archive Return to Observation

The use of these lessons to alter our attachment and judgment processes has been very effective.  The use of this document is prefaced with the concept that it can take you out of your current reality.  For some this is difficult.  If you run into problems stop doing the lessons.  If within three days you have not reverted back to your normal thought processes or a process that is agreeable please seek additional support.  You are welcome to participate in these lessons as a group.  To be assigned to a group please fill out the form at the bottom of the page.

The lessons are intended to be done one per day for two weeks.
Lesson 1, Lesson 2Lesson 3Lesson 4Lesson 5, Lesson 6Lesson 7Lesson 8Lesson 9Lesson 10Lesson 11Lesson 12Lesson 13Lesson 14, End of Return to Observation Form

Lesson 1

“Nothing I see has any meaning.”

Relax in the space you are in.  Take a few deep breaths and pull into the physical body as you compose yourself to examine this thought.  “Nothing I see has any meaning.”  Once you are relaxed look around you.  As your gaze crosses an object say, “You have no meaning. There is no meaning to this object.”  Pause briefly before moving to the next object.

Pay close attention to how you feel your body react to this statement, “You have no meaning.  There is no meaning to this object.”  What do you realize as you tell yourself that the object has no meaning?  Do you feel it differently in your body for different objects?  Try a few objects before continuing to read the lesson.

The purpose of this exercise is to show you how your conscious mind fills in details.  You say the object has no meaning.  You can feel your body and mind supply a meaning or you can feel it support that the object is meaningless to you. Accepting all objects have no meaning keeps them equal to one another, no item being more or less important than another as it has no meaning.

As you practice applying this idea today, do it randomly, skipping here and there.  Do not include every single item in your space. This is not a belief we are trying to lock into conscious mind, this is a felt sense we want the mind and body to be aware of.   Be sure that nothing is purposely omitted or excluded. One object is like another as far as the application of this belief is concerned.

Repeat this exercise 2-3 times today.

Return to Observation Group Experience

Lesson 2

“I have learned meaning for everything in this space.”

Choose a significant item you see and consider these thoughts:

  • I have learned many meanings for this item.
  • I can remember instances where I changed or considered the meaning of items based on the meaning it has for others.
  • Every meaning this item has I learned from someone or some experience.  

An example to help  you on your way:

  • I have learned many things about scissors
  • I remember learning that scissors were cool and could cut out Christmas decorations.  I also remember learning scissors are dangerous and I shouldn’t run with them.  I remember learning that sharp scissors can cut my skin if I am not paying attention when I use them.
  • I learned to love creating decorations with scissors from my brothers and mother, running is dangerous from my teacher, and cutting all by myself when I used the grown up scissors without permission.

Now scan the space, allowing yourself to repeat this for 1-3 objects, feeling the connection to the thoughts as you remember them. Once done move onto the next section.

Relax, take a few deep breaths, pull into the body, and compose yourself to examine several objects.  As your gaze crosses an object say, “I have given this object and everything in this space all the meaning it has for me.”   

Same as yesterday, practice applying this idea randomly, skipping here and there, not including all items and not purposely omitting any items.  Do this quickly, without pause on any items.  Be cautious and avoid separating by size, value, material, or relative importance to you.  Attempt to apply the exercise with equal ease to a body or a book, a chair or a plant, a cat or an apple. The sole criteria for applying the idea to anything is merely that your eyes have gazed quickly on it.

Repeat this exercise 2-3 times today.

Lesson 3

“I know not what anything means. Nothing I see has meaning.”

Same as yesterday, practice applying this idea randomly, skipping here and there, not including all items and not purposely omitting any items.  Do this quickly, without pause on any items.  Keep your thoughts focused.  When you feel the need to question the truth of this release the thought and confirm “I know not what anything means.  Nothing I see has meaning.”

These are not exercises in judgment. Anything is suitable if you see it.  Some of the things you see may have emotionally-charged meaning for you. Try to release these meanings and merely view these things exactly as you would anything else.

The point of the exercise is to help you clear your mind of all past attachments and conclusions, to see things exactly as they appear to you in this moment, and to realize how little you really understand about them.  It is necessary to keep an open mind, void of judgment, in selecting the things to which the idea for the day is to be applied. For this purpose one thing is like another, all things are equal and useful.

Repeat this exercise 2-3 times today.

Lesson 4

“These thoughts have no meaning. They are like the things I see in this space, all around me all the time.”

Unlike the other exercises, these do not begin with the idea for the day. Today you will begin with noting the thoughts that are crossing your mind for about a minute, then apply the idea to them. If you are already aware of uncomfortable thoughts use them as subjects for the idea. Do not, however, select only the thoughts you think are “bad” or “unwanted.”

In using your thoughts for application of the idea for today, identify each thought in noun or verb form; for example:  “This thought about ________________ does not mean anything. It is like the things I see in this space, all around me all the time.”

You can use the idea for a particular thought which you recognize as harmful. This practice is useful, but is not a substitute for the more random procedures to be followed for the exercises. Only examine your mind for a minute or so.  The suspension of judgment in connection with thoughts may trigger a ripping effect if indulged in before you are comfortable with the entire process of separation from attachment, judgment, or conclusions.

The aim is to lead you in the first steps toward the goal of separating a delusion from your truth, with an attempt towards the long-range understanding of learning to see meaning is within us.

Lesson 5

“I am never upset for the reason I think.”

This idea can be used with any person, situation or event you believe is causing you pain.  Begin with searching your mind for sources of upset and the form that upset takes. The upset may seem to be anger, frustration, fear, disappointment, envy, anxiety, etc.  Each of these emotions seem to be different, energetically this is not true. Until you learn how energy works, applying the same idea to each emotion separately is the first step in ultimately recognizing they are all the same.

Today, phrase the idea this way:
“I am not disappointed with ____ for the reason I think.”
“I am not afraid of ____ for the reason I think.”

In these exercises you may find it hard to avoid giving greater weight to some subjects than to others.  If you do, try starting the exercise with the statement: “There are no small upsets. They are all equally uncomfortable in my brain.”  Then examine your thoughts for whatever is upsetting you, regardless of how much or how little you think it is doing so.

You may also find yourself less willing to apply today’s idea to some experiences of upset than to others. If so, include this:  “I cannot keep this form of upset and let the others go. For the purposes of these exercises, I will consider them all the same.”  Then search your thoughts for no more than a minute, identifying a number of different forms of upset that are disturbing you, regardless of the relative importance you may give them. Apply the idea for today to each of them as phrased before.

Full script:

“There are no small upsets. They are all equally uncomfortable in my brain.  I cannot keep one form of upset and let the others go. For the purposes of these exercises, I will consider them all the same. I am not (worrying, angry, disappointed) about (money, my partner, my weight) for the reason I think.”

3-4 times during the day is enough.

Lesson 6

“I am upset because I see something that is not there.”

The exercises with this idea are very similar to the preceding ones.  Name both the form of upset (fear, anger, worry, anxiety, and so on) and the perceived source very specifically when working with this idea.

For example:
I am disappointed with ____ because I see something that is not there.”
I am pissed about ___because I see something that is not there.”
Today’s idea is useful for application to anything that seems to upset you, and can be used throughout the day for that purpose.

For the three or four practice periods you will  begin with a minute or so of mind-searching, as before, and then apply the thought “I am upset because I see something that is not there.” to each idea you find in the search. Again, if you resist applying the idea to some upsetting thoughts more than to others, remind yourself of the two cautions stated in the previous lesson:
There are no small upsets. They are all equally uncomfortable in my brain. and I cannot keep this form of upset and let the others go. For the purposes of these exercises, I will consider them all the same.

practice 3-4 times during the day

Lesson 7

“I only see the past.”

The brain processes information by using snap shots over time, comparing them, then making decisions based on the whole of the compared snapshots.  “I only see the past” can be particularly difficult to believe at first.  When we are in observation we are not pulling the snapshots into this moment.  We can not access historic or past information while in observation, being totally immersed in the moment.

“I only see the past” is why nothing that you see means anything. It is why you have given everything you see all the meaning that it has for you. It is why you do not understand anything you see.  It is why your thoughts do not mean anything, and why they are like the things you see.  It is the reason you are never upset for the reason you think.  It is the reason you are upset because you see something that is not there.

Our lives are deeply rooted in time.  Because of this we move in and out of this moment in time, seeing the past and using it to predict the future.

“I only see the past” idea is not really so strange as it may sound at first. Consider this example of a cup, for example.  Think of a cup.  Do you see a cup, or are you merely reviewing your past experiences of being thirsty, picking up a cup, drinking from a cup, feeling the cup against your lips, meals that included a cup, and so on? Consider the attachments to your cup memories, if you have dropped one and it broke.  You are in the past if you think of dropping it in this moment. How else would you know whether or not this kind of cup will break if you drop it? What do you know about this cup except what you learned in the past? Without the catalogue of your past observations you would have no idea what this cup is in this moment. Do you, then, really see it?

Look about you. This is equally true of whatever you look at. Acknowledge this by applying the idea for today indiscriminately to whatever catches your eye. For example:
I see only the past in this foot.”
I see only the past in this shoe.”
I see only the past in this car.”
I see only the past in that body, that face.”
“I see only the past in those cookies.”

Notice we do not use the possessive form of my. Do not linger over any one thing in particular, but remember to omit nothing specifically. Glance briefly at each subject, and then move on to the next.

Lesson 8

“My past is preoccupying my thoughts.”

All thoughts, ideas, conclusion, judgments, attachments, and fears are based in the past.  No one in this moment has any of these experiences; these all occur because “my past in preoccupying my thoughts”.  Without your thoughts of the past you have no active response in this moment, you have no suffering, you have no anticipation. The mind cannot grasp the present, it can only observe. Without a compilation of “snap shots” to compare and contrast the mind can not create a response, a behavior, a reaction for a given set of circumstances.

Freeing the mind from the weight of this obligation allows the life force to move without constant interference.  For this reason today you will close your eyes and with as little effort as possible search your mind for the usual minute or so, merely noting the thoughts you find there.  Name each one by the noun or theme it contains, and continue on to the next.

  • Start by saying, “I seem to be thinking about ____.”  Then name each of your thoughts specifically, for example:  I seem to be thinking about (name of person), about (name of object), about (name of emotion), and so on,” concluding at the end of the mind-searching period with: And my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts. Only I create this reality.”
  • A second approach would be to start with, “I am letting my mind  ____.”  example, “I am letting my mind believe that I am upset about the dog.” or “I am letting my mind predict that I can not get to work on time.
  • A third approach would be, “I am giving my mind permission to distract me with ___.” example, “I am giving my mind permission to distract me with fears about failing.” or “I am giving my mind permission to misunderstand my partners needs.”

The one true thought about the past we can hold is that it is not here. To think about it at all is therefore to think with creation, moving out of this moment in time to a moment that does not exist in the now. Our minds have not been trained to realize what is actually entailed in picturing the past or in anticipating the future without our interference of creation. The mind is actually blank when it does this; anything else is creation based on historic information.  History does not exist in this moment, therefore “my past is preoccupying my thoughts.” and “my prediction is merely a distraction used for creation in this moment.”

The purpose of the exercises for today is to begin to train your mind to recognize when it is not really thinking at all. While thoughtless “ideas” preoccupy your mind, the truth is blocked. Recognizing that your mind is blank, rather than believing that it is filled with in the moment ideas, is the first step to opening the way to vision, reconnecting the intuitive with the conscious.

repeat one of the 3 approaches 4-5 times during the day, unless you find it irritates you. If so reduce to 3-4 times. You might find it helpful to include your irritation, or any emotion which the idea may induce, in the mind searching itself.

Lesson 9

“I see nothing as it is now.”

A necessary step in learning to understand is to first not understand.  This next lesson, while you may be able to accept it intellectually, unlikely hits you with the full force of it’s mastery, meaning little to you as of yet. Learning occurs with practice. Through practice you will understand “I see nothing as it is now”.

As each of these lessons is a step towards understanding, each lesson brings a little more attention to how our minds have been trained, enlightening us to the depths of the darkness from which we are escaping, clearing away habitual behavior responsible for the continuous enforcement of unnecessary blocks, monkey mind, circular thoughts.

It is difficult for the trained mind to believe that what seems to be pictured before it is not there. This idea can be quite disturbing, and may meet with active resistance in any number of forms. It is emphasized again that while complete inclusion should not be attempted, specific exclusion must be avoided. Be sure you are honest with yourself in making this distinction. Your mind may be tempted to obscure it, holding a false belief that it is protecting you. All possession is to the past.  In the now there is no attachment, no judgment, no conclusions of any kind.

“I do not see this t-shirt as it is now.”      “I do not see this pillow as it is now.”    “I do not see this telephone as it is now.”
Begin with things that are nearest you, and then extend the range:
I do not see that chair as it is now.”    I do not see that face as it is now.”    I do not see that door as it is now.”

3-4 times during the day

Lesson 10

“I see the past in everything.  Nothing in this moment has meaning.”

Again, scan the space around you neither purposely including or specifically excluding any item. As you pass an item with your gaze that makes you “feel”, stop on that item briefly recognizing the connection it has to your past.  Be vigilant of the slightest shift as you move from item to item.

“I see the past in ___.  In this moment ___ has no meaning. All the meaning that ___ has I continually assign from the past to this moment.”

I am choosing to use the past in every moment to create this moment. I am using the experience of this past to give meaning to this moment without living this moment.

“I see the past in this photo.  In this moment this photo has no meaning.  All the meaning that this photo has I continually assign from the past to this moment.”
“I see the past in this tea cup.  In this moment this tea cup has no meaning.  All the meaning that this tea cup has I continually assign from the past to this moment.”

If connection of the past to this moment brings me joy without effort then connection to the past with this moment can bring me pain without effort. Nothing in this moment has meaning. I see how I use the past to create my now.  I see how holding my past keeps me out of my now. This behavior is a choice and can be understood. Releasing attachment, my thoughts about the past, my  moments, things I have been told to hold important, gives me space to see my world as I choose in this now.

Repeat as many times as you need to see the separation from the past to this moment.

Lesson 11

“I am preoccupied with the meaninglessness in the thoughts of others.”

Today’s idea introduces the concept that your thoughts determine the world you see, you are not seeing the thoughts of others, you are only seeing what you choose to see, your thoughts of others. As you realize the world does not determine your thinking you will generate the freedom to release each thought that does not serve you.  Enjoy practicing this, releasing the self control that holds us in responsibility for our preoccupation with what we think others are thinking.

The practice periods for today’s idea are to be undertaken somewhat differently from the previous ones. Begin with eyes closed, and repeat the idea slowly to yourself.

“I am preoccupied with the meaninglessness I see in the thoughts of others.  The meaning I see in the thoughts of others is not as I see it now.”

Then open your eyes and look about, near or far, up or down, — anywhere. During the minute or so to be spent in using the idea, merely repeat it to yourself, being sure to do so without haste and with no sense of urgency or effort.

To do these exercises for maximum benefit, the eyes should move from one thing to another fairly rapidly, since they should not linger on anything in particular. The words, however, should be used in an unhurried, even leisurely fashion. The introduction to this idea should be practiced as casually as possible. It contains the foundation for the peace, relaxation and freedom from worry that we are trying to achieve. On concluding the exercises, close your eyes and repeat the idea once more, slowly to yourself.

3 practice periods. If there is little or no uneasiness and an inclination to do more, as many as 5. More is not recommended.

Lesson 12

“I am inspired because I recognize my creation of a meaningless world.”

The importance of this idea lies in the fact that it contains a correction for a major perceptual distortion. You think that what upsets you is a fearful world, or a bad world, or an unfair world. All these attributes are given it by you. The world is meaningless in itself. You have the ability to give it meaningfulness. You can now begin to recognize your own authority in your life and your ability to create the experience you choose.

These exercises are done with eyes open. Look around you, this time quite slowly. Try to pace yourself so that the slow shifting of your glance from one thing to another involves a fairly constant time interval. Do not allow the time of the shift to become markedly longer or shorter, but try, instead, to keep a measured, even tempo throughout. What you see does not matter. You teach yourself this as you give whatever your glance rests on equal attention and equal time. This is a beginning step in learning to give them all equal value.

As you look about you, say to yourself: “I think I see a problem where there is none, I think I see a conflict where there is none, I think I see pain where there is none” and so on, using whatever descriptive terms happen to occur to you. If terms which seem positive rather than negative occur to you, include them. For example, you might think “I think I see a good world,” or “an exciting world.” If such terms occur to you, use them along with the rest. You may not yet understand why these “nice” adjectives belong in these exercises, but remember that “a good world” implies a “bad” one, and so on.

At the end of the practice period, add: “And I am inspired because I recognize my creation of a meaningless world.” What is meaningless is neither good nor bad. Create your world as you choose.

3-4 times for practice today.

Lesson 13

“Seeing a meaningless world brings about fear.”

Many things do not yet have, and may never have, the meaning to you that they have to others.  You are constantly calculating the meaning for others on their behalf, anticipating, concluding, expecting the meaning for them to make communication more complete between you.  If you allow others to take responsibility for the creation of their own world you are free to create your world without the meaninglessness of the world of others.

It is essential, therefore, that you learn to recognize the meaningless, and accept it without fear. If you are fearful, it is certain that you will see meaning in a world that does not exist, crowding it with images that do not exist. To the conscious ego illusions are safety devices.

The exercises for today, which should be done about three or four times, for not more than a minute or so at most each time, are to be practiced in a somewhat different way from the preceding ones. With eyes closed, repeat today’s idea to yourself. “Seeing a meaningless world brings about fear.” Then open your eyes and look about you slowly, saying:  I am looking at a meaningless world.”

Repeat this statement to yourself as you look about. Then close your eyes and conclude with: “Seeing a meaningless world brings about fear because I think I am responsible for how others react to the way I see the world.

You may find it difficult to avoid resistance, in one form or another, to this concluding statement. Whatever form such resistance may take, remind yourself that you are really afraid of being harmed by the behavior of others if you release your control over the world outside of you. You are not expected to believe the statement at this point. Note carefully, however, any signs of specific fear which it may arouse.

Lesson 14

“Creating a meaningful world is possible.”

Because I am responsible for my world, and my world alone, I can choose in every moment to fully experience my world.

Pick an item, any item.  Recognize, “I have learned everything this item means.  I choose to keep this meaning or I can choose to let this meaning go.” Reflect on the item and all you can call to mind in any direction about this item.

Now, “I am capable of creating and communicating the meaning of this item to myself and to others with full understanding.” See how you choose to keep part or all of a meaning and what emotion or belief you control with it.  Release this with, This item currently means nothing to me, my past gives this item all the meaning it has.” See how you are capable of projecting your past into this moment to experience it again with this item.  

Lastly, “I can choose in every moment to release or continue this attachment, judgment, conclusion, or connection to my past.  It is of my free will.”  Practice this anytime you need a reminder that you create a meaningful world.

Thank you for participating in the Return to Observation.  We hope you enjoyed the process and wish you continued success with the methods explored.  We suggest that you repeat this every 3 or 6 months until you have experienced it 4 times.  Each time you will retain a stronger ability to break the conscious socialized control that makes attachment, judgement, and conclusions experienced as a negative instead of the support we know it can be. If you feel uneasy or confused about any of your journey regarding this program please seek further information immediately from your Group Leader or STUDY Coordinator. 

End of Return to Observation Form