Meditation and the Transcendent Witness

“As our practice progresses, we develop a growing capacity to experience what many spiritual traditions call the Witness, or the Transcendent Witness. What this means is that we are able to watch ourselves from outside ourselves; instead of being lost in our traumas from the past, our conditionings, and our old dysfunctional stories, we can actually observe them from the outside. When this happens, we begin to understand that, if we can observe ourselves, or what we thought was ourselves, from outside of ourselves, then what we are must truly be greater than we formally believed we were. Over time, this witnessing happens more and more frequently, both when we are meditating and when we are not meditating.”

These are John Dupuy’s words on the power of cultivating a multi-perspectival experience that includes the spiritual and ethical “lines.” I have been extremely grateful to have found his book, Integral Recovery. As most of my readers know I have been immersed in a journey of personal recovery for almost three years now. Dupey’s work brings together two worlds that have remained separate for me for some time: recovery and integral scholarship.

I am extremely and increasingly attracted to meditation. I am practicing it. When I read Dupuy’s description of the ‘transcendent witness’ it struck in me a familiar resonance. I know this experience… this place of unobstructed equanimity and non-judgment. At once you meet the absolute gift and touch the extension of your potential toward extraordinary limits… and then the transcendence fades, the witness returns and you relapse into ordinary experience.

This is the practice.

The power of baring Witness to yourself, your comings and goings, the seemingly mundane tasks of living, opens the doors to a scenic perception of conscious creativity. It gives time a unique advantage. Holding your actions a moment further in full intuitive skill allows grace the avenue it needs to arrive. Children begin to find you. Those with a deep longing to be sensed are attracted to your presence – a presence of space and time. Witness… God is a verb, an action to be lived.

Bending History…

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