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A Guide to Being Your Own Witness With 108 Meditation

Being Your Own Witness with 108 Meditation
The meditation technique known as 108 Meditation is perhaps the simplest, yet most revolutionary, way to clear your mind of all distractions and live in the present.
WellnessKeen Staff
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
For most people, doing something that brings inner peace and calmness is considered to be good. In contrast, anything that causes stress or strife is considered to be bad. Things that bring temporary peace - alcohol, drugs, sex - may seem good for a brief while, but are actually bad. For an activity to qualify as being a "good" activity, it must bring you everlasting peace. Peace for now and the future, with no regrets.
Usually peace such as this does not come easily. As an example, it often takes the misery of war to bring about peace between two countries who are enemies. The United States, Russia, Japan, and Germany were deadly enemies during World War II, but now all of these countries are diplomatically close and they are all working together toward global progress.

Each person has within themselves the same sort of war-peace interaction that goes on continually, each and every day. Decisions to make, reactions to situations, interactions with people - all of these things produce mental, physical, and emotional reactions inside you that has your inner self in constant turmoil, bouncing back and forth between happiness and sadness, and there is no real peace to be found. This constant anxiety is always watched by our inner self- your Witness. The Witness to the events of your life has always been inside you, silently watching, not judging you, not commenting, not labeling you.
Your Witness is always aware of everything going on inside your mind, your emotions, and your body. If you can concentrate on stopping your internal chattering and emotional stops and starts, you will be able to stop and evaluate your body's reactions to situations and your mind's perception of events. It is at that precise moment when the intuitive center of your being - your Witness - will enter the picture and tell you exactly what to do.
With that kind of clarity, you will be able to either stop the actions and reactions that have taken your peace away, or you will be able to begin activities that will bring peace.

For instance, have you been banging your head against the wall struggling with an addiction or a self-destructive behavior for years, knowing that it is causing you terrible suffering? Have your friends and family told you over and over again that you would be happier if you would just stop this foolishness? Perhaps you have justified the behavior or rationalized it by offering yourself and others some ridiculous reason for continuing it. Perhaps you laugh and acknowledge, "Guilty as charged!" while feeling ashamed and embarrassed to have to defend yourself. No matter what your reaction on the outside, on the inside you surely are angry at yourself. And your Witness, all the while, is silently watching and remembering.
Imagine that you are on the outside yourself watching silently. If you actually saw yourself banging your head against the wall, wouldn't you step in to stop it? If so,then if your inner self sees you emotionally reacting to events inappropriately, stealing your peace away from you, wouldn't you want to stop doing that so peace will enter your heart and stay with you? The 108 Meditation will allow you to lose the grip your emotions have on you and let your Witness guide you in healing your mind.
Relax your physical body.
relax your body
If you have meditated before, then you know which position is most comfortable for you. If you have not meditated before, then find a comfortable position in a silent place with no distractions. Sitting is preferred than lying down, so you don't inadvertently get too relaxed and fall asleep.
Focus on your breathing.
focus on breathing
Close your eyes. Take a couple of deep breaths, and as you do, pay close attention to how the air feels entering your body. Imagine it as a cleansing cloud, opening up your body and your mind to the outside world. Clear out an empty, refreshing space in your mind for your Witness to slowly take over.
Count to 108 without letting anything distract you.
You're probably thinking, "That's all there is to it?" When you first practice this meditation, you absolutely will not be able to do it. Your thoughts, emotions, or physical sensations will surely distract you in some way. Your mind has been in charge of everything you've done for your entire life, and it won't let your Witness take over without a battle.
man meditating in open
Your mind has been the source of all the regrets about your past, the disillusionment with the present, and the fantasies of your future. When you try to live in the present and let your Witness take control of your life as it unfolds, it is at the expense of completely controlling your mind and not letting it control you. And taking the control away from your mind is a formidable challenge, but an essential battle to win if you want to achieve lasting peace.
Let your breathing guide you.
woman meditating near sea
Begin by saying silently to yourself, "One." Take a breath and say, "Two." Your breathing is always going to occur right at this moment. So if you pay attention to your breathing, then you will be experiencing reality as it happens right now in this moment. You will not be as likely to be distracted by your mind's chattering or rambling if you are concentrating on something that is happening right now. Slowly continue counting until you reach 108. Take a last cleansing breath and open your eyes.
After completing the meditation, take a moment to consider how successful it was an how it made you feel. Don't be surprised if you were unable to complete it without distraction. With this meditation you will be able to see exactly what are causing the distractions in your mind, and you will be able to see how you react to those distractions. If you see that your mind is taking you away from paying attention to your breathing, do not get angry. By the same token, if you feel that you are concentrating well, be careful not to become too happy because even these emotions are distractions. Peace and happiness are two different things.

The 108 meditation technique gives you an easy way to track your progress over time. The first time you try it you might only reach the number 14 before you become distracted by the voices in your head, an itch on your scalp, a sound outside the door, or an emotion lurking in the back of your mind. Don't let these things stop your pursuit of the goal of 108. Take a moment to put them out of your mind and start counting again where you left off. Eventually, as you continue practicing, you will be able to let your Witness take over completely and your mind will be obedient to your command to step aside so you can reach 108 without distractions.
On the day that you successfully reach 108 without distractions, you will have succeeded in making your inner Witness the master of your mind, emotions, and body. Those three things will be slaves to the Witness inside of you, and you can then use them in the present to control your future and achieve the inner peace that you have been looking for.