Had added a version of this as a reply to a comment on the previous post, but it feels important enough to merit an entry of its own here… Sorry to repeat for those who’ve already read it below.
Bearing witness, whether to joy or to suffering, means just being here WITH it, rather than being here WITHOUT it as we so often are because we have something else on our mind.
It involves just noticing whatever arises. The cat purring next to me, the row of homeless people in the Métro, the Libyan people yearning to be free, the insane man oppressing them, the toilet flushing, the stars in the sky, the flowers wilting in their vase: each is a manifestation of what is called, for wont of a better word, « emptiness. »
Although I might argue for « fullness: » It’s neither « good » nor « bad, » it’s just FULLY, exactly, impeccably, what it is. Nothing more, nothing less.
Bearing witness, we recognize that. The « response » to the situation at hand will then arrive naturally, perfectly, too, if we let it do its thing (rather than « our » thing).