From my bed or desk I can gaze at my geranium and have pleasant thoughts. Is that meditation? Or is it contemplation?...
But meditation is in fashion....people give and take courses in it!...whereas I am yet to meet someone taking a course in contemplation. I suspect that meditation is something that you do deliberately and contemplation is simply what comes naturally.
When we meditate, we look within, and hopefully that is something to find there. When I look at a flower, I am looking without contemplating at the miracle of creation. I suppose we should do a little of both, just to get the right balance.
(Quoted from ‘Notes from a small room’....Ruskin Bond)