dscn24122One view of psychology common in the West is to study deeply what others have observed about the human mind. This is often supported by contemplating one’s own experience based on helpful models (e.g. Jungian psychology) and using language (e.g. talk therapy) to rediscover hidden aspects of experience. While these can all be strong, useful methods for understanding the mind, Contemplative Psychology also asks that we spend significant amounts of time looking at our own mind, with less emphasis on language and models.

Contemplative Psychology also asks that we spend significant amounts of time looking at our own mind, with less emphasis on language and models.

The contemplative practice of mindfulness mediation is crucial to this process — simply resting in our own, direct observation of the mind. The advantage of this is that we might discover habits and patterns in our own experience that nobody has ever observed before — not even the most brilliant researcher. These discoveries are our own. They make us our own researcher, studying the data of our rich, human experience that no one else can even access directly.