Here is a simple way to work with projections as it happens in daily life, which I sometimes find useful.
I notice something, often in others, and I can ask myself what it is to clarify it for myself. It can be anything: a mood, attitude, quality, emotion, story.
And then I ask myself, somebody is […], is it me?
Somebody is… [bored, angry, jittery, interested, afraid, oblivious, frustrated, distressed, insightful, ignorant, resourceful, lazy, rigid, exited, joyful.] Is it me?
It helps me see that I am the one experiencing it, here and now. It helps me own it, if we want to use that language.
And it helps me see that all I know is that I experience it. I may have it as a question about someone else, something they may or may not agree with if I ask them, but all I know for sure is that I am experiencing it right now.
It also helps me see my tendency to sometimes tell myself, somebody is …., it can’t be me, so it must be someone else. And then ask myself this question and see if I can find it.
Finally, it may be helpful to see that this can show up in two ways. First, as who I am, as this human self, I can find it in myself. I can own it. And this is the practical, everyday way of taking it. Then, as what I am, as awakeness, it is just happening. It is living its own life, on its own schedule, as anything else. It is just happening on its own. This is the practice side of it.
I noticed the benefit of this simple question most recently related to this journal. The thought that others must find this mind numbingly boring comes up for me now and then, and I usually don’t talk with people about these things for the same reason. They’ll probably find the topics, and especially this particular take on it, boring. Then I asked myself, somebody is bored with this particular take on these topics. Is it me?
And I can easily find it. I am the one who is bored with it.
Good to notice.