Contemplative spiritual practices lie at the heart of what we do at Brooks, so it seems to right to open this blog with some content about what this word—this activity, “contemplation”—involves.
The word “contemplation” itself is not met with much these days, either in speech or in writing. When it is used, its basic meaning seems to be a process of thinking or ruminating about some subject--“turning it over in the mind.'
Some chosen focus of attention, and intentional persistence in that focus, is indeed involved in every kind of contemplative practice. But our favorite definition of contemplation at Brooks is a very old one that adds in heart, namely, “the having of respect, regard, or consideration for something.”
We believe that “contemplation”—contemplation as a spiritual practice—is inseparable from “consecration,” which means “the making something or the designating or recognizing of something as sacred.”
What could be involved in making something—or recognizing something as—sacred? Is it even possible to “make” something sacred? If so, how? And if something simply is sacred, how do we “recognize” that it is?