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February 27th, 2013 The Thinker and The Witness

For many of us we are in the bad habit of believing our thoughts – all of them whether or not they are positive or judgmental, about self or other. We issue them to our psyche like a sermon and allow our entire physiology to resonate with their frequency. We are always going to do some thinking…that’s our brain’s job, but did you know that about 99.9% of what we think today, we thought yesterday, and the day before that? Think about it. When was the last time you made space for a truly unique, creative, awe-inspiring thought? Unless you are in the practice of ‘thought management’, a coin I just termed, you are most likely at the mercy of your thoughts, the root of suffering, according to Buddhists. We all have a Thinker, but less obvious is the fact that we all also have an ability to employ a Witness. The Witness manages the Thinker until eventually the two become one, and then you have presto-snappo Enlightenment! This is the gift of meditation. A little gap in our thoughts, no matter how brief, causes the Witness to awaken. Suddenly or not so suddenly, in my direct experience, the witness becomes aware of the Thinker and their erratic and frenetic activities. I decided to get to know my Witness, my manager, and befriend her. She watches and smiles a wry little Mona-Lisa grin with an all-knowing and forgiving manner. She loves her job, listens to the Thinker, watches her spin, and then gently guides her, like a seeing eye dog, back to safety, away from the proverbial curb of negativity and fear. Pay attention: there’s the thought my Thinker thinks like, “I wonder if he still thinks I’m funny?” and then there’s the encouraging Witness, which causes the Thinker to adjust to something like: “That’s funny. For a moment there, I believed my whole identity, my entire sense of self hinged upon whether or not he still thinks I’m funny. The question is rather, am I having fun? Do I enjoy this life. Do I think I’m funny? Whew! Another potential tragedy for self esteem averted!” Let me know how you enjoy disbelieving your own thoughts! The Witness is an invaluable ally!

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