DAY 2 : THE ACTIVE OBSERVATION
Becoming aware of it. Once we understand what the ego is, where we stand and where the ego stands, we can then start a process of OBSERVATION, of AWARENESS. More than merely passively observing, we need to go a little deeper and ask ourselves:
What is it that we are watching, registering,
being aware of?
It’s what I like to call: Active Observation. You are participating in the process, not the Ego, not the mind. The Self, the Being. You aren’t just taking it all in as it is, you are observing the thoughts, the emotions, and the stories while at the same time you are questioning what is really behind what you're seeing and perceiving.
I get that this is something new to many of us. We have to remind that our whole lives, we had little or no control over our mental thinking, our definitions, the labeling and now we are slowly bringing awareness to the occasion.
Why Active Observation?
We want to create a distance, a detachment from what is happening around us. This doesn’t happen overnight, it’s an ongoing process, we just keep practicing. We tend, and most likely that is how we lived our whole lives, to take all which the mind is observing and analyzing it according to our own inner reality, according to what we carry in our subconscious level, which we discussed on day 1.
This creates an inclination of how we are perceiving things and processing them, inside of us, because of the weight of our subconscious level which stores all of our habits, memories and the accumulation of the emotions associated with these memories, we have an inclination according to the result of all of this, you see?
What you look at is not the whole picture, it’s only partially according to your inner reality. Now, imagine a world where all of us are this universe of inner realities, layers, and beliefs trying to stay safe inside THE BOX. It can get pretty challenging, right?
When we practice observing without attachment we are allowing things to be as they are. This doesn’t mean we are not involved, engaged or being passive. It means we are focusing our energy on where it should be, we are letting go of the necessity of the EGO to take on a position for every single thing, we are slowly letting go the need of the ego to keep us in THE BOX “safely”. We are bringing a whole different perspective on how to navigate life, people and situations. We are allowing space and letting go of attachments, labeling and judgments that come from a mind and a EGO in control.
Pema Chodron says that The Buddha taught that flexibility and openness bring strength and that running from groundlessness weakens us and brings pain. But do we understand that becoming familiar with the running away is the key? Openness doesn’t come from resisting our fears but getting to know them well.
Rather than going after those walls and barriers (in THE BOX) with a sledgehammer, we pay attention to them. With gentleness and honesty, we move closer to those walls. We touch them and smell them and get to know them well. We begin a process of acknowledging our aversions and our cravings. We become familiar with the strategies and beliefs we use to build the walls, we start to get curious about what’s going on.
It's not really easy or simple in the beginning to drastically change the roles and be an active witness of what is happening inside of us and around us. We are very much conditioned to always have an opinion about everyone, everything and our own selves. We are conditioned to be so attached to our stories because the EGO is behind them doing all it can to “survive”, to defend its position activating emotional patterns that come from the past through our subconscious level.
It's a process that requires attention, awareness, courage and willingness to step into this new dynamic. However, it’s an increasing practice, it keeps growing as you start noticing the impact, noticing glimpses of freedom, of joy, of release coming from the non-identification, non-labeling and non-attachment. It starts to happen naturally, when you least expect, so here's where we have to "practice the practice" and let it do its work - without being too attached to the outcome, without holding on too tight to how things should be. It's a ongoing journey, you are stepping into your power, your true power, and that makes you much more magnetic, authentic and confident, just watch!
Today's practice can be something that you start to slowly implement into your daily life as well. It'll begin to feel really natural and part of the process. Try to avoid getting frustrated if you forget about it, slowly start to increase the openness to go through these questions and let them sink in gradually. Follow the questions after the guided meditation:
Journal / Write Down:
- What is that i’m observing, thinking, being aware of?
- What kinds of thoughts and what kinds of emotions are constantly showing up?
- Can you observe your need to constantly formulate an opinion, a comment?
- In a conversation, can you observe the need to formulate an answer, when the other person is still speaking?
- Can you observe how your mental activity is when you are alone? What is it that you are telling yourself? Can you observe your preferences, your inner comments?
- Can you observe it without being passive? can you start processing it from a neutral perspective, not from you inner reality that is masked by your subconscious mind and EGO?