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.

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Bearing witness


This dream came two nights after a powerful session with Barry. I have had a sense that there is something I am not quite getting a hold on, a deep despair and contraction somewhere in me. During the session, I went back to a previous life (for the first time in these sessions), to a young woman in the early medieval times who lost her husband, children, home, possessions and many friends and relatives to a raid by a group of men from somewhere else. She goes into profound despair and makes a decision to cut herself completely to life. I have since spent some time bearing witness to her life and experience, and will stay with this for a bit longer, until it feels time to move on – perhaps explore it in more detail. I also notice my love for her, and invite her to soak in that love.

I wrote this commenting on a dream yesterday morning.

It’s a reminder that when I am in a great deal of pain, what feels best is often bearing witness. I bear witness to my own pain. And if I share with another, it’s with a person I know or trust will simply bear witness.

That’s how it is with this woman as well. For a few days now, I have been there for her, bearing witness. I have been a witness to her life and her pain.

Yesterday, I also found myself writing a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet from her perspective, on the men who killed her husband and children. And that’s another form of bearing witness. Her fears and beliefs are allowed their life, on paper.

So far, I have simply asked her what she would like, what would feel good for her. And bearing witness is what comes up. This morning, she was also open to holding my hand. It’s quite sweet and beautiful to just be with what’s here, ask her for what feels good for her, and following her guidance.

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Healing it here


A draft…..

There are many approaches to healing here what I see in the world. It may not “need” healing in an ultimate sense, but wishing for healing is a natural impulse. It feels good and right, and may even reduce suffering for myself and others, and make it a little easier for us to make more wise choices.

I have recently explored ho’oponopono, a new and revised version of an ancient shamanic practice from Hawaii and other pacific islands. I see something in the world that needs healing – coming out of suffering and confusion. I find in myself what creates this, connect with it, and forgive myself for it. I forgive myself for having created the causes that brought this about. One way of doing this is to say I am sorry, I love you, thank you. Or simply, I forgive myself for having created this. Ho’o may sound odd, but it makes immediate intuitive sense to me.

The essence is (a) to take complete responsibility, and (b) invite clearing of what creates suffering and confusion. This is similar to other approaches such as The Work, the Big Mind Process, tonglen, bearing witness, and perhaps even techniques such as TRE if done with the same intention.

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