How to Witness Thoughts in Meditation
Kindly let me know what is the right approach to witness consciousness and how do I tell the difference between witnessing a thought versus getting identified with it in meditation.
Answer From Kip:
"If a thought arises 'I would really like an ice-cream'
and you consider yourself the 'I' in that sentence
that wants an ice-cream, that is identification.
With identification, you are in a dream state.
You are somewhere else besides here.
If that same thought arises and you just notice it as a thought arising,
without being involved in the meaning of the thought, that is witnessing.
The thought arises and disappears and you remain present and watching.
In this you see the thought that you want an ice-cream arose on it's own.
You did not want an ice-cream, the desire arose on it's own
and you either identified with it or you witnessed it.
So if you want to be free from desire,
you don't bother trying to stop the desire from arising. That is impossible.
You simply watch it arise and disappear without grabbing hold of it.
Like walking by a television that is on.
You notice the television and you let it go. You don't sit down and watch it.
You do not become engrossed in it.
And if you're really present, you don't even bother looking to see what program is on.
It is there, making noise and you are aware of it.
And because you are aware of it, what noise it is making does not affect you.
You remain as awareness and the nature of awareness is bliss.
Remaining a witness in meditation like this leads to witness consciousness,
where any identification with thoughts breaks and there is pure unconditional peace.
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Witness Consciousness Part 2:
There is no end to trying to figure it out.
The mind is an endless puzzle that has no solution.
If it had a solution, that would be the end of the reign of mind,
and the mind does not want that.
The mind wants to exist and it gets it's power from you identifying with it.
And so it continues to grab your attention any which way it can.
Just like a TV channel. The TV channel's purpose is to keep you watching.
That is what it wants.
So you are sitting there and the TV channel puts you on a tropical island
with beautiful people, then you are flying an airplane, then you are chasing bad guys.
But it has nothing to do with what is actually happening.
What is actually happening is you are sitting on the couch, drinking a cup of tea.
But in your experience, there is no couch or tea. How could there be when
you are flying an airplane?
It is the same with mind.
The thoughts are constantly grabbing your attention. And so the world you know to be real is made up of your thoughts.
But if you really look beyond your thinking at what is here, you would experience something totally different than what the mind perceives.
Something that even if I tried to describe to you, you would miss.
Because then it would become knowledge, it would become an interpretation of what is actually here.
For you to truly find out what is here beyond interpretation, you have to look.
It is this looking that is most important, it is the witnessing what is here
that sets you free.
Whether you are witnessing thoughts, witnessing sensations
it is all about the witnessing, not the objects themselves.
Not the knowledge of what you witnessed a second ago,
but the looking right here and now.
Not witnessing to get something, because then you are back
in the mind.
The witnessing itself is fulfillment.
The witnessing itself is joy.
This is the key to freedom.