Chapter 15: Seeing the Past as a Dream
You are remembering your past - any happening. Your childhood, your love affairs, the death of your father or mother. anything. Look at it, but do not get involved in it. Remember it as if you are remembering someone else’s life. And when this happening is being filmed again, is on the screen again, be attentive, aware, a witness, remaining aloof. Your past form will be there in the film, in the story.
If you are remembering your love affair, your first love affair, you will be there with your beloved; your past form will be there with your beloved. You cannot remember otherwise. Be detached from your past form also. Look at the whole phenomenon as if someone else were loving someone else, as if the whole thing doesn’t belong to you. You are just a witness, an observer.
This is a very, very basic technique. It has been used much, particularly by Buddha. There are many forms of this technique; you can find your own way of approaching this. For example, when you are just falling into sleep at night, just ready to fall into sleep, go backwards through the memories of the whole day. Do not start from the morning. Start right from where you are, just on the bed - the last item - and then go back. Then go back by and by, step by step, just to the first experience in the morning when you first became awake. Go back, and remember continuously that you are not getting involved.
For example, in the afternoon someone insulted you. See yourself, the form of yourself, being insulted by someone, but you remain just an observer. Do not get involved; do not get angry again. If you get angry again, then you are identified. Then you have missed the point of meditation. Do not get angry. He is not insulting you, he is insulting the form that was in the afternoon. That form has gone now.
You are just like a river flowing: the forms are flowing. In your childhood you had one form, and now you do not have that form; that form has gone. River-like, you are changing continuously. So when in the night you are meditating backwards on the happenings of the day, just remember that you are a witness - do not get angry. Someone was praising you - do not get elated. Just look at the whole thing as if you are looking indifferently at a film. And backwards it is very helpful, particularly for those who have any trouble with sleep.
If you have any trouble with sleep, insomnia, sleeplessness, if you find it difficult to fall into sleep, this will help deeply. Why? Because this is an unwinding of the mind. When you go back you are unwinding the mind. In the morning you start winding, and the mind becomes tangled in many things, in many places. Unfinished and incomplete, many things will remain on the mind, and there is no time to let them settle at the very moment that they happen.
So in the night go back. This is an unwinding process. And when you will be getting back to the morning when you were just on your bed, to the first thing in the morning, you will again have the same fresh mind that you had in the morning. And then you can fall asleep like a very small child.