14 February 2012

Witnessing Abundance

My life is full, and I am grateful. I have enough; I am enough. This doesn't prevent me from occasionally wanting more. More time with my boyfriend, more paid vacation, more patience, more access to public transportation and good bagels, more awareness of myself, etc. Understanding witness consciousness through the practice of yoga, and specifically learning about it during my early experience at Kripalu, helps me to remember that I am not my thoughts. Some days are easier than others.

Mindfulness practice allows me to accept that I can and do get caught up in my desires, my aversions, my imagined needs ... on good days, I catch myself. On others, I can drown in my own depth. I can't get out of my own way. I lose sight of reality. I want everything to happen NOW. Stephen Cope talks about witnessing in his classes, and in The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seeker's Guide to Extraordinary Living, he says, on page 25,
One of the first things the beginning meditator gets to see, then, is precisely what her mind is occupied with - what, presumably, her mind is doing day in and day out when she's not paying attention.
I'm not a beginning meditator, and I have moved from a place of sitting and squirming mindlessly to "aha" moments when I get it. Now I don't space out, it doesn't take me long to drop in, I am able to observe my thoughts. That doesn't mean I always like them! Later in the same book (page 126), Cope quotes Patanjali and he also says:
In the view of yoga, the only Real Self is the Witness - the mind that sees and knows it all without judgment. The eternal Seer that does not choose for or against any part... The Witness is clear-seeing, nonreactive, and free of pattern.
Well, I'd love to say that after 26 years of practice I've got it down, but I don't. I will practice kindness toward myself and admit that I am in a far better place than I was in 1986 and even last year. Thank goodness, this is why it is called practice. If I continue to do something everyday I will continue to get better at recognizing when my mind is dragging me through the mud.

Knowing it all without judgment, yep, I want more of that. Ooops! Good save.