Contemplative Immersion

by Christopher Lovejoy on September 23, 2022

Relax, receive, release, relieve; reflect, restore, renew, refresh; remain, rejoice, return, respond. Art holds a special place in the hearts of those who would incorporate their many feelings about themselves, others, and the world, all in a bid to find understanding with innerstanding.

In quiet contemplation, we set aside spirit to be souls in human form, to know and love ourselves through reflection, in prayer or meditation, in attunement with the heart of soul, in or out of immersive retreats, so as to cultivate and calibrate a subtle awareness of self and/or other.

Various trends in art would have us either contemplate the work or immerse ourselves in the work, but of course, the ideal course would have us do both: “immerse yourself in the work so as to contemplate the work in greater depth” ~ in other words, “innerstand so as to understand.”

In my post, Is Woo Way Your Way?, I explored ‘being and becoming’ with a Taoist concept known as Wu Wei (pronounced “woo way”), where I affirmed, and I quote, “spontaneous virtue expressed with grace and ease through effortless action requires contemplative immersion.”

After drawing comparisons between wisdoms East and West, I felt compelled to bring this question to the forefront of my mind: what is the nature and meaning of contemplative immersion in contrast to the employment of a reasonable mind in pursuit of moral excellence?

Many truth seekers in the West are familiar with “the employment of a reasonable mind in pursuit of moral excellence” as it begins to arise in the embodiment of virtues like courage, temperance, justice, and wisdom, yet stay in the dark about the potency of contemplative immersion.

So what is it about contemplative immersion that is so compelling?

Self as Art in View of Self as One

In a recent entry to my substack publication, I took a crack at describing Wu Wei as follows . . .

In alignment with the Tao (with the natural rhythms of a body in the world), action naturally benefits all, beyond any formal religious or secular moral precept; within the scope of being and becoming, in the mind of no-mind, through thought arising from no-thought, in the embodiment of Wu Wei (effortless ease in action), a knowing intimacy persists in action that remains spontaneously virtuous

A knowing intimacy persists in action that remains spontaneously virtuous: to enter the heart of contemplative immersion, it helps to elaborate this finding as follows: a knowing intimacy {with Self as Art in view of Self as One} persists in action that remains spontaneously virtuous.

Ideally, all doing arises out of being, where there is no doing for the sake of doing ~ just being that finds itself embodied or expressed in doing. It helps, of course, to know and love your own being to see it manifest as doing with the energy of being (energy flows where attention goes).

As such, no path in life can ever be perceived as good or right. There can only ever be one path (“no mind for this, no thought of this”), one that is spontaneous beyond value and virtue. Ultimately, we can only ever be in love with Wu Wei to find and follow, know and love, our own way.

In other words: “be yourself to know yourself; know yourself to be yourself; awareness is key.”

So, how does one come to be, to know and to love, with and through awareness?

In posts to come, I’ll be addressing this question more in depth.


those who believe they lack, move in the world from fear,
and those who believe they are already whole, perfect, and complete,
lacking nothing, move in the world from love and creativity

~ from The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership

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