This is a meditation focusing on the mind. We show up for meditation and the mind is very chatty. What is the mind saying?
The purpose of this meditation is to identify the actors of the ego. It is a method called self-inquiry. We are inquiring into the nature of the ego. We must confess, we are all great actors and we play many parts. We know it conceptually, now we must go deeper and expose them. In identifying them, in seeing them, in bringing our awareness to them, we can see the thoughts, emotions and inner dramas that we are living out. Seeing the patterns and calling them out, they will eventually drop of their own accord.
Carolyn Myss, following Jung's footsteps, identified many archetypes, which are really different ways that the ego manifests itself. You can use archetypes to help identify the actors, or you can come up with your own names for them. For example, one of my actors I dubbed Ms. Pretty. It is a common conditioning of women that we should appear put-together, presentable and pretty, as in this way attention is given to us.
Do be aware that the ego is a shape-shifter; it is not merely an archetype. The ego can and does take on a myriad of roles. You will have this experience by doing this meditation.
When mind is chatty during a sitting meditation with closed eyes, where the "goal" is to watch, be silent or just be (such as with Vipassana), or perhaps a time when the mind won't let you sleep at night, use this opportunity to identify the different actors/archetypes that make up your personal energy matrix called Ego.
Allow the mind to continue to speak for 10 minutes, watching what it is saying. Then ask the question, who is in? Or, who is speaking? Or, who speaks? Say the words aloud in your mind. It is possible that the mind may say something, but more likely that it will not. Mind does not like being called out on its actions, does not like being seen for what it is doing.
Having watched the mind speaking, you should have noticed that there was a particular topic or theme going on (e.g. perhaps worrying about the events of tomorrow). Use this theme/topic to identify the actor e.g. Ms. Worry, Mr. Worry-wort, The Expert, The Victim, etc. Say the name you came up with aloud in your mind, such as, "It's the Martyr program."
See if that quells the mind into being silent, and resume your meditation of being silent/just watching. If mind continues to start prattling on again, again watch and pay attention to what it is saying. Let it speak for 5-10 minutes. Is it the same program? Probably not, as mind is like a jumping spider. It tries to pretend that this new topic is important, which is why it must be allowed to speak. Again, give this energy pattern a label and say it out loud in the mind, e.g. "It's the Wounded Child program."
See if the mind becomes silent again, and resume your silent meditation. Repeat this pattern for however long you want your meditation to last (30-60 minutes is a good length of time).
Over time, you can use this meditation technique to stop the mind "in the bud." That is, when the mind is speaking, you can recognize which one of the programs/actors is there, as the actor always says the same things. It's like watching a re-run of a show that you've seen so many times, and you know the lines by heart.
Since you know who's there, you don't need to ask who is in. Within just a few minutes of speaking, you will become aware of which actor it is. With that awareness, you can say who it is aloud in your mind, or simply be aware of the fact.
The mind should become silent, and when it picks up with another program, repeat the process and call the mind out on the voice that is speaking. By doing this meditation over time (every day over a period of a few weeks or months), you will acquire a list of programs/actors, and their "scripts," the topic or theme that is always talked about by the same actor.
You can re-name or re-label any program, as sometimes you may label a program but it might be better broken down into 2 or even more roles.
Note that the word actor can also be called a program. You choose the word that works best for you. My preference is to see the actor that is there with its theme, and this actor + script is a program acquired from social conditioning.
Over time, when you are trying to be silent, you now have a list of actors, and so when mind is chatty, you can easily identify who is speaking. Being aware of the fact, the mind will become silent, if not you can always say it aloud in your mind.
It's a meditation technique based in self-inquiry, which can be useful in seeing the different actors that make up your ego. Your list of actors, you may also notice, may dwindle over time, as you continue to grow in awareness and presence.