In the beginning it is difficult because the eyes only know how to look out. They have become so accustomed to looking out that when you close them, then too they continue to look out – they start dreaming, they start fantasizing. Those dreams are nothing but reflections of the outside. So you are only apparently with closed eyes. But your eyes are still open to the outside world, you are not in. In fact, every meditator comes across this strange phenomenon: that whenever you close your eyes your mind becomes more restless, your mind becomes more insane. It starts chattering in a crazy way: relevant, irrelevant thoughts crisscross your being. It is never so when you are looking outside. And naturally you become tired, naturally you think it is better to remain occupied in something, in some work, rather than sit silently with closed eyes, because nothing seems to happen except a long, long procession of thoughts, desires, memories. And they go on coming, unending.
But this is only in the beginning. Just a little patience, just a little awaiting… If you go on looking, watching these thoughts, silently, with no judgment, with no antagonism, with no desire even to stop them – as if you have no concern with them – unconcerned… Just as one watches the traffic on the road, or one watches the clouds in the sky, or one watches a river flow by, you simply watch your thoughts. You are not those thoughts, you are the watcher, remembering that “I am the watcher, not the watched.” You cannot be the watched, you cannot be the object of your own subjectivity. You are your subjectivity, you are the witness, you are consciousness – and remembering it! It takes a little time; slowly, slowly the old habit dies. It dies hard but it dies, certainly. And the day the traffic stops, suddenly you are full of light. You have always been full of light, just those thoughts were not allowing you to see that which you are.
When all objects have disappeared, there is nothing else to see, you recognize yourself for the first time. You realize yourself for the first time.
It is not becoming; it is a discovery of being. The outer shell of the thoughts of the mind is dropped, and you have discovered your flowers, you have discovered your fragrance. This fragrance is freedom.
Hence don’t ask, “How can I become a light unto myself?” You are already a light unto yourself, you are just not aware of it. You have forgotten about it – you have to discover it. And the how of discovery is simple, very simple: a simple process of watching your thoughts.
To help this process you can start watching other things too, because the process of watching is the same. What you are watching is not significant. Watch anything and you are learning watchfulness. Listen to the birds, it is the same. One day you will be able to listen to your own thoughts. The birds are a little farther away, your thoughts are a little closer. In the fall watch the dry leaves falling from the trees. Anything will do that helps you to be watchful. Walking, watch your own walking.
Buddha used to say to his disciples: “Take each step watchfully.” He used to say: “Watch your breath.” And that is one of the most significant practices for watching because the breath is there continuously available for twenty-four hours a day wherever you are. The birds may be singing one day, they may not be singing some other day, but breathing is always there. Sitting, walking, lying down, it is always there. Go on watching the breath coming in, the breath going out.