Here I would like to share a wonderful post from Untwine’s website:
The Inner Witness is the Presence of the Soul – Vipassana
An essential practice of most spiritual traditions has been to create a place of inner observation, leading to silence and stillness. This is the basic foundation of meditation, which is often called Vipassana, meaning witnessing.
The basis of it, is to look within, and see that there is an inner presence, who is not the body, who can observe the body. We can also see that this same presence is not the emotions and feelings : even when we feel overwhelmed by intense emotions, there is always an inner presence who is watching the process, who is not the emotions. And in the same way, this inner presence is also not the thoughts : the thoughts may go on rambling in all directions, this inner presence is still there watching the process.
This inner presence, inner observer, is a higher consciousness than the physical, energetic (etheric), emotional and mental parts of us, it is the presence of the Soul.
This inner presence of the Soul is one with all of life, it is the presence of the One/Source/Cosmic Ocean living within us, it moves all of us, it moves all life, it is all life.
This One/Cosmic Ocean, takes many shapes, in the form of many living beings and many spaces and times, but it is always the same One, simply shape-shifting.
So the physical emotional and mental are also the One, who has taken these particular shapes for the moment. They are temporary shapes, they are like the waves and currents of the ocean, they are not the ocean itself, the ocean always remains the same water, regardless of the currents and waves.
There has been a widespread habit on this planet, that when physical and energetic sensations, and emotions feelings and thoughts come, to become attached, invested, and identified in them. So something happens within, and people are trying to push away the sensation or emotion or thought, or trying to pull and cling to the sensation, emotion or thought.
This habit of inner pushing and pulling, creates an identification with the sensations and emotions and thoughts, which prevents them from flowing, and which also creates a forgetting of the inner presence of the Soul, and this is a source of pains and unconsciousness.
Ironically the pushing and pulling does exactly the opposite of what it intends to do. The more we try to push away a thought, the more it clings to us, and the more we try to grab on to a feeling, the less we can feel it.
Anybody can try and experiment with this : pick a random subject and try with a lot of effort to not think about it, and the more effort is done, the more the thought will keep coming back. Or try with a lot of effort to remember something, the more effort to remember the more it will disappear ; and then when we give up trying to remember it, the memory comes back on its own. Or if an external noise bothers us, the more we try to push it away the more it becomes a bother, and by just forgetting about it we don’t notice it anymore.
Why is this ? Because when we do this inner push and pull, it creates an identification and attachment with the temporary shapes and currents of the ocean, rather than with the water itself ; or in other words the consciousness is identified with the illusion of separated self, rather than with the inner presence of the Soul, the One. Then the sensations, emotions and thoughts can not flow properly. Then we forget the inner presence of the observer/Soul, and then the Soul presence can not do its work properly, and then there is pain and suffering.
So the basic foundation of meditation, Vipassana, is to stop this loop of identification and suffering. The process is very simple : whatever happens within : physical sensation, emotions, thoughts, we just observe them passively and silently, not pushing and pulling them, no judgement, no comment, neutral. Just watching passively, as if from a distance.
Another famous way of doing this is to simply keep watching the breath as it goes in and out, follow it along its path, or watch the belly going up and down as the breath goes in and out. And while doing this, remain a passive observer of anything happening inside and outside, thoughts feelings sensations etc, are just allowed to flow.
What this does, is to bring back the energy and consciousness into the inner Soul presence. Then the observer/Soul presence becomes stronger and stronger the more we practice it, and everything else progressively disappears because energy is no longer invested in it.
The inner observer/Soul presence is turning on the Light, it is like placing a candle in a dark room, it does not need to push and pull away the darkness, simply turning on the Light is enough, darkness is gone because it doesn’t really exist.
When the Light is there, when the consciousness is centered in the observer/Soul presence, then every sensation, emotion and thought which does not belong here will disappear on its own just like darkness is gone when the Light is on ; and every sensation, emotion and thought which should be here, which is aligned with the Soul, all the happiness and inspiration, all this increases naturally.
So the body sensations, emotions and thoughts (the lower self), should be just as an empty vessel, silent and still, so that it can hold the Soul presence properly. Like a calm still lake can reflect the moon and the landscape. The lake is not doing anything, it is purely passive, or the landscape can not be seen.
Having the consciousness centered in the observer/Soul presence allows to discern everything better and better, as we are more and more dis-identified from the noise of over-opinionated nonsense which arise from the identifications in the lower self, and more and more in tune with the flow of energy from the Soul/One Ocean.
When something arises that we do not like, if we are trying to push it away and doing effort to transcend it, then automatically we repress it and then it does not go away, it just becomes subconscious and keeps affecting things from there.
This can be counter-intuitive somehow, because if there is for example a physical trash bag in the house, then we need to push and pull it to go outside. This is because the physical is a more dense form of energy. But then where does the trash go ? Buried into the Earth, and she does not push and pull it, she allows it to flow into herself, and therefore it transforms into earth itself. When energies can flow, they will always return to Oneness.
If we try hard to relax, we become more and more tensed no matter what it may look like to others from outside, and if we allow the energy to flow and express, then relaxation just happens from within naturally.
The more the consciousness is centered in the inner observer/Soul presence, the more all goodness flowing through us will increase, peace, happiness, joy, inspiration. Then we can maintain this awareness centered in all activities, and anything we do from that place of awareness is more aligned, alive and nurturing, rather than draining. If we maintain this centered awareness in various forms of energy work, visualization meditations, any kind of Light work, then the energy we can channel is stronger and clearer, and more joyful for ourselves and others.
☀️ Wishing Peace to all ☀️
Victory of the Light!