A SHORT SPIRITUAL EXERCISE
A helpful exercise to get a sense of the journey is this: picture yourself as having two selves or two aspects to your one self. The first self is the Ego Self (hereafter referred to as the Ego). The second self is the True Self (hereafter referred to as the Self). If the psyche were pictured as an iceberg, the Ego would be only the tip, the Self would be the much larger submerged part.
Notice within yourself six things which attract and occupy your attention: thoughts, memories (thoughts of the past), plans (thoughts of the future), fantasies, feelings (emotions), and finally physical sensations. These are the six objects of attention of the Ego.
Now notice that you are breathing. Shift your attention to your breathing and return it there whenever one of the six things intrudes. Breath, a synonym for Spirit in many languages of the world, is the gateway to the Self. Here is encountered the larger reality of Spirit, myth, symbol, archetype, intuition and mystical encounter.
Now notice a third aspect of your inner space: that perspective from which you are able to imagine the difference between the Ego and the Self. This place of perspective is known as the Observer. Meditation, such as the breathing exercise described here, strengthens the Observer and leads to more spontaneous awareness and an expansion of interior freedom.