25 November 2009


Hi Ed.

My current practice has been "being conscious, of being". But I had been reading Seeds of Consciousness and a student asked Nisargadatta how to focus on the I am. Nisargadatta said focus on the I am means to be in the I am - be.

He said are you not conscious of being right now, student said yes. Master said did you have to focus on it, and student said no. Master said exactly, because you are the I am - attempting to focus on it activates the mind.

Now this got me to thinking, I have been focusing on the feeling of I am - but I have a split the observer and being. So I have tried "just being", and of course the conscious part is automatic - and I sit in being, all the while being aware that I am. In other words the split is very, very small. It is interesting also that there is nothing to hold on in being - whereas the action of focusing on being gives the mind some hold. Now mind you this is not like Shikantaza, because my focus is on the I am, not on emptiness.

What you think? I find in being - I couldn't get any closer to the I am. Don't worry I am still sitting in silence, this way seems to be much better. I just wanted your thoughts on this. I don't want to make any adjustments without your advice.

My Response:

You have to focus on being for a while to get a feel for what it is like. Then you can sort of "fall back" into that sense of being and just abide there. The latter is very comfortable. You should play with the I Am sense. It varies in feel and manifestation.


  1. you say, "falling back into the observer" and that makes sense. It feels like, as long as I keep "stepping back" and being the observer, who is "all the way back," that is, farther into me and away from anything observed, that I'm on the right track. Is this correct practice, to keep going "farther back" again and again, so long as there is conceptual space?

  2. Yes. The feeling of falling back into the observer is an easy way to abide in one's sense of beingness. But falling back is really duality too. Eventually you must just be.

    But, without meditation homework, you really don't get a good sense of I Amness or beingness. You objectify consciousness by witnessing it, playing with it, to get a feel for it. Then resting in it is easy.

  3. Thanks Ed! Once again, very helpful. I think you're benefiting a lot of people out there by taking the time to do all this. Very appreciative. I'll keep practicing and following the bliss.

  4. I've only recently started practicing abiding in the "I Am", but it seems I got a small glimpse of the joy of it just a few hours ago. It became clear how even the "I Am" was unmoved by the sorrows and burdens of life, and was in itself joyous. It was just a brief experience, and indeed just an experience, but it made me more comfortable while abiding in being, and removed some of the angst that sometimes arises within me during practice. It felt like a small, somewhat insignificant, yet very potent, glimpse of the "I Am". Does this make sense?

  5. Being the witness of the I-Amness, I occasionaly felt like being separate from the I Am feeling. Like being another who's watching this I Am...a witness. This confussed me because it's all about non-duality isn't it?

    Sri Nisargadatta said that it is dual but at one point they both merge.

    Now I try to only BE and this witness isn't experienced so much.

    This isn't very clear, but I do hope this can be sorted out and help me correct my understanding.

    Just to sink in this Beingness and abide it?