Success in contemplation can be understood in the terms of an analogy: the living cell.
A cell’s nucleus contains all of the inherited instructions for the growth of the cell. The miraculous growth of the cell happens effortlessly through participation in its larger environment and in character with the instructions of the nucleus. The inherited instructions can change as a result of appropriate and optimal adaptation to the environment, or as a result of damage; the results in cell growth will reflect this optimisation or pathology.
The Nucleus of Fountainhead Contemplation is comprised of both dialectic and esoteric contemplation, both inherited from a long process of cultural growth, and currently developed to an historical level of excellence.
If we desire success in contemplation, we need simply ‘bind ourselves to the nucleus’, or the foundational instructions of Fountainhead. Growth happens effortlessly and in character with the instructions as a result.
If we change, mutate, damage or interfere with the inherited, time tested and optimised instructions, we should expect pathological growth and failure.
Through binding ourselves to the nucleus we come to enjoy a growth and creativity that liberates us from the nucleus itself; but we cannot have one without the other.
Through the nucleus analogy, we can draw 3 simple rules:
1. BINDING MEANS CONTINUITY
A cell grows through a continuity of instruction from the nucleus; an absence of instruction is the end of the cell's growth and life.
Consistency in practice is important for success, not dosage. Growth ends on the last day you sat; it doesn't matter if you managed a 4 hour sit that day.
Good consistency is a sustainable and appropriate 30 minute esoteric practice 6-7 days a week and the application of dialectic contemplation as needed (1 every 1-2 weeks depending on the frequency and intensity of problems).
2. BINDING MEANS NOT ANYTHING ELSE
A cell grows according to the instructions from the nucleus; change, damage, adapt or omit the instructions and something else grows instead, usually pathological in nature.
For instance, if during the Fire Contemplation you are doing something else other that what is in the four lines of the fire analogy, then you are not doing the practice at all. It is very common for a student to say the four lines and then immediately do something else for the rest of the sit, such as fixate on a state, try and adopt the ultimate 'witnessing' position, try to 'get behind' all sensations, try to look at awareness itself, try to intensify a feeling that something is about to happen, etc.
Likewise, if during the Beloved Contemplation you are doing anything that is not literally included in the instructions, then this is not doing the practice at all.
'Not anything else' also means no additional practice of whatever persuasion is required to participate in awakening beyond esoteric and dialectic contemplation. If you sit once a day and do a dialectic every week or so, you are taking care of business when it comes to wisdom; spend the rest of your time enjoying being alive with the people you love doing the things you care about.
3. BINDING MEANS PARTICIPATION IN A WAY OF KNOWING
The cell does not guess or have preferences for how it should grow; it directly participates in the instructions of the nucleus and grows accordingly.
The nucleus of esoteric and dialectic contemplation is a way of knowing that goes beyond our preferences and assumptions. You must be willing to leave your assumptions at the door. This means if you wish to know the answer to a problem or question, then to participate in the appropriate practice is to know the real question and its answer. You will not resolve the problem by indulging faith or doubt in a strategy of guesswork, practicality, or fashionable spiritual belief, because the assumed question isn't what it appears.
The moment one binds oneself to the nucleus is the moment the indulgence of faith and doubt end and a participation in the simple certainty of reality begins. You will never, ever correctly guess the outcome of either esoteric or dialectic contemplation, because guessing is the opposite of contemplation.
In other words, if you find yourself puzzled, ask yourself, 'How would I know?'
You have the nucleus.