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Witness for the Persecution

A powerful exercise for painful feelings or painful thoughts is simply to observe them. When feelings are simply observed, this is what happens. Feelings are caused, in the first place, by autonomic thinking(self-talk) which may, or may not be beneath our level of awareness. When we decide, as an act of will, to observe painful feelings as an unconcerned and disinterested witness to them, the willed or conscious thinking of neutral observation of feelings will override and replace the unwilled thinking of negative thoughts that is causing the negative feelings. The only trick here is to insist that our thinking is simply observation with no judgment, as if the feelings are happening to another person. We simply become a casual bystander to our feelings. "Oh, my, here comes another wave of pain," in the same sense that we would comment on ocean wave breaking upon the shore.


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