The meditation has been a continuously ongoing process in the past 5-6 years. Whenever there is a free gap in time, mind starts the task manager or log viewer, looking at itself in present and past. I’ve been doing this observation for a long time but I had no idea this is a kind of meditation. This meditation reveals the nature of mind. To get to know the nature of mind first handed, is a necessary stop on a path to freedom.
All the time I spend doing ‘nothing’ I can be in observation mode. Nothing = being passive. I can look at what happens in self and mind. This is an enormous amount of time each day: time spent in traffic jam, time spent on long and lonely stretches, in public transport, walking from A to B or just for fun. While watching TV together with focussed family members, during lunch when spending lunch alone, and even while spending lunch with friends. Doing dishes and other house chores is a time that equally lends itself to observation.
Cooking does not lend itself to observation, except perhaps afterwards, when things did go wrong, and then one can try to find the origin of irritation or anger. Observation mode does not work when we have to concentrate on a task. The focus needed when cooking can transform into ‘the flow’. That happens when being undisturbed, focused and without emotions.
Being taken out of ‘this flow’ by someone, is reacted upon in Gordon Ramsay style.
Perhaps because ‘the flow’ really connects us to a state of active and agreeable usefulness. Or perhaps because mind is just doing what it is supposed to do. In ‘the flow’, the mind is used as a tool. It does not interfere as a noise maker. In ‘the flow’, we are not out of mind, but out of chatter. There is no silence, but there is no gossip either. And I defend against gossip from inside and from outside. Perhaps this defence of ‘the flow’ against chatter from within or without is causing me to behave like Gordon Ramsay.
When the cooking goes wrong, mind starts creating disaster scenarios. This creation of disaster scenarios is not necessary, and really disturbing the focus, hence ‘the flow’. So my cursing is not against the things going wrong, but against the chatter in my head: the disaster scenario maker.
Combine inside and outside disturbance: disturb me in the kitchen when things go wrong. OMG — Inside chatter and outside disturbance breaking ‘the flow’ together get greeted upon by the Gordon Ramsay Unlimited Experience.
observation and flow
I wonder whether observation mode is some kind of flow. I don’t think so. When the observation process is focussed, ‘the flow’ is probably there. But then, that kind of focus, would lead to a death of the other mind processes, and not to itself, which leads to forced silence. But this kind of silence is not very welcome. It is forced, it needs energy. It feels like not going to the toilet when there is a need to go. So I don’t think this kind of observation is very beneficial to anyone.
identification and consciousness
A shift in consciousness comes suddenly. I’m in a grey zone now, with glimmers of different awareness, but no permanent shift. There is nothing I can do to help. Doing something might interfere negatively and give credit to the doer. One moment, mind is weak, then strong again, then gone for a moment, and then back. Most of the time it is the aspect ‘sceptic’ in my mind that wants to be identified with.
When I’m in ‘the flow’ there is no identification. There is action.
When in observation mode, there is a doer, investigating the nature of mind, actively looking into being passive.
But sometimes I become aware of silence when doing nothing. Without the effort by the observer. When that happens, I feel free.
[Awareness does. There is a difference. Observation mode is meta-cognition, just another process that monitors the other processes so to speak. Awareness is like an interrupt correcting whatever needs to be corrected. At least that’s how I see it now, but I might find better wording or change the explanation altogether.]