Remember learning to ride a bike? One had to notice lots of new feelings and sensations such as balance, speed, coordinating body parts to new functions – braking and steering for example. The experiences of fear and exhilaration, of caution and trust also had to be navigated. But, at some point, all of it came together into the ease and joy of riding a bike: free, fun, fast, and independent.
Noticing the usually not noticed is an encouraged practice for some time in meditation training. Notice the breath. Notice breathing. Notice the thoughts. Notice that one does not have to engage thought. Notice tranquility, peace, inner well-being. One is also advised to take this noticing off the cushion so as to notice more of the harmony, beauty, and distractions that are part of one’s day. Notice emotions in the moment. Notice attachment as it arises. Notice ego in almost everything. Notice that joy has little to no story around it, which is why gossip is about troublesome things. Notice that one need not get engaged by the troublesome and can chose joy, humor, lightness of being.
Noticing becomes an ongoing vipashyana and cultivates openness to Awareness as it is: ordinary, profound, in this moment, now and always.
At some point in meditation training and practice, the instruction flips completely. Non-meditation, non-thought, non-action. Space-like mind would have been recognized as luminous and sharp and emptiness. Though that required noticing, and though noticing supported Awareness as it IS to be noticed and recognized, noticing also engendered impartiality. Slowly, slowly, everything began to be noticed – and noticed equally which is a type of non-noticing. Slowly, one thing being better or preferred or delighted in and another being disliked or avoided was eroded. Somehow, delight and giggle, humor and vulnerability replaced preferences and seeming importance. One had realized the illusory nature of such ascriptions and imputations. With that meditation has already become non-meditation. But, it happened slowly, slowly.