If this was bone-obvious to everyone else, then silly me, but I just thought of it because I heard these two words separately long ago and connected them while answering another question...
Are "the Observer" and the process of being Mindful, in essence the same thing? Does one involve the other inherently?
I have used them differently and never connected them before, because I thought:
- The Observer is a developed system within "me" (which is a collection of points of view of varying levels of awareness) and not everyone has an Observer or is aware of it all the time.
- Mindfulness is something I do and is not the activity of another point of view within "me".
But, trying to be mindful when I have only one point of view is not very possible, and who would be mindful, other than the Observer?
Finally: is transcending the Observer (and the need for Mindfulness) the same as Nonduality? I think it is. (Don't worry about answering this question, it is just an idea.)
EDIT: My Healing Teacher said that I have to get people to "define their terms", so here are my definitions:
The Observer is the experience of being aware of myself. It feels like I am witnessing my own thoughts and actions.
Mindfulness is the process of being aware of what I am doing. (To me, this does not require an Observer, but that is what I am asking.)
"Being aware of myself" means... Well, that I know what I am doing right now. Different from the other two.
A Mind - is something that could do otherwise, it exercises choice on some level.
Awareness is the action of a sufficiently developed mind.
Consciousness is awareness of being a self.
A Self is something that knows it is a self, and that other selves know, etc.
(Don't even get me started on the idea of Mindfullness being a way to empty the mind!)
Has this made it any clearer what I am asking? Please try to use words such as these for an answer, supplementing with the appropriate Buddhist terms.
ADDITION: here are some links which I hope can help people understand what I am asking:
- This RYUC one is a bit of a muddle, but the Observer corresponds with what I am asking about, and also is similar to what I call a Neo state. The Witness is more like how I would describe nonduality.
- This one about Energy Healing says that "In Buddhism, developing the witness/observer is a foundational piece of their teachings." Ha!
- In this one, they use the words observer and witness interchangeably.