When we meditate we remember ourselves. Meditation isn’t an exercise we do to get away from ourselves or to be different from how we basically are. Rather, meditation carries us into our depths.
An image I use with beginning meditators is that of the Observer window. Behind the window we are detached and alert. We notice our thoughts and our feelings on the other side of the window. We don’t think our thoughts or identify with our feelings. We simply notice.
This stance gives folks ridden with anxiety the opportunity to look at the anxiety. They don’t label the anxiety “mine” or “a problem.” They don’t resist the anxiety or analyze it or judge it. They don’t react in any way. They simply notice anxiety on the other side of the Observer window and watch it.
Identifying with our thinking throws us into our Controller, the part of us that tells us how we should be, what is right, and how the outcome should look. Anxiety is the natural result of identifying with the Controller instead of looking at it.
Meditation is not about stopping thoughts. That’s a Controller statement. The Controller seeks a project to do but meditation is the process of looking at our experience. That’s all.
Assuming the stance of Observer allows the meditator to release resistance to her inner world process. Always our inner worlds are in process. It’s our relationship to our experience that we want to notice. If we move our thinking out of the way — to the other side of the Observer window — our inner world process flows naturally.
In meditation we see the Controller when we notice thoughts. But, staying in our Observer, we look behind the thoughts for the feelings they hide. And then we stay in the Observer and watch the feelings. When we allow feelings to be felt as they are, they move and, eventually, resolve. It may take some time but if we stay in the Observer practicing detachment and alertness and allowing, resolution always occurs.
When our Controller becomes too large and we use thinking to avoid our feelings, anxiety results. Meditation allows us to heal this imbalance simply by staying behind the Observer window. We allow our inner worlds to restore balance when we sit, focus on this second, and practice detachment.