much broader perspective. If something is not within your current state of awareness you cannot change it. By stilling the mind we make room for something way beyond this dimension to come into our awareness...we tap into the field of potentiality where all possibilities exist so we access creative solutions and intuitive answers that would not otherwise be available when we rely purely on our involuntary mind. When we begin to access this field, the ego begins to relinquish control and life begins to flow as we start to trust more and more the Source from which we came :)
answered 31 Jul '11, 23:25
contemplate sharpen your focus and your mind and remove the veils of the mind. dhyana or samadhi is what you will get. experiance and enjoy.
has for stilling the mind or slow down your though to observe them and understand the meaning it will come with practice. experience and enjoy.
Which is most important in my training, contemplation or stilling the mind?
All is important. What you "gain" is nothing.
(You shed all) and the stillness is the nothing.
In a journey of all things the place of nothing is a state of mind.
It is hard, it is worth all the treasures you have laid up within your heart.
Surrendering all, you become nothing.
answered 06 Aug '11, 13:55
According to Dr. Frank Kinslow in The Secret of Instant Healing, as discussed here, Pure Awareness is where the healing takes place. It is out of the realm of movent and waves and vibrations, it is stillness, peace. I highly recommend reading the book and also getting the others by him at the same time, The Secret of Quantum Living and Beyond Happiness, I am still waiting for the other two in the mail now. He teaches several ways to get to Pure Awareness and how to initiate a Quantum Entrainment for others. In the question at the link above, there are links in the answers to the books and some audio downloads. I suggest going through the thread and listening to the audios.
Here is an exercise I came up with based on what I learned from the book. Put the palms of your hands together. Close your eyes. Feel the hands touching. What do you feel? Do you feel a pulse? Are they hot, cold, sticky, dry, etc...? Don't name the feelings, don't try to think or not think, just feel the hands together. Do this as long as you need to and as often as you think of it. Read the book for more information. Love and laughter
answered 13 May '12, 09:41
Stilling the mind of all thoughts to me is a very risky exercise. Am I to tell my mind to be stilled of all thoughts but also tell it to continue on being fully active with its daily activities, like keep the heart ticking and blood flowing through my body. Would not the body become lethargic and lose its power by stilling it. A safer way would to use concentration to control activities of the mind in the direction you desire it go.
answered 12 Dec '11, 18:42
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