Monday, March 2, 2009

that thing which feels like me

The following blog post is entirely devoted to the topic of self-enquiry. I will post another blog soon with more stories and pictures etc.

This thing about self-enquiry can seem a bit abstract with all of this looking for the 'I' thought. My friend Bill said a very helpful thing to me in an email, inspired as he was by ex-jailbird Satsang giver John Sherman.

What he said was to give attention to that thing which feels like me. That I found helped me as 'that thing which feels like me' is somehow more tangible and real than a fleeting 'I' thought.

'That thing which feels like me' is the internal feeling-sense of 'amness' or 'I am'. Mooji explained it well in his final final Satsang here this morning. Quoting Nisargadatta Maharaj he said that this feeling-sense of 'I am' is like a doorway or a bridge; on one side it leads to infinity and on the other it leads to the bondage of mind identification.

From this subjective feeling-sense of 'amness' arises the 'I' thought which identifies itself with externals. Mooji described the 'I am' as a chamelion being which takes on the colour of that which it identifies with. If it is identifying with the mind through the 'I' thought then the sense of who we are becomes dependent upon the self-image, situations and circumstances.

If on the other hand we give our attention to the pure sense of 'I am' (that thing which feels like me), not indulging in the habit of imaginations, then the sense of who we are begins to merge with the non-changing peace and inherent wholeness of the inner Self.

It is not a fight, thoughts will naturally come and go; the key is to patiently keep bringing the attention back to the pure sense of 'I am' when we become aware of our attention having wandered. With cultivation it is said to stablize until eventually nothing can overshadow it.

If that still seems intangible then a good way in is by meditating upon the natural flow of the breath in a similar manner. Once the body, mind and breath have settled down then one can turn ones attention towards the feeling-sense of 'I am'.

One can silently ask oneself the question 'who is sitting here?' or 'to whom are these thoughts occuring?'. Naturally the answer comes 'I am' or 'to me'. That is the clue; pay attention to this sense of 'I' or 'me'. One can then ask oneself 'and who am I?'. This is not an invitation to speculative thought but simply a device to maintain an alert and inquisitive focus of awareness upon this inherent sense of 'amness' - that thing which feels like me.

Generally it is recommended to set aside a period of time once or more a day to close ones eyes and give ones full attention to this enquiry (say 10/20/30 mins to start with). This sets the tone, then during the rest of the day to maintain an awareness of this inner 'I am' as best as one can and gradualy gradualy it becomes more established.

I just wanted to share that with you! :)


  1. Thanks Shiva 112 for this awesome post on the sense of I am. Love following Mooji as he describes and points to these subtle and powerful aspects of the true Self and liberation. you did an awesome job of inculcating Mooji's teachings and relaying them here for us.

    Recently, I put together a series of Mooji quotes available here:

    One Love

  2. Hi Shiva, it's a joy to read your description of self-inquiry. Your enthusiasm for it is very inspiring!

    I'd add something that I've discovered along the way. I'll try to describe it... It is the intellect that looks for the I-thought or I-am-ness. The intellect excludes other information - such as sound, touch, etc - because it is focusing. Since it is "looking" it is not "being".

    So the book title, "Relax into clear seeing" is accurate. It's a nasty distinction that is very difficult to get around. I was taught a helpful method - continually renewing the following: "I intend to be present" No trying, just renew the intention then drop it. It is non-intellectual and quite helpful. There is no diving per se, but there is a stopping of seeking and a relaxing into what is here and now. Then the sense of is-ness becomes apparent.

    In a similar vein, instead of straining our eyes to see something, let the light fall upon your eyes. Instead of listening to hear something, let the sound effortlessly enter your ear. This encourages innocence, innocent non-verbal perception, effortlessness, non-grasping of the senses.

    Of the three stages of Gyana Yoga, (hearing, reflection, realisation) I think the above applies the third stage.

    Keep posting on self-inquiry - your audience appreciates it! :-)

  3. Hi Psiplex, thanks for your comments and for posting the link. I would say that what i have shared in the blog is more of a collage of the different teachers I have sat with here mixed in with my own reflections and experiences. However, they are all more or less saying the same thing so no difference!

  4. Hi Andrew, thank you also for your comments and contribution which I found very interesting. There seems to be a subtle distinction between the kind of 'being present as awareness' approach you describe and focusing of awareness upon the sense of 'me' which seems to be the crux of self-enquiry. Is it not the awareness which looks rather than the intellect? Care to comment.....?

  5. nice job on the Mooji quotes Psiplex