As I’ve started to get more into reading about meditation or mindfulness, one of the main things that you come across is telling you to be the observer of your thoughts without judging them or trying to change them. Logically, I completely understand this – but although I try this I do find myself psychoanalyzing myself a lot. I will experience a feeling or thought, then proceed to try and explain to myself whats causing it, why im feeling this way, etc.
I believe… You are responsible for your own thoughts and feelings, and in that case you would not be so easily distracted with psychoanalysis. Although, psychoanalysis is what will ultimately bring you to that conclusion, consequently allowing you to meditate with less interruption. Keep asking ‘why’
I have the same problem. With myself, I noticed I asked myself these questions so much trying to get to some broad conclusion or theory about what I was going through, who I was, and what that meant in some abstract way. Rather than approaching my existence, as myself, I tried approaching it as a psychoanalyst of sorts.
The problem with psychoanalyzing yourself is that you are trying to come up with an idea or hypothesis as to why you are a certain way and so on, you ask so many questiong about yourself , but because you are playing the role of a third person, you aren’t “yourself” so you can’t answer them. You begin to identify yourself solely through this detached and distorted psychoanalytic view and process. This process can be useful, it lets you recognize your patterns and question yourself , it helps you map out your identity and worldview. But obsessively using that process and perspective isn’t going to help you because it’s a detached one, you can’t know something you are detached from. An abstraction is not reality.
Stop intellectualizing and ruminating, (coping mechanisms you may be abusing) To figure out or define your nature, be your nature, that’s the only way you can understand it. That’s being the observer, the observed, and the pattern recognizer in equal parts. Don’t let an addictive thought pattern/coping mechanism distract you. That’s just anxiety and the ego trying to solve a problem that isn’t really in their capacity to solve themselves. This is where observer mind enters the picture.
When I ask a queston I ask that question as myself, and let the answers “bubble up” from my subconscious. I ask a singular question and wait for the answer, which does not have to be a well worded explanation. The answer is a moment of insight, it can be an image, or memory, words, whatever form it takes in my mind, that will allow me to become aware and make crucial changes in my psyche. Not only is this kind of answer useful, but it resonated with me on a deeper level, a personal one, and it was in the moment. then I could go into the next question I needed to ask. This is done to improve awareness and process painful and also positive experiences, and to center/ground myself. It’s important that what you are doing is contributing to positive change in yourself.
Observer mind then, is a tool that is utilized. When using it, you are observing, not explaining or looking, the pattern recognizer is working “underneath” the observer mind, so it will look for patterns and answers to questions you have all the time whether or not you are aware of it. observer mind is meant to allow the pattern recognizer to operate without pressure for anwers. It lets you be present with the reality, and connects you to yourself.
The mind and all of its thoughts can be a real jumble sometimes, meditation is meant to ground you, into reality , into your center. Navigating your way back to your center will take some work, but it’s well worth it.
I hope I said something useful and made sense. Sorry if this was not the case. Also this is just what I think, and my own experience.