There are two guidances that are offered. Both reveal the same place. If you have been finding the subtle guidances too difficult to follow — of looking and finding that you are earlier than anything you can perceive — there is a simpler but equally powerful exercise. It is to be confirmed in the ‘I am’ vibration.
You all know the sense of being. Without practising anything, all beings naturally refer to themselves as ‘I’, I am or I exist. ‘Am’ means to exist, to be. Who is the ‘I’ that am? The ‘I’ that exists? The sense of existence is naturally present within you and feels universally comfortable for all beings. It is there at the beginning of perception and functions during the waking state as the witness and observer of all that appears phenomenally and has meaning for the sense ‘I am’.
Start with the feeling ‘I exist’. It takes no time to locate this feeling. It is no distance from you. You don’t have to search for it as it is naturally present right where you are. It is the same as consciousness. Just remain self-aware. Don’t let this natural feeling of presence combine with any other concept, thought or intention. Remain empty. Ignore any information from the mind. Stay with this vibration of being — not merely the words ‘I am’ but the intuitive subjective sense of being. That’s all. And remember: don’t allow it to mix with anything else.
This feeling, ‘I am’, ‘I exist’, is the natural untaught way by which we recognise
Now, mind may creep in as thought and say, ‘Well, I don’t see anything, this isn’t working’, and all the usual mischievous noise to distract the attention may come. But you stay firmly in the simple, basic sense of emptiness. If you feel that somehow the attention is slipping away, don’t worry, just each time it is noticed, bring it back to emptiness.
Practise this for short periods of about five to seven minutes at a time. In the beginning, you may find that sitting down is a good way to start the exercise. Gradually, as you continue, you will find you can do it while walking or doing most daily tasks.
Close your eyes and try to focus on the sense of being. The feeling ‘I am’ indicates this naturally. In the beginning you may feel tired easily, like it is a strain to do the exercise. Remember, you must not let the ‘I am’ feeling mix with other thoughts or sensations.
Other thoughts may come and want to play, but do not engage. Just be with the ‘I am’ sense. Gradually, with a little more practice, you will see that the sense ‘I am’ stays by itself, without intrusion, and you will feel a sense of expansion and peace. A natural sense of wanting to stay more in this will come, but start like this, with little pockets of five to seven minutes. Eventually, the sense of being will stand by itself as pure presence.
Mooji: his self-inquiry techniques help us discover our true nature
You are earlier than anything that is perceivable. Anything that you perceive cannot be what you are. Simply stay as this awareness. Witness that all thoughts and sensations, all phenomena, come and go. Notice that you are primarily this perceiving. The computer (of the mind) is on but you don’t log in. Simply look. You will gradually come to experience an immensity of Being.
This will be your exercise as you move about in daily life or activities. Don’t run to books for anything. You will find your mind wants a massage every now and, again, as it is habituated to the feeling of being involved, of being important and included. Just observe this. You don’t have to suppress this energy of the mind. You can just let it be, but you yourself stay in the neutral observing space. Stay as the detached formless awareness.
Witness that all thoughts and sensations, all phenomena, come and go. Notice that you are primarily this perceiving. The computer (of the mind) is on but you don't log in. Simply look.
You will be able to watch and recognise that identity is just a thought, running from one story to another like a monkey jumping from branch to branch. In the past, it may have gone on for hours without you catching it, but as you continue to stay as the awareness, you will find your vibration strengthening and the consciousness rising to a higher altitude. The ability to catch the mind will be much easier for you now. As soon as identity is playing, a signal will come inside and you will be able to recognise this play with detachment.
Now, do you want to continue to wear personal identity? And what is witnessing this identity playing? Don’t let the mind answer for you. Keep quiet. Check in and verify, ‘I am simply here.’ As what are you here? Again you see, ‘I have no comment to make about it. It’s just a sense of being.’
This is the same as the exercise to stay as the ‘I am’. That is also the sense of being which is naturally here — the sense ‘I am’. Then at a certain point, you may start to see, ‘But the ‘I am’ also is seen. The ‘I am’ also is perceived. The sense of presence is also felt.’ Don’t be in a hurry for this. When the ‘I am the person’ idea is sieved through, it becomes just the ‘I am’. If you can come to the sense of just the unmixed presence, this is already tremendous. You are in the field of grace. If you try to force this recognition, then you bring the mind in again and it will seem as though the mind has accomplished something. And what are the wages for the mind? He gets to stay. Avoid this.
You may feel that without this exercise, you are already naturally in a place of rest. As you move about, you find that the movement is happening spontaneously, but there is no keeping account of it. Everything is fresh and the attention is not visiting the past or seeking reassurance. It is without need.
This is your internal work. Internal work – eternal satisfaction. ●
Since 1999, Mooji has been sharing satsang in the form of spontaneous encounters, retreats, satsang intensives and one-to-one meetings with the many seekers who visit him, from all parts of the world, in search of the direct experience of truth. Few amongst the modern teachers of the advaita tradition expound the ‘knowledge of Self’, and the method of self-enquiry, with such dazzling clarity, love and authority.
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