Contemplation & Seed Thoughts
Basic meditation instructs students to contemplate parts of their body, the breath, heartbeat, some object or numerous other things. The purpose of this is to train the student to gain the ability to focus his attention to the point that he can be aware of things that eluded him in the past.
Those types of contemplative exercises do little to gain useful knowledge, but they do strengthen certain abilities that will be useful as he travels the path of liberation.
One of the most productive uses of this strengthened power to contemplate and focus is the introduction of seed thoughts.
A seed thought is some type of concise thought expressed in a few words or phrase on which the student contemplates to expand the thought to gain further light and understanding.
If you contemplate your navel you’re not going to be blessed with a lot of enhanced understanding, but if you contemplate a phrase with deep meaning, such as “the truth will make you free” you may discover significant new insights.
The interesting thing about seed thoughts is that they do not have to be particularly deep, for any word or phrase can branch off during contemplation and take the contemplator into interesting vistas of thought.
I discovered this way back in my junior year of high school in a speech class. I was fortunate to have a creative teacher who was willing to challenge our young minds.
During one class he began by having each student write down one word on a piece of paper. He gathered up all the words and placed them in a box and stirred them up. He then said something like this.
“Today you are each going to pick a random word out of this box and then you are going to talk about that word for five minutes. If, for example, the word is rock, you will just have to use your imagination and talk about that subject for the allotted time. This exercise will help you with public speaking as you will often have to use your creative mind to keep the public interest.”
He then picked several nervous students to come forward and draw a word. I was thankful that I was not among them. As the exercise progressed I noted that some students did surprisingly good and others really stumbled. I had to give the students high marks on creativity on some of the words they came up with – some very difficult from whence to make a speech.
I can’t remember the word I received, except that it was a difficult one on which to base a speech, but after struggling through the allotted time I felt somewhat satisfied with myself that I was able to make a speech out of almost nothing.
I really enjoyed that exercise and was hoping the teacher would have us do it again, but he never did.
One thing I learned from that attempt was that a word is more than a word. Each word is like a leaf on a branch that leads to another branch and then another. That was my first brush with seed thoughts – though I did not know anything about the concept at the time.
I discovered that one can take random words such as rock, water, sky, run, jump or tiddlywinks and make a short speech. But later I discovered something much more important, and that is additional contemplation on certain words and phrases over a period of time can lead to some very stimulating insights.
I have said numerous times that contemplation is the highest form of meditation. Instead of letting the mind go blank and seeking peace and formlessness the seeker finds a phrase, idea or thought to plant in his mind. Instead of nothingness leading to bliss and peace he experiences a stirring of thought leading to higher thought.
Liken your consciousness to a pool of water. If there is too much stillness stagnation is the result. If it is always in motion then the water will never be pure but always mixed with impurities.
It takes the right mixture of stillness and motion to produce the purest water.
It takes the key of judgment in the seeker to balance the stillness and the motion of thought to see the highest light, feel the fullness of love, and to be consumed with the fire of Purpose.
To use the principle plant a seed thought in your mind and heart, and feed the thought with contemplation and meditation. Observe the fruit that comes forth, and accept that which is sweet and registers with your soul.
A seed thought is basically any thought, sentence, phrase, or idea that you choose to focus on with contemplation over a period of time. Because all words are symbols of some truth all seed thoughts have the capacity to generate higher realization.
Some teachers have emphasized having a monthly seed thought and this is not a bad idea, but I recommend having at least three working out within you at all times.
(1) A seed thought around a great mystery that may take you a lifetime to solve.
(2) A seed thought around an idea that will probably bear fruit within 30 days.
(3) A seed thought around a concept that you will reveal light in the present time.
There are many seed thoughts available. Some of the more profound scriptures are very good ones to consider such as
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1
“The last shall be first, and the first last.”
Or, maybe something from Shakespeare:
All the world is a stage
Or, some popular phrase used by the common people such as:
“You can’t put the genie back in the bottle.”
Fortunately, we have an unlimited source of seed thoughts available. Each seeker just has to find the ones that are right for him or her.
Words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew, upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.
Copyright 2015 by J J Dewey
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