How does it happen?
Anytime there is a “me” there trying to be aware or trying to be silent, awareness and silence will be veiled. Anytime there is any kind of agenda for the “me,” the “me” is more than happy to jump into the conversation and offer it’s skilled advice or alternate solutions.
The key is to have the “me” quiet down just enough so the actuality of silence is realized.
There are a zillion and one techniques teachers suggest to help us quiet the mind, and thus recognize the awareness that we are.
One tip you hear many teachers recommend is to “get curious” about what is happening when negative feelings or emotions arise. They say by being curious, there is a subtle something happening that allows the feelings and sensations to just be as they are. And when we are just being, the “me” is silent.
But when I tell myself to be curious, it somehow activates the mind too much. Like I’m telling or commanding myself to ‘do’ something which then triggers “me” to respond or resist to the suggestion.
What seems to be helpful to me is when a feeling or a sensation appears, instead of telling myself to be curious, I simply ask “how does this _________happen?
“How does this tiredness happen?”
“How does this sadness happen?”
“How does this anger happen?”
“How does this tingly feeling in my stomach happen?”
When I ask this way, I do not get verbal responses. When I ask this way I get silent feedback. Then I am able to be more aware of what is happening instead of losing myself in mental dialogue.
This method also seems more of an ‘in-the-moment’ activity that has no secret agenda for the benefit of the “me.”
And when there is no agenda for the “me”, I do not find myself fifteen minutes later, lost in mental commentary 🙂