Sunday, October 27, 2019

Meditation Practice: Observant Meditation

In line with the six principles of meditation (no recollection, calculation, imagination, examination, construction and digression), observant meditation is about watching your thoughts in the most dispassionate manner possible.

This meditation is also called witness meditation for you are simply playing the role of a witness while you meditate. The soul of this meditation is to simply watch your thoughts as if you are watching a movie on a screen, as if whatever comes to your mind is not something that happened to you but to a third person. You realize that when an actor dies on screen, he or she isn’t truly dead. In the same manner, you realise that all thoughts are empty, they are devoid of any true essence, and that you don’t have to react to those thoughts.

This is the underlying principle of being a witness while operating in this world that can be very difficult at times: watch yourself and that is it.

How to Do It Right 


  • Sit in any comfortable posture. The standard posture of meditation is even more useful as channelizing the energies while your mind is empty is extremely helpful in swiftly moving towards a state of complete tranquility of the mind. 
  • Take a few deep breaths. 
  • Remind yourself that you are simply playing the role of an observer, a passive spectator who doesn’t cheer or jeer. 
  • You can close your eyes and wait for your thoughts to emerge, or you can open your eyes and fix your gaze at any object, close or distant. 
  • Simply watch your thoughts as they come. 

Now wait for the thoughts to come and knock on the door of your consciousness. The first thing you’ll notice is that that the flow of thoughts is immediately checked when you sit there anticipating their arrival. If you maintain the lucidity of your passivity (which means, be a good witness), you will be able to observe your thoughts lot more clearly. 

Let any thought come, of any nature, just don’t entertain it. Just let it come and let it go, repeatedly. Don’t analyze them, don’t pursue them, don’t reject them – just don’t react. They are like billboards and banners you see on the road while you are driving, just don’t pay attention as they are not important to your journey. 

Intrinsically, these thoughts are immaterial and barren. One by one they will come incessantly, let them. When you no longer react to your thoughts with this meditation, a strange thing starts to happen. The gap between one thought and the next increases. That gap is a type of quietude, a variety of mental stillness that’s priceless. Immerse in it by being aware of such quietude.

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