This Awareness Practice is a Great Assist in Energy Psychology Awareness 

This Awareness Practice is a Great Assist in Energy Psychology Awareness 


Here’s something to try as you sit in meditation and as you go about your day: Provisionally, take the position that there is a Front and Back to your experience, to your life. Determine that you will explore this notion experientially for the next while—up to you for how long.

In essence, the experiment consists of shifting your attention back and forth from Front to Back. Now, most people have absolutely no difficulty with focusing on what’s in Front. It’s when they try to focus on what’s in Back that difficulties may arise. So, for our purposes, let’s define what’s in Front as everything and anything that can be experienced as an object of awareness. So this would include everything seen, heard, smelled, tasted in the outer world: trees, birds, the voices of friends and strangers, cherry yogurt, etc. It would also include—and this is a tricky part—any of your own body’s senses and sensations, and, yes, any of your thoughts and emotions. After all, we know when something in our body is feeling something, just as we know when we’re angry or hurt; just as we can know our own thoughts—when we’re not subsumed into them or taken over by them.


What’s in Back, then, is what allows for the experience of what’s in Front. It is the Subject that holds the objects of experience in awareness. From our normally limited perspective, though, the problem is that the in Back (Subject) cannot be made into an object—though try and try we will. In fact, it can be said that the Subject turned falsely into an object is the small self, or any of the mini-identities we routinely take ourselves to be. How do we know all those are unreal selves? Because we can stand back from them and see them as objects of awareness.

One description of the intention and fruition of practice might be the sudden or slow recognition that all those small selves are not real, and that we’ve been living out of what has been famously called “me, a case of mistaken identity.”

The Front and Back experiment is nothing more than an on-going experiment to come to that realization—or if the realization has already happened, to deepen and embody it more thoroughly. No matter where we are in our practice, it seems we can go deeper and wider, including more of what we’ve believed is “not me.” We can continue to build, as Joko used to say, a bigger container. And in the “building” of that container, some of the nice side effects are more equanimity and true contentment, even in the midst of the so-called problems of living.

We might even come to the experiential realization at some point that Front and Back are just convenient pointing-out tools and are not separate, just as Subject and Object are really not-two. The important thing is to see what you can discover for yourself.

Al Zolinas