The Communal Roots of Contemplaytion

Contemplate is from Latin contemplatus, past participle of contemplari “to gaze attentively, observe,” from the prefix com- “together” plus templum “temple.” The original meaning of Latin contemplari was “to mark out a space for observing auguries or omens,” and the temple was a holy space reserved for this purpose.

So, contemplation in the original sense entails gathering with kindred spirits in sacred space to discern, look deeply, seek insight that guides our path forward in a world filled with noise, fear, distraction and confusion. There is a craft to creating settings and occasions for contemplation.

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