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Let's start with a poem.

I have no plan for my life.

I accept the plan life has for me.

I follow that plan and what it provides me moment to moment.

I am not the roles I play in following the plan.

I am the witness of all that I interact with in my life.

I was a child, an adult, and will soon be an old man.

I was a son, a brother, a husband, a father, and a grandfather.

I was an artist, a businessman, a yogi, a guru, a friend.

I have been healthy, sick, successful, a failure, awake and asleep.

Behind all those changing experiences, I am the changeless consciousness that is constantly present.

I am that I am, in spite of the change that "I am" experiences.

I am That.

My present is pregnant with all my past.

My future unfolds from the way I live my present.

My being manifests in the present.

I am present.

I am at home in the eternal now, living the plan life has for me.

-Gurudev Yogi Amrit Desai


Desai writes "I am That"...but what is That?

If I am not a label ("an artist, husband, healthy"), then what am I?

The "changeless"?  "The present"?  The "witness"?  

How is that possible?  How vital is it that I live through this lens?   How could living from the witness bring less pain and more joy into my life?

Meet Your Witness

Here is the best way to introduce you to your witness.  Your mind has a thought.  But how do you know the mind is thinking?  Awareness, right?  So YOU are the subject, the THOUGHT is the object, and then there is the AWARENESS of you having or experiencing that thought.  That awareness is the witnessing side.  The coloring you add to having that thought is  NOT the witness, but your personality that has infused that thought with emotion or ego.  Separating the two leads you to the path of freedom.

How the Witness Sees

The witness is always present. The more you recognize its presence, the more it grows.  It provides a view point of "bare reality."  When the mind is a whirlwind of thoughts, the witness stands steadily in the midst of change.  The witness doesn't take sides like your ego, but rather sees life through "choiceless awareness."  When the mind spins with thoughts, the witness relies on the whole body experience, "allowing reverberations of sensations through your entire physical-emotional organism." (Stephen Cope) 

As Stephen Cope writes in Yoga and the Quest for the True Self, "the witness is the essence of our driven, awake, already enlightened nature.  We don't have to create the witness.  This quality of consciousness needs only to be recognized, evoked, claimed, and cultivated."  The good news is that we all have a witness to rely on to get us beyond unproductive and unhealthy habits and negative thought cycles that cause the mind to be unsteady and unstable.

"Be there as the observer of the mind.  Instead of quoting the Buddha, be the Buddha.  Be the "awakened one" which is what the word buddha means." Eckhart Tolle

The Witness in Your Life

When the witness is awakened, you learn to see the most objective side of life, unfettered by your past conditioning.  If the pleasures of eating a third chocolate chip cookie reach your consciousness and fill your body with powerful desires, the witness guides you to fully experiencing that craving.  Then your DHI or higher mind (the topic of last weeks Wednesday Wisdom) decides two cookies is enough!  If a scent flows into your nostrils that remind you of a loved one that has passed, the witness allows you to be in the present experience, untethered by the story of loss and grief.  You can feel without reacting!!  Your DHI (higher mind) knows that the flow of emotion and feeling will pass in a few minutes.  That feeling is a natural chemical after all, and by remaining in the witness, you unlink the chain of thinking.  As Desai explains "behind all those changing experiences, I am the changeless consciousness that is constantly present."  

This is a new way to live, right?  Can you see how you can break the cycle of negative patterning if you grow your witness?

Merging with the Witness

And here is the bonus!  The witness is something you merge with.  "I am That."  That IS you.  In other words, you can't BE all those roles you play in the outer world.  Why, because they are fleeting.  What IS steady and unchanging is what is YOU.  Yes, it sounds far fetched right now.   But the more you grow your witness, the more you desire to BE that which can stand steady in the "bare reality" of life.  Your witness is the bridge to that BEING.

Remember This

Tap into your desire to want to see more clearly.  20/20 Yoga, my business name, means the "union of clear seeing." (Yoga means "union" or "to yoke.")  What are you merging with is the witness.  Amp up the personal call for this, and you will see your life dramatically change for the better.  Deal? Deal!

So now I want to know, have you experienced your witness?  Reply to this email now and share a recent experience.  If you don't know, email today and ask me.  Reply now so I can help guide you to your witness. 

I am That, JOE