Should I just stay as the Witness? The Self is the Witness…right?

There is no such thing as “the Witness”.  There is only awareness.  There is seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, and smelling.  There is no seer, no hearer, no feeler, no taster, and no smeller.  At best, you might say there is witnessing, but there is no witness.

Saying you are the witness is a subtle way for the ego to sneak in through the back door.  The ego says, “I am the witness of my thoughts, feelings, experiences, etc.”  This is true…for the ego.  What you really are is “awareness-ing”…in which there is thinking, feeling, experiencing, etc.  There is no noun.  To use a noun – as in ‘I am a witness’ – is a way to have an object to identify with.  In reality, you are the witnessing itself without a who/witness. Continue reading Should I just stay as the Witness? The Self is the Witness…right?

Does the Self have emotions or is it part of the body/mind experience?

Duality does not exist outside of the mind.  There is only the Self.  This question is already coming from a dualistic perspective – Self or body/mind.  The body/mind is within and not other than the Self.  So if you experience emotions…the Self experiences emotions.  You are not other than the Self.  As Alan Watts once said, “you are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself.” Continue reading Does the Self have emotions or is it part of the body/mind experience?

Should I remind myself throughout the day – I am not the body or mind?

This is a kind of affirmation, but I do not recommend any affirmations…even “I am not the body or mind.”  When you do this, what you are trying to do is to train the mind and alter your beliefs.  You are trying to change the habitual thinking of “I am the body and mind” with “I am not the body or mind”.  This will not help realization.  You will not awaken this way.  This is just trying to alter the illusions of the mind.  You can not awaken by training the mind.  You can only awaken by seeing through the illusions of the mind.

When you realize who/what you are (clearly and without a doubt)…you will just know you are not the body or mind.  You won’t have to remind yourself or try to remember. Continue reading Should I remind myself throughout the day – I am not the body or mind?

I struggle with feeling “contracted” & wonder if there is something there to unravel.

Some people talk about feeling an inner knot or feeling contracted. We often identify with this sense of contraction. We also try to expand or open ourselves. Whether we feel contracted or open does not matter, who/what we really are is beyond both feelings. Do not be fooled by the illusion of thought…but also do not be fooled by the illusion created by this feeling of contraction or expansion. It is the same inside this bubble as outside this bubble…and the film barrier is only a thought and feeling.

Cease struggling against the feeling on contraction.  Just recognize it as a passing feeling within awareness. It has nothing to do with a “me”. You are That…which includes any feeling of contraction, expansion, or any other feeling. Continue reading I struggle with feeling “contracted” & wonder if there is something there to unravel.

Why do my old habits of thinking I am a separate self keep returning?

There is a distinction I want to make between thinking you are a separate self and believing/feeling deep down that you are a separate self.  Only you can say for certain which it is for you.

Thoughts of a separate self may always return.  Thoughts are not you.  Thoughts are largely not controlled by you.  Thoughts just happen.  The brain/mind creates most of the thoughts in relation to a “me”.  The brain/mind is trying to protect this organism from danger and to continue living.  And so thoughts about “what could happen to me” may arise…even after enlightenment.  Awakening just means you have seen through the illusion of “me” and so although the thought “what could happen to me” may arise, it simply is not believed.  You do not suffer from worry after the initial random thought. Continue reading Why do my old habits of thinking I am a separate self keep returning?

Can enlightened teachers help ‘others’ to awaken; and if so, how?

Yes.  By just being around them…and/or pointing at the illusions of the mind.

The whole idea of a “guru” is about an enlightened one helping others to awaken.  The whole idea of “satsang” is about sitting with an enlightened one to help awaken.  For both ideas, the top person (i.e. the enlightened one) is called a teacher.  In this way a hierarchy is created – teacher and students…the have and have nots (of enlightenment).  The trick that the enlightened one has to pull off is getting you to realize there is no difference between you and the teacher…and that you too are already the Self.  This involves seeing through the illusion of “me”. Continue reading Can enlightened teachers help ‘others’ to awaken; and if so, how?

I do self-inquiry and what I am is obvious. How will that realization sink in?

You want to know how that realization will sink in and how to keep the knowing when the body/mind is full of fear or suffering.  You say you have awakened (per ‘what I am is obvious’), but I must tell you that you really don’t know who you are.  Maybe on some intellectual level you are trying to believe something, but in your heart and bones you “know” otherwise.

The same kind of thing happened when (for example) a devote Christian told me he was absolutely sure that when he died he would go straight to heaven and enjoy everlasting bliss next to God.  And yet he was terrified about his own death.  Why?  If death truly is going to a “better place”, then what is the problem with death? Continue reading I do self-inquiry and what I am is obvious. How will that realization sink in?

Don’t you have problems? If not, why not?

I often say that upon awakening there is a ceasing to have problems.  Problems are really fictions of the mind.  They are judgements and opinions about what is happening, what has happened, or what might happen.  We are the ones that make things problematic.  Put another way…the only problem we have is that life is not going the way we think it should.

Awakening is also a seeing through the fictitious “me.”  Who has problems?  Only the fictitious “me.”  If you really don’t identify with the fictitious “me” and realize there is only the Self, where can the problem arise?  It is like saying “I have a problem with myself.”  There is only the Self…why do you see the Self as problematic and who would see the Self as problematic? Continue reading Don’t you have problems? If not, why not?

If I am everything, why am I aware of only me?

With this logic, you would not be most of your own body. You are not aware of what the adrenal or pituitary glands are doing right now. You are not aware of what cells in the body are dying and which ones are splitting to form new cells. You are not likely aware of your shins right now…well maybe now that I brought your attention to it. You are not likely aware of the inside of your nose nor your ear lobes. You are not aware of your ear drums. You are not aware of the backs of your knees.  You are not aware of how many white blood cells you have right now or even feel one of them.  I can go on like this…but I won’t.

My point is…not being consciously aware does not mean separation or not being it. Continue reading If I am everything, why am I aware of only me?

I am trying to quiet my mind. Should I just witness my thoughts?

There are two things I want to cover regarding this question.  The first is that it is best to not try to quiet the mind.  That is fighting the mind and that battle will never end in victory for you no matter how long you fight.  It becomes a never-ending battle.  When you are trying to quiet the mind, you are actually agitating and fueling the mind to create more thoughts.

In the yoga sutras of Patanjali, on the first page, is the line, “Yoga is the cessation of the revolutions of the mind.  Then the Seer [i.e. Self] abides in its own nature.”  The mind revolves like a wheel spinning.  So, when you try to quiet the mind, you are actually helping to spin the wheel and the mind continues to revolve. Continue reading I am trying to quiet my mind. Should I just witness my thoughts?