“After meditating for some years, I began to see the patterns of my own behavior. As you quiet your mind, you begin to see the nature of your own resistance more clearly, struggles, inner dialogues, the way in which you procrastinate and develop passive resistance against life. As you cultivate the witness, things change. You don’t have to change them. Things just change.”
-Baba Ram Dass
Often times our mind runs rampant like a disobedient child. It rushes here and there and causes us much anguish and grief, and really for no reason at all. See, most times, our thoughts are simply stories that we tell ourselves. They are fabrications made by the never-satisfied ego and they are not even true. Thoughts are not always truth. The ego creates a lot of unnecessary waves in the waters of your mind, so it is very important to cultivate witness-consciousness and become aware of what is truly YOU and what is simply your ego’s tall tales.
Actually, our thoughts really are not original at all. We tend to remain stuck on certain thoughts for any length of time and maybe even for our whole life! You know those thoughts, don’t you? The lingering ones that don’t seem to help you in any way but affect your life significantly.
“I’m not good enough.”
“I’ll never be successful.”
“I don’t deserve happiness.”
“Why can’t I be like so and so?”
Thought like these can play in the background of our entire lifetime and even into the next lifetime! They will impose themselves into everything that you say and do. It’s called ‘samskaras’ and these are grooved patterns in your consciousness created by repetitive thoughts. It takes a great deal of work to groove new patterns and replace these thoughts with ones that produce a different experience. Patience and consistency with meditation and sadhana will allow for a significant work to be done in one’s consciousness. However in our modern world, sitting in quiet contemplation is hardly appealing to most people. Our world is fast and tough and people are crazy busy. Yet, this is MORE of a reason to get quiet and still and do your internal work. The only time is now. Even if you only have a few moments in the morning and at night, seize them and use them wisely.
Another useless activity of the mind that we love to indulge in is worrying. We tend to worry constantly, often about things that are not even in our control… so why worry? If you can control something, don’t worry about it, and if you can’t, then you really shouldn’t worry. Worrying is indeed praying for what you don’t want. By the action of worrying, you are staying fixed on a negative vibration and putting all of your energy toward an outcome you don’t want to happen. So silly, right? If you don’t want something to happen in your life then stop channeling your energy in that direction! Our thoughts shape our reality. Simple as that. Only focus on outcomes that you wish to see manifested in your life. Otherwise, you are doing yourself a great disservice and, essentially, creating a reality you don’t want to be in.
Change your thoughts and change your life!
By dedicating time and effort to a meditation practice, we can begin to cultivate witness-consciousness. Witness-consciousness is a state of being where you are in a place of pure presence and awareness, thereby allowing you to see your thoughts, and even the world around you, from a detached place. By detaching, we no longer cling or grasp to our thoughts and outside elements. Things become very clear and we can now see our thoughts for what they really are. In meditation, things will come up, indeed….All sorts of things, even things that you never wanted to remember or think about. Sitting quietly and watching your breath should not be underestimated. It is deeply healing and sometimes dirty work, but it needs to be done. So sitting and watching the thoughts bubble up and then watching them flow away empowers you to become detached from the thoughts. By witnessing the thoughts go by without becoming entangled in them, the thoughts lose power over you and you slowly free yourself from their tyrannous grip.
Learn how to master your mind instead of being mastered by your mind. You truly are in control, but it’s up to you to take the reins and steer your consciousness into a positive direction. Through diligent meditation, yoga, pranayama and serious spiritual practices, you can change your thought patterns, and create a new way of thinking and experiencing reality.
“The first thing to becoming a master of oneself is to become more conscious of your acts and your thoughts. Unconsciousness is slavery, consciousness is mastery.”