Who is watching the thoughts in meditation?
You say to watch your thoughts. Who is watching? What is watching?
Yes, that is when you will be able to become aware of the one who is watching and you are able to pay attention to that. Because it is you who is watching and you who is thinking also. You who have created those thoughts and imaginations. Just like you are watching a movie and all your consciousness gets sucked into it, you forget that you are watching a movie, the movie appears so solid and realistic, you identify yourself also into the movie as if you are the hero, you are the villain. You experience every emotion, panic, fear, everything. Suddenly somebody comes, “Come on, you are perfectly alright, you are just sitting and watching.” So that is what is you. You are the one who is watching, you are the one imagining. So if you get rid of those thoughts then the conscious awareness gets back to your Self. Then you are able to become aware of your Self.
I don't understand.
Yes, that's also true because one needs to gain the ability, mind has to go to that level, until then, even if I talk it could be a bit confusing sometimes. So first, at least, try to get rid of those thoughts by watching constantly because paying attention is important. If you don't pay attention you are unable to observe. Just like, if I ask you to watch this [pointing to microphone] just watch this, don't think whether it is a microphone or black, God or not God. Just nothing. Simply watch, then your mind recedes and then consciousness turns introverted. Then you will be able to become aware of yourself as the one who is watching.
It feels like, for me, my mind is watching itself.
Exactly, just now it is the mind because of the thoughts you are recognising it as a mind. You have given a name to yourself as mind. Mind is nothing but you, yourself. You are the one who is thinking, you are those thoughts. Everything is you. The raw material for those thoughts and objects in the mind is mind itself. That mind is nothing but you.
In this meditation it is actually the mind is trying to watch itself, instead of its thoughts.
Makes some sense?
Where would we be without our thoughts then, we would be present?
Yes. You see, otherwise the mind is anxious about the future or is brooding about the past. It is seldom into the now, present. This meditation helps you to neutralise that. When there are no thoughts you are in the present always and that Self is simply everywhere. This can be experienced only in deeper meditations of Samadhi if you pursue on that path. That's how it happens.
Otherwise it appears as if you are in the thought. When the thought is not there what remains is the Pure Consciousness in that stillness