The Art of Contemplation

By November 1, 2021 No Comments

art of contemplation


The art of contemplation. What do I mean by that and how do you develop one?

Unlike brainstorming which is an active practice, with a specific goal and often the sharing of brains, contemplation is a solitary practice and is “the act of looking attentively at anything.”

My place of contemplation is a section of sea wall on South Beach, Heacham. As I walk along the dunes to it, I imagine the day’s tension falling out of my muscles. I tune in to my five senses so that I become a part of my surroundings. When I arrive, I lie back or sit comfortably, and I contemplate the sea, the birds or simply the clouds in the sky.

In this state of increased awareness my mind moves from being a reactive to responsive mind as I become conscious of my thoughts and emotions. And I simply sit with them. Sometimes I have insights, sometimes I just enjoy the beauty of the surroundings. The secret to the art of contemplation, like many crafts, is to keep practising it. There are no rules really. There is no set length of time. When I feel I’m ready, I rise and return home refreshed.

Perfecting the art of contemplation

I want to invite you to find time and a place to start cultivating your own art of contemplation:

  • Pick a place in nature or an indoor space where there is relative quiet;
  • Use the walk there to shake out tight muscles & release tension;
  • Position yourself comfortably;
  • Recognise your connectedness with yourself & your surroundings;
  • Be present in that time and space.
Art of contemplation

Let me know if you have a place you go to regularly to contemplate the wonders of life and if you don’t, I invite you to explore where you live until you find one.

Cultivating the art of contemplation is a very rewarding practice. Like anything, the more you do it the more it comes easily to you.

Try it – you will surprise yourself!

Practising your art of contemplation in the wild

A place of contemplation can be anywhere. When I lived in Buenos Aires, I used to sit in a beautiful sprawling Catholic cemetery on the outskirts of the city! In Beijing, I had a tower on a wild part of the Great Wall as my special place of contemplation – away from the hustle and bustle of the urban area where I lived and worked.


Art of contemplation

The view from my place of contemplation

If you fancy having some help to develop a slower, more contemplative, stress-free life, then come join me on one of my Norfolk yoga retreats. On all of my retreats, nature plays a huge role. It is one of the five pillars: mind, body, breath, food & nature around which I design all my retreats. Guests have often said that the solo walk on the beach was a powerful experience, with a quiet time nestled into the dunes the impetus to start a practise of contemplation on their return home.

Other posts about my retreats:

How to Choose the Yoga Retreat That’s Right for You!

What Do You Eat on a Yoga Retreat?

Five Reasons to Retreat with a Friend

Norfolk Yoga Retreats: Exploring the Key Role Nature Plays in Boosting Wellbeing

Come join me!



Norfolk yoga retreats

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