When we are watching a movie, often we can get so lost in the experience that we forget we are sitting in a theater looking at images projected on a screen.
There are many writers who have used that image to describe unconditioned awareness or true nature. There are things we are aware of, which have characteristics (heat, cold, texture, and, most notably, impermanence). And there is that which is aware, which has no characteristics, which is without beginning or end.
We are so caught up in the experience of the movie that we miss the white unchanging screen that it is projected on. How can we notice this awareness? How can we watch for it?
I am reminded of Alfred Hitchcock, who made cameo appearances in many of his movies. Finding him, on a bus or in a window or photo, became a game for movie fans.
When you are looking for Alfred Hitchcock, you can still watch the movie. But it feels less solid. The ups and downs of the movie don't pull you in as much as they once did. You can begin to recognize the difference between the movie and the screen, even while seeing that one cannot exist without the other.