The Key to Awakening

The Key to Awakening is the witnessing. Witnessing is an alert watchfulness of whatever is happening moment to moment without mental or emotional engagement. In other words, it is the detached, unidentified, and non-judgmental observation of what is. When you experience that you are not your mind, body, and emotions, you are in consciousness. The only way to understand this is to observe your body, mind, and emotions. Through self-observation, you can see that all of your sensations, thoughts, and emotions are impermanent – they always change and move like passing clouds. Seeing their impermanence helps you understand that your pain and suffering is created by your ego-mind. All your problems exist because you are unable to witness and disidentify from your thoughts and emotions. 

When you don’t witness your mind and emotions, you remain caught in the story created by the ego-mind and continue to suffer. When you witness the mind and its story, you realize you are not the story but the observer of the story. When you simply observe your body and its sensations, thoughts, emotions, and everything that happens around you, you are out of the story. You heal into consciousness with each moment of witnessing and disidentification, no matter how brief. Once you know you are nothing but consciousness, you are healed out of suffering. Your ability to witness is innate. The witness is part of your being. It is with you eternally, even after your body dies. Even though the witness is always present watching everything coming and going, your awareness goes in and out of it. Witnessing is like a muscle that you need to strengthen through experience and practice. Meditation is the practice. 

Meditation is the tool for strengthening the Inner Witness. Although there are many meditation techniques, meditation is not a technique. Meditation is the practice of witnessing. Meditation gives you an opportunity to disidentify from your body, mind, and emotions and experience your inner consciousness. It allows you to step out of the chattering mind and transform your beliefs and conditionings into pure consciousness. The essence of meditation is a pure witnessing of whatever is perceived inside and outside the body, mind, and emotions without reaction or judgment. Through detached observation, you stop fueling your ego-mind and find the stillness and silence of your being. A dedicated practice of meditation leads to inner silence, relaxation, and improved health as well as increased self-acceptance, confidence, and understanding of oneself and others. 

Awakening or self-realization, does not mean that you no longer have a mind. As long as you have a body, you will have a mind because the mind is part of the body’s survival mechanism. Awakening simply means that you have come to experience your being and have realized that your mind was creating the illusion of separation. The experience of awakening liberates you from the psychological pain and suffering created by the ego-mind and brings a clear understanding that you are not your ego, body, thoughts, and emotions, and that your being is untouched by anything external. With awakening, your attachments to things and people, as well as the existential angst that kept you searching, drops. Awakening frees you of insecurity and fear of the unknown. 

The growth and expansion of consciousness does not end with awakening. Evolution of consciousness continues eternally through new experiences and learning. Each day brings many opportunities to learn something new. There is no end to how much we can learn. An enlightened person continues to learn and evolve just like everyone else, but his or her learning arises out of joy, creativity, and compassion, not out of resistance, fear, and suffering. An enlightened person longs to share out of pure joy and abundance, not out of a need to receive something in return. 

 Whether you are enlightened or not, as long as you live in a physical body, you need to clean your house. Meditation is a way to remove the dust that the mind accumulates. The dust of the mind clears just by sitting and watching your breath. Because the mind is goal oriented, from its perspective enlightenment is the end. The mind cannot comprehend that by being a detached witness you can know what action you need to take the next moment.