But, if you are young, why don't you continue with it for a while before declaring it a dead end.
37... I already feel like I started in on this road very late! But yes, with your blessing I may experiment a little more just in case something of value comes of it. Thanks for the warning about the insomnia.
> However, I do not hear from you about how your practice goes with the Gita and I Am meditation--that is the broad road that is so successful for most.
Yep, and it's the road I intend to travel. Nothing much to report over and above what I said about the I Am being this thing perceiving the lack of thoughts vacuum which is disturbed with thoughts. This I Am I'm identified with right now also notices input from the senses, but non-judgementally. 'Judge Mentally' - I never thought about that word like that before. :-p
When trying to immerse myself in the I Am, I try to frame myself as if I had just popped into consciousness for the first time, having no language skills and no memory of prior experiences, basically a dumb 'new arrival' observer. I tried to remember being 3-4 years old, but I don't have memories that go that far back. The frame may well change as I continue with the NG. If this is a wrong kind of context for I-Amness please let me know.
An aside on the method of thought: I thought non-verbally until I was in my early-mid teens. I distinctly remember being part of a conversation with my friends where the subject of the representation of thought came up, and I was amazed that they used words internally. I don't remember converting to verbal thinking at any specific point, but I do remember that I had no real anxieties at all prior to that - I approached the world with fearlessness and lived from second to second, probably as most youths do. But I remember that time with fondness, as now I have some anxieties and I am reasonably convinced that internal verbal self talk created and nurtured them. For example I developed a habit of replaying past conversations/situations (with different outcomes, or with specific investigatory interest in what so-and-so might have meant, or how I came across, etc), and rehearsing future ones (trying to lock down the future into a known quantity). If you do this for years you get really quite neurotic. Thankfully my neuroses are now diminishing, and it does correlate with me actively trying to wipe out verbal thoughts (I've been doing that for about a month now).
> Once you "see" the void you will know it. It is seeing the clear empty inner space that contains everything, objects, thoughts, the body, the world.
Wow! :-) I will try not to look for it and hope to just come across it. I am wary of possibly creating false experiences based on conceptual understanding.
I'll continue to meditate (usually say 1.5 hours a day, in total) and bring myself back to wherever the I Am is throughout the day. As and when interesting things happen I'll email. I am really trying not to think things like 'how can I tell how well I'm doing' and 'how fast can I do this'. :-p If there's anything I can do that will maximize my chances of a more rapid progression I'm all ears. I'm contemplating quitting my job (gracefully, in 4 months, with some saved cash) which will allow me spend a block of time on 'doing nothing' in the most constructive sense.
I'm attending a 10 day vipassana meditation retreat in May, in Sweden (I live across the sea in Estonia) - I booked it before I had committed to the I-Am path. Do you think this might help or hinder? It's the kind where you meditate for something like 8hrs per day, and no talking is allowed. I think it should be very interesting, even if it doesn't translate to any progression on the I Am path (mind you, it occurred to me that I could hijack the time for I-Am study :-D
The "quickest" way is to focus on the I Am, play with it, abide in it. Right now that does not sem too interesting to you so you are experimenting. You will find more change towards awakening if you follow the I Am, see the relation of it to the I thought, abide in the feeling, I Am, etc.
But I like your experimenting mind. It is just such a way that one learns all the tricks of Maya.
By the way, you cannot "look" for the void. It is always there and it sounds like your experience of 'I Am' is an intense experience of the void. The difficulty is that it is very, very difficult to communicate about internal subjective phenomena, as no matter how articulate one is, one is never sure that inner state has been communicated well, especially if the other person has not had a similar experience and described that similar experience in the same way.
However, the sense of I Am is always personal, the feeling I exist, I am here. It sounds like that is not your experience of I Am, but you have a voidness sense of I Am.
I don't know. But, I am interested in your experiments. So few experiment, and those that do can blaze a new trail.