In order to not get entangled in things we like and dislike, we need to cultivate the skill of witnessing. This requires practice. Witnessing is foreign to the way our mind usually works. The mind is driven by the ego, which can only exist in separateness. Our ego and mind thrive on resistance and againstness. We habitually get so involved with what we think, that we fully believe our thoughts to be absolute. In essence, we are used to buying into the illusion that our thoughts are permanent.
Meeting this moment as it is, is not something most of us do. We overlay our thoughts onto everything. The mind is constantly interpreting information gathered through our senses and categorizing it to suit our version of reality. We then believe that what we perceive is fixed truth. This in turn motivates our behaviour, which determines our experiences. Witnessing is different than observing, because in observing, we tend to narrate to ourselves through our likes and dislikes, rather than being impartial to what we are observing. At the heart of witnessing is a neutral impartiality that is spacious, relaxed and attentive.
Enlightened masters remind us that we are not the doers. The self we consider so permanent is just our ego tricking us into feeling separate and in control. When we witness, we see that in order to continue the illusion of being separate, our mind tends to pull at things we deem valuable and push at things we wish to repel. In witnessing, we learn to neither push at, that is run from, nor pull at, that is, run towards, the point of our focus.
The next time you find yourself feeling uneasy in some way – headache, stressed, sad, depressed, anxious, angry – whatever it may be:
Find a quiet place where you feel safe to take a moment and tune in.
Give yourself room to trust what is right here, right now. Let yourself know that you are completely supported. Let go of any resistance to this moment, and see if you can welcome it exactly as it is, beyond your likes and dislikes.
Give room for whatever is causing you distress to may make itself known to you, allowing it to rise from within your whole being, through your breath, through ease, through effortless being. Let it be part of this moment, just as it is. No need to make it bigger or smaller than it is. No need to poke or push at it. Just let it be and listen with loving presence.
You don’t need to know what it was all about. If you do, fine. Honour it and make those changes. If you don’t, it does not matter. You have just been witness to a form of non-verbal communication. The universe heard you, even if your brain did not. All the support you need is in place.
Give thanks to yourself and to nature for the opportunity to grow into deeper awareness and love.
Parvati Devi Known as the Positive Possibilities Lady, Parvati inspires magnificence through music, yoga, words and activism. An award-winning musician, Parvati brings joy and hope to top 40 radio with her celestial pop songs “I Am Light”, “Yoga in the Nightclub”, and “Shanti Om”. Founder of “YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine” and author of “Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie: A Revolutionary Life Makeover for the Sincere Spiritual Seeker”, Parvati has been featured on radio and television talk shows and news and wellness magazines globally. She is the founder of Parvati, a not-for profit dedicated to realizing MAPS: The Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary to help stop global warming.
More about MAPS, free YEM videos, self-help articles, her music and more at parvati.tv and parvati.org.