Not all spiritual paths lead to the harmonious oneness. Indeed, most are detours and distractions, nothing more. – Lao Tzu

The Silent Witness Within
Who Am I? I would ask myself as I stood in front of a mirror gazing upon my own reflection, hoping that an answer would appear from the depths of my being but nothing would happen and I would just stand there gazing back at my own reflection. I felt like a ship’s captain lost at sea desperately trying to understand myself but I was no closer to the answers that I was seeking.

I have always felt that there was something far greater to us than just our physical appearance and that I was not just a mind, body, thoughts or feelings. Unknowingly, this method of enquiry led me to the spiritual search but I was unaware of it at the time.

Beyond the mind, there is a background of awareness that does not change. You may be thinking, what is this awareness? Well, it is the silent witness within – the true observer.

Who is the silent witness within?

You may be thinking to yourself, how can I discover the silent witness within – the true observer? Start by closing your eyes, breathe in through your nostrils, then into your throat and belly. As you breathe out, follow your breath. If it helps, you can count one breathe in, two breathe out, three breathe in, four breathe out. If you lose track, gently bring your attention back to your breath. Repeat this for a few minutes until you are relaxed.

Now pay attention to your body, emotions, thoughts , all the different things that come and go. Just observe and don’t try to struggle with it. You are exploring and taking an interest in the arising and passing away of this phenomenon you call “my body” and the tremendous changing flow of sensations that it actually is.

Can you observe your thoughts and your emotions in a third person perspective?  As you observe your thoughts, you will realize that thoughts are a series of fleeting images and impressions that appear one after another. You may begin to wonder who is observing these thoughts? Where do thoughts come from? Who is the observer watching these thoughts? If you carry on observing yourself, you will in time discover yourself as the silent witness – the true observer. The light that you really are.

The silent witness – the true observer is eternal and timeless. Unlike us, it is not subject to birth or death. It doesn’t age or grow, doesn’t learn or unlearn. God is not in the sky nor in the all pervading ether, you have to look within yourself to discover it.

I remember a memory from an earlier part of my life which reminds of this essential truth. My parents would always tell me, behave yourself God is always watching. I always thought, how can God be watching me? How is this even possible? 

When I look back and relive those earlier years of my childhood. I now realize that they were imparting deep lessons and wisdom but I didn’t understand at the time. The observer within is non-judgmental. It is a witness to everything in your life. Nothing is right or wrong, good or bad – everything is as it is.

If you persevere on your spiritual search. It can give you a taste of a deeper watcher, a seer which lies beyond the ego, on the doorstep of eternity.