Witnessing is the art of silently watching the mechanism of mind without getting identified with its content. Mind is a bio-computer which is continuously thinking without any break. Meditation brings a full stop to this mind activity and for some time mind gets a break from continuous thinking. This gap of no-thinking state recharges the mind and makes it more sharp. Thats why meditator is bound to be more intelligent and sharp than non-meditators.
Witnessing is the essence of Meditation. Most of meditation techniques are devised so that the seeker can learn the art of witnessing or the experience of the state of no-thought or no-mind. When mind is relaxed and there is no content in it, that state is called as no-mind state. No-Mind state is a very blissful experience.
It takes time to deepen the witnessing. One has to practice witnessing thoughts, emotions through out the day. So that the mind slows down and your witnessing becomes stronger and stronger. As your witnessing increases, your consciousness will become more developed and the hold of mind on you will decrease.
Witnessing can be done by anybody. When i use the word anybody, it includes your gender, age, religion, caste, beliefs etc. So don’t pay attention to any excuse of mind for not doing your meditation regularly and sincerely. You will succeed in meditation only when it becomes the top priority in your life. Don’t postpone meditation for any future date, As you get older it becomes more difficult to witness thoughts, because mind hold on your life becomes more and more stronger.
Witnessing has to be done at three levels:
1. Body Level: Witnessing the body movements or your actions like walking, moving your hands etc. Basically every action has to be done with awareness. All body movement should be done consciously. It takes a lot of time to become aware of body movements. For most women it will be more easier to witness the body movements as they are more grounded and body conscious than men. It also depends on how much is your energy active or settled. If your energy is very grounded, relaxed or settled or in the moment, then it will be more easier to witness body movements. When i started learning the knack of witnessing then watching the flow of my breath helped me a lot.
2. Thought Level: Witnessing every thoughts that comes to your mind without judging or analyzing. You don’t need to identify with any thought. Just watch passively as if, they don’t belong to you. Don’t judge them as good or bad thoughts. Just watch them and also watch the gaps between two thoughts. Most Men will find it more easier to witness thoughts than the body movements. But it varies from person to person. So either start with witnessing body movements or witnessing thoughts.
3. Emotions or Moods: If you are able to witness your thoughts easily then next step is to witness the emotions. You can check this post on how to witness emotions easily.
Important tips for Witnessing thoughts are:
1. Don’t identify with any thought. Watch the thoughts as if they are not your thoughts and which is a truth also, as no thought belong to you. At your innermost core there is absolute stillness and shunyata (zero state).
2. Let the thoughts come and go. Don’t interfere with the thinking process. There is no need to stop them also. Because the more you try to stop them, more the mind will become active. Your very effort to stop the thoughts gives energy to the mind and the moment your stop interfering with the mind, it starts losing its momentum.
3. Its none of your business to analyze or judge the thoughts. Don’t analyze any thought as good, bad or ugly. Just watch the thoughts.
4. Most important part is to watch the gap between two thoughts. Go deeper in this gap effortlessly. So watch the thoughts and also the silent gap between the two thoughts.
5. If you forgot the above principles and get identified with the thinking process then the moment you realize it, get back to witnessing again with out wasting a second. No need to condemn yourself for getting involved in the thinking process. Because to condemn yourself is to participate in the thought process again and that is trick of the mind to fool you again. If you feel bad why you forgot to witness the thoughts then witness this feeling also. In short, whatever thoughts comes just witness them without any choice. Witnessing is always choiceless.
6. Its more difficult to watch good or happy thoughts because you are bound to get identified with them easily as they give us pleasure. So be careful about them.
7. Over a period of time, Witnessing should become part of your daily process. A mature mediator does not set aside separate time for witnessing thoughts. Wherever you are… in office, marketplace or in a restaurant you can witness your thoughts with some disciplined practice.
8. For beginners it will be very helpful if they go to a meditation camp or ashram to gain strength in their mediation practice. It is also equally important to create a separate room or corner for meditation. As slowly that place starts getting charged with meditative energy and thus helps you in going deep in meditation. Please don’t use that meditation space for any other purpose.
9. Have patience. Don’t expect any results. Meditation should not have any ambition. Its all about witnessing your ambitions and goals.
10. Be total and regular in your meditation.