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Bear Witness

Impartiality doesn’t come easy I have found, but it is something that I have been dabbling in for some time.  Its been a practice, definitely without any sense of perfection.  I have been playing this role of observer, noticing my likes and dislikes, my aversions and my cravings, my comforts and my discomforts while trying my best to not react immediately to a momentary thought or sensation.  Sure this doesn’t mean the reaction is always averted, but what I have found more frequently than not, is that as I allow myself to observe, over time often the thoughts and emotions dissolve before I ever find myself expending energy in reacting.  It is all too easy to become involved in our thoughts and emotions.  They feel real and are authentic.  However, there is a distinction between allowing our emotions and thoughts to be what they are and making them seem larger than what they are.  The deluge of commentary we can layer atop a single thought can easily create a more imagined perception of a single authentic moment.   So bearing witness doesn’t work all the time, but it has allowed me to dissolve negative story lines often enough to know its worth my time to continue practicing.

Relating to myself is already hard enough.  Relating to another adds a greater dimension of difficulty.  Relationships are complex.  So much can be misunderstood and misinterpreted.  So again I have been trying to apply this same principle of observation to my relationships and their dynamics without immediately reacting.  If someone expresses frustration or anger toward me – it doesn’t make him/her a bad person, it only makes them human.  It may be an expression of something apart from their true nature, perhaps rooted in insecurity, a longing to be loved or to be acknowledged.  As much as our own emotions are a fleeting moment in time, not a definition of who we are, the same is true for others.  We are here to observe our own humanity, as much as we are here to observe the humanity of others.  And as this process unfolds, we are drawn into experience which is authentic, mind which is wide open and a spirit that moves a little more effortlessly with the ebb and flow of life.

The observation of others is coloured by our inability to observe ourselves impartially. We can never be impartial about anything until we can be impartial about our own organism.” A.R. Orage

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Mo #

    awesome post. and congrats on the changes you are fostering within…and witnessing! 🙂

    January 27, 2011

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