I have been experimenting with finding the observer in my experience. It has been very interesting taking stock of myself with this intention of finding the part of me that is at rest, watching the rest of me ride the roller coaster of my human experience.
I read a great quote by Aziz Kristof about finding the watch tower in yourself, the part of you that is surveying the little you moving about on the land. So, in meditation I've been attempting to focus my mind, to turn my understanding inside out to access this observer. What I've found, however, is that I've been able to focus all the way to the watchtower, but have not been able to settle into any kind of concept of an observer within the watchtower.
Then I had an image come to me that has helped me to grasp this concept.
I had the image of a telescope come to me, and I was looking through the 'wrong' end of it. The idea was to look in the telescope backwards to see the tiny speck of observer looking through at me. Inside I could see essence of the observer-Self, just as something like a dot. It makes sense that the observing Self would be small, because it would not be intent on making a large projection of itself with a supposed purpose to bump up against other ego projections.
After I was able to process this concept on an intellectual level, I realized that I had to drop the entire experience of it out of the intellect, and into the heart--to look with the heart, because just seeing the speck of an observer isn't enough.
I realized that it doesn't matter if you can see the observer if you are closed to comprehending what the observer itself symbolizes, the vastness of the space in which the observer lives or, in essence, is; outside our automatic and limited template of dense form, which we think is the end all--the edge of the horizon that drops off a flat earth. Rather we must find the realm of oblivion, where we fall when we let ourselves fall--or jump:)-- the void were exists all possibility, precisely because it has no relationship with our concept of limitation, nor does it have any investment in the outcomes of, or our dealings within our projections.
You can only feel the immensity of this in the heartspace. Or space of the heart (think of space as in outer space--the place where we shoot up our rockets, and then add heart to that).
In the heartspace you have no need for any image at all, because you directly access the observer-Self. Feeling the sense of opening the heart takes you into the observer awareness. You lose all sense of concepts here, except for what we would recognize as feelings of relief, joy, lightness, spaciousness, love, and acceptance. Peace.
I find that images have much instructional value in my experience, and are especially helpful if your default is to feel contracted and folded in, as the images can pull you into a more open interpretation, which naturally opens you. I can see that as my default becomes to be more and more open, I can drop the images and just move into the heart to access this peace--although most of the time I access it faster when the intellect can act as a sort of springboard.
Mostly I realize that this process of accessing awareness has a life force of its own, and is unique to every individual. You need do nothing but open to it, and it will lead you lovingly into the awareness that you seek. Big chunks of yourself naturally begin to fall away, and as a result the awareness, which is already stable within, becomes less and less obstructed--and the experience of awareness lengthens and deepens to form new memory and a new template from which we can interpret experience.