November 23, 2022
Brief background: I recently started practicing I/Who Am I as described by Ramana Maharshi in his “Who Am I” paper. I’ve had conceptual clarity into Non-Duality (Ram Dass, Tolle, Nisargadatta, Parsons, McKenna, Wolf) for many years and that helped. I have also had awakening experiences. But nothing stuck – they eventually faded. And it was also Mokya, but I did not want to accept that.I think for me that is because I did not have a practice to focus the mind and break the thought stream and nothing was going to change until I learned to do this. While I meditated – really sitting quietly with my thoughts – I “failed mediation 101” and did not force myself to let thoughts go and not follow them and rarely brought them back to point of focus..
Recently I found a way to do that and once I started getting control of the mind and breaking the thought stream, things stared to happen quiet spontaneously. Much old stuff dropped quickly: sadness, anger, worry, fear. In place – coming to foreground was what have always been there – love, compassion, calmness, direct access to deeper knowledge.
Then, finally I started reading Who Am I. Nisargadatta talks about focusing on the “sense of I am” (and still the mind – I kept leaving that bit out) . But I never had a “sense of I am” and so did not know what that meant or how to do it.
Reading Ramana make it very clear – focus on the thought “I” and then other thoughts arise, ask the question “Who Am I” and the mind introverts and I go deeper inside. OK, that I can do.
As I started to do this I noticed – not an answer of course – but became more aware of awareness. A Vast, Vast field that enveloped/contained “me” thoughts, and sensation and “existence”. I would say I was appearing within that field and yet was the field -if that makes sense.
Then I noticed a feeling or “spot’ or “area” in the middle of my head behind the eyes. That is where the thought “I” seemed to be. I could focus attention on I and that spot. Initially could not do this other than in meditation. But then I started to focus attention on that spot while doing activities. While taking the cats for a walk, I found that focusing on the spot of “I” withheld a small amount of attention from the mind-thought generated external world. And while doing that, there was a brief, but noticeable change in the feeling of perception of the external world. It became somewhat ‘flat’, 2-d-ish and plastic-y.
I did have to remember to do it! LOLAnd I could see, per Ramana’s description of end state: Sahaja nirvikalpa, could work this way – eventually all attention is withdrawn from the external world and internal thoughts and resides on the and yet it all works.
Very recently – 2 days ago – I noticed my attention was going to the I thought and spot more easily and eventually without my having to remember to do it. Then the I spot started to feel like a magnet actually pulling my attention there until it was harder and harder to remove it and it just remained focused there without will or choice. That has faded, but may be due to having a severe cold at present. But I could see this as how all this might work.
So, I am looking to check in – make sure I’m not off in the weed, not getting lost in Mokya and am heading in the right direction. Feels correct so far.
This is excellent. Keep looking into this spot. You can call this spot a seat of awareness but it is not the awareness itself because it is observable. Nothing observable can be you, you are what observes. This location however is a chasm of sorts and one can abide there without thought. Keep looking into it actively and then endeavor to see what is looking. In time it will be totally natural and no effort will be needed for the aware presence to remain
Thank you. That is what I was looking for. Very helpful. Will Do.
We can talk about “endeavor to see what is looking” later.
For now it draws me and focus is effortless when I remember to do it 😉 though that is easier when external and internal are not so active.
And it can serve to reduce the jarring-ness of the eternal existence. Being at a big box warehouse store here in SoCal (“Costco) ” 2 days before thanksgiving felt like what I imagined walking into a mental energetic firefight would be like. Not good. Even focusing on the spot was not enough to fully ward off the craziness.Walking outdoors and expanding into the vastness helped a lot.
Along with that , I am noticing I am much more sensitive to energy and vibrations. With this arise feelings of non-injury so I’m back to being a vegetarian.
A couple nights a week I awake a couple hours after I got o bed and am up the rest of the night, This is when the practice and feeling of the spot is strongest.
No problems with energy – I am fine the next day. I still have some egoic concerns about what if I can’t function the next day (mind says: “So you can’t do this every night!!!”- but this has not happened since this started 3 weeks ago.) I need to let it come and take advantage of it when it does. Along with intense focus on the seat – I have access to direct knowledge. I recently asked: what is the meaning of life – and “service to others” came back immediately. Excellent – I’m down with that.
Sensitivity and focus are down right now and I’m in a bit of an energetic contraction due to the cold.