Do you talk to yourself? If you said no, you’re wrong. We all do. Maybe not out loud, but we all have an inner voice. Sometimes it recounts our to-do list, sometimes it complains about the weather, sometimes it criticizes us, others and the world around us. Sit in silence for 60 seconds. Do you hear the voice? It might be saying “this is stupid; why should I sit in silence for 60 seconds.” Maybe it’s saying “no, I don’t need to; I know my inner voice.” It doesn’t really matter what it’s saying. The point is, it’s saying something.
Do you think the voice is the real you? According to yoga philosophy, it’s not. The real you is actually the witness of the voice, the seer. It’s a simple matter of subject and object. The true self is the subject. It sees/listens to/reacts to the inner voice, which is the object. Make sense?
This realization can change your life. No, really, it can. Once you know that you are not the inner voice (which reflects our thoughts, feelings, even physical sensations), you begin to cultivate detachment from the voice. Creating less reactivity and attachment. And opening yourself up to more space, compassion and love.
Michael Singer, the author of the Untethered Soul (which I highly recommend!) puts it this way: “If used properly, the same mental voice that has been a source of worry, distraction, and general neurosis can become the launching ground for true spiritual awakening. Come to know the one who watches the voice, and you will come to know one of the great mysteries of creation.”
What’s the surest way to get to know your inner voice? Meditation: just sitting, breathing, noticing. Even just for 60 seconds.