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You Are Not Your Dangerous Ideas

“The start of freedom is the conclusion that you’re not the thinker.”

– Eckhart Tolle

Many people undergo life believing that our ideas are who we’re. Considering is so acquainted to us, a lot a part of our moment-to-moment actuality, that we are able to’t think about who or what we’d be with out it. 

In fact, we’d like pondering with the intention to navigate our lives. Reflective ideas allow us to study from our experiences and hopefully make wiser decisions transferring forwards. Fascinated with the longer term means we are able to plan the lives we want to reside. As a species, our means to suppose creatively has allowed us to extend our consolation, enhance our life expectancy and vogue the whole lot from skyscrapers to silicon chips.

However what occurs after we are overtaken by ideas that appear to be working in opposition to us? What occurs when the identical ideas loop spherical in our minds on repeat and we really feel powerless to cease them? What can we do when our ideas are telling us that we’re nugatory, unlovable, destined to fail, and even that the world can be a greater place with out us?

The Secret Self

I struggled with my very own pondering patterns rather a lot in my 20’s. I used to be my very own worst critic, believing I used to be not adequate, not good sufficient, not fascinating sufficient for the world round me. Inconsequential issues would lodge themselves in my head and refuse to go away me alone.  I did what I might to flee them however even when I discovered a brief reprieve they have been destined to bounce again extra aggressively in some unspecified time in the future.

At instances my ideas may very well be darkish, random and even disturbing. As a result of I believed I used to be my ideas, it adopted that I have to be a nasty individual.

Not desirous to let anybody in on this secret self, I tried to comprise it and pretend normality. I attempted to be good on the skin and simply hoped that nobody would discover in any other case. Evidently this was a lonely and imprisoning expertise.

Awakening The Witness

I bear in mind the primary time I attempted meditation in my 20’s. It didn’t really feel in any respect useful. In actual fact it felt like being in confinement with my worst ideas. The expertise solely added to my feeling that there was one thing unsuitable with me. How come meditation might work for different folks however solely made issues worse for me? What was I lacking?

It wasn’t till I got here throughout The Energy of Now by Eckhart Tolle that I skilled the power to step again from my ideas and observe them. Right here is an train from the ebook that stays in my thoughts:

“Strive somewhat experiment. Shut your eyes and say to your self: “I ponder what my subsequent thought goes to be.” Then turn out to be very alert and look ahead to the following thought. Be like a cat watching a mouse gap. What thought goes to come back out of the mouse gap? Strive it now.”

In ready for the following thought to come back, I discovered {that a} hole opened up in my thoughts. On this hole there have been no ideas and but there was one thing alive that felt like me. It was peaceable, spacious and clear. By training the workouts within the ebook, I continued to entry this inconsiderate place. With time, I discovered I might shift into it extra readily, without having to do something specifically.

What I had come throughout in The Energy of Now was ‘the witness’ – the a part of us that sits past the ideas, is ready to observe them and know it isn’t them. It was life-changing for me as a result of I now knew I used to be one thing greater than my pondering thoughts.

The Energy To Select

As I practiced extra yoga, I found that the idea of the witness (Sakshi) is central to yoga. The witness allows us to watch not solely ideas however bodily sensations and feelings too. We uncover from this observing place that ideas, sensations and feelings come and go while the witness is all the time there, unchanging. The analogy that’s typically used for it is a clear open sky (the witness) with clouds passing by way of it (ideas and sensations).

There are numerous ways in which yoga helps us to entry this witnessing capability. Whether or not we’re meditating or transferring by way of our asana follow, focusing our consideration on a specific object such because the breath makes it simpler to note when our thoughts wanders and ideas come up. The extra we get used to doing this on our mats, the extra it turns into pure in our on a regular basis lives.

Over time, we begin to discover our routine patterns of pondering and discover now we have a selection as to how we have interaction with them. We would, for instance, select to problem self-criticism by reminding ourselves of our optimistic qualities. Different ideas we’d observe however enable them to simply go on by. And after we discover the type of ideas that help the imaginative and prescient now we have for lives, we are able to select to have interaction with them and act upon them.

This act of witnessing our ideas additionally helps us to vary our behaviour. So if I’ve determined I don’t need to drink alcohol each evening, reasonably than simply going together with the voice that claims ‘it’s the top of a protracted day, you deserve it’, I can observe this as a thought that’s not serving my greatest pursuits. Then I’ve some area to weigh up my resolution – do I truly need to have a drink tonight or may I make a special selection?

The witness offers us the present of the hole; the area wherein selection turns into attainable.

Gateway To Freedom

The vital factor about witnessing is that we’re not attempting to push something away. Darkish ideas might come up and we discover them however we study to not react to them. We uncover that simply because the sky can accommodate a myriad of clouds, we are able to make area for an entire vary of ideas.

In actual fact, troublesome ideas may even turn out to be a present.

It’s straightforward to be complacent with a steady stream of ideas when they’re largely peaceable and nice, however when our ideas begin to hassle us, it will possibly remind us to take a step again from them.

In stepping again, we launch ourselves from the restrictions of the pondering thoughts – the idea we’re trapped, separate and alone. We discover a gateway to our true nature which is expansive, peaceable and free.

Within the phrases of the late non secular instructor Ram Dass:

“Ultimately, floating in that subjective consciousness, the objects of consciousness dissolve, and you’ll come into the non secular Self, the Atmān, which is pure consciousness, pleasure, compassion, the One.”

– Ram Dass

Placing It Into Observe

Listed here are a couple of concepts for accessing the witness:

  1. Take your consciousness to your breath because it strikes out and in of your nostrils. Really feel the feeling and temperature of every breath. When a thought pops up, discover it and return to the feeling of the breath. Discover your means to note the ideas
  2. Strive free-flow writing. Write three A4 sides of no matter goes by way of your thoughts, with out judging, analyzing or stopping. When the ideas are on paper, it creates a way of separation from them and it’s simpler to see that they don’t seem to be us. (This system is taken from Julia Cameron’s ebook The Artist’s Manner. She recommends doing it very first thing within the morning and it’s due to this fact often called Morning Pages.)
  3. Observe witnessing sensations in your physique, each throughout your yoga follow and all through the day. Let go of the labels (‘my achey hip’, ‘my indigestion’) and convey a way of curiosity to the feeling. Discover the a part of you that’s doing the noticing and see in the event you can relaxation in it for a time.

Did you take pleasure in this text? You may additionally like Not everybody who practices yoga is glad; and that’s okay.



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