Every once in a while, you must assume the role of a witness of your own Life.
Yesterday I had to wait a couple of hours at a computer maintenance studio. The people working on my daughter’s laptop were not able to tell me how long the fix would take. So, I slipped into ‘mouna’ – anchoring in silence within me. I took stock of my Life, looking at myself, as a third party. I figuratively perched myself on the wall in the studio, and viewed “AVIS’ Life” as a fly would view it. It looked totally devastated on so many fronts. I could list about 8 areas of “AVIS’ Life that were completely broke – apart from the most visible one, the bankruptcy”! I examined what “AVIS could be doing about each of them, apart from what AVIS was doing and what they, both Vaani and AVIS, were doing to fix it”. After deep and candid introspection, review and analysis, I reiterated to myself that it was not for lack of effort from us that we were still struggling with those 8 broke areas of our Life. It is just a phase that too shall pass. While assuming the witness role helped in looking at things objectively, it also helped me avoid feeling guilty or burdened by the enormity of having to fix these 8 areas in this lifetime. As a witness, I also saw “AVIS’ Life” as “abundant, radiant and useful – in the manner in which Vaani and he were creating value around them despite all that they don’t have!” I let both realities about my Life, as “witnessed” by me, just be – I did not grieve that there were so many broke areas nor did I exult at the thought of so much abundance despite so much of strife and loss.
Just then the engineer working on the laptop reported that he was going to try one more time to revive the machine, and if he failed, he was going to have to junk the hard drive and advise that we buy a new one. He asked for two days time to make this decision. As I took at an auto-rickshaw back home, the irony of the two stories, between me witnessing my Life and the engineer’s prognosis for the laptop, overlapping in more than one way, was starkly visible. I smiled to myself. Because I felt good being calm and unmoved.
Being a witness, refusing to get dragged into the drama – the anxiety, the anger, the grief, the suffering, the exultation, the ego, the pride or the I-am-controlling-my-Life attitude– associated with any situation is a great way to see your Life dispassionately. It gives you the opportunity to see the abundance in your Life that you so often miss when you are miserable or are suffering. Being a witness teaches you to be patient and keep the faith. Being a witness often times offers you creative solutions to knotty problems. Being a witness is the only way to live in this world and yet be above it!
Osho, the Master, says this so beautifully: “The witness is the very being of a Buddha. Witnessing is the nourishment for your Buddhahood. And the more powerful your Buddhahood is, the less anxiety there is. The day your Buddhahood is complete, all anxiety is gone.” My experience, through my ‘mouna’ session yesterday, is evidence that with witnessing it is possible to be detached from real-world, material and emotional, challenges. I have found that witnessing has helped me remain happy despite my circumstances. Witnessing has helped my Buddhahood! If it can help me, it can perhaps help you too – if you are willing to become the fly on the wall of your Life!!!