In Eastern cultures, it is accepted that we have two minds, but the concept is much newer in the West. For us, the thinking mind is the dominant model. We know we think. In fact, asked what else our mind does, I think I'd be hard pushed to give an answer. What else does the mind do?
It is aware. It observes. There are many times when we are so lost in a moment that we have no awareness, no ability to observe ourselves or to notice what is unfolding. We are actors lost in the drama.
The observing mind is more like a director. It stands back and notices how the drama is unfolding, how the actors are participating. The observing mind offers us the ability to stand outside ourselves, even while we are involved in the drama.
Sometimes this can help us to stand back from the situation, to notice that, although we are in the drama, we don't have to be the drama. It can go on around us, but we do not have to buy into it, consqeuntly we are not so deeply embedded in the drama.
As we evolve on the spiritual path of self awareness and, concurrently, divine consciousness, our relationship to the observing mind changes. We spend more time in that mode, even while thinking. The beauty of the observing mind is that is far more expansive than the thinking mind. The observer mind, or the aware mind, shares the expansiveness of our spirit and as such, it is the conduit for our creativity, our inspiration, and our sense of connection to All That Is.