Module 10: Chad

How does this work?

  1. Recall the principles of Global Social Witnessing. You can click on each of them to access the text about their meaning. Or choose one that you read in detail again for this session.
  2. Choose one of the meditation videos to set the space for Witnessing. Follow the instructions of the guided meditation.
  3. Watch the refugee video. There is additional Information about the country of origin of the person interviewed in the video. If you want, you can read that information before or after you watched the video. Try to pay attention to your reaction to this information on the levels of mind, body and emotions.
  4. There is a Reflection task you may get inspired to complete at the end.

Recall the principles of Global Social Witnessing.

Being clear about your intention and consciously articulating it as part of your witnessing process can simplify and deepen your experience. You may find it helpful as you begin each module to pause for a moment, find your inner intention and express it to yourself in your own words. An intention could be, “I set the intention to turn my attention toward (name of the event) and to go beyond receiving information cognitively to noticing and including in my experience what arises in my body and my emotions.” We encourage you to experiment with setting an intention expressed in your own words each time you enter a Module and noticing whether doing so affects your experience.

GSW is fundamentally a practice of being with what arises in us in the moment, not with what we think we should be experiencing. You may have a preconception about what’s appropriate and how you ought to be responding to an event. The response that arises in your body and emotions may not conform to your idea, your sense of “should”. If you stay with what actually arises, it can lead you to an aspect of the event or your response that you might not otherwise discover if you stay in the narrower confines of preconceptions. We encourage you to remind yourself of this as you work through the remaining Modules on the site. As you explore each Module, you are invited to do a brief meditation as a kind of “warm-up”. This will help to bring your attention to your body and emotions as you begin witnessing each Module’s content.

To the extent we are able to slow ourselves down, feel more presence and inner spaciousness, we are able to relate more fully and in a more embodied way to events in the world. More information becomes available to us when we do this, as more facets of the issue and more nuances reveal themselves to us. You can support this process by taking a few moments before starting each Module to focus on your breath and, to the extent possible, consciously slow down and allow your inner experience to become more spacious. As you are proceeding through the Module you can also pause from time to time and notice your pace and the degree to which you are relating to the material from a sense of spaciousness.

It is often challenging to allow ourselves to feel issues/events in the world. Our responses to differ from person to person and from issue to issue. The object of witnessing is not to have a particular response, but to notice and give ourselves permission to respond as we do, in each moment. We may notice parts of our body becoming tense or contracted; emotionally, we may feel numb. We may find ourselves becoming distracted or sleepy. Each of these responses is showing us an edge of our capacity to relate to a particular issue. These edges are important protection mechanisms that help to keep us from being overwhelmed. As you work through the individual modules, we encourage you to notice when you encounter an edge, to welcome it and not try to push through to a different result. We do not need to have any response other than the one we have. As we become more conscious and accepting of our edges, we may find them softening and opening into a new possibility for deeper relatedness to challenging issues.

As we practice global social witnessing, we inevitably encounter events/issues with which we have strong personal resonance. The struggles of people suffering or caught in challenging circumstances touch emotions in us related to our own personal development, or our ancestral or collective histories. This resonance between our own experience and an event in the world creates a bond between us, the event and the people impacted, that did not exist before. People report that when this occurs, they experience the event being present with them in their day to day lives, as if they are carrying a piece of it with them. They feel a new relatedness to the issue/event and often discover new impulses to change behaviors, to take action, and the ability to respond more effectively.

Modern neuroscience and the study of trauma restoration tell us that trauma is healed through relatedness and that absence and polarisation are defences we use to manage our trauma when sufficient opportunities for relatedness are not available to us. Global Social Witnessing provides opportunities to increase our relatedness, and in doing so, to increase the health of our relational ecosystem. Each time we become able to relate more fully to ourselves, to others, and to collective events, humanity gets wiser. We develop a higher capacity to be informed, which expands our ability to respond. Related and wise responses create more unification, more solutions, more creative potential. Through Global Social Witnessing we upgrade, step by step, both our individual competencies and our collective capacity to relate and respond to conflict, scarcity and suffering. As more and more people practise, the impact grows..

Witnessing – Chad


  • Watch the Video while noticing your reactions in your mind, body and emotions
  • Everything is welcome, including numbness, indifference or boredeom
  • When it is difficult to relate, obeserve that sweet spot and experience your unrelatedness
  • Observe where you judge your experience or what you see
  • Try to stay in the frame of mind inspired by the meditation
  • If you feel overwhelmed or unconfortable, you can stop the proces at any time

Reflection Task

I. After watching the video please try to answer the following questions:

  1. Are there any gestures, emotional states, words, or sentences, from the interviewee that had a special resonance in you? Which are they?
  2. Which physical, emotional, mental movements could you discern in yourself while watching?
  3. On which rungs on the ladder of connectedness* have you been?

II. Imagine you are in a dialogue with this person in the picture.

  1. What would this person ask you?
  2. And how would you answer her/his questions?
  3. What would you like to ask her/him more?
  4. What do you wish for this person on her/his further path?
Module 9: Nigeria
Module 11: Ukraine