On this topic will be explained in details how to do a constructive self observation in accord to the Gurdjieff teachings. There are more writings about this topic, but I released that each of them gives only “fragments” of a real self observation practice. Also, there are many practicies to develop the skills for self observation: this practice is one of the most simple and useful both for “beginners” and “advanced” practitioners.
So, here is a technique called “Second Line Attention” that I’m surewill be helpful for all the practitioners as it was helpful for me and all who practiced her. This exercise is very similar to the practices suggested in the Buddhist text “Maha Satipatthana Sutta”, but developed a little bit for the necessities of the modern life. Here is a part of the originaol text:
“…And again, bhikkus, a bhikkhu (Buddhist monk who has received full ordination) while walking knows “I am walking”, while standing, he knows “I am standing”; while sitting, he knows, “I am sitting”; while lying down he knows, “I am lying down”…”.
It’s important to understand that in this text the concept “know” (ie. “he knows I am sitting”) is related to the proprety of “feeling”: if you don’t feel yourself sitting, then you don’t “know”. So know = being aware. Remember that feeling is a core of self observation and self remembering.
The explanation of this exercise is simply: we use two “tools”- our birth name sayd in third person and our body. How? During the day, when we do some action, we must feel ourselves doing that determinate thing and, at the same time, repeat mentally our name and the action we are doing in the third person. Example: When I pick up a glass I feel my body doing this action and I say mentally: “Andrea takes the glass” when I walk I feel my body in motion and say mentally: “Andrea walks” and so on. In this way, observing the action, and mentally repeating what we are doing in that moment, we can start to observe better ourselves. Also, when we do this practice, is more important to feel-sense our body in motion. Similarly, we can do the same things with emotions: When I feel happy I say: “Andrea is Happy” when I’ m tired, “Andrea is tired,” when I’m angry “Andrea is angry”….. The simple repeating the actions we do in third person help us to be a little more detached from what we do or feel. That’s all. This action has to be done during the all day. Observe yourself in every moment and, when you notice you’ve forgot doing this practice, just focus your attention on what you are doing right in that moment. Practice with patience, don’t get angry when you notice you’ve forget yourself- at this stage of the “Work”, it’s a normal thing!