This is arguably one of the hardest exercises you can practice.
Certainly, it’s an exercise that I continue to struggle with and perhaps will never truly understand.
Of course, this isn’t to say that it isn’t useful as a thought exercise. More that it’s an exercise that can tend to produce more anger and frustration, than enlightenment.
Although, that’s also part of the challenge.
This exercise is a bit like asking you to imagine what a cube would look like in 4D. It’s not something we can inherently do provided our limited ability to perceive only in 3D.
No matter how we try to think about it, we can provide no meaningful answer that will intuitively make sense based on our 3D understanding of the world.
And part of the magic of this exercise is learning to come to terms with the fact that there is no perfect answer, let alone any coherent answer at all.
This is where you’ll discover the most benefit from practicing this exercise.
I want you to think about your mind.
Your mind is what allows you to think, feel and perceive reality.
When we bunch all these things together what we effectively create is our conscious experience.
Now, I want you to ask yourself.
Where does your consciousness come from?
Does your consciousness come from your mind? Does it come from your eyes? Is there any single point of consciousness you can pin point, in the cloud of sensation that you’re currently experiencing?
Furthermore, I want you to attempt to do something profound. I want you to attempt to look at that which is perceiving.
Which is to say, I want you to try and locate the centre of your consciousness.
What does it look like? Is there even a centre? Is the centre merely temporary? Is there even a consciousness to locate at all?
The difficulty of this exercise derives from the fact that it’s incredibly difficult to interpret something you are.
It’s a bit like asking someone to describe what they look like, when they’ve never seen a reflection of themselves in the mirror.
Now to add to the perplexity of the situation, imagine how frustrating it would be trying to describe what you look like, when you’ve never even seen another human being before?
That’s a bit what this exercise is like, because we only have our own consciousness to relate to, and even then no one quite knows what it is.
So not only does this exercise require an incredible amount of thinking outside of the box, however it’s a thought exercise which may not even be possible at all.
Regardless, like all awareness exercises the benefit comes from the process, so play around with the idea and see where it takes you.
Certainly, none of it may make any sense at all, let alone ever.
However the more you think about the idea, the easier it will become to remove those conceptual barriers and even come to a point of acceptance where this may make sense to you in some form, even if it doesn’t directly address all your concerns.
I highly encourage you stick with it for a few days at least.
And see where it takes you.