A contemplative practice is any act, habitually entered into with your whole heart, as a way of awakening, deepening, and sustaining a contemplative experience of the inherent holiness of the present moment. The critical factor is not so much what the practice is in its externals as the extent to which the practice incarnates an utterly sincere stance of awakening and surrendering to the Godly nature of the present moment.
Alyosha emerged from the dream transformed. Something burned in his heart, something suddenly filled him almost painfully, tears of rapture nearly burst from his soul. ...Over him the heavenly dome, full of quiet, shining stars, hung boundlessly. From the zenith to the horizon the still-dim Milky Way stretched its double strand. Night, fresh and quiet, almost unstirring, enveloped the earth. The silence of the earth seemed to merge with the silence of heavens, the mystery of the earth touched the mystery of the stars. ...Alyosha felt clearly and almost tangibly something as firm and immovable as the heavenly vault descend into his soul. ...Never in his life would he forget that moment.