Sit upright in a quiet place. Dedicate the following time to God and direct your attention, for example, to the center of the palms. Whatever thoughts and images come to you, you take with a feeling of joyful anticipation but let it go immediately and return to the center of your palms. During the Jesus prayer this contemplation is extended by thinking of the name of Jesus (exhaling) – Christ (inhale)  or visualize his image. Stay unintentionally – you don’t have to achieve anything and take at least 2 hours a day. Relax, just look and try to perceive the presence, in all its diversity: breath, body, odors, noises, colors, shapes.

We usually meet the black shield that surrounds our mind after an initial quiet period. Unpleasant feelings filled with memories from the past come up. It is good to notice this, tolerant and yield to watch until we can say: “Yes, they are just there – they may continue to do so” There shouldn’t be a feeling of resentment towards them! Feelings must be able to stay there while taking in the present.

Background & Impact

Hardly an exercise promotes the spiritual growth of man as much as the unintentional awareness. This exercise trains the ability to concentrate to a high degree. We become aware of how much we are constantly flooded with thoughts and pulled away from inner silence – thoughts full of worries, desires, hopes and much more. From this we learn to keep our thoughts and feelings in deep focus on one thing to be able to increase and the power of the moment. Meditation is the development of alertness and attention.
When you come closer to contemplation, we understand that we can exist without having to change.

When we meditate, it is an advantage to develop a willingness to suffer: to accept every suffering, knowing that it was given to us for our purification, so that we come closer to the essence. Before the clear “yes” can come from our core, we have to look at the dark, “No” in us. Just like you have to let passengers from a tram exit before you can let new ones enter. If we look at our “no” unintentionally and wait for what is coming – then the “yes” will come by itself. Pain is like a wound. We devote all necessary attention to it. We wash, disinfect and bandage them. But then we can go back to work and let God do the healing. It will hurt a little, but we no longer need to deal with it. It heals by itself. It is the same with our spiritual wounds. Once we have looked at them honestly and without judgment, they heal by themselves. When we remain in the present and in perception, healing comes to us naturally. Like this you can always quickly assess whether you are at the right thing: Ask yourself whether you’re at your highest self or your at ego with its problems, desires, thoughts and feelings.

Father Franz Jalics has written an excellent textbook on the subject of contemplative meditation. Most of the thoughts abut this exercise come from this book.

This post is also available in: German