Inner Work, Meditation, Strengthening the Witness and Enlightenment

At first, as I do therapeutic inner work the contents of my brain are me.

As I talk with someone about the contents – how I hate myself, can’t do anything right, how I could I have screwed up in that job interview, failed that test, could not make the relationship work etc.  – I become more aware of myself. I start getting insights etc. What I am doing as I am first beginning to reflect on myself, islearning to strengthen my ability to observe – to become the witness of my own thinking, feelingand doing.  I think I am my thinking, feeling and doing! Ken Wilber calls this “a case of mistaken identity.” A shift is taking place to being the observer of all the contents in my mind – all thoughts and feelings that I am having.

Wilber calls this “strengthening the Witness.” As I do inner work these contents have less and less a hold on me. Dan Brown would call this hold, “the grab”. The grab takes us away from being present as the contents of my mind grab me and keep me ruminating as I do thought elaboration. As I do inner work the contents of the mind have less and less a hold on me. My mind becomes more quiet with less negative thought and feeling. As I continue to strengthen the Witness I can see the ever more subtle movements of the mind until they too have less of a grab. The mind is emptying itself and an internal order comes about in the mind. Now I am continuing to strengthen the Witness as a meditative practice. I am awakening and preparing myself for the “grace that is unearned and unexpected.” I am opening myself to enlightenment.

I do not have to work at changing anything. Change will come about through grace. I do not have to work at trying to understand why I have all these problems. What I have to work hard at is strengthening my ability to Witness.

It is healing and enlightening to be in a “we space” with others who can also be a Witness with me. And perhaps help me to strengthen my Witness.

Percept talk strengthens what Ramana Maharshi calls the “I-I”, that I call the “I-i”, that in percept is known as the “I and the me”. If I can do percept work, I tend to bypass my tendency to analyze, to disconnect or dissociate and instead have direct experiences of my thinking and feeling so that they can be released, their negative energy dissipating as I reconnect to parts of me that I have sometimes denied. The “me” in percept dissolves into the “I” of Spirit and I am now more prepared to become enlightened.

-Pat Howley