In this meditation the attention is guided to move from the objects of perception—thoughts, feelings, memories, sensations—back into the perceiving subject (consciousness, yourself). By constantly remembering our true position as the witness of whatever is being experienced, we experience an expanse of consciousness; suddenly, anything that arises in our mind doesn’t have that much power anymore, because we can clearly see we are larger than any phenomenon.
For example, let’s say a memory arises in your mind—perhaps of a painful moment we experienced. If your attention immediately gets “glued” to this mental phenomenon, you will feel identified with it, and will move as it moves. Your field of experience is then limited to this thought or memory, and somewhat overwhelmed by it. It is like throwing a bucket of salt in a small pond.
On other hand, if you realize that you are the perceiver of this thought, then you are immediately larger than it. Your field of perception is vast, and that thought is occupying a small corner. So it doesn’t trouble you so much; there is no bondage; your energy doesn’t get all sucked into every thing that comes up inside of you. There is space, and creative freedom; not automatic reactions from conditioning. This is like throwing a bucket of salt in the ocean.
The same happens to every thing that happens in your life—both inside and outside of you. Developing this skill can be done in every moment—not only on the cushion. It takes time, but it’s incredibly rewarding. May this guided meditation give you an initial taste of it.
If you can resist the impulse to claim each and every thought as your own, you will come to a startling conclusion: you will discover that you are the consciousness in which the thoughts appear and disappear.