Insight Mediation….Witness Awareness
One of the great tools in ATTENTION/AWARENESS development (and this is very vertical) is what is called insight meditation or witness awareness. This is essentially being able to watch yourself and your thoughts arising with nonjudgmental viewing. Non judgmental because judgment causes us to push stuff we need to be aware of into our shadow egoic selves. We hide this from our view because we don’t like what we see and when that happens our ability to attend to it ceases. We have not done much in the Christian world to address this issue of shadow.
To use more Pauline biblical language, we have to learn to observe the patterns of the flesh, to step outside of ourselves with enough consistency we can observe the ways we are responding to the world around us. Formation of this sort starts in our heads…to be transformed by our minds being renewed (Romans 12.1-2). This IS NOT an injunction by Paul to go read a bunch of bible verses contrary to how this is often preached. This could not be what Paul had in mind. The individual believers in Rome didn’t have a pocket or nightstand copy of the bible for individual usage. He had to mean something more like becoming aware of what is going on inside your head space.
A lack of intention and attention to the stories we are telling ourselves is exactly and precisely how we end up molded by the world (Rom 12.1 again); meaning we will be pulled toward the greatest sensation of the moment. THIS IS THE VERY ESSENCE of reaction.
My action is in response to the greatest stimulus in my environment at the moment. Again to use Pauline language, to keep pace with the Spirit and to marshal and direct our energies wisely (The Message translation of egkrateia usually translated self control) requires astute and keen awareness. That is the point of insight meditation….more on how to do that in a couple days.