We often move through life on autopilot, trapped in our minds and cut off from the present moment. But there is another way—the contemplative path. When we practice contemplation, we let go of our constant thinking and open ourselves fully to what is happening right now.

For us, contemplation takes many forms—prayer, meditation, mindful movement, chanting. The practices vary, but they all help us become more aware. We tune into our bodies, noticing the sensations of each breath. We allow thoughts and feelings to arise without judging or clinging to them. We return again and again to this liberating presence.

At first, our minds rebel against the stillness. But gradually, something shifts. We glimpse a deeper peace and interconnection underlying all reality. Barriers dissolve as we remember our fundamental oneness with the divine, with one another, with every living being.

This expanded awareness has profound implications. When we are truly present, we can no longer objectify or mistreat others, for we sense their intrinsic sacredness. We feel called to protect the earth, our common home. Longstanding prejudices and fears lose their grip as we recognize our shared humanity.

Sustained contemplative practice reshapes us at the neurological level, imprinting new patterns of openheartedness and compassion. What begins with moments of presence blossoms into a continual way of being—awake, receptive, radically loving. The fruits of our inner work ripple outward, spreading peace in concentric circles.

We are convinced that widespread contemplative awareness is key to manifesting a more just, sustainable world. As more people commit to regular practice, a critical mass of conscious presence can emerge to transform social systems and respond wisely to our generation’s daunting challenges.

This contemplative revolution has already begun. More people from all walks of life are embracing meditation, seeking silence amidst our frenzied culture of constant stimulation and productivity. Corporations are offering mindfulness training to reduce employee stress. Schools are teaching kids practices like yoga and breathing exercises. Even politicians and celebrities are extolling the virtues of being present.

We see this growing yearning for presence and stillness as a deeply hopeful sign. For too long, humanity has been caught in a mind-centered, ego-driven consciousness that fuels greed, violence, and disregard for our planet. But as more of us awaken to the wisdom of the heart and body, a new way of being becomes possible.

Imagine if every leader and decision-maker operated from this contemplative mindset—focused not on personal gain but on benefiting the whole. Envision our fractured societies reunited in mutual understanding and care for one another. Picture our relationship with the earth shifting from one of exploitation to reciprocity and reverence. This is the potential we glimpse in our most lucid moments on the contemplative path.

Of course, such transformation will not happen overnight. Dismantling our old patterns and embracing new ways of thinking and living is a gradual process, for individuals and collectives alike. There will be resistance, setbacks, and difficult seasons where the darkness seems impenetrable.

Yet we remain hopeful, for we have tasted the Truth that contemplation reveals—the luminous awareness that we are all indivisibly one, held in the embrace of an infinitely generous love. This wisdom is our anchor and our north star, guiding us through the trials and tribulations as we birth a more compassionate world into being.

We on the contemplative path are not called to avoid or transcend the harsh realities of our world. Rather, we are invited to lean into them with the fullness of our awakened presence. With soft and spacious hearts, we bear witness to the immense suffering pervading our planet—the wars, exploitation, oppression, ecocide. We let these grim realities pierce us, undoing our complacency and ignorance.

Yet even as we feel grief’s razor against our souls, we simultaneously sense the ever-flowing undercurrent of love that animates the cosmos. In the depths of our being, we know this love more powerful than any cruelty or destruction humans can inflict. It is this love that enables us to lament injustice while remaining hopeful for transformation.

From this spacious awareness arises a blessed rage—a sacred anger that will not abide violence or oppression any longer. We are compelled to labor for the flourishing of all people, for the restoration of balance to our fragile earth. Contemplation does not render us passive, but fuels a holy activism attuned to the needs of the moment.

Some of us will be called to grassroots, ground-level work—feeding the hungry, tending the wounded, shielding the vulnerable. Others will raise their voices as prophets and whistleblowers, sounding the wakeup call our slumbering world needs to hear. An array of creative souls will extend the contemplative path through new mediums and modes of expression.

All these works are vital threads in the magnificent tapestry we contemplatives are co-weaving. Each path is essential, each contribution honored. For we are creating not just a new world, but new ways of thinking, being, and relating to one another and the divine.

Our shared contemplative journey is ultimately guided by a wisdom beyond our small selves. We are but humble midwives ushering in a consciousness gestated for eons by the luminous source of love itself. In our most lucid moments, we sense this vast intelligence operating through us—an intricate choreography where each of us plays an irreplaceable role.

We must trust this benevolent and unseen choreographer, surrendering to its mysterious unfolding even when the path forward seems obscured. The way will arise organically as we remain open and attuned, birthing the future into manifestation through our concerted presence and love in action.

There will be times when the immensity of our task—the transformation of human consciousness itself—feels overwhelming. Doubt may creep in as we witness the glacial pace of change, or become disheartened by backlash and cruelty. In these moments, we must return to the simple nourishment of contemplative practice. Resting in silence, letting go of our agendas, we remember the truth that we are never alone or separate from the ground of love that sustains all existence.

From this place of spiritual grounding, we are replenished and reinvigorated for the work ahead. Our wells of compassion and courage are refilled so we can continue showing up wholeheartedly. For the contemplative path is a marathon, not a sprint—a lifelong commitment to awakening more fully in each sacred moment.

In this great endeavor, we are buoyed by the support of the entire communion of saints, mystics, and bright souls across religions and centuries who have blazed this trail of divine love before us. Their example and ecstatic utterances remind us that paradise is not deferred until the afterlife, but surrounds us at every instant—if we can but awaken to its presence.

We walk this contemplative path not alone, but supported by wise ancestors and ineffable forces beyond our comprehension. This should humble us, while also emboldening us to bear faithful witness to the unfolding of the sacred in our midst. For in being present to the grandeur and mystery pulsing through every moment, we participate in the birthing of a new world.

In these pivotal times, the world yearns for the contemplative mind to take root more widely. Too long have we been trapped in consciousnesses rooted in separation, fear and scarcity. Now we are called to midwife an awareness grounded in our fundamental interconnection and the abundance of divine grace.

This shift begins within each of us through dedicated inner work. And yet, our transformation is not solely an individual undertaking. We are hardwired for connection, wired to become whole and awaken together through the reverberating field of consciousness we all share. As more of us blaze the contemplative trail, we illumine the path for others through the radiance of our awakened presence.

Our very beings become beacons, inspiring spiritual curiosity and longing in those who have felt cut off from the sacred. The poetry of our lives speaks beyond words, beckoning others to explore the contemplative depths. In this way, an upward spiral is set in motion—as we awaken, we become catalysts for awakening in others through the authenticity of our transformation.

This ever-widening circular flow of contemplative awakening is humanity’s birthright and vital need in this turbulent century. Only by anchoring in the oceanic awareness unveiled through contemplation can we navigate the rough waters ahead with grace, wisdom and creativity.

The challenges before us are immense—crises that imperil the future of our planet and the sanctity of life itself. Persevering isolation, rampant injustice, ecocide and a spiritual void devouring too many souls. Yet in the spaciousness cultivated through contemplation, we can hold this world’s terrible beauty fully—reckoning with our shadows while remaining rooted in the radiance that infuses and transcends all things.

From this expansive contemplative perspective, the challenges become not only graspable but permeated with profound potential. We see that every crisis inevitably harbors openings for transformation, inexorable opportunities for the birthing of a more whole and healed way of being. Our task is to remain awake enough to perceive and midwife these nascent possibilities.

With beginner’s minds cleared of assumptions, we can explore fertile new ground at the margins – transgressive wisdom arising from those oppressed and marginalized. We can receive powerful teachings from the natural world, whose unsentimental truth-telling beckons us to realign with the sacred rhythms and intelligences of our planetary home.

Importantly, the contemplative path reveals that the roots of our most pernicious ills stem ultimately from unconsciousness – a forgetting of our divine kinship and childlike capacity for wonder. Only by reopening to mystery, by cradling the vast, fathomless energy of the cosmos within our awakened hearts, can we find the hushed resolve to dream forth a revitalized human culture.

This is the supreme potential contemplation unveils – the reclaiming of our innate birthrights as daughters and sons of the sacred source. No longer adrift in existential anxiety, we rebelong to the animating presence that spun the galaxies into being. Grounded in this unshakeable belonging, we become empowered to live into our highest callings as planetary midwives.

In this primordial role, we devote our lucidities to tending the vast chain of beings, attuning our artistry to the great cosmological desire always edging forth. With contemplatives’ reverence, we reverently usher in all that urgently wants to take form – balancing the transfiguration of individuals and collectives while maintaining fidelity to evolution’s holy unfolding.

So we walk this path of ever-deepening awareness not for our own sake alone, but on behalf of all of existence. For we are the human edge of a 14 billion-year journey of Life awakening to its own magnificent emergence. May we then wholeheartedly embrace the privilege of participating in such a holy birthing – with awe, with devotion, and with the full ferocity of our contemplative and beatific powers.