Concentration, meditation and contemplation
In concentration we focus our attention on a particular subject or object and do not allow our mind to roam. Thought-waves must stop in concentration. We are like a bullet entering into something divine, or we are like a magnet: we are pulling the object of our concentration towards us. This is concentration.
Then comes meditation. Here we try consciously, soulfully and devotedly to enter into something vast. Right now vastness is something we imagine with the mind. But if we can feel the reality of vastness inside us, if we can feel the existence of the vast ocean or the vast sky inside us, then we will find ourselves growing into this vastness. Meditation means our conscious growth in the infinite. In meditation, the mind becomes calm and silent and we consciously allow ourselves to be nurtured and nourished by Infinity itself. Meditation is our conscious awareness of the Vast, and from this point of our meditation we grow into the Vastness itself.
Contemplation is the third and last rung in the spiritual ladder. In our ordinary life we say that the knower and the known, the Creator and the creation, the Player and the instrument, the lover and the Beloved are different things. But when we learn the art of contemplation they become one. At that time, the Creator and the creation, the Player and His instrument, the Dancer and the dance, become totally one. Here dream and reality become totally one. Right now I separate myself from my action. If I am the doer, then I am separating myself from the action; and if I am the action, then I hope that the doer in me will do something to please me. But when we contemplate we see that the doer and the action go together.
So contemplation is the message of inseparable oneness; meditation is the message of vastness; and concentration is the message of alertness. First we become alert and one-pointed; then we enter into the Vast through meditation; and from the Vast we become one with Infinity.