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Bearing witness

Most of our problems stem from ego- identification. To "let go" is to overcome the ego and rise to a larger consciousness, writes Deepa Prabhu.

india Updated: Jan 10, 2006 13:34 IST

When wewatch a movie or a soap on TV, we get completely involved with the characters and what's happening on screen. For that time, our disbelief is suspended, we do not question how the hero hit so many bad guys, where he bought the gun and bullets or how the main lady changed her outfit so soon. If we did, we'd lose the fun. So we only absorb what is happening and enjoy every moment.

At the end of the 30 minutes or three hours, however, we move on to the next task: going home, cooking dinner or eating it. If we were to continue to weep or laugh even after the movie or serial is over and then for days on end, our family would conclude that there is something mentally wrong and consult a doctor. That is because a person is expected to enjoy the show for its du ration but then, get back to "normal " life. This is the essence of "Sakshi Bhavana" or the witnesslike attitude. Its lesson is: maintain a witness-like attitude to all that is happening with you and around you without getting too involved, or more precisely without identifying too much. A witnesslike approach is important to realise that all things pass, nothing is permanent and so one must develop inner equanimity with which to face stressful situations.

Most of our problems stem from ego- identification. My son, my husband, my wife, my talents, my body, my job, the "I, me, mine" list is endless. To "let go" is to overcome the ego and rise to a larger consciousness. There are many techniques in yoga to cultivate this attitude without losing the positive tendencies of love and compassion, like sitting quietly, reflection and the practice of mudras, bhavas and asanas. Doing a select practice regularly develops the equanimity with which to deal with life's ups and downs, without losing mental or emotional equilibrium and in fact enjoying the whole show!

First Published: Jan 10, 2006 13:34 IST