There are many types of active meditations, where we want to acknowledge a part of the body or achieve a certain mental state. Another type of meditation is the observing kind, which we may call contemplation. An example of this might be to simply watch your breath. Lay down, notice your body and fill it with awareness. Not in an active way; but just notice every part of your body in a receptive way. Watch your body in a way that a lake reflects geese flying overhead. By virtue of that noticing, your body fills with awareness. 

Another example of observing meditation is to watch your thoughts come and go. An analogy for this meditation is to think about trains going through a station. We don’t have to jump on every train that goes through the station. We can just watch them go by. We don’t have to judge them, or name them, or grab onto them, or do anything with them. We can watch them like clouds in the sky. Use a quiet, neutral, almost amused, and curious gaze. This technique is just observing and getting present with your thoughts and your body.

The Alchemist’s Tao Te Ching: Transforming Your Lead Into Gold

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