Meditation vs. Contemplation
Concentration gives the message of alertness. Meditation gives the message of vastness. Contemplation gives the message of inseparable oneness.
If we meditate on a specific divine quality such as light or peace or bliss, or if we meditate in an abstract way on Infinity, Eternity or Immortality, then all the time we will feel an express train going forward inside us. We are meditating on peace, light or bliss while the express train is constantly moving. Our mind is calm and quiet in the vastness of Infinity, but there is a movement; a train is going endlessly toward the goal. We are envisioning a goal, and meditation is taking us there.
In contemplation it is not like that. In contemplation we feel the entire universe and farthest Goal deep inside ourselves. When we are contemplating we feel that we are holding within ourselves the entire universe with all its infinite light, peace, bliss and truth. There is no thought, no form, no idea.
In contemplation everything is merged into one stream of consciousness. In our highest contemplation we feel that we are nothing but consciousness itself; we are one with the Absolute. But in our highest meditation there is a dynamic movement going on in our consciousness. We are fully aware of what is happening in the inner and the outer world, but we are not affected. In contemplation, too, we are unaffected by what is going on in the inner and outer worlds, but our whole existence has become part and parcel of the universe, which we are holding deep inside us.
We concentrate because we want to reach the Goal. We meditate because we want to live in the heart of the Goal. We contemplate because we want to become the Goal.