Detached Observation Meditation
On-line Instruction with Charles
laying on your back as a kid, and watching the clouds without trying to
change them, control them, or pass judgment on them? These are the very
same qualities we look for in the practice of Detached Observation. This
was J. Krishnamurti's favorite form of meditation, and the following description
is based upon his work. There are only three rules to follow:
Let go of control. Let the mind wander where it wants,
or let it sit still... it is all the same.
Pay attention. Do not fall asleep or let the mind
wander off by itself.
Do not judge. Whatever the mind is doing is real.
Accept it dispassionately, neither take credit for good thoughts or
blame for bad thoughts. Watch the mind carefully, as if from a distance,
like a child watching clouds.
This practice will give you insights into the inner workings
of your own mind. Let the mind wander where it will, without any interference,
but stay with it always, watching from a distance. This practice will
encourage a creative, spontaneous and "alive" mind whose spirit
Between each thought is a pause... a drop of silence.
See if you can become aware of these moments of silence between thoughts
and then focus on them. Gradually these moments of silence will become
longer pauses, and come more frequently until you learn to tap into the
silent source of all thoughts at will.
This technique is slower than some, and harder, but worth
the extra time and trouble. It is like breaking a horse gently with love
by winning it's trust, rather than breaking it's spirit with force until
it submits to your will (Quicker but violent). *Note - this form of meditation
can be done anywhere, at any time, with the eyes open or closed.
Think about the qualities you would look for in an ideal
friend or lover. Imagine someone who allows you the freedom to be yourself,
who pays attention to you, and does not judge you, but rather accepts
you unconditionally. In the presence of such a person can you not see
that you would flourish and do well, as opposed to someone who tried to
control you, or did not pay attention to you, or judged you?
Now think about your relationship to your own mind! Do
you try to control it? Do you ignore it often slipping into semiconscious?
Do you judge it as good or bad? If you answer yes to any of these questions
then you have a less than the ideal relationship to your own mind. Detached
observation teaches you to become your own best friend. It gives you the
key to knowing yourself. It creates a healthy relationship between the
observer and the observed in the realm of your own mind and leads to healing
Of all of the forms of meditation I have studied, Detached
Observation Meditation is my favorite... and the best part is, you cannot
do it wrong! After all, wrong implies there is a right way to do it and
requires judgment which is not part of the exercise. If you find yourself
judging yourself during this meditation, and realize it, do not try to
stop judging yourself, as that is an act of control, which is not part
of this exercise. If you are unable to stop yourself from controlling
yourself so as not to judge yourself, do not judge yourself for your inability
to control your judgment.... And so it goes, round and round chasing its
own tail until the mind collapses exhausted, and catches a glimpse of
itself in the mirror of self-awareness.
There is a simple formula for spiritual growth... Awareness
and acceptance. Through acceptance of reality we become more aware, which
requires additional acceptance which permits more awareness to flow through
the iris of the 'I'. This is a positive spiral of illumination.
If you do not accept reality, then you reject it! And
if you reject reality, are you not rejecting God? If you reject reality,
what is left? Illusion! This is the choice, to live in a world of illusion
and self delusion, or to move out into the world of awareness through
This is the same formula as detached observation... awareness
of one's own mind, and acceptance, leading to greater awareness and in
turn demanding more acceptance... as we slowly learn to love ourselves
and the universe around us.
Two of my favorite yoga teachers, Rodney Yee, and Erick Schiffman, are
both influenced by the teachings of J. Krishnamurti. Follow this link
for a story about Detached Observation and Rodney
Expanding Paradigms Newsletter
If you would like to stay in touch, please email us by clicking on one of the following options:
Out of Town (Newsletter is sent 2-3 times a year. Includes essays and event updates)
___________________________- or -
Austin Area (Newsletter plus monthly invitations to free Full Moon Yoga & local events)
Home / Retreats
/ Yoga Classes / Meditation
/ Full Moon Yoga / Private
Instruction / Yoga Essays
/ Speaking / Yoga-Retreats.com