By Marzena Wojcik September 2019
“Your goal is not to battle with the mind, but to witness the mind.” Swami Muktananda
I love this quote which I think explains the practice of meditation in a simple way. Well it describes what is supposed to happen when we meditate. As we aren’t supposed to try to control or fight a thought, feeling or emotion that may come up, while we sit quietly and breathe. We are supposed to just witness what arises and refocus the mind to our breathing. This practice is meditation.
What is Being a Witness in Meditation?
Being a witness or “an active participant” in our meditation practice simply means, sitting quietly with ourselves, breathing in and out, and notice without judgement on what thoughts, feelings, or emotions arise.
Meditation allows space for us to observe and become more aware of how we are doing day to day. Especially when we incorporate a regular or maybe even daily meditation practice. Even if it’s just for two minutes it’s enough to make some changes for the better in your life. All because we start to notice what is good and what is bad for us. What we may need more of, what we may need less of. Connection. Space. Community. Peace. Solitude. Whatever you need comes to the forefront.
Our Breath in Mediation is our Anchor.
During meditation we become a witness to our wandering mind during mediation. It will happen no matter how hard you try to not think about thinking, you will think. Mediation isn’t about stopping the thinking. It is about redirection. Refocusing our attention.
Focusing on our breath is our anchor to bring us back to the present moment with ourselves. Again to witness what arises.
Whatever helps keep your mind on your breath rather than the thoughts bouncing from one to another. Just allow yourself to witness the thoughts and try to refocus on your breath every time you get distracted, the breath is our anchor to bring you back to a more focused mind. Mind on breath.
Observe, notice without judgement. Refocus.
That’s what we are ultimately striving for in a meditation practice, to help us find and understand ourselves at a deeper level. What arises, we witness without judgment, then refocus our mind to our breathing. With this constant redirection back to the breath, we train our minds to be more refocused away from our practice.
By sitting quietly with ourselves this allows us space. Space and time for stuff to literally come up. All so we can face what comes up and are better able to cope with daily life stresses. The more and more we expose our selves, the more we see. The more we notice our thoughts, feelings, and emotions, we become better able to spot patterns in our behaviour that maybe aren’t helpful or supportive. We see and make changes where necessary.
Allowing space in our lives creates those opportunities to reflect. Reflection and refocusing our attention back on our breath allows the mind to learn to rest. Rest the busy mind. Rest the thinking mind. Space creates more space. But one cannot do this easily, if we aren’t allowing space for an open mind.
During Mediation, be Open.
When we allow ourselves to remain open rather than judging ourselves or control our thoughts when we meditate, and literally observe the fluctuations of the mind to happen naturally. This openness brings us to a more conscious state of ourselves. Conscious witness. A witness to our mind.
Try it, move inwards. Create space to be open with yourself. You may be shown more than you know about yourself, or a given situation. Let me know if you do…
Witness what arises.
Witness how you feel.
Witness the emotions.
Be a witness to your thoughts.
Awareness of our inner dialogue.
Witness to our fluctuations of the mind.
Our inward journey, our yin energy.
Journey to your self.
Namaste [ the light in me sees the light in you ],
P.S. you can start meditation right now, in a guided way…here’s a podcast link to the Daily Mediation Podcast by Sip and Om. One of my favourite ways to find free guided mediations.
I enjoy guided meditations myself as it’s easier sometimes to be told what to do, and learn how to even start being a witness.
Let yourself be guided.
Stay open my friends.