May 4, 2009

Mysterious Origins: The Watcher

I have lived on the lip
of insanity, wanting to know reasons,
knocking on a door. It opens.
I’ve been knocking from the inside!

– Rumi

Someone is watching.

Watching you react. Watching your thoughts, observing your physical sensations.

This observer has no thoughts. No judgments. No “feelings” and no stories. The Watcher is the essential you. The essence of all that you are or will become.

It knows what to do, always. It perceives the truth, and acts in clarity, fearless even in the midst of chaos, anxiety, and self-doubt.

Consider the anatomy of an anxiety attack:

  1. A trigger event occurs. It could be as simple as the arrival of a dreaded guest, or as complex as finding out you have a major presentation to deliver next week.
  2. Your body reacts. The belly and chest muscles tighten. Your body prepares to protect itself from a perceived threat before you even have a thought of it. You are not consciously aware of the source.
  3. The conscious mind seeks an explanation for the body’s state. Confusion often results, because no matter what “explanation” your mind creates, the physical sensations only get more intense.
  4. The mind locks ina trance looking out into the unknowable future, making up stories about the worst that can happen.
  5. We react to the trigger in many ways. Some people lock up, unable to take any action at all. Some become ill. Others react with verbal abuse. Still others become violent. It is a long list.

The good news is this: You are not your thoughts. You are not the images in your mind, nor are you even your reactions.

The essential you, the Watcher, is as mysterious as life itself. It observes your thoughts and behaviors, not judging, not reacting. Perhaps you’ve had the experience… the sudden realization in the midst of confusion that someone else was watching.

That is the Essential You.

When you step into complete awareness, your thoughts become simply the stories or conversations you’re having with yourself. Physical sensations become sensations only, with no labels attached.

This week, practice bringing your attention to the Watcher inside, the Essential You. By doing so, you will be astonished.

Because though nothing is different, everything will change.

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