Here are some ideas that can help us understand and therefore better able to enter into that state of conscious that is called by many the observing self.
• The ability to observe ourselves objectively and compassionately is one of the most important skills to develop on the path of meditation. Because:
- It is the doorway to our Essential Self, to that within us which is pure awareness pure Being, and the great mystery.
- It is that place in consciousness which is the fulcrum point from which choices can be made with the most freedom and which will lead to the most Joy.
• The observing self is a positive function and an aspect of the super conscious self that we can experience as the consciousness self.
• The observing self is a benign witness to our inner processes and outer events. It simply notes, without judgment, whatever comes to the surface of our awareness.
• The observing self provides a loving space for those messages from the unconscious which bring us potentially new information about ourselves. It does not discriminate between the “good” and the “bad” that emerge from within; it welcomes all to awareness.
• The observing self is completely free of self judgment or self criticism. It is fundamentally a space of loving compassion and illumination.
• The source of distortions and negative judgments in Self-Observation stem from the internalized voices of parents, early authority figures or of rigid cultural and religious codes of conduct. These judgments are not the true self-observer but are generated from an idealized self image that embodies unrealistic standards of perfectionism against which we measure ourselves.
• Learning to stabilize our consciousness in the observing self is a lifelong process. This stabilization is increasingly realized, embodied and expressed by a dual meditative process.
- One aspect of this stabilization is to enter into the incredibly subtle and refined states of awareness of the super-conscious Mind and directly experience its bliss, love and illumination.
- The second aspect of this stabilization is to essentially transmit this love and illumination into the subconscious mind in support of its integration and synthesis with the conscious self.
• Stabilizing a loving self-observer is analogous to being a good parent to ourselves. Slowly we learn to give unconditional love to all aspects of our personality, especially to the parts of ourselves that are childish, weak, immature or parts that have strong negative feelings which they act out. As the loving self observer we helps the parts of our subconscious realize their “inner beauty”, learn appropriate self-expression and to cooperate and co-create with the all parts of the self.
• Some names of the Observing Self with increasing subtlety: fair witness, neutral observer, compassionate watcher of thoughts, conscious self, choice less awareness, awareness without an object, pure awareness, pure Being.
• Learning radical loving self acceptance of ourselves allows us to be totally honest with our self and not flinch from anything we experience in our thoughts feelings or behaviors. It also strengthens our ability to love others as we can create a loving space for others and all humanity,
Jerry Rosser, MFT ©2014 www.psychologyofjoy.com
These suggestions are intended for those at the beginning and intermediate level of experience who wish to have a sustainable and joyful meditation practice:
- Make it fun, enjoying meditation is so important because it supports your wanting to meditate more and denotes progress at certain stages. Making it a joyous experience is helped by being open to the incredible realizations and energies of grace, healing, bliss and the great realization.
- Make the time you meditate not as a “should time”, but as a joyful healing experience that you look forward to, scheduling is helpful if it is joyful. If you find yourself resisting your meditation check in with your subconscious which is almost always the source of avoidance. You might also try including your subconscious life so they too can share in the fun.
- Remember meditation is as much about refinement of consciousness as it is expansion of consciousness. Pay attention to your body and the subtle energies and experiences that you contact and enter into your vehicles and chakras as you meditate.
- Good times to meditate are early morning because there is much chi at that time; noon is good because it is the fullest outpouring of chi for the day. The wonderful thing about meditating in the morning is that it can calibrate our awareness to positive and beautiful states of consciousness which can be available throughout the day to support our creative expression. Sunset is good as it is a time of energetic calming and quieting. The truth is you can meditate any time of the day or night.
- Take advantage of the energies of the full moon, 3 days before and 3 days afterward. This is a time of great blessing for humanity and for those seeking to serve, consequently it is usually a time of increased ease and positive results in your meditation.
- Be aware of the benefits of your meditation at the end of the session, noticing how you feel, physically, mentally and emotionally. The more you make the connection between your meditation practice and the positive psychological results of greater clarity and calmness and physical results of more energy and more balanced life force, the more fun it becomes to practice meditation regularly each day.
- Learn to meditate while walking or hiking in nature. It is a good use of time and it creates a centering focus and concentration that is a unique form of meditation which supports connecting to the “light substance of nature”. It’s important to use common sense and avoiding certain trance states of consciousness when walking. There aren’t many resources on learning to do these types of meditation but they are quite doable. Walking Zen meditation has been around for centuries.
- Keep your meditation alive. Try different meditation processes and techniques from traditions which may be different than what you are used to. The Course in Miracles has a great suggestion: “forget everything you know and everything you think you know and just be with the presence of God”. Let your intuition guide your meditation… this is often the consciousness of your divine essence guiding you.
- Practice “Teflon” consciousness, observing consciousness, being the fair witness, awareness without an object, the neutral compassionate watcher of thoughts.
- Learn to be your own meditation guide. Practice leading yourself in a guided meditation. This helps focus the purpose of your meditation and invests you in its creation and fulfillment.
- Cultivate creating a loving space for yourself when you are feeling stressed and listen to others from a loving space when they are stressed. This makes it easier to enter this state when you actually meditate.
- Keep a journal or log or your meditation experiences. This will allow you to more fully register and ground in your consciousness the insights, realizations and experience of your meditation, inform you of your progress and prevent any “undoing” of the subconscious mind.
- If possible create a sacred place, even it is very small in your home which is used just for meditation. Make it beautiful, simple, burn incense, and it will naturally fill with chi and become your own meditation temple.
- A loving blessing of humanity at the end or your meditation is very helpful, even essential as it completes the “consciousness circuit” between you and the One Life and joins you more fully in that Being.
Copyright 2014 Jerry Rosser
I am sometimes surprised and intrigued at the doubts that friends and clients have about the survival of their consciousness at the death of the body or more simply that there is life after death. These are often people who know how to meditate and enjoy thinking and talking about the transpersonal dimensions of existence.
It makes sense though that parts of our mind would like evidence of life after death and to not just rely on our subjective conscious explorations or spiritual doctrines from various traditions. These common sense, pragmatic parts of us want proof.
Imagine how different the world would be if there was irrefutable evidence of conscious life after the death of the body. This aspect of human experience could become an area of scientific investigation. Not only could it help expand our understanding of life after death, it could also impact the teachings and views of religions and even their proprietary grip on this topic. It could also help eliminate one of humanity’s most primal fears, the annihilation of self.
This evidence seems to be emerging. This website NDE Videos provides eloquent testation by over 30 different people of their near death experiences. This may be the beginning of an era of scientific research into near death experiences.
One of the early clinical studies of near-death experiences (NDEs) in cardiac arrest patients was done by Dr Pim van Lommel, a cardiologist from the Netherlands. He reported in an article in The Lancet, 2001 that of 344 patients who were successfully resuscitated after suffering cardiac arrest, 2% experienced core NDEs. The patients were declared clinically dead with flatlined brain stem activity. He concluded that his findings supported the theory that consciousness continued despite lack of neuronal activity in the brain.
Since then there have been numerous independent research projects and 52 of them are summarized by Kevin Williams in Scientific Evidence Supporting Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife. What is emerging from this growing body of evidence and research is a release from the perpective that life is merely “the activity of an admixture of carbon and a few other elements” and points to the exhilarating possibility that life is fundamentally immortal.
Copyright 2014 Jerry Rosser