Awareness of Becoming

Becoming! by Janice Marie Foote
Becoming! by Janice Marie Foote

A reader asked me to comment further about the field of becoming where manifestation first begins.

From the larger context of this blog, there is pure Divinity, the source of the source. The afterglow of Divinity is Brahman. In Brahman, the first Shakti’s express as alertness, liveliness, and intelligence. When liveliness stirs alertness, it becomes conscious, then becomes self-aware and self-interactive.

Alive self-aware consciousness is often considered the source. It is the beginning of becoming and the first kosha or “sheath.” It’s self-interaction creates the subtle space of creation. But this space of consciousness is still too abstract for manifestation. Consciousness observes a point of itself and creates the first nested space. Then what we’d normally call space arises. (Don’t worry if this doesn’t make much sense. It is beyond abstraction.)

Lets explore the various qualities and descriptions of this first nested space.

1) Space first manifests – the quality and element.

2) This kosha or layer is called Anandamaya because it’s a field of bliss. The liveliness of consciousness has begun to manifest as a fine vibration we subjectively experience as bliss.

We may first notice a wave of happiness on the way in or out of transcending (samadhi) in meditation. With Sat Chit Ananda after Self Realization, this becomes ongoing.

3) Refined sight can see this fine vibration as a vast ocean of vibration with waves and colour. “There is an ocean of vast proportion and she flows, within ourselves.” – Donovan

4) Space element corresponds with hearing. We can also hear this vibration. The sound is known as the Pranava. (note prana = life force) It may be heard as a deep AUUUM or as a high pitched sound some mistake for tinnitus.

We may also experience this as the entire body vibrating. This is experiencing the body being recreated in every moment. (Although there are other reasons we can feel vibration in the body.)

5) The above can imply it is the vehicle for prana, the life energy that runs through us. We literally live in an ocean of life.

6) The 7 universal chakras first arise on this level, then express forward through the layers into apparently individual forms. The 7 chakras establish the 7 layers in the physiology and direct the life force into the form.

7) The point of consciousness that creates the nested space of this layer is connected to source by a sutra or thread. This connected point gives rise to our universe. In its seed form, as viewed from the outside, this looks like a golden egg, hiranya garbha. Interacting with the ocean of vibration, the appearance of the world arises.

From the perspective of creation in the prior kosha, the many universes in creation appear like a necklace around source. Or like a decorative belt on the cosmic body, the body of all bodies.

8) This is also known as the causal level, the level of first principles. It is a level of templates or seed ideas that give rise to the forms of the world that follow.

9) Some call this layer the celestial because it’s where the laws of nature for our universe live, along with various lokas (nested spaces, worlds) we’d call heavens. Archangels and other higher beings live in these sub-spaces.

On this level, such beings are clouds of light, although they may take an appearance to communicate with you.

10) In the levels of speech, this is called Pashyanti. Being able to “speak” from here massively increases the potency of mantra, intentions, and so forth.

11) This is also the level of “ritam.”

After awakening, the intellect* shifts from being associated with our mind to being associated with stable inner awareness. The intellect becomes resolute.

This then allows the fine intellect to discriminate the process of becoming. Ritam is a reference to (Yoga Sutra 1:48) Ritam Bhara Pragyan, consciousness that accepts only truth. This level is beyond the filters and qualifications of the mind and emotions. It is a clear field on which we can experience the process behind the appearance. (Although appearances are also layered: all of this is an appearance in consciousness.)

* in the next most manifest level of structure, the intellect = sacred geometry, relationship, subtle structure, and yantra.

12) The above relates directly with the connection between name and form. Name is the sound that creates a specific form. Experiencing on this level is being able to experience the fundamental nature of all forms and their frequency signature, soul song, or “true name.”

13) There is a style of experience possible on this level called Cognition. A cognition is a total experience of the object. This includes its appearance from all angles and in all time, its nature and origins, and all the above. I explore the types of cognition here.

Cognition has a key role in enlivening cosmic memories, awakening laws of nature, and evolving the universe as a whole.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi said that everyone can realize but only some cognize.

The core Vedas are encoded cognitions. Because they’re written in Sanskrit, a language where name and form are connected, it’s possible to listen to the spoken meter on this level and experience something of what the original seer experienced. This is to the degree of our ability – as a memory or as a cognition, for example.

Refining perception to include the bliss body adds extensive qualities and understanding.
Davidya

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41 Comments

  1. Gina L WESTBROOK

    “The sound is known as the Pranava. (note prana = life force) It may be heard as a deep AUUUM or as a high pitched sound some mistake for tinnitus.”

    What is the difference between hearing Pravana and tinnitus? I’ve had this for years. It gets louder when I put my attention on it.

    1. Hi Gina
      Tinnitus is generally related to hearing damage or a medical condition. It can sound like a buzz or ringing or other sorts of sounds. You can apparently be desensitized to it.
      .
      Hearing the sound of the world around you becoming is refined perception. It comes as a single high-pitched tone, like a whistle. (I can whistle the tone.) It comes and goes and can get louder as you describe when we put our attention on it.
      .
      These days, i don’t notice it at all unless I put my attention on it but when I first began hearing it, it seemed to always be there. This may relate to the mind learning to ignore it the way it learns to ignore things like traffic sounds.
      .
      The deep sound is hearing it on the causal level itself.

  2. Lewis Oakwood

    Hi David,

    (‘Don’t worry if this doesn’t make much sense. It is beyond abstraction.’)

    *

    Still, I feel it would be useful to have some sort of mental image.

    *

    Pure Divinity, the source of the source.
    The afterglow of Divinity is Brahman.
    Self-aware and self-interactive.
    Self-interaction creates the subtle space of creation.
    Consciousness observes a point of itself and creates the first nested space.

    *

    Is there any way you could put what you have written above into an analogy or a visual image/diagram. Like— from ‘something’ comes the sun and from the sun comes heat/movement/light/sound.

    *

    If you were to use the universe of appearances as an example, where/what would be pure Divinity in relation to it (the appearance of the universe), I mean, from pure Divinity, how do we get to the visible universe.

    *

    And, what is the connection between pure Divinity and Awareness?

    *

    Also, some clarification on (which is it) -I am awareness – I appear in awareness – awareness is manifesting as the human being.

    *

    Thank you.

    *

    1. As long as the mental image is held lightly so it doesn’t get in the way of reality. 🙂
      .
      The link in the second paragraph illustrates your third step. Beyond that there is nothing to illustrate.
      .
      The 4th step I’ve illustrated but that would require a book to explain. For example, Dante’s Primum Mobile resides in there, the network of threads i mention as the necklace, and more.
      .
      The bliss body itself is like a vast golden ocean with colour in the waves (the gunas) and a golden egg hovering over it. This is our universe from the outside. The mahavakya “I am the universe” is recognizing that I am this.
      .
      We get from Divinity to the visible universe through the layers. I talk about some of this here:
      https://davidya.ca/2012/09/08/creation-in-a-nutshell/
      and in my SAND talk a couple of years ago.
      .
      The Shakti’s are from pure Divinity. They create the parts that become awareness. This is why She is the source of the source.
      .
      All of those you list are perspectives that are true at some point on the journey.
      .
      The point of this is for people for whom it is unfolding. It can be useful to have a sense of the size of the picture but never assume you understand this. I’ve been experiencing it for over 40 years and am still learning. Creation is vast beyond conception.

      1. Lewis Oakwood

        All good, thank you, David.

        *

        I especially like this— ‘The bliss body itself is like a vast golden ocean with colour in the waves and a golden egg hovering over it. This is our universe from the outside. “I am the universe” is recognizing that I am this.

        *

    1. Hi Tomek
      Each of us has a dominant sense. I happen to be visual so tend to use visual words like “see.” Because mind and sight work on the same level, it’s easier to give visual things words.
      .
      But this also means I’m slower to unfold things like refined sounds. I saw the above well before I heard it.
      .
      A friend who’s more a feeler doesn’t have words as easily but has much more detail about the collective and how things are. The best aura reader I know feels them but doesn’t see them.
      .
      Others are more sound oriented and will feel vibration and hear. This is more subtle still and relates more to the bliss body described in the article. There is great power in knowing sounds and the true names of things.
      .
      In other words, just because someone isn’t seeing does not mean there is no refinement going on.
      .
      Refinement is related to the development of sattva. This evolves through conversion of inertia (tamas) through rajas (fire) and through the production of soma through transcending. Good practices such as those I recommend help both.
      .
      Someone who follows a consciousness-only path without refinement and healing is much less likely to develop the refined stages, including post-Brahman.
      .
      It’s also worth noting that some don’t make the Brahman shift either. They’re unwilling to let go of Unity, of their enlightenment. Which is fine. Unity is a wonderful gift.

      1. Jim

        “It’s also worth noting that some don’t make the Brahman shift either. They’re unwilling to let go of Unity, of their enlightenment. Which is fine. Unity is a wonderful gift.”
        *
        Very weirdly I did not choose Brahman, it chose me. I was in a life situation where I needed massive help from the Divine, access to all three worlds, and a pipeline to Mother Divine, minimum, and so to work with all of that effectively towards a successful completion, Unity was transcended, and Brahman emerged.
        *
        It may be a similar case for others, that life circumstances lead us to Brahman, and it may not be much of a choice at all from a practical standpoint, from the karma we willingly take on.
        *
        In order to really go online with cosmic fulfillments, cosmic physiology, and desires far larger than ourselves, Brahman is necessary. Unity is nice, but substantially limited by what we can do as individuals. Brahman breaks this loose. Again, not better but certainly more powerful and responsible, according to our need.
        *
        Note: I don’t distinguish between any stages within Brahman from the nascent more passive experience up to the cosmic and Divine interactions. There is very little to talk about though if Brahman is not actualized. 🙂

        1. Hi Jim
          Yeah, it varies. I know a few people who came to the doorway of Brahman and took a step back. Here, I was given a choice as the process began. Because i knew of what was possible and it felt right, I went for it. Others have simply fallen into it.
          .
          There’s a couple of people who have not taken the leap yet but are there. The texts do mention people who chose not to.
          .
          I agree on Unity. A magnificent crescendo for consciousness. But it’s still limited, relative to what follows.

          1. Jim

            Hi David, Hmmm, you make it sound as if we stand in judgment of the gifts offered by Divinity; this arrogant decision of whether or not to serve at a more comprehensive level, and then reneging or choosing it, according to some egoic whim.
            *
            The circumstances are probably more practical, and I am not judging what is probably just a natural situation, but the way you wrote this, it sounds awful – a cosmic sin. Either that, or Brahman is somehow completely divorced from practical circumstances, which would not be Brahman. Is there a way this “choice” can be seen compassionately or practically?? Thank you –

            1. Oh, not at all Jim. Only that its a surrendering of the enlightenment to date. Somewhat like the first shift, for some it can be like stepping off a cliff. If it’s not been cleared yet, it can also prod the existential identity which can create fear.
              .
              For one friend, the shift was wrenching, to loose that intimacy with all. But of course, this is just the shift itself when the loss is more conscious than what has been gained.
              .
              And then we settle into it and discover nothing was lost, including that intimacy. Only now we’re with it in a new way. We have to let go the old to get the new…
              .
              Good point on practical.

              1. Jim

                Thank you, though I am not getting the “choice” part. Obviously if one is not ready, that is one thing, but to be able to see the possibility being offered and decline it? Still doesn’t make sense to me – seems like an egoic explanation for spiritual immaturity.
                *
                Also your characterization of one *falling* into Brahman seems a bit off from a practical standpoint. I see it more as adding capabilities to continue one’s dharma – nothing off balance or haphazard or unconscious about it.
                *
                Thanks!

                1. Hi Jim
                  There is a lot of variation in the subjective experience of it, just as with awakening.
                  .
                  In the process here, I was meditating and a new type of “surrendering into” began. Almost immediately, my form of personal God showed up and announced that if I continued, our relationship (as was) would be over.
                  .
                  This was rather unexpected but i sat with it for a moment and it felt right to continue so I did. And indeed, much fell away then.
                  .
                  “Choice” may not be the right word but there was a deflection point. It may been a test of some sort.
                  .
                  In other cases I’ve seen, it simply arrived in a profound shift. And in other cases, some holding back at the door was seen. Even if this is just resistance, there is a subtle element of choice not to fully let go yet.
                  .
                  In one case, they stepped in slightly and pulled back several times. But then when they finally stepped into it, they went straight into Refined Brahman. There wasn’t the entry stages that are more typical.
                  .
                  “falling” out of consciousness? Again, just a subjective description of how it seems, like some people fall over a cliff into awakening.
                  .
                  This may be very different from what you’ve seen. My teacher balked at my description at first, until someone else had similar.
                  .
                  Certainly the established stage adds capabilities and perspective. Keep in mind that we’re just talking about the subjective transition, not the established stage that follows.
                  .
                  With awakening, some are clear and established quickly, some go through a lot of mind wanting control back, some have a lot of processing. In the case of Brahman, it depends on if there has been refinement, a well-established Unity, and the clearing of the existential identity as to how the process is experienced subjectively.
                  .
                  Thats what I’ve seen.

  3. Thank you Davidya for the clarity of your writings. Could you discuss the nature of “access points” to Being? I notice that the high pitched sound of pure awareness is more present when i sense or attune to the qualities of stillness, silience and/or the deep transcend presence of Being. There may also be a vibrational quality that is more of “felt-sense” than a sound that is also noticed. While this can occur anywhere at anytme – certain places in nature or a sacred site offer more reliable access or the energy that enliveness this level of awareness. Getting out of the way, surender, awe, simplicity, non-striving, trust, not knowing, just noticing, are all aspects that support that access. Love to hear your view about this.

    1. Hi Harrison
      To be clear, the high pitched sound isn’t pure awareness. If it’s pure, its silent or flowing within itself. Then it takes qualities and begins to express.
      .
      So yes, when you settle down from the mind and emotions to silent awareness or presence, the “nearby” layers beneath the surface noise become more obvious.
      .
      And yes, some are more attuned to feel. See my comment to Tomek above.
      .
      Right – places like nature have less of the mental and emotional agitation of most humans so there isn’t the same noise level. Sacred sites can have amplified presence still resonating long after the source left. It can become embedded in a place.
      .
      And yes, all those words are ways of functioning that don’t activate the ego and its attachments, allowing us to settle beyond it until we see through it and awaken.
      .
      Then we learn progressively deeper ways of same until such qualities are more then norm.

  4. Jean

    I remember when I first noticed the high pitched ringing. It kinda opened the door to the inner world. I could focus my mind on it and travel with it inwards. The sound transforms itself sometimes to what sounds like a buzzing hornet. I woke up one night with the sound of a hornet in my head thinking that it had flew into my room somehow 😀 But no such flying thing was there.

    1. Hi Jean
      Yes, essentially thats a transcending technique. Attention on the sound of becoming brings you to it. However, i still recommend a mantra approach as it brings the other benefits of those laws of nature.
      .
      And yes the sound can change as you change layers. All the way to the causal and you get the pranava. Some hear bells.

      1. Jean

        Thanks David, yes mantra meditation works too.
        Although I have to be a bit careful with mantra meditation because in the past I got some Vata imbalance from it, probably from overdoing.
        I feel that when the mantra disappears it creates a kind of vacuum in which the energy starts to rush in. That can lead to more Vata than one can balance.

        1. Hi Jean
          I would not consider the latter a good understanding. Yes, when the mantra disappears in transcending, we settle into the open space of consciousness.
          .
          That deep settling can cause purification which can create energy movement, sensations, etc.
          .
          However, overdoing a practice causes ungrounding and insufficient time of integrating in activity. That’s what causes a Vata imbalance.
          .
          In India, they have the analogy of dying the cloth. To make a colour fast, you dip the cloth in the dye, then hang it in the sun to bleach. Then repeat. You dip in with meditation and bleach in activity.
          .
          If you leave the cloth in the dye too long it won’t take up more dye and can rot. Leave it in the sun too much and it it just bleaches. The key is balance.
          .
          And with Vata, the key is a regular routine. 🙂

          1. Jean

            I think I figured out why I got that energy imbalance.
            I tried a mantra with OM in it and transcended it. OM seems to carry such an immense energy, it might not be a good choice for a transcending mantra, also it is very easy for me to transcend a mantra.

            1. Hi Jean
              Yes, overdoing can be an issue but also an unsuitable mantra for personal practice. Om is a renunciate mantra that tends to cause relationships and possessions to fall away. It could also exacerbate an imbalance. Most of us are better with a Shakti mantra.
              .
              As a general practice, it doesn’t require a lot. We dip into the transcendent, then dip into activity to stabilize that.

  5. Guru

    We do a lot to seek truth. Then doing is happening. Then we stop at source. May be not in that order. As you say atman and satva are cumulative. All these discussions are descriptive and not prescriptive. These shifts happen. your blogs are comprehensive and exhaustive touching all aspects. Thanks for this sharing.

    1. Hi Guru
      Yes, when there is a person wanting to be in control, we feel we are the controller and need to do stuff to get results. But the rules of the world don’t work for deeper levels.
      .
      And yes, this post is descriptive. It’s also in retrospect. This is after 40 years of such experiences. If you look back on older posts, you’ll find I don’t talk about the opening stuff the same way. It’s evolved a lot over the years.

  6. Lynette

    David, when I close my eyes and do TM , I hear some buzzing, I know it is not external. However when my eyes are open I don’t hear it. When you wrote “It may be heard as a deep AUUUM or as a high pitched sound some mistake for tinnitus.” → is this what you mean?

    1. Hi Lynette
      There are quite a few variations on what may unfold. Buzzing can be hearing the whistle a little differently. Or it could be healing going on in the hearing.
      .
      If it’s becoming, the sound should be relatively constant in itself (although our attention to it will come and go). If it’s purification, then the sound itself is likely to change over time. For example, crescendo then fade. But there are a lot of possibilities.
      .
      In the end, as perception refines further it will become more obvious what it is.

  7. Guru

    You respond to my beginner’s questions. your perception is so refined, I may have to take some more births to reach there. For me you remain rishi helping us in our journey. My pranamas to you.

  8. Reggie

    This is a very stimulating read, as of lately I’ve been experiencing the light or prana you mentioned, also one evening during Meditation I became aware of my body from various angles. It was like looking but not looking which you explained some in the article. Also the ringing in the ears has happened when I’ve been near someone who has had some spiritual urgency or need. Usually the sound is in sync with a powerful sensation at the third eye. It use to happen very frequently and now it’s more subtle and less overt. Not sure what it all means just letting life do its thing.

    1. Hi Reggie
      Thanks for sharing. Worth noting that sometimes experiences come and fade away. But sometimes they don’t fade but they lose the high contrast and intensity and settle into a background normalcy. We’ve adapted. If we check, it’s there.
      .
      At some point, after more clearing, some further opening comes up. Again there may be some initial intensity, then a new normal.
      .
      It’s a little like the doors are on a ratchet, every so often clicking forward a little wider…

  9. Jean

    I am reading a paper by Itzhak Bentov called “Micromotion of the Body as a Factor in the Development of the Nervous System”.
    It is pretty fascinating, he describes a theory from where the inner sounds might originate. It has something to do with the subtle vibrations of the ventricles in the brain. The study involved over 150 meditators. The calculated base frequency of the third ventricle is 12kHz. In yogic literature the so called “cave of brahma” is located inside the third ventricle.

    1. Hi Jean
      I read a book of his many years ago. The issue with what you describe is it’s a materialist perspective. It assumes a physical causality when in fact the physical is the end result.
      .
      Micromotion and flow do create the nervous system but it’s not physical motion and vibration, it’s much more subtle. It’s vibration of space itself and the flow of consciousness that cause form.
      .
      That’s the experience here at least. 🙂
      .
      Many things in the physical reflect that causality but they’re not the causality itself.

  10. Cathie

    “To be clear, the high pitched sound isn’t pure awareness. If it’s pure, its silent or flowing within itself. Then it takes qualities and begins to express.”

    Sorry, you lost me here. The last sentence. You’re talking about pure awareness, not the sound, right? Why would pure awareness take qualities? Or are you saying that qualities are downstream from pure awareness, so to speak?

    Two other questions: Pranava – that is a deep recurring sound/vibration, not a continuous sound?

    I first (consciously) heard the continuous high-pitched tone after – let’s say, the first experience of God without form. The sound has been there ever since, but mostly I’m only aware of it if I choose to be. My question relates to a second phenomenon which I became aware of at the same time. It’s a sort of… pulse isn’t quite the right word, but a recurring vibration (vibration isn’t quite the right word either.) It’s a sort of pulling and then a release, a slow inward movement/wave and then outward into infinity, on and on. It’s mostly sensed in the area of the face, especially the mouth, but can expand upwards and outwards. It’s fairly subtle. I have to concentrate innerly to be aware of it but if I do, it’s always there. Does that ring any bells? It’s not important, I’m just curious. I regard it as a distraction so don’t generally attune to it unless I’m having difficulty getting settled in my body for meditation. Then it can be helpful. I’ve only come across one other person who was familiar with this experience and like me he didn’t have a clue what it was.

    Sorry! Third question: In a response to Jean you say “However, i still recommend a mantra approach as it brings the other benefits of those laws of nature.” Could you say more about how these benefits accrue to mantra meditation? (Or guide me to a link?) I’ve been taught TM because it was offered by a group I attended at the time. The teacher had been taught by and authorised to initiate people in TM by Maharishi. However I never really took to it because I was already used to going into the silence and the mantra set up a disturbance I found disruptive. So I never learnt to follow it to stillness, as I had my own way of getting to absolute stillness. The mantra did lodge deep within me, because I’ve had it surface, for example, during a strong earthquake decades later. But beyond a short period after I was first taught I’ve never meditated with it because I already had a way I found very effective. (It was what triggered the God experience in the first place.)

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Cathie
      Pure awareness is simply aware. But when it recognizes itself, it responds. Attention flows. Qualities of Divinity that underlie consciousness differentiate. Like the flow is recognized to be love. The distinction of seer and seen creates a subtle space into which experiences arise. And so on as above.

      Think of it like noticing something. When you sense it, information flows and it’s qualities become apparent to you. This is fundamental. So yes, there is intelligence within consciousness that can distinguish and qualities that can express.

      Pranava is continuous. Creation doesn’t arise at some point in the past but rather is being recreated in every moment. I have an article on the topic coming up.

      There are certainly periodic cycles in nature of various types and lengths that can be sensed. I’m wondering if you’re experiencing the flow of prana itself? Or perhaps the production of soma. The later would have a liquid quality.

      On the mantra, the value is in culturing the layers between pure awareness and the surface to help with refinement. If you were finding it disruptive, that would suggest either an attachment to the silence or not allowing the mantra to refine so it was to “loud” and seemed coarse. Someone with already established silence needs to go subtle faster.

      TM isn’t what everyone needs but I’ve found it very valuable for many, especially post-awakening. Someone with a long practice is far more likely to move up the stages, for example.

      Yes, if taught properly the mantra reverberates deep within. The practice itself makes that conscious and refines the layers better though.

  11. Cathie

    Thank you David. That’s very helpful.

    I’ll have to reflect on this a bit more.

    That creation is being recreated anew in every moment is terrifying – the stunning vastness of it – and yet also gives grounds for deep hope. I’ll look forward to the article. 🙂 Pranava when I’ve experienced it, assuming that’s what it was, was also terrifying – because I didn’t know what it was and it seemed to signify the dissolution of the ego. I never experienced it in meditation that I remember. It was always in dream states when I was returning to awareness of my body. I’d be aware of my body but unable to move it. It was more stark than the process of regaining awareness of the body after deep meditation.

    Not soma, I think. Anyway not of great moment.

    Yes, looking back I just found the mantra too coarse and my problem was that I had something to compare the process with. I also didn’t understand until later that it was supposed to become increasingly insubstantial until it disappears (?) and by then I’d given up on it. Hmmm. Much there to reflect on.

    David, thank you for your dedication and patience. Your website is such a rich resource and then to be able to ask questions and have them patiently and carefully answered is beyond price. I bow down to you. 🙂

    1. Hi Cathie
      🙂 It’s not terrifying if you recognize the profound intelligence in play. There is cosmic memory and structure to sustain the world. This also makes it very pliable to fulfill our desires.

      Ego likes to feel it’s in control. Pranava is beyond personal ego so it can feel like dissolution or seeing through it which the ego will often defend against.

      Yes, when we’re witnessing sleep and dreams (awake within while sleeping), we can notice the body won’t move. It’s shut off for rest. But it can be a little weird when we first experience this.

      It helps to have an experienced teacher who recognizes the option. They do talk about it changing and refining in the first days meetings but the point may have been missed if it wasn’t yet experienced or understood. Most people stop TM over this or introducing effort.

      You’re welcome. I’m motivated by not having had this myself. 🙂

      1. Cathie

        “Yes, when we’re witnessing sleep and dreams (awake within while sleeping), we can notice the body won’t move. It’s shut off for rest.”

        O-h-h-h, is that what “witnessing” means. I’ve seen the term used frequently in articles and comments but just assumed it was something beyond my experience. Yes, I’m aware of witnessing my dream states – mostly – and can change what’s happening if I don’t like it. On rare occasions I can get caught up in a nightmare. That I can attempt to change too but this comes after the event, i.e. after witnessing has faltered. I may not have had good meditation teachers but one way and another I did get a good training in self-remembering, mostly with a small “s”, and that has been a truly invaluable life skill.

        1. Yes, Cathie
          If you search Witnessing here, you’ll find lots of articles on the topic. Under the References menu, you’ll also find a Glossary of terms with links to related articles.

          Generally, dreams are to process unresolved experiences. Witnessing allows us to “change the channel” if they get uncomfortable. But generally speaking, we should just let dreams do their thing. Playing with them can be amusing but can interrupt the process.

          Witnessing can indeed come and go. Fatigue behaves like a fog. The witness may come online because of a difficult dream. Or it may cause us to wake more and shift gears. That’s not witnessing then. Further, we can develop a sense of continuity of the witness, whatever the state. Sometimes, a contrasting experience makes that clear. Rick Archer gives the example of a mad rush across an airport.

          Our prior life development of consciousness and sattva picks up where we left off – at some point in the life. There’s a good possibility you have prior life practices and picked up similar in this one. I’ve met a couple of people who “remembered” how to meditate when children. I needed more help. 🙂

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