Self, soul, doer, identity
Read all these instructions before beginning the first step. Each step should be begun about ten to twenty seconds after the previous step’s beginning. This exercise will be too difficult for some readers, but every reader should be able to master the skills needed with a few practice sessions. One session should take about two minutes. If you “get off track”, that’s okay, just get back on track and get to the end of the exercise.
Even the first time of doing this exercise, to whatever extent it can be mastered, will create mental experiences that will support the asking of the follow-up questions. The goal of a session is to build the skill of simultaneously performing mental and physical actions and also savoring the difference between intent and attention.
Step One Listen to some music playing that has someone singing words that can be understood easily by you. While listening to these sounds, start counting inside your mind from one to one hundred. This exercise ends when you reach one hundred. Count at a leisurely pace, and take about two minutes to complete this exercise.
Step Two While you are counting and listening to the sounds, tap your right hand on the side of your right leg in time with your counting. Each time that you tap, think the next number. Note how the music is still heard and does not interfere with your mental counting or hand tapping.
Step Three Now add a tapping of your left hand on your left leg so that it alternates with the taps of your right hand. Now the odd numbers are tapped with your right hand and the even numbers are tapped with your left hand.
Step Four Begin to look back and forth from one side of your view to the other. Do this in time with your counting and tapping so that your eyes are looking right when your right hand taps and left when the left hand taps.
Step Five Begin to favor the left side of your nervous system. Make it important to pay attention to the feeling on your left leg and the feeling of the left hand tapping, the odd numbers being thought, and the sounds entering your left ear. This might also be expressed as “pay especial attention on the left beats”.
Step Six While all this is happening, note the words to the song that is being sung.
Step Seven As you finish counting to one hundred, note that in only the faintest way do you feel that you are “doing” most of what is happening. Note that almost everything continues by itself.
Ask yourself,Who is doing all this activity within me? How big is “me” that it can contain so much?
Where is “me” located while all this activity happens?
Do I find that “me” appears and disappears with how clearly I note my “intention to act”? Where is the sense of “me” when I forget to intend and I experience moments when everything just happens without “me” “really doing” anything?
What is “me”? Is it always the same? Am I sometimes the doer and sometimes only the watcher?
Who is listening/watching all this when “me” is busy doing, intending, noting or just watching the activity?
Who continues activities when I am almost fully attending to something else? How often during my daily life am I on “automatic pilot” instead of paying close attention to my experiencing?
If I refused to do anything, who would do ALL THIS?
What is the difference between watching and being the watcher?
Can I stop everything? Can I stop watching?
What kinds of mental actions do I have to do to just be?