I went to a coffee shop late afternoon to read, and found myself in a cacophony of espresso machine roars, loud music, and a couple next to me with a thick pile of newspapers on the table and rustling furiously with the ones they were reading.
I noticed my personality getting triggered, and the impulse of wanting to leave right away. And I also noticed that this would be a wonderful opportunity to practice. There was little chance of any lasting damage. All that was going on was the peculiar hangups of this personality.
So I found myself as headless, as space & awareness in which this madhouse of experiences unfolded – the sounds from the espresso machine, the music and the newspaper rustling, and the reactions of the personality. And it was fine. I noticed the personality going full tilt with its habitual patterns and the stomach tightening, but it all unfolded within this space. It was all fine. Actually, it felt clarifying – even purifying. My sense of myself as space clarified, and the patterns triggered in the small self may have had an opportunity to soften a little (at least, they were not deepened as they would have been if I fueled them).
As I left about an hour later to catch a bus, I caught myself nearly bowing in gratitude to the newspaper readers next to me, but caught it in time (although that embarrassment would only have been another opportunity to practice!).