Witnessing in Meditation
As unaware human beings, we live our lives absorbing the sensations and sights from the material outer world into our inner being — in fact we are advised by scholars to reflect that which is on the outside within us! In reality what should really be happening is our inner world should reflect on the outside. The external world is full of chaos and to find peace in that chaos and make it reflect in our inner world is calling for the impossible to happen! On the contrary, if you have managed to find peace within through meditation then that inner peace is automatically reflected in the outer world through your energy body.
Becoming a witness to everything in and around you has been advised by all spiritual masters, but when you ask fellow seekers very few have a true perspective on what that really means. Becoming the inner witness, a neutral observer of the mind is an important aspect of meditation. Unless one grasps this basic strategy of detached self-observation and puts it to work, meditation will prove to be nothing more than a daydream and our tryst with it nothing more than an invention of our imagination.
A witness is a direct observer and the process of witnessing has three essential components — seeing our inner experience directly from a distance, remaining detached and steady in this process and finally, through meditation, gradually internalising this experience in the form of a new spiritual vision.
The process of becoming this new inner witness begins by discovering how to calm the reactions through which we normally experience life and then set them aside in favour of a more detached point of view. As we gain distance from the rigidity of our attachments the sense of awareness starts acquiring a different inner feel. It becomes more restful, transparent and expansive. This is who you really are — in other words the inner witness. With this realisation the depth in your meditation starts increasing.
You start observing the activity of your mind, you do not associate with the thoughts but just observe them from a distance — you are just watching a movie play in your mind. You are not the movie nor the thoughts which are playing therein. With time your association with these thoughts gradually changes as you learn to watch them without pursuing them. The thoughts must be witnessed objectively thus gradually weakening your attachments. It is the process of watching over the concentration of the mind and thus transforming your awareness.
Like Osho says, “Watch your mind. Don’t do anything — no repetition of mantra, no repetition of the name of God — just watch whatever the mind is doing. Don’t disturb it, don’t prevent it, don’t repress it; don’t do anything at all on your part. You just be a watcher, and the miracle of watching is meditation.”