The practice of observation is the practice of awareness. Awareness is the most important fundamental for the mastery of anything. Without awareness we would not even know that there was something that we wanted to transform or change. We would not even move, because we would not even know that there was something to move. In fact no human can be conscious and not be aware at some level. The methods shown here are methods to deepen and strengthen our awareness.
Awareness lets you know yourself. It is you that you are working with. You are the canvas, but you are also the painter and the paint. Also the canvas is not empty, it is full of all the patterns of our emotions, our personality, our feelings and impulses. The practice of awareness lets us stand back and see all these things. It involves expanding our field of perception to see it all – to be the observer.
The best physical position to be in is one in which you are comfortable enough that you can let go of holding your body in any particular pose, but won’t fall down or fall asleep.
This is a suggested sequence to observe but over time explore your own preferred method – just be sure to allow everything to be observed.
Observe your thoughts as they come and go. No thought is too important – no thought is not important enough. If they won’t go, then just let them stay. Let them do what ever they want, just try not to be too attached. But of course there’s no need to make a big fuss about being attached either. Just easy and gentle. Favor the process of observation. If there is any tension, any struggle – just watch and observe. There are no “right” thoughts here.
Observe your body – any feelings that feel. Any tension, relaxation. Your posture. The weight of your body. Just observe. There is no “right” posture in this practice. There are no “right” tensions or “wrong” relaxations or vice versa. You are simply observing – watching the flow – watching the static.
Observe any emotions that are there. Let them come and go. If they go let them go. If they don’t go – let them be. However any of them come to you, simply let them be as they are. If you are struggling with any emotions, adverse or craving any emotions – just observe the struggle, watch it, let it be.
Let yourself observe all 3 of these states simultaneously – whatever comes in and goes, stays, struggles, releases. There is no “right” way this practice should be. This practice is the practice of letting go of “should be”, right and wrong. It is the practice of watching, of listening, of observing.
It is useful to note that we all have our “should be’s, we all have our rights and wrongs. These will come up in the practice. These are our part of our “personality”. When we meet a “should be”, a right or wrong – just let them be. Let them play out their own struggles or releases or whatever it is that they do. If we should feel guilty, or imperfect, frustrated or anything at all – just observe these things. We are in a constant state of ebb and flow. There are reactions then reactions to those reactions. We simply watch. If our mind should wander then we come back as gently and easily as we can to observing.
Skill of this technique comes with practice. Depth of understanding of this technique comes with practice. Practice 30 seconds a day, 1 minute, 10 minutes, 30 minutes – but make it a daily ritual and you will see and feel results feed into every aspect of your life. Without the practice of awareness all other techniques of mastery are of no real use. Whether a beginner or a master the practice of awareness is the foundation.
“The secret of success is continuity of practice.”
Within time you will be aware of how your body and mind reacts when you hear certain sounds, see certain sights, smell, taste, feel and think. The opportunity for conscious change exists at this point of awareness.
This is the reason why observation is so powerful.