Contemplation

I just realised that the Chinese word for “contemplation” is 默觀 (moguan)

Though there are several phrases for the word, “contemplation”, in Chinese, this term stands out as the most meaningful one.

默 (mo) refers to being silent and still.

觀 (guan) refers to studying, observing, and at the same time, refers to looking with one’s eyes.

These two words come together to form a beautiful understanding of contemplation:

To contemplate is to be still and silently study and observe the Way, the Truth (and the Life), that is, the Tao (道).

In so doing, one comes to “see” (觀) the Truth with the eyes of one’s mind. This thus leads to a clear understanding (ming 明) of the Tao.

Author: Jonathan Y. H. Sim

Jonathan Sim is an Instructor with the Department of Philosophy at the National University of Singapore. He is passionate about teaching and he continues to research fun and innovative ways of engaging students to learn effectively. He has been teaching general education modules to a diverse range of undergraduate students and adult learners at the University.

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