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Thread: questions on I AM THAT

  1. #1

    Question questions on I AM THAT

    It seems to me that Nisargadatta Maharaj talks about to kinds of "meditation".

    He talks about enquiring into the nature of I AM and holding on to that.
    And he also talks about just observing whatever comes up in the mind.

    Could someone explain why he talks about these 2 techniques, and how they differ?

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    Re: questions on I AM THAT

    Namaste FlipAsso.

    Swami Jnaneshvara in his Website http://www.swamij.com/ has highly practical methods for various stages of 'yoga meditation' as he calls it, that is, meditation that leads to 'yoga' (unity). On having a glance at some of his articles, specially the one "Intentionally Inviting Thoughts", it seems to me:

    • Inquiring into the nature of I AM has its driving question 'Who am I?' and discarding whatever that seems to us as not the ultimate Self, as we practise the inquiry.

    • Observing whatever comes up in the mind is a beginning stage of meditation where we just invite and observe our thoughts but DO NOT participate in them. In other words, we should not consciously elaborate on a thought aiding it with picturesque or verbal expression but just observe and let it pass by.

    If we watch the process of our thinking, we would find out that we think by association aided by pictures and words. So one way to practise just to observe thinking without participating in it is to think a thought with just a phrase or word, instead of the usual thought in a complete sentence or picture, giving less and less subjective suggestions to foster the thought. For example, the thought 'this evening I would go to a film' can be abbreviated to 'film, evening' and let it be gone with that.

    The very first 'sUtra' of Patanjali's Yoga Sutra is:
    yogaH chitta vritti nirodhaH
    "Union is restraining the thought-streams natural to the mind."

    Thus yoga meditation is taking on the restraint and inquiry side by side.
    रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
    ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥

    To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.

    --viShNu purANam

  3. Re: questions on I AM THAT

    Nisargadatta Maharaj is directing those who seek enlightenment to engage in enquiry throughout their entire lives. These are not techniques that are separate from your daily life; you can do them every moment. One's entire existence is a meditation; that's why we're here, and we do as we do rather than as we would like.

    The first technique is to abide in clear realization of who one is when it becomes apparent. This only works if one has had moments of clarity, which are unmistakable. However, you may not recognize the true significance of these moments of insight; they are not states of consciousness or samadhis. Rather, they represent a temporary lapse in the fog of illusion which obscures one's true nature. Your mind will likely dismiss these insights as unimportant or unremarkable, but that is why you cannot believe the mind; it cannot comprehend their true significance. If one cannot recall moments when there was no identification with the mind, then the second technique is the place to begin.

    The second technique is the via negativa, or observing what is false to arrive at the true. Observing the motion of the mind can help one to recognize its nature, which unobserved is mechanical. When the mind is quiet, it is much easier to realize one's true nature (which cannot be perceived by the mind). Remember that, if one can observe something, that thing cannot be who one is; this is how the sages knew that they were not the body nor the mind.

    But again, don't approach these as techniques that are separate from life. Every moment of your life presents the opportunity to see your true nature. At first it may be easier in certain situations (e.g. when you're alone, when you're in nature, when you are doing a certain activity), but this awareness must expand to encompass one's entire life.

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