Observing ourselves can be difficult. Often we find that observing ourselves throws us into a state where we doubt ourselves, we dislike what we see. We identify with the negative aspects of ourselves instead of just seeing them and forget that we are perfect and complete to begin with.
Clarifying and embodying that perfection, that “Lost Coin”, is our practice. Still we get lost in the woods. The woods are what we are observing – so we can get out – so we can find home.
Most of us enjoy amusing stories about other peoples struggles with themselves, their practice, their teachers. Stories about getting stuck, but it’s something altogether different when we look at where we’re stuck. We don’t think that is so funny.
We can take a look at the places where we are stuck, even though it can be hard and try not to be too hard on ourselves in the process. When you practice just try to see yourself, see yourself being right or angry or feeling like a victim or whatever your mechanical tendency is.
Try to think of it like being an athlete: a tennis player might observe that she has a weak backhand. Her opponent will always hit to her backhand, but if she sees that’s a weak spot that is very important – she can work on it.
We all have a weak backhand, whatever it is, and that’s what we called the Chief Feature – the default behaviors and perceptions. This does not change the fact that we are perfect and compete. Even what we see as our greatest failings are part of the perfection. Becoming conscious of these area clarifies that perfection.
We can find that weak backhand and really look at it. Do it objectively, do it repeatedly, and don’t be too self-critical. Just seeing it, becoming conscious of it is our practice. Certain weeds only grow in the dark.