This practice is aimed towards recognizing your true nature. We can summarize it in one simple sentence:
Observe your sense of ‘I’, or ‘I am’.
I may also tell you:
Hold the consciousness separate from its content in your awareness.
It is the same practice phrased in two different ways – whichever speaks to you more. Follow these words and you shall stumble upon reality.
So make sure you understand this instruction – it is pivotal.
This is really all you need to know, but to make it a little clearer I am going to speak about it more, in case you feel confused.
Confusion, however, is never an excuse for not practicing this and simply doing what I say. Confusion is only a trick of the mind and has nothing to do with reality.
Confusion and clarity of mind are irrelevant to the practice of this.
You can be utterly confused, and still practice this successfully, which is the power of the practice.
Consciousness, you should understand, is the sense of I am.
The two are really synonymous.
You are conscious, because you have the intuitive knowledge of I am – intuitively you know you are.
Confirm this now please.
In fact, the only thing that is really known is the I am. You may not know what you are, so the knowledge of I am this or I am that is not reliable. Simply stay with only I am and see what you can find there. Don’t think about it. Just do it.
A fundamental truth is this:
The mere fact of observation places the observer beyond.
Whatever is perceived, or observed, is apart from that which perceives it, or observes it.
For observation to take place there must be some distance involved – be it physical, mental, or otherwise.
Even the distance of a thought is enough to separate you. However, be aware that very thought is watched.
Once this is understood clearly, the identification of your intuitive knowledge I am with any object or phenomenon ceases to occur within you. You are freed of the thought-idea that you are a person, or a body – an idea that is continuously operating within you under your name until it is perceived to be unreal.
The I that says “I am this person.” is a thought.
Hold your knowledge ‘I am’ in your awareness until your mind settles down and abides in silence – then the true light of self-recognition shines within you.
On the way to this pure seeing the mind is going to throw up a lot of thoughts that hit close to your being. The mind knows all your weaknesses, because it is you, in a way.
So every sensation arising in the practice of this is only watched and must not be followed to see where it leads.
Otherwise, if you follow the mind’s projections you are going into trance-like states that do nothing but mislead you.
Nothing real is to be gained from following your mind’s projections.
The truth is only revealed in stillness, and it is not to be grasped with the mind. Hold your sense of ‘I am’ in stillness and see what comes out of it. The mind is incapable of realizing the truth, because truth is prior to the mind’s arising.
This is all this practice is.
I am going to try to help you answer the final question that may arise in this:
What is your I am?
And what answers that question?
To answer that question some insight must come. Some revelation. Don’t look for anything in particular.
The way finding the I am is to look at what is playing as the I am – your identity.
Simply observe what feels to be you.
Observe always what is most intimate to you.
So when a thought arises – it is seen to arise.
If there is someone it is arising to – who is it arising to?
Don’t follow the thought now, because it is less intimate than the watcher of thought in that scenario: something else has come between. A new identity arose as the watcher of thought.
Then identity might arise is the one finding out there is the watcher of thought.
The mind’s trick is this: it is always going to slip behind the eye-balls and pretend to be the ultimate observer.
But the ultimate has no form. It has no shape. It has no size. It is nothing.
So don’t settle for any conclusion.
Observe until the dust settles. Hold your sense I am. Then you may even find that it is the I am that is looking, and not the one looked at. But all of this is watched in the front of an observer that has no form.
Words will not take you further now. Now you must do the work and look for yourself, what is there?
This is the I am practice.