Meditation and Mindfulness for OCD & Anxiety - The Power Of Now - Witness Consciousness
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In today’s episode, we are going to discuss what it means to be the observer of the mind, and the overall goal of using meditation for OCD & Anxiety Recovery. I truly believe that understanding a meditation practice from a higher perspective, along with practicing it ‘correctly’ can be very beneficial for your recovery from OCD & Anxiety.
In this episode specifically, I am going to talk about a concept called Witness Consciousness. To put it simply, witnessing consciousness is about shifting to a higher sense of self where you become the observer of your thoughts and emotions without getting wrapped up or "caught" in them.
This paradigm shift can be very helpful for people who struggle with intrusive thoughts and high levels of anxiety.
Enjoy the show
All right. Hey guys. And welcome to another episode. And so today we're going to continue our series on meditation and mindfulness and how we use that. Um, when we're working at recovery from OCD and anxiety, right. And how the two are correlated, because there's a lot of, um, you know, there, there's this idea that, you know, we're going to use meditation to get what we think we want, and then there's why we actually use it in the first place. Right. And this series is kind of meant to help separate those two things. So, um, in the last, in the first part of this series, and last episode, I talked about the idea of the voice in the mind. And I know specifically, I shared a passage from the power of now where he talks about, you know, this realization that, um, you know, I can't live with myself and that there's the I, and there's myself, right?
And the two are separate. And then, you know, Michael singer, he talks about this in his book, um, the untethered soul as well, where he talks about this idea of witness consciousness. This idea of you are not the voice in your mind. You're the one who hears it. And, and I want to talk about kind of what we're really talking about here with meditation and mindfulness, how it's used in recovery and, um, you know, and, and this idea of, you know, what Michael singer calls, witness consciousness. Right. And so, um, what I'm going to do is I'm going to go back to the power of now. And again, I'm gonna be pulling from, uh, some excerpts here from, from the book, because again, I, I just think it's important that we understand this right. And so, um, so to, to go further into what I was, uh, sharing in the last episode, I just wanted to share this, um, you know, this one paragraph, so he's talking about why he wrote this, right?
So he says, um, you know, on another level I speak of a profound transformation of human consciousness, not as a distant future possibility, but available now, no matter who or where you are, you are, you are shown how to free yourself from enslavement to the mind, enter into enlightens, enter into this enlightened state and consciousness and sustain it everyday life. So there's a lot to unpack here. Right. You know, because again, I think it's easy to read a paragraph like that and kind of just like, okay, yeah. Enlightenment, and, you know, people talk about meditating, um, to achieve enlightenment. And, you know, it's like many of us, you know, we might be like, well, I don't know if I believe in enlightenment. And is that really the goal? So I want to kind of unpack a little bit about where, where I believe anyway, meditation fits into the treatment and recovery process of OCD and anxiety, because there's so many ways to take this. And, and again, it's like, we all come at this from different perspectives and we bring different things into our recovery at different times. And it's important to understand, at least in my perspective, what we're actually doing when we talk about the idea of meditation in mindfulness. So many of us, when we start our journey to recovery from OCD and anxiety, usually when it gets to the point when we can't tolerate it anymore, is what that usually means. And we're like, Hey, I need to, I need help. Right. I, I can't keep going like this.
We hear about things, right. We read about them on the internet. We see him on YouTube or a podcast. Right. And we hear about things like mindfulness and meditation and ERP and acceptance commitment therapy. Right. And a lot of us, what we do is we try to take that tool and jam it into what we want recovery to look like. And we get frustrated when that tool doesn't provide what we think it should provide. Okay. And then we conclude, it's like, well, this must not work, right. This is obviously not for me. Right. And, um, and I, and I was totally guilty of this. So it's like, because again, this is what we know. This is the level of thinking that we're operating from, we're operating from the idea of, I need to solve these intrusive thoughts. I need to get rid of this anxiety.
I want to be happy. Right. That's, you know, I mean, in one way or another, that's generally speaking the goal that we're aiming towards when we first start this journey. Now what he just talked about in that book, though, right there, right. In that passage, this idea of transforming into a different level of human consciousness, how I understand it, right. At least at this point on my own journey is being able to take the seat of self, right? The taking the seat of the higher self of the objective self or the, you know, the impartial spectator. I mean, this, this idea has been talked about a lot actually throughout history. I mean, there's lots of different writings on the idea of the higher self and lower self right. Witness consciousness, um, you know, the, the observing self, the impartial spectator, whatever you want to call it.
Right. And that's totally kind of up to you on your own journey, but really what we're talking about here is this idea that there's this voice in our head, this mind, this chatter, right. That's going on. And many of us are so close to it that we don't even recognize it as something other than us. Right. So therefore we follow and listen and react to whatever it says, not realizing that it's wrong, essentially 99.9, 9% of the time. And, and then with, with the observing self, though, what we're really looking at doing is really understanding ourself as something different than the voice of the mind. Right. And that's, um, and because here's, here's one of the things, and this is what he talks about in the power of now, he talks about now you're free. Right. And, and what does that mean? Well, what the voice of the mind, one of the things that it can only do is it can only go into the past and it can only go into the future.
Right. Because right now you've always been able to handle right now, if you're just here right now, you're listening to this or watching this, you're just here, right. You're here is all you have to handle this one second and then this next second, and then this next second, that's all that you actually have. And what this voice of the mind does is it likes to take you into the past and then sometimes take the past and talk about how it's going to impact your future, or get you worrying about the future or trying to solve something that could happen in the future. And this is really where the trap or the enslavement comes from because there's unlimited possibilities for your future, which means your mind can come up with unlimited things for you to worry about, right. Or unlimited. What if thoughts? And if we start chasing each and every one, what happens is we miss out on our life, right?
Because we are always chasing the next little lure that the mind throws in front of us. And how I understand this, this book anyway, is this idea of when you can learn to step into witness consciousness and be the observer of the mind, there's a liberation that takes place. Instead of fighting with the mind, we start to notice ourselves as something other than it. And then therefore, whatever it says is, you know, something in many cases is irrelevant because we're just the observer. We're just the one that hears it. And we can choose how we respond to it as opposed to react. That's why, you know, what I teach at restorative minds in, in our, um, taking back control program is the AAA response, right? Because it's a conscious decision of how we are going to respond to our thoughts and feelings. And if we do so without doing compulsion's or safety behaviors, that's what actually allows that loop to break. And so this idea of witness consciousness, or sitting in the seat of self, whatever you want to call it, right.
It's really the idea of understanding who you are, right. And that's the transformation that people can experience, right? And then meditation, at least in my own practice, what I've learned is, is that meditation is our practice of breaking away from the voice of the mind, practicing, sitting in that seat of self. Right. And really starting to watch it, right. Not get roped up into what it's saying now, you know, just, just practice being the observer meditation in my experience, it's not about quieting your mind. So you hear nothing, right. And that that's a lot of people have that interpretation or, you know, this preconceived idea of meditation of like, when you meditate, you're just supposed to, you're supposed to silence your mind. And then they, their mind chatters a whole bunch. And then they're like, I suck at meditation. Can't do this mat. Right. But really when we, when we start to understand that meditation is us practicing, it's taking a conscious effort and practicing, sitting in that seat of self and watching the mind, right.
Watching the chatter go on, not getting involved with it, but just observing it. Right. Observing it as something other than us. And if we get caught into it, it's us bringing ourselves back. Right. That's why meditation will often use the breath to anchor into the present moment as to notice oh shoot. Because so many people are so lost. They don't even know they're lost. Right. And like, gosh, what a trap that is right. You being so lost that you don't even realize you're lost. Right. It's like being indoctrinated into like a cult or something like that. You don't even, you're so indoctrinated, you don't even know you're indoctrinated. Right. And that's really what in my head experienced meditation is about. It's about waking up to this idea of these two senses of self and not being enslaved to whatever the mind says, but instead being the observer.
Right. And when you can do that, yeah. You're not so roped up in the content of what's going on in your mind. And when you do get roped up, you have a choice to try to come back. Right. And that's what meditation is for many of us is the idea of just practicing coming back. Right. Coming back to what the observing self. Right. And I know this, this concept is a little, you know, it can be a little high level, a little woo for people sometimes. And that's okay. It's okay if that's, if it's not exactly like, you're not really grasping what I'm saying. That's okay. Right. Because again, this took me a long time. I used to think meditation was, it didn't make sense to me. Right. Why would you do that? It's a waste of time. Right. And so, um, but, and, and we're going to tap into mindfulness here next, but, um, in the next episode, I really want to go in a little deeper to the idea of meditation and kind of why we're using it.
But again, in this episode, I kind of want it to bridge this idea of the power of now, when he talks about, you know, the purpose of that, right. Of the purpose of his work. And more importantly, how we use it, this in our recovery, it's not about using this to, to get what we want to stop. It's about understanding it from a completely new level. Right. And when you try to take this tool and these idea of witness consciousness and plug it into your desired results, yes. There is going to be frustration because you're missing the bigger picture completely. So I hope that that idea makes sense, um, today, because it's, uh, it's again, when you really get this, this, it changes the game, you know, in, in so many ways. Um, and, and again, at, at restored minds, you know, we, we have our own meditation series for OCD and anxiety, right.
Where we go way in depth into this. Um, and, and, and again, it's important that if this is something you're considering using, it's important to start doing it the correct way, right. And not trying to do something, how you, how you want it to be done, but really understanding these higher level concepts. And so if you're looking for any additional resources on your journey to recovery, um, again, [email protected], we have plenty of stuff for you, including free trainings, as well as, um, you know, our, our programs and, uh, even in our coaching services as well. Um, so please check those out, down in the links below, if that's something you're interested in. And, um, you know, for those of you that have any questions or anything that you'd like talked about in future episodes, please, you know, Hey, DMS on, uh, on social, um, you know, please give us a, like a subscribe, a share as well, because again, we want to help get this out to as many people as possible. So thank you guys so much for hanging out today. And I look forward to continuing the series with you this week on meditation and mindfulness take care.