Why Christianity requires a contemplative mind

Photo by Victor Sauca

Simply put, because it’s the only way we can accept and live the teachings of Jesus.

Allow me to explain…

When we sit with (not just skim, but really sit with) the parable of the vineyard owner who pays the people who’d worked an hour or two the same amount as he paid the ones who’d been there all day, it does our head in.

How do we truly love our neighbors as ourselves?

How can we accept the virtue of a story about a father throwing a welcome home party for his youngest son who squanders his money and blatantly disrespects him while ignoring his oldest son who’s always played by the rules?

Accepting and living these profound teachings require a contemplative approach so we can surrender our stories and triggers around them.

Contemplation shifts our operating system from dualistic (either/or) to non-dualistic (both/and). If we can’t do this, we’ll always be in a position of hypocrisy and burnout.

What do I mean?

Think about the champion of racial equality who sleeps with a gun under her pillow so that none of those people break in and steal her stuff.

Or the rich liberal who lives on the north shore with a posture (and a sign) that says ‘get off my lawn’ but who rallies in favor of the refugee.

Jesus’s teaching leaves us in the dust when we see it through the lens of a Western dualistic mind.

It first takes admitting a gap exists instead of sinking our heels into our dualism like a lot of Christianity does.