In May I went on the Vipassana course that I had booked prior to finding your website. I followed the instructions exactly, understood the technique well, and the whole thing could be considered 'a success'. But it was not for me. Too indirect. Usefully, and I think primarily because 11 days were spent in total silence and with no eye contact, no reading or writing materials etc, I briefly identified some peace that I had never known before. I also found that there was a place within me that is untouched by pain (back pain, from formal sitting 12h per day).
Since then I have been meditating on the I Am. I eventually found myself in the background, watching thoughts come and go. Eventually I kicked myself out of this, remembering you had said on your website that it was a trap. It took a while to realize that I was in it though. Before this I had no idea what 'background' and 'foreground' actually meant.
I tried to move into the foreground, and after a while I found a new I Am. It is a stillness that pervades everything. Thoughts still happen. Various levels of identification occur. A noticing process grades thoughts. Thoughts with a high level of identification get zapped half way through and classed as ego. Thoughts with a low level of identification are merely like the shadows of clouds passing by, and aren't really graded at all. It's like the mind has to react with equal strength to the identification.
This I Am doesn't feel like witnessing as I imagined it, it's got more presence to it. It's more like I am it, it being the silence/stillness, and that in turn being kind of everything in my field of awareness. I am aware of much more simultaneously than I ever remember.
By the way I read recently on your blog a post about a Soto Zen practitioner hearing a high frequency 'nada' sound. I can hear this too, sometimes, but I pay it no attention.
The body does its thing. I haven't realized there is no doer (I haven't realized anything), but the mind is convinced of it - possibly a mix of faith and some spark of recognition.
Everything seems as it should be right now. There are things that I would previously have reacted to as problems but they seem kind of remote. Yesterday I handed in my notice with no plans except to sit around basking-in and further-exploring this silence. Whether or not they will accept the resignation remains to be seen. In one way it doesn't matter - work or not work. In another way it seems like now, or very soon, is the time to stop and commit to I Am with the fullest possible dedication.
Interestingly I don't do formal meditation much at the moment, if at all. I just tap go into the stillness when sitting, or stroking the cat, or looking out of the window, or anything. It seems OK.
I don't read anything apart from your website. I stopped looking around almost as soon as I found it.
Thanks for everything so far.
You are doing very, very well!! Perfect!!
Don't worry about the distinction between foreground and background. Distinctions disappear along with all other concepts regarding reality, the world, ego, Self, consciousness, Self-inquiry, etc. Those are just pointers to get you close to where you are now. All will dissipate along with you, burnt in the fires of awareness.
It is very liberating when you can just walk away from a job without a second thought, isn't it? Such liberation will continue to expand leaving behind your only remaining concern that should remain with you for the rest of your life, and that is the desire--no, the inner command--to both love and take care of all sentient beings.