I would like to speak here about an interesitng, but almost ignored practice in self development, and also largely used by myself n my daily practce from years: Pondering:
According to The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, pondering is described as …”To reflect or consider with thoroughness and care.” A sort of contemplation. Gurdjieff gave a large importance to this practce and encouraged his pupils to use it while considering what he taught them. Pondering is also included in the Sufi’s practice (such as the Silent Zikr), was used in the late Christianity and is still used by the Orthodoxes. It’s a fantastic practice who’s not simple to explan in brief, especially in Facebook notes, and it has a large impact on the practitioner; pondering s one of the main factors to develop an Objective Reason.
Alfred Richard Orage also descibed pondering with the following words:
“Pondering is answering questions from essence and answering them practically. One-half the energy of a human being must be spent internally pondering. One-third of one’s time should be spent in pondering. Pondering is a self-interrogation which consists in stripping off all the answers of association until you finally come to your own essential answer.”
When I’ve started my own path for Self Development, my mentor taught to the group I met with this practce, in terms that when we had some answer to question, we had frst to ponder about that determined problem, and once found the answer, we could speak with him about it. His aim was teaching us to use (or better said, to “train our mind) to find the answers correctly instead to have the impulse to ask him first. My first impression about this practice was that it is similar to the Japanese Koans, and below we’ll see why…
So, how seems Pondering in practice?
First of all, we start to question an idea inherent in the Work on ourselves using our Intellectual Center (Mnd). es: “What value has the impressions I aquire during my daily life?”, “What’s the meaning of Being Awaken?”, “How does a (determined situation) affect my emotional state?”, etc…; every answer that rises is intentionally put aside or accepted as momentary, right for a determined moment but susceptible to further changens. Durng this practice, automatic thoughts are gentlyexcluded. During this practice, the practitioner should involve the feeling- sensation of his body, his emotional state has to remain neutral, and this emotional “setting” allows the emotional expressions from the Higher Emotional Center. It’s a Three Centered Action, because it involves all our center to be active, and this means all our Being. The aim is not to find an answer to the question, but rather a deepening of the argument we are questioning. Pondering needs a certain period of practice to reach some results, it’s not complcated, but we are so tangled by our “rational” thoughts that is difficult to renounce to them.