Awareness of Thought
Zen Master Suzuki Roshi, who is credited with bringing Buddhism to America was approached by a student after a meditation retreat. The student expressed to the master that he felt his retreat had been a waste of time because his entire time meditating was totally consumed by a constant flow of thoughts. The Master responded, "How do you know?"
This question is a very important question that anyone trying to approach a self awareness path should ask themselves. In order to know that the mind has or has not stopped its constant flow of thoughts, some part of ones consciousness must be aware of the thoughts. To be aware of the thoughts then implies a separation between the part of ones self that produces the thoughts and the part that is aware.
To one who thinks in terms of words, like a conversation in the mind, this entails shifting perspective from being the one doing the talking to becoming the listener. For one who thinks visually, in terms of pictures, this means shifting perspective from being the "projector" to being the viewer.
This shift of perspective is a critical first step in developing self awareness. Investigation of self begins with asking ones self who is doing the thinking, and what is it that is aware that thinking is taking place. How do I know that I am aware that thinking is taking place?
|Michael L. Fournier|