5 Forms Of Meditation For African Spirituality And How To Do Them

Meditation For Contemplation

When you contemplate, you focus on a topic with your eternal eye rather than your thoughts. You observe an idea with intent devotion and focus.

In the secular world, this can be achieved through journaling, deep learning, and through deep observation.

The Bible, Koran, and other spiritual texts encourage practitioners to meditate on the words of the Most High to understand their meaning on a deeper level.

For instance, the Christian Bible admonishes its followers to meditate constantly on the word of God:

Joshua 1:8 – 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Psalm 104:34 May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD.

Psalm 119:15 I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.

5 Forms Of Meditation For African Spirituality And How To Do Them

Like Christianity, there are dozens of Quranic verses encouraging meditation:

[3:17] They are steadfast, truthful, submitting, charitable, and meditators at dawn.

[17:79-80] During the night, you shall meditate for extra credit, that your Lord may raise you to an honorable rank. And say, “My Lord, admit me an honorable admittance, and let me depart an honorable departure, and grant me from You a powerful support.”

[25:63-66] The worshipers of the Most Gracious are those who tread the earth gently, and when the ignorant speak to them, they only utter peace. In the privacy of the night, they meditate on their Lord, and fall prostrate. And they say, “Our Lord, spare us the agony of Hell; its retribution is horrendous. It is the worst abode; the worst destiny.”

[26:217-220] And put your trust in the Almighty, Most Merciful. Who sees you when you meditate during the night. And your frequent prostrations. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient.

[39:9] Is it not better to be one of those who meditate in the night, prostrating and staying up, being aware of the Hereafter, and seeking the mercy of their Lord? Say, “Are those who know equal to those who do not know?” Only those who possess intelligence will take heed.

[50:39-40] … praise and glorify your Lord before sunrise, and before sunset. During the night you shall meditate on His name, and after prostrating.

The Aboriginal Approach To Contemplation

Since the time before time, Aborigines have practiced a deep form of meditation called dadirri. Dadirri means inner, deep listening and quiet, still awareness. It is a ‘tuning in’ experience with the specific aim to come to a deeper understanding of the beauty of nature.

Dadirri recognises the inner spirit that calls us to reflection and contemplation of the wonders of all God’s creation. Within a deep silence we attempt to find the inner self, the perfect peace and the experience of God embracing us.

5 Forms Of Meditation For African Spirituality And How To Do Them
“Dadirri is inner, deep listening and quiet, still awareness. Dadirri recognises the deep spring that is inside us. We call on it and it calls to us… It is something like what you call ‘contemplation’.” – Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann, Ngangiwumirr Elder

The Ayurvedic Approach To Meditation

Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that translates as ‘life science’ . The practice was developed thousands of years ago by the original inhabitants of India.  The two main guiding principles of Ayurveda are 1) the mind and the body are inextricably connected, and 2) nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind.

The ancients developed a form of contemplative meditation called “vipassana” that consists of four areas of concentration:

Kayanupassana (contemplating the body, including breathing and internal sounds)

Vedananupassana (contemplating the emotions)

Cittanupassana (contemplating consciousness itself, the observer becomes the observed)

Dhammanupassana (contemplating a specific object – in some cases, a dead body. Concentrating on a dead body helps one to realize the true impermanence of the physical, and therefore helps one to let go).

How To Meditate For Contemplation

If your object of contemplation is a Holy book like the Bible, the Pert Em Heru, or The Book of Diagnosis in Ifa Divination, choose a passage that speaks to you.

Once you are focused and relaxed, read the spiritual text out loud and focus on the words. You can focus on the imagery of the words, the underlying meaning of the words, the sound of the words, or on the way the words make you feel.

When you do this, you may begin to think of the text in new ways. Let this happen. Let the text reveal its true meaning to you, as you are guided by the Holy spirit of the Most High or Egun.

When you meditate for spiritual awakening, you observe your thoughts without attachment. However, when you meditate for contemplation, you actively observe your thoughts, feelings, and pains in your body.

The difference is when you meditate for spiritual awakening you seek to become one with your essence, and here you seek to understand the nature of the extensions of your essence.

Click the next tab below to learn the next meditation for African Spirituality!

Written by Asad Malik

Asad is the Executive Officer of The Pan-African Alliance, and the Founder of United Black America.

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Clemencia Thomas
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Clemencia Thomas

Earlier I requested this article. Now, I have found it. I am grateful.

Curtrina
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Curtrina

Thank you for the information. Most resourceful and interesting compilations I have found so far. Looking forward to delving deeper.