Beginning To Figure Out How I Observe






Stop-at-the-first-thought-and-witnessA big part of my spiritual journey has been observing what is happening with me. I’ve focused a lot on what I observe in my inner space. So for example I can now see the types of thoughts I create in my mind and the emotions they generate. Of course I have been very interested in managing my mental and emotional creations.


I can also observe the vast space behind the thoughts and emotions, exploring the inner silence that is a constant companion.


In other words I’ve become more familiar with what is in my inner space. In a way it’s like entering a room and becoming familiar with what is in the room. I’ve enjoyed playing in that room, moving the “furniture” around and creating a pleasing environment. The furniture is like the events in my inner space.

I can say I have developed more confidence in my ability to observe myself. That is an important mile stone, “I can observe!”





Now I want to turn my attention to how I observe. What process do I use in observing? What are different ways of observing? What types of options are there? What is the effect of the different ways of observing? Are there more constructive ways of observing? Hmmm very interesting don’t you think? I shall report back on what I have discovered :). In the mean time feel free to share your process of observing.

Note the marvelous mindmap created by Paul Foreman.









4 Responses to Beginning To Figure Out How I Observe

  1. Henk says:

    Thank you, Madhavi, for the challenge :).
    I have been thinking of ways to observe and I have been observing how I observe 🙂

    I differentiated first with a sitting meditation with eyes closed from an active, daily-life meditation/observation.

    A process I use while meditating with eyes closed, is first the intention of observing. I observe my body, my breath and I relax my body. Using the breath as a tool, I observe slow breathing. I use the memory and words of wisdom to observe thoughts and emotions. It brings me to a vast place, a place of silence. Thoughts and emotions are a distance and I observe peace. From there I intend peace into the room, my body, the world. If thoughts and emotions arise, I breath them away and observe the peace. I try to observe the peace or love in my body, room or world that I intended.

    In daily life, a sound from a bird, the smell of a flower, the sight of trees, the unease in my body can inspire me to expand my observations and I start to intend to observe more. The process above I try to repeat, while walking, eating, looking, talking, etc. A bit more difficult than with eyes closed, but very doable if I have a strong intention and if I’m fit.

    Repeating this process over and over, feeds the memory, keeping the option open that there is always more to observe, knowing that I don’t have the full experience.

    Still looking for other options, with all my love, Henk

    • Chan Madhavi says:

      Dear Henke, Marlene and Aarti
      Thank you for enthusiastically embracing the practice of observing yourself and for sharing. Your personal experience carry such power!

  2. Marlene says:

    Wow! I love the mindmap! It is an excellent quick visual to show me some of my options in the observation process. Madhavi, I enjoyed your encouragement to look at our process for observing…to look at HOW I observe, the options I choose for observing, and the resulting effects of each, so that I can consider what approaches work best for me. This is something I definitely want to explore. Thanks!

    Aarti, thanks for your sharing your thoughts about the need to have trust, openness and persistence in the process as well as the need to relax and let go without focusing on the end result.

  3. Victoria Aarti says:

    Hi Madhavi, what a wonderful and thought provoking post, and a very timely one at that. I have tended to get very caught up in whatever it is that I am observing, be it a situation, a challenge etc. As I type this, I wonder if I have to some extent been caught up with things outside myself, as opposed to my self. Mmmm, interesting! Anyway, as I strive to turn my gaze inwards, I see that the process itself yields more gems than I could have imagined. I see … perhaps I am getting ahead of your post … that there is “fear”; am I doing it “right”? What are the “answers”? When will they come? Will I recognise them? Be able to understand what I see? Today I see anxiety about my inclination to want to “manage” the actual process; will I be able to put all the pieces together? Will I be able to follow the thread as it flows and evolves (as it does once I get out of the way). I suspect that I am massively uncomfortable with the uncertainty of it all. I have no idea what I will see, when, how or even if. But observing that discomfort and what it throws up is increasingly interesting. I have a greater understanding of perhaps some of the prerequisites, such as trust, openness and persistence. And I see that I am able to relax and let go a tiny bit more to consciously engage with the process, rather than agonising about some end product.
    With love and thanks

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