Contemplation is primarily awareness of the present and to the stirrings of the Divine within and around us.  It is the process of awakening, of developing habits of noticing, of experiencing ourselves as part of a larger whole, and of penetrating the illusions beneath what we identify as “self” and “reality”.  While contemplation includes silence and solitude, it is not opposed to action in any way.

Thomas Merton describes contemplation as “the highest expression of [human] intellectual and spiritual life.  It is that life itself, fully awake, fully active, fully aware that it is alive.  It is spiritual wonder.  It is spontaneous awe at the sacredness of life, of being.  It is gratitude for life, for awareness, and for being.  It is a vivid realization of the fact that life and being in us proceed from an invisible, transcendent, and infinitely abundant Source.  Contemplation is, above all, an awareness of the reality of that Source.”