Background: Type fours have difficulty separating themselves from their emotions. They tend to identify with these, conflating the feelings with the self. Contemplative practice can help to overcome this tendency. As we observe our thoughts and feelings, we discover that we are something like the observer, not the things we are observing; if we were our feelings, we would be unable to take a vantage point “above” our emotions and watch them from a distance.
- Place your feet flat on the floor.
- Let your breath come. Observe it, without seeking to change it.
- Become aware of your thoughts, feelings and observation. Let your approach to the breath be a sort-of object lesson. Approach your thoughts and feelings just as you approached your breath.
- Observe the things you see in your mind and heart with a sense of gentle curiosity. If you can, do not judge these. If you find yourself judging, release this as best as you can with the breath. Try and avoid the hamster wheel of judging yourself for judging.
- Now, became aware of the “I” doing the observing. Note that this self is not the feelings being watched.
- Sit with this awareness of the observing self.