Finally, by the time the sun is setting and the whole day has passed, the abbot comes and takes the child in. He says, “You have passed the first test, but there are many more peaks ahead. I respect your patience, being such a small child. You remained unmoving, you did not open your eyes. You did not lose courage, you trusted that whenever the time is right you will be called in.”
And then years of training in witnessing: the child was only allowed to see his parents again after perhaps ten years, twenty years had elapsed. But the criterion was that until he experienced no-mind, he could not be allowed to see his parents, his family. Once he achieves no-mind, then he can move back into the world. Then there is no problem.
Once a man is in a state of no-mind, nothing can distract him from his being. There is no power bigger than the power of no-mind. No harm can be done to such a person. No attachment, no greed, no jealousy, no anger…nothing can arise in him. No-mind is absolutely a pure sky without any clouds.
You say, “How does watching lead to no-mind?”
There is an intrinsic law: thoughts don’t have their own life. They are parasites; they live on your identifying with them. When you say, “I am angry,” you are pouring life energy into anger, because you are getting identified with anger.
But when you say, “I am watching anger flashing on the screen of the mind within me,” you are not giving any life, any juice, any energy to anger anymore. You will be able to see that because you are not identified the anger is absolutely impotent, has no impact on you, does not change you, does not affect you. It is absolutely hollow and dead. It will pass on and it will leave the sky clean and the screen of the mind empty.
Slowly, slowly you start getting out of your thoughts. That’s the whole process of witnessing and watching. George Gurdjieff used to call it “non-identification.” In other words you are no longer identifying with your thoughts. You are simply standing aloof and away – indifferent, as if they might be anybody’s thoughts. You have broken your connections with them. Only then can you watch them.
Watching needs a certain distance. If you are identified there is no distance, they are too close. It is as if you are putting the mirror too close to your eyes: you cannot see your face. A certain distance is needed. Only then can you see your face in the mirror.
If thoughts are too close to you, you cannot watch. You become impressed and colored by your thoughts. Anger makes you angry, greed makes you greedy, lust makes you lustful – because there is no distance at all. They are so close that you are bound to think that you and your thoughts are one.
Watching destroys this oneness and creates a separation. The more you watch, the bigger is the distance. The bigger the distance, the less energy your thoughts are getting from you. And they don’t have any other source of energy. Soon they start dying, disappearing. In these disappearing moments you will have the first glimpses of no-mind.