Contemplative practices

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To Know What Knowledge Is

"THREE TIMES TODAY SPEND 10 MINUTES thinking about what Knowledge is, not merely applying your own ideas, not merely applying your past understanding, but thinking about what Knowledge really is." [1]

"Think about where you are, not just physically or geographically, but where you are in terms of your awareness of yourself in the world. Think very, very carefully. Do not allow your mind to distract you from this orientation." [2]

"Ask yourself what you really know and distinguish what you know from what you think or hope for or want for yourself or your world, what you are afraid of, what you believe in, what you cherish and what you value. Distinguish this question from all such orientations to the very best of your ability and ask yourself, 'What do I really know?' You must continuously examine whatever answers you give to this question to see if they represent your beliefs or assumptions or the beliefs or assumptions of other people or perhaps even of humanity at large.[3]

"Think about the things you really think you know, including things that you have not thought to question before — things that you think you know."[4]

"TWICE TODAY, SPEND TWO LONGER PERIODS of 15 to 20 minutes in considering what your true foundation may be. Think of all your ideas about this. This is a very important question. You must realize your great need for this to ask this question with sincerity and with penetrating depth." [5]

To Know Yourself

"Dedicate yourself to actively looking at every single primary relationship involvement that you have had. Recognize in them the frustrations and the confusion, the great expectations and the great disappointments, the bitterness over error, the sense of failure and the projections of blame. Then, realize that with Knowledge none of this need be, for with Knowledge the meaning and purpose of each relationship was recognized at the beginning of your involvement and was affirmed at the end." [6]

"ON TWO OCCASIONS TODAY, spend 15 minutes concentrating upon the idea for today. Think seriously about what this lesson means and call upon your own experience to reflect upon its relevance to your life. Reflect upon what your desire for separation has cost you in time, energy and pain. Realize your motivation for separation and you will know that you want to be free."[7]

"Think about this statement. Examine what you believe and then examine what you want. You will find that even your fearful or negative beliefs are associated with your ambitions. Only careful application of today’s practice will reveal this to you[8]

To Find Direction

"Dwell upon the idea that there is a great mission that you have in life.
Think about this. Do not become immediately convinced by your own first responses.
Think about it carefully. Think what this could mean.
Think of the moments in your life when you have thought of this before or have entertained its possibility.

... but beware—make no conclusions yet." [9]


  1. Steps to Knowledge, Step 1
  2. Steps to Knowledge, Step 2
  3. Steps to Knowledge, Step 3
  4. Steps to Knowledge, Step 4
  5. Steps to Knowledge, Step 6: I have a true foundation in the world.
  6. Steps to Knowledge, Step 251: If I abide with Knowledge, there will be no confusion in my relationships.
  7. Steps to Knowledge, Step 13: I want to be separate to be unique.
  8. Steps to Knowledge, Step 5
  9. Steps to Knowledge, Step 33

See also

Spiritual practice

The Great Practices