I came across a quote this morning, which appeared at the bottom of an email from one of my acquaintances. A spiritual mentor, the person who has led a few retreats I have taken. 

You know how people sometimes place a quote under their name when they send an email?  I love reading these quotes because they often cause me to pause and reflect. However, in my teacher’s email the quote was quite long, longer than I usually see.  And I might not have read it, because I can be impatient and easily irritated. But this morning, I paused.  And I read the quote, and I’m sharing it with you now, just in case you are in the mood for reading a bit more.

Just by sitting quietly and observing how rapidly, and in many ways illogically, my thoughts and emotions came and went, I began to recognize in a direct way that they weren’t nearly as solid or real as they appeared to be. And once I began to let go of my belief in the story they seemed to tell, I began to see the ‘author’ behind them – the infinitely vast, infinitely open awareness that is the nature of mind.

Mingyur Rinpoche

And this quote reminded me of how often I hold onto the story, the story that my thoughts and emotions continually convey to me, with such urgency.  Crying out to me, interrupting me, trying to catch and hold my attention.  Almost as if my thoughts are saying, “notice me, pay attention to me, this is incredibly important stuff, stop what you’re doing and listen to this!”

But lately, a little bit of the time, and especially after reading a quote like this, I see myself noticing this old familiar pattern.  And my heart leaps with the recognition, that these thoughts are not me.  These emotions are not me.  They are not as real as they appear. And I become aware of being aware. 

And I realize
I am the conscious being,
sitting behind all this noise,
witnessing the thoughts and emotions arise
out of the infinite spaciousness of the awakened mind,
and watching the human named Pete, interact with the world.