I'm reminded of Witness Consciousness today. The world is changing outside of my window. Fall is splashing her golden hues all over the place and this makes it relatively easy to be hyper-conscious of the beauty and life that is all around me. Forget stress, the economy and my messy house - it's gorgeous out there!
It takes many varying practices to become more conscious. Right now I'm paying attention to nature in all of its glory. Last night I was paying attention to breath, sensual sensations and my G-spot. Later today I will even pay good attention to finishing my taxes. It's all the same really.
How does one promote consciously being able to witness ones self? There are many, many ways but I like to use the breath as a starting point. Watching my breath and breathing into my belly - softly, fully - is one of the practices I like. It's like a mini-meditation each time I do it.
Years ago I started this practice and would remember it maybe 20 times a day. I would put post-its on the front door and stickers on the steering column of my car. I would try to 'just remember' - I used all kinds of mechanisms to learn to pay attention to how I was breathing. The interesting thing is that this practice got me used to remembering multiple times a day to just pay more attention to whatever I was doing. The other sure-fire way is to practice meditation.
Research in the past few years is confirming that practices like meditation improve not only focus and attention but that it improves cognition, also. This is not only true of those practiced at meditation but of those new to the practice, too. A study reported in June of 2007 from researchers Amishi Jha and Michael Baime of the University of Pennsylvania found that mediation changes the way the brain works at the level of attention, the ability to prioritize, manage tasks and goals, focus on specific information and stay alert in whatever environment a person might find themselves in. Research has also found that improving attention makes whatever you are experiencing seem more intense.
Once I felt accomplished in my practice of mini breathing meditations, so that I could more fully witness myself, I moved this practice more deliberately to sex. After years of practicing and learning all about my body, my lover's body and all the myriad ways we could pleasure each other I could finally let go of the 'thinking' about those moves and begin to 'witness' my self during sexual experiences. This isn't about judgment or critical thinking or even imagination or fantasy - it's about the gentle practice of witnessing. To witness one simply watches with ease and wonder what is happening to them.
When you get good at this it becomes really useful. If I'm enjoying some great sex and I notice "Oh, that is an interesting sensation. I'm going to breathe into that touch, put more attention on it and see what happens." Or maybe we've gotten ourselves into a new position and I like it but I notice that my G-spot isn't quite being stimulated to my liking. We don't stop what we're doing and find a new position I simply move slightly one way or another to make a subtle shift. If I hadn't been able to gently 'witness' this about myself I could have blamed, gotten frustrated or even quit all together.
It's just like that, simple and useful. The 'witness' helps us to add on to the experience. When you get good at this you can really explore and up-the-ante on your experiences, what ever they are. It's a playful practice that becomes an increasingly interesting sort of arousal stimulator. And I'm using it today because of the beauty all around me - nature is arousing me and I'm using this experience to make it even more exquisite so I can enjoy the taxes and enjoy the garden and enjoy the sex and enjoy this life!