Dr. Charley Cropley, ND
Close your eyes.
Relax body and mind in a natural way.
Notice your breath and allow several calm, full breaths.
Begin observing your mind while, at the same time, remaining conscious of your breathing.
After several minutes deliberately imagine yourself doing whatever you might be doing in another hour or two. Imagine where you are, your surroundings, any other people who might be there. Imagine what you are doing, saying, thinking.
While witnessing this imaginary scenario, become aware that you are actually the witness of this fantasy and you are not the person in the fantasy. Your surroundings and the other people in the imagined scenes are also fantasies of your imagination.
You know directly and without doubt that you are the witness, the knower of this entire experience and that it is a fantasy, not real.
Now think about a beneficial habit that you would like to instill but have not yet successfully instilled; e.g. drinking less coffee or wine; eating less sweets, losing weight in general, exercising more regularly, giving more attention to your spouse.
Think about this as you usually think about this. Allow your mind to think whatever it habitually thinks when you think about this subject. E.g. you may feel hopeless, disappointed, sad, angry. You may think “Why can’t I do this?” or “What’s wrong with me? I should be able to do this. I’m so weak. I hate it.”
If you can’t get your mind to focus on this while sitting in meditation, then notice what your mind is focusing on instead. I.e. Are you frustrated that you can’t concentrate on this? Are you bored? What are you saying to yourself?
Now, while you are noticing whatever is occurring in your mind, once again notice that you are the witness of all this. You are not the imagined person trying to change her habits.
See that whatever your mind is thinking right now is of the exact same nature as when you were deliberately imagining yourself two hours into the future. It is entirely imaginary, a fantasy, not real. This is all simply thought, mental activity.
It has only the reality that you give to it. Study what is actually happening and see that this “you” who supposedly has bad habits and who feels however she feels about herself is a mental creation. She is no more real than the self you imagined two hours into the future.
You are the witness witnessing this mental reality/world which exists only in your mind. Nobody, but nobody else thinks these same thoughts as you do. You create these scenarios about yourself. Only you do so unconsciously, habitually. And, prior to now, you have believed these thoughts to be real; that what your mind thinks about you is true. It is not.
You are the witness of the thoughts, not the thoughts. Don’t just think about this. Use meditation to return again and again to the direct experience of yourself as the witness, not the thoughts you are witnessing.
If you have any doubts about this. Here is another practice for you. Think thoughts about yourself and your habit that you know to be false. E.g. I haven’t drunk coffee in months now. It has been incredibly difficult, but I’m proud of myself. Etc.
Or, “I weigh 115 lbs.” or “I’m really proud of how good my body looks.” Or “I’m a really great musician. (assuming you are not). These are just thoughts. They mean nothing. Nothing. You are the witness of all thoughts, not the imagined self in the thoughts.
Thoughts are just thoughts. They have no power except the power you give them. How do you give them power? By believing them; by not seeing that they are really and truly just thoughts.
As long as you continue believing these thoughts about yourself to be who you are, you have no more power to change than what you believe yourself to have. In witnessing you recognize this unconscious, self-limiting dialogue to be a fantasy. No more real than imagining you weigh 115 lbs or that you are a great musician.
This is the power of witnessing and of meditation. When witnessing you see yourself as you really are and thoughts as they really are. You enjoy a moment of freedom from your enslavement to believing the story you unconsciously tell yourself about yourself.
In this freedom there is a window of opportunity to allow yourself to think anything you want. You can now move from meditation into the practice of deliberately, consciously reinventing yourself as an expression of the pure goodness that you are. This work of reinventing yourself is well covered in the course “Mind Body Connection”.
Dr. Charley Cropley has been a practicing Naturopathic Doctor, teacher and author in the Boulder/Denver since 1979. He has trained hundreds of doctors in his methods of nutrition and Self-Healing. He teaches a variety of courses and retreats. He is author of numerous articles, several books, a blog and an array of audio and videos. He is a frequent lecturer at the colleges of Naturopathic Medicine, and is regarded by his peers as one of today’s leading thinkers and teachers in the philosophy and practice of Naturopathic Medicine.
Charley works with all types of Health problems using no medicines or supplements. He teaches his patients to Heal themselves through wholesome nutrition, strengthening exercise, positive thinking and honest, caring relationships. He lives what he teaches