In Meditation we realize that we are free from thoughts, beliefs and conclusions
Updated: Jul 7, 2019
In our waking state awareness, the thoughts in our head are what we experience as reality. As the thoughts arise when we wake up in the morning, their meaning and their content define how we experience our circumstances as well as ourselves. Whatever mood the thoughts project on a given day - that will be the colour and flavour of the day’s experience. Whatever thoughts the mind produces - they dictate what we do and who we think we are. When we live our lives on automatic pilot - without being aware of this mechanism - thoughts and their meaning are the tyrant that controls all aspects of life.
The awareness necessary to become free from this tyrant is cultivated in Meditation. When we close our eyes, thoughts are the first thing we notice. There may be a sense of frantic thinking activity, just a few stray thoughts floating around, or something in between. The intensity of the mind’s busy-ness depends mainly on what we were doing before we decided to meditate. If we sit after a very active day, chances are that the mind is racing. If that’s the case, it will take a few moments for the activity to slow down.
Contrary to widespread belief, there is no need to wilfully change what is happening in our minds when we meditate. In fact, it is not possible to control the mind’s activity. What we can and should do, is notice that there is a part in us that is aware of the thoughts floating through the mind. It knows whether there are many thoughts, a few or none at all. It is aware of the sounds in the environment and it perceives what is happening in the body. That part in us is often referred to as Witness or Knower.
Cultivating the awareness of the Witness brings with it the possibility to realize that the thoughts are not what we believed them to be. We notice that they are not our identity and that there is a sense of I far vaster than just the content of the thinking mechanism. When we become aware of the presence of the Witness or Knower, we have a choice we never had before: We can either continue to direct our attention to the thoughts and remain engaged with and controlled by them; or we can direct our attention towards the Witness.
When we remain with the Witness, we notice that thoughts are nothing more than movement in the space that we are watching. In the process of shifting our attention to the Knower, the sense of I that was invested in the thinking process aligns with Knower. As simple as it sounds, this is a very big and important step. When the sense of I aligns with the Knower and rests in it, it becomes one with the Knower. This Knower Being is our highest Self and as that, it is free from the thinking mechanism: free from its ideas, concepts, conclusions and limitations. For the Witness it doesn’t matter whether there are hundreds of thoughts or none at all. Neither presence or absence, nor the content of thoughts have any influence on the Knower. As the Knower we are Pure Free and Forever. THAT is who we truly are!
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