Meditation can be like watching a movie—if you simply observe or witness the thoughts, without any judgment, you will enjoy the show. Watching the thoughts is different from analyzing and judging them. A judge in the court is analyzing the case and judging who is right and who is wrong. But a witness is the one who observes, who doesn’t take part in the problem, and doesn’t even say if it’s good or bad.

Many people watch a movie and start judging. They think, Oh, what kind of cameraman is that? He made a big mistake. Or, That actor is not so good. They go as critics. There’s nothing wrong in that, but when you go as a critic, you can’t enjoy the picture. The minute you find something to criticize, your mind dwells on that and you miss many other beautiful, fine points which you could be appreciating. A real witness is unaffected by what is being watched. You can enjoy when the hero speaks lovingly to the heroine, and also when the villain snatches her. You will miss all the important points if you get carried away by criticizing an actor or the technology. As a witness, you are unaffected by anything, so you can enjoy everything. You just sit and watch.

The mind is a movie theater; so many things have been recorded. You get divine and demonic visions. That’s why, when you sit in meditation, you see both. Don’t get frightened by all that. It’s only impressions that have come into the mind from somewhere. Even without your knowing, your camera is exposed to so many things. Your camera becomes imprinted and keeps rolling, so just let it roll. If you can come to that state of being a witness, you will enjoy every minute of your life.

As a witness, you won’t get affected by anything, you are not a party to either side. That itself, is a beautiful form of meditation; just sit, start the camera, let it roll and enjoy it. Where do all those recordings come from? They come from your subconscious mind. Millions and billions of ideas have been recorded. This mind is a part of the cosmic mind. Know that for certain. Everything is there. And the soul has passed through all that. It has lived through everything in this world. You have been a plant, a thorny bush, a rose, even a horse. Excuse me for saying this; I’m not trying to insult you. As for myself, I’m happy to think this way. I’ve passed through all the beginner classes, and now I’m in the highest class, I am in the highest form, a human being—and so are you.

by Sri Swami Satchidananda