I’m not talking about classic New Year’s resolutions like losing weight, stopping smoking or working out in the gym, all conceived with the best of intentions but usually soon abandoned. That way of tackling your issues almost always leads to loss of self-esteem, because we believe we have ‘failed.’ It’s like trying to cure a massive hangover by taking the hair of the dog (another alcoholic drink) the following morning, it might work in the short term but if you keep on doing it you actually solve nothing because you haven’t addressed the root problem. You’ve avoided it – again.
I’m talking about taking the time for a root and branch internal self-examination by means of silent mediation, in which you practise the art of witnessing.
It’s perfect if you have deeper questions that keep bubbling up, such as “who am I and where on earth am I going?” or “why is my life such a mess?” or “why do I feel like I’m building my own prison?” and more important, “what can I do to make things better?”
Try this: sit comfortably in a quiet place and breath easily and deeply so you can sit up without being tense. Be alert but relaxed. Then allow whatever thoughts and feeling come into your consciousness, and simply observe them.
This is so important. When I say “do nothing,” that’s exactly what I mean. It’s useless, for example, to try to still your mind. Indeed, your mind will probably become hyperactive. That’s OK. Stay with that. Don’t get involved with any of the thoughts or feeling that arise, but simply witness them without judgement or interpretation. That is the art of witnessing, and it’s a valuable life tool you can use any time to gain deeper insight into what’s really going on in your conscious and unconscious minds, and from that you will later realise what is driving your behaviour.
Once you consciously understand what’s going on, you can make conscious choices, choices based on your personal reality, choices that you put you back in charge of your life – not your interpretation of your reality or what you wish your reality to be.
Once you get the knack, you’ll find not only do answers emerge spontaneously, but so do the questions. Actually, it’s as if your questions eventually disappear as you automatically start to move in more fruitful directions.
So next time you wake up with a hangover that registers high on the Richter scale, instead of reaching for a hair of the dog, try saying to yourself, “I’d rather close my eyes and sit in silence for a while”.
Will it remove your headache? I have no idea but I can tell you that sitting silently, if you do it regularly, will gradually transform your life.
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