Awareness of Awareness
an excerpt from Live Beautifully: A Book to Sit With, by Doris Wedige
Reflections on becoming the silent watcher...
If you wanted to learn to cook, how might you go about learning to do so? Would you go to Barnes and Noble and by a cookbook, take it home and read it cover to cover trying your best to intellectually absorb all of the techniques? After completing one book would you return to the bookstore to purchase yet another cookbook to read and absorb? Would you accumulate a whole shelf of cookbooks and a wealth of knowledge before you decided to step foot into the kitchen and give it a try?
Of course not, but that seems to be what many of us spiritual seekers are doing. We buy one book after another, and read and read thinking that our understanding will lead us closer to spiritual enlightenment. At some point we have to tell ourselves that it is time to put down the books and “step into the kitchen.” All of the reading and thinking doesn’t lead to spiritual enlightenment anymore than reading a cookbook will lead to a cake on the countertop. The books may point us in the direction, but it is up to us to do it.
So you’ve closed the book, now where do you start? Begin by learning to observe your mind. Just observe your thoughts. Observe your emotions. Observe your body. Don’t think, don’t do, just be, just be an observer. Become aware. You may get distracted and get wrapped up in the goings-on in your mind, but keep coming back to awareness. Keep returning to being the observer.
I intend to become a silent watcher.