Based on the book The Art of Contemplation by Richard Rudd, this simple online course invites you to begin a journey in the practice of contemplation. Laid out in simple, easy-to-digest modules and topics, you can listen, read along, take notes and review each section and chapter in the book in a truly contemplative way. When you feel finished with a topic, simply click Mark Complete, and carry on in your journey. You can return and review any section you have completed, or pause and resume your progress at any time.
The writings presented in this online course are also available in an elegant hardback book. Click here to learn more and purchase.
The Art of Contemplation Audiobook
The audio version of the book, read by Richard Rudd, follows the steps of this programme. You can also download the entire audiobook at any time. You will find it listed under Techniques for Daily Practice, the final module of this course.
Meet the Author
Welcome! My name is Richard Rudd, and I am the author of The Art of Contemplation. I am looking forward to guiding you on this amazing journey. Throughout this online course, I will be there with you, in the written word, through my recorded voice and also in spirit. I’d like you to know that I am your spiritual friend in this process. Contemplation is a beautiful and intimate art, and although I am sad not to be sitting here with you in physical actuality, the online environment can also have its moments…
If you are interested, below is a short story of how this all began for me…
I believe that anyone can learn the art of contemplation. I learned the art of contemplation out of necessity, to help cope with the many challenges of being a parent. One day I realised that I had lost all sense of calm. I had allowed myself to become overwhelmed by the sudden increase in my responsibilities. I felt I had lost all my youthful freedom and could see no clear way of finding it again. I felt trapped, isolated and lost.
Then one day while visiting a friend I became entranced by a painting on her wall. It was a simple image of a lone seagull in flight against a sea of blue. That painting stirred something deep inside my soul. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The bird seemed so silent, pure and free in that spotless sky. Every time I thought of the image, I began to feel like that bird. It was as though the painting had cast a magical spell over me. I only had to remember the image in my mind and almost immediately I was flooded by a feeling of deep calm and limitless freedom.
Over the months following this encounter, I returned over and over again to the image of the seagull in my mind. Whenever I thought of it my whole being paused, and for a short time I let go of the outer world and its distractions. I also learned to conjure up the image in my mind during difficult moments or conflicts, which gave amazing results. I experienced the power of pivoting, the ability to turn a difficult situation into a gift. In my relationships this changed everything – instead of contracting when faced with a conflict, I taught myself to stay soft and open-hearted. I continue to learn this lesson today.
In time I forgot all about the seagull. The memory of it only came back to me today, as I sat down to write these words. For me, that image was a doorway into contemplation, and once I knew how to find the door I no longer needed the image itself. Since then I have found countless other pathways into the contemplative state.
It has taken me many years to learn the art of contemplation, but it is the greatest and most useful art I have ever learned. I hope this simple teaching may help you find your own doorways into the contemplative state. It is a state that our world needs more than ever to remember.
The art of contemplation is to a human being what air is to a bird – it is freedom, it is purpose and it is peace.
Ready to proceed? Click the first topic Attunement from the list below to begin.