Mindful contemplation might be referred to as reflective meditation. However, you do not need to sit in a special position and close your eyes to reap benefits. In fact, thinking in a reflective manner while walking can be especially productive.
How to begin
Begin with the intention to focus upon a specific subject, and allow time for the thinking process to take place. Perhaps twenty minutes might be suitable to start with, since you may find focusing for longer periods difficult at first. Eventually, after practicing, you will discover that you can engage in reflective thinking in a mindful way for as long as you want.
Gain clarity about the exact topic at hand by forming a sentence to describe the situation. For instance, “I am going to contemplate the meaning of life” is too general. However, “I am going to think about what life means to me” is much clearer. Such a beginning to thinking could stimulate more thoughts about what your priorities in life are and how you can make beneficial changes to your lifestyle.
Mental mind maps
Mind maps usually include a main theme, out from which related topics branch, like the creation of a spider’s web. In a similar manner to a mind map that is physically produced, reflective thinking stems from one thought that leads to another related thought.
When you are mindful, you are actively attentive. Instead of allowing your brain to go off topic, you gently guide it back to where you left the last related thought.
As you contemplate a main theme, you may find that unwanted thoughts line up for your attention. They do not relate to the present moment, and can throw your thinking process off course. Nonetheless, fighting them makes them stick around. Therefore, when they arise, simply acknowledge them before returning your attention to the central topic.
Getting insightful thoughts to flow
If your mind seems blank when you reach a certain point, and you are not progressing, relax, take deep breaths, and enjoy the environment around you. Pressure stifles your muse after a while. To get ideas and insights to stream freely, you need to be calm instead of attempting to force knowledge to arrive.
Great insights sometimes pop into the mind in unusual ways. You might find that ideas that seem silly to you appear as you mull over a topic. However, do not automatically disregard them. Accept that a creative process is taking place that may not be logical at first. One seemingly daft thought could roll over into a profound insight.
Mindful contemplation can be a wonderful way of practicing concentration. Most importantly, thinking in an attentive, reflective way can provide great insights and ideas that the usual mind-clatter of life tends to drone out of your awareness.