Carlos Castaneda mentions this practice in “The Second Ring of Power”. Don Juan uses it instead of the power plants to make “explode” la Gorda and the other female warriors. In my lineage this activity is of fundamental importance and was developed and refined to its extreme consequences.
Contemplation is the art of maintaining attention. It is one of the most powerful and effective techniques at our disposition to regain the totality of ourselves, and to do it in a sober and disciplined way. Contemplation is a perfect substitute for the use of power plants, it is actually much better. In contemplation we obtain controlled movements of the assemblage point without suffering any damages. Instead, we increase our inner force and the necessary discipline to withstand the encounter with infinity.
But what is it all about? Basically it consists of using our perception in an unusual way, with the aim to accumulate inner silence and intensify the attention until we exceed a certain critical threshold. Beyond this one obtains the maneuverability of the assemblage point. What makes contemplation really special is that it only becomes effective if we are able to interact with the world, to collaborate with it, if we are disposed to let ourselves be helped by the Sea of Awareness in which we are emerged … and if we know how to navigate it. Contemplation starts from the premise that awareness is the result of the world’s pressure on us; that is we are conscious due to the world. Furthermore, contemplation instantly heads for a fundamental aim: to correctly re-align our inner emanations which due to our self-concentration are recurved towards themselves. Thus, we once again find ourselves aligned with infinity.
To make it more clear, I describe the basic exercise. This is simply carried out by watching any desired object, preferably something that doesn’t react energetically to begin with. Better to avoid water, trees and bushes, fire, clouds … You need to look at it using the center of the visual field without fixing the gaze, but moving it slowly within a limited area. The core of the exercise consists in succeeding in maintaining the attention, in interrupting the inner dialogue and applying your whole self to the act of looking at what you are viewing. Every time you find yourself concentrated on your thoughts instead of on the act of looking, you need to re-channel the attention in order to bring it back to contemplation, until you manage to maintain the attention in the desired direction at your own discretion. To help yourself you need to use the eyes in a non-ordinary, continuous, precise way.
This is the basic exercise, the preparatory one, later one moves to more and more complex techniques (also during walking), including the sense of hearing, touching and finally … the will, which is the power and perception center located around the umbilical area. As soon as one succeeds in unifying the perception in the will area it is possible to start “seeing” the world as energy. Obviously a lot of practice is needed to reach this result.
Contemplation is also applied in stalking and dreaming.
In the field of stalking one exerts a special form of contemplation, called “permanent contemplation”, due to which we can maintain a continuous state of intensified attention, no matter what we do. In this state the energy flow involved in our daily activities shows clearly and hence the mode in which we can intervene in daily life to save our energy.
Furthermore, contemplation is a key technique for the art of dreaming. By using the appropriate contemplation techniques it is possible to enter the dream directly, that is maintain awareness during the transition from the waking to the dreaming state, or succeed in “dreaming being awake”. This is a very special state that can manifest in two directions: dreaming the ordinary reality or dreaming a new world. Dreaming the ordinary reality means to sustain the world by means of the will instead of the intellect. In this state we see the connections of intent and can act as a consequence, benefiting from the predominance of the energy body. Dreaming a new world means that we have been granted access to another alignment. In this case the totality of ourselves is no more in the ordinary alignment.
A PRACTICAL SUGGESTION
In the morning, as soon as you wake up, as a first activity do a contemplation of a few minutes, but of maximum intensity. Enter completely into the act of watching what you have chosen as a subject of contemplation, stop the inner dialogue even for a few moments. This radically modifies the intent of the day; instead of starting passively, incurring the flow of the thoughts from the very beginning, we send a different signal, evoking the development of an unbending intent.