The Prowess of Witnessing

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The moment you witness something you become separate from it, you are the witness, the thing becomes an object — the witnessed.

If you are walking on the road, and you are also witnessing that you are walking — not going along just like a robot, mechanical, everyday habit, the road is known, the legs know it, you can even walk with closed eyes. But walking with absolute alertness every step, every fall of a leaf, every ray of the sun, every bird flying in front of you, fully alert… slowly, slowly, you become aware that you are not the body that is walking, you are something inside which is witnessing.

Once you have witnessed your body, you have got the knack of the method. Then you start witnessing your thoughts — sitting silently, just watching the rush of thoughts, not interfering, not saying, “This is good. This is bad.” Not justifying, not appreciating, no judgment… non-judgmental witnessing, just like the mirror. Anybody passes by, the mirror reflects it; that’s all, it makes no comment.

Strangely enough, when you stop making comments on the thoughts, they begin to stop; your comments keep them alive. Once you are simply a mirrorlike witness, thoughts disappear, and you become aware of a deeper layer, of emotions, moods, which are very subtle. You are not even aware many times that you are sad. You are often not aware of what your emotional state is — it is very deep, there is a thick layer of thoughts.

When thoughts have stopped, then you become aware of a very subtle breeze — and there is a great joy to see it pass. The method remains the same — you remain a witness without judgment. First body, second mind, third heart. And the fourth happens on its own. I call my way the fourth way because after the third you cannot do anything.

Once your emotions and moods disappear, suddenly there is a quantum leap — the witness has nothing to witness anymore. It comes home. It witnesses itself. It becomes both the seer and the seen, the object and the subject, and for the first time you have unity. This experience of absolute organic unity of your consciousness has been called by different names — moksha, nirvana, liberation, enlightenment, illumination.

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By Arhan

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