Precisely. Which is why I started this topic; to share and explore techniques for "practicing what they are already doing."
So, let's do that. I threw out non-judgemental observation of thoughts and phenomenon as the first bone. There's no double talk in that. It's an actual technique - an approach - that's as practical as letting the marinara sauce boil down all day if you want a better-quality sauce and a deeper and richer experience - not only during the cooking process, but also in the dinner.
What wine would you recommend with the dinner, Graham?
The wine of no wine. In other words you don't need to observe the thoughts. Cooking process could be equated with the tea ceremony. Observing every motion and movement. Quite the opposite to observing thoughts for it is the exercise of observing without and despite of thoughts.
As is Aikido practice and learning.
So to discuss observation in Aikido we would have to talk about which things to observe ie: the circles involved, the spaces, the paths of energy, the motions etc. etc.
If you want to discuss observation techniques used in Aikido or even useful in Aikido then you would first have to remember Aikido is an action discipline not a sit in a cave discipline. Thus we find there are things to do which aid observing better, one point being just one example. The things which aid observation in martial arts do not include looking at thoughts.
Looking at thoughts type exercises are things you can do which no doubt would also help but they exist outside of the action of Aikido. Aikido is the dinner.....those things are the after dinner wine.