Bearing witness II

 

A few things I notice about bearing witness:

The basics

Bearing witness is life bearing witness to itself.

Bearing witness is already happening. What’s here happens within and as awareness, and is already witnessed.

Bearing witness can also happen more intentionally, it can be an intentional alignment with what’s already happening.

Bearing witness can become more familiar to me, and a part of how I relate to myself and others in daily life.

Bearing witness includes kind action, whenever that seems appropriate.

Bearing witness invites me to notice my fears and thoughts about bearing witness, and take these to inquiry.

Bearing witness allows what’s here it’s life. It allows what’s here to be seen, felt, loved.

Structured explorations

Several structured explorations support bearing witness, and are in themselves a form of bearing witness.

Inquiry allows me to identify fears and thoughts preventing me from bearing witness, and find what’s more true for me than my initial beliefs.

Training a more stable attention supports bearing witness, and any other activity.

Basic mediation – just sitting, shikantaza – is already a form of witnessing. What’s here is happening within and as awareness.

Finding love for what’s here, and notice it’s already love, supports and is a form of witnessing. I can explore this through prayer, ho’oponopono, tonglen, inquiry and other ways.

Many other explorations also supports bearing witness, such as neurogenic tremors (TRE) and the universals such as physical activity and a good diet.

Additional thoughts

As always, there is a lot more to say about this.

For instance, in what way are each of these approaches a way of bearing witness, and also supports bearing witness? (a) Inquiry is a way of bearing witness to what happens when a belief is taken as true, how it is if it’s not taken as true, the validity of each of it’s turnarounds, and how it is to live this in daily life. Finding clarity on thoughts previously preventing me from bearing witness, makes it easier – even inevitable – to bear witness. (b) Love supports witnessing because it’s easy to bear witness to what’s loved. Love is, in itself, a form of witnessing. And one form of witnessing is to witness what’s here already as love. (c) Basic meditation is in itself a form of witnessing, and it supports bearing witness in daily life. It helps it become a habit, it deepens the groove of witnessing.

Also, the way I bear witness is how I bear witness to myself and others. The way I bear witness to my own emotions, pain and thoughts is how I bear witness when these surface in others. So as I am more familiar and comfortable with bearing witness to my own life, I become more familiar and comfortable with bearing witness to the life of others.

Bearing witness can be very healing. It allows what’s here it’s life. It allows it to be seen, felt, loved. It allows emotions that were previously stuffed away their life, and allows them to move through and discharge. It allows thoughts that were previously avoided or fueled their life, and – through inquiry – find liberation from being taken as true.

Bearing witness is also an intentional alignment with reality. Taken as far as it goes, it leads straight to reality waking up to itself.

Note: When I say reality here, it’s meant in the simplest and most ordinary way. Reality, what’s real, is what’s here. A sense of discomfort. Joy. Pain. Resistance. Thoughts. Memories. Fear. A sense of contraction. That’s how Spirit shows up right now. That’s Spirit. That’s what may notice itself as Spirit, or not. That’s what’s aligned with when there is a closer conscious alignment with reality.

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draft….. 

A few things I notice about bearing witness:

The basics

Bearing witness is life bearing witness to itself.

Bearing witness is already happening. What’s here happens within and as awareness, and is already witnessed.

Bearing witness can also happen more intentionally, it can be an intentional alignment with what’s already happening.

An intentional bearing witness invites me to notice my fears and thoughts about bearing witness, and take these to inquiry.

Bearing witness allows what’s here it’s life. It allows what’s here to be seen, felt, loved.

Structured explorations

Several structured explorations support bearing witness, and are in themselves a form of bearing witness.

As mentioned above, I can identify fears and thoughts preventing me from bearing witness, and take these to inquiry.

Training a more stable attention supports bearing witness, as it does any other activity.

Basic mediation – just sitting, shikantaza – is already a form of witnessing. What’s here is happening within and as awareness.

Finding love for what’s here, and notice it’s already love, supports and is a form of witnessing. I can explore this through prayer, ho’oponopono, tonglen, inquiry and other ways.

Many other explorations also supports bearing witness, such as neurogenic tremors (TRE) and the universals such as physical activity and a good diet.

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draft….. 

When I bear witness, I bear witness to the life – and the pain and joys – of myself and others.

Bearing witness is life bearing witness to itself. It allows what’s here it’s life. It allows what’s here to be seen, felt and loved.

When it’s intentional, there is an intentional alignment with reality. Reality already allows what’s here, it’s already bearing witness. So when it happens more intentionally here, there is a closer intentional alignment with reality.

And this allows me to see how I sometimes prevent myself from doing this in daily life. I get to see what I fear about bearing witness, what I fear may happen if I intentionally bear witness. There is an invitation here to bear witness to these fears and thoughts, and even to taken them to inquiry to see what’s more true for me.

Bearing witness happens in daily life, when I am with the experiences of myself or others. And it can also be explored in a more structured way.

Through basic meditation – just sitting, shikantaza – awareness bears witness to what’s here, including images, memories, emotions and so on, and also to all of this as awareness itself. Anything that was previously avoided or fueled may surface to have it’s life, to be seen, felt and loved as is.

Emotions previously held back may now surface to move through and discharge. Thoughts may surface to be inquired into and liberated from being taken as true.

What was behind that impulse to avoid an emotion, a pain, a thought? What was behind that impulse to fuel a painful story? What did I fear would happen if I didn’t avoid or fuel? I may find a set of beliefs here, and these too surface to be inquired into and find liberation from being taken as true.

Training a stable attention supports bearing witness, as it supports just about any activity.

And training a stable attention is also a form of witnessing in itself. Attention is on the sensations of the breath at the nostrils, and sights, sounds, sensations, tastes, smells, emotions and thoughts surface. It’s all happening within and as awareness. It’s all living it’s own life. It’s all fresh and new. It’s all witnessed, even if attention is not on it. Also, other things are witnessed, such as the tendency for attention to go to a thought taken as true (in this context, also called a distraction).

Finding love for what’s here supports and tends to emerge from witnessing. I can find love for what’s here through prayer, ho’oponopono, tonglen, and inquiry. I may even notice it’s all already love through the same explorations.

As part of all this, I may notice resistant thoughts and take these to inquiry. I notice an impulse to avoid the experience of myself or someone else. What’s the fear, the thought, behind this impulse to avoid? Which stories – when they come up in me or someone else – do I tend to fuel and take as true? When there is “distraction” as I train a more stable attention, which thoughts does attention tend to go to? (e.g. It’s boring, something else is more important.) When I find love for a person, situation or experience, what fears or resistant thoughts come up? What do I find when I inquire into these? What’s more true for me than these initial beliefs?

Many other explorations may also support bearing witness. Neurogenic tremors (TRE) may release some of the tension and stress created by painful beliefs. And there is also the obvious ones of physical activity and a good diet, which supports any activity in our lives, including bearing witness.

 

 

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 drafts…..

– bearing witness
– to the life/pain of myself, others (same thing)
– familiarity just through doing
– can also explore in a more structured way
— basic meditation
— finding love for it, notice it’s already love
— notice resistant thoughts, inquire into these (beliefs that makes me fuel/avoid the stories/emotions that comes up)
— TRE, release tension from beliefs around it

 

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– traditional Buddhist way of talking about it (in the west, at least) – notice impulse to avoid/engage in the stories, come back to witnessing
– ok for a while, then may want to look a little closer

– bearing witness – of the life, pain of myself, the person I am with (even if just in my mind)

– stability practice supports witnessing
– as does inquiry into resistant thoughts
– noticing it’s already witnessed
– finding love for it (prayer, ho’o, tonglen, inquiry), notice it’s already love
– neurogenic tremors, release tension/stress from earlier/present beliefs about it

– witnessing, just as in shikantaza, notice what’s there (if get caught in the stories, or wanting to escape, return to witnessing)
– if attention gets absorbed into the stories, or try to avoid, then return to witnessing (make a note of the fears/beliefs behind it)
– being with, allowing, opening to

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When I bear witness, it’s sometimes to my own life and pain, sometimes to the life and pain of someone else, and it’s really the same.

In each case, it’s simply about witnessing, being there. The simplest way is to explore it through doing it.

And I can also explore in a more structured way.

One way is through basic mediation, just sitting (shikantaza), being with and noticing what’s here and what it all happens within and as. Through basic meditation, a great deal surfaces to be seen, felt and loved, including wounds, fears and beliefs. They surface to be witnessed, for old and stuffed emotions to be felt and move through, for the beliefs to surface so they can be inquired into and find liberation from being taken as true. This allows clarity on more thoughts, makes it easier for what I am to notice itself as all there is, and invites my human self to reorganize and align more with reality in more areas of itself.

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There is a familiarity with bearing witness that comes from simply doing and living it.

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I bear witness in daily life, whether I intend to or not. What’s here, my whole world, happens within and as awareness, and is witnessed.

And it can also be more intentional. I can intentionally be with a friend or myself, and witness the life and the emotions or thoughts or whatever else is here. I bear witness to it, especially when I don’t avoid what’s here or fuel the stories.

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Through basic meditation – just sitting, shikantaza – awareness bears witness to itself.

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Emotions previously held back may now surface to move through and discharge. Thoughts may surface to be inquired into and liberated from being taken as true.

Anything that was previously avoided or fueled may surface to have it’s life, to be seen, felt and loved as is. What was behind that impulse to avoid an emotion, a pain, a thought? What was behind that impulse to fuel a painful story? What did I fear would happen if I didn’t avoid or fuel? I may find a set of beliefs here, and these too surface to be inquired into and find liberation from being taken as true.

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Inevitable vs intentional

Bearing witness is, in one sense, inevitable. What’s here, the world as it presents itself to me, is awareness itself. It’s all happening within and as awareness. It’s all already witnessed.

And it can also be more intentional. I can intentionally be with a friend or myself, and witness the life and the emotions or thoughts or whatever else is here. Just by being with what’s here, I bear witness to it.

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Basics of bearing witness

Bearing witness is life bearing witness to itself. It allows what’s here it’s life. It allows what’s here to be seen, felt and loved.

When it’s intentional, there is an intentional alignment with reality. Reality already allows what’s here, it’s already bearing witness. So when it happens more intentionally here, there is a closer intentional alignment with reality.

And this allows me to see how I sometimes prevent myself from doing this in daily life. I get to see what I fear about bearing witness, what I fear may happen if I intentionally bear witness. There is an invitation here to bear witness to these fears and thoughts, and even to taken them to inquiry to see what’s more true for me.

 

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