lookingup

Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer


Previous Entry Share Next Entry
barley nose

The Nisargadatta Song of I Am, by Jerry Katz

After reading this synopsis of Nisargadatta's teachings by Albert McGuire last week, I was reminded that my great friend Jerry had once edited a collection of Nisargadatta's teachings pertaining directly to the 'I Am' that he called 'The Nisargadatta Song of I Am' (link). I created a shorter, abridged version of that piece for the purpose of posting to this community and also to read aloud. My 9-minute reading of the text can be found in this 5.3 MB MP3 file.

The highlights from my abridged version are below, with the full text from my abridged version following the cut.
Go deep into the sense of 'I am' and you will find.

...focus your mind on 'I am', which is pure and simple being.

When I say 'I am', I do not mean a separate entity with a body as its nucleus. I mean the totality of being, the ocean of consciousness, the entire universe of all that is and knows. I have nothing to desire for I am complete forever.

Establish yourself firmly in the awareness of 'I am'. This is the beginning and also the end of all endeavour.

Refuse all thoughts except one: the thought 'I am'. The mind will rebel in the beginning, but with patience and perseverance it will yield and keep quiet. Once you are quiet, things will begin to happen spontaneously and quite naturally, without any interference on your part.

Just keep in mind the feeling 'I am', merge in it, till your mind and feeling become one. By repeated attempts you will stumble on the right balance of attention and affection and your mind will be firmly established in the thought-feeling 'I am'. Whatever you think, say, or do, this sense of immutable and affectionate being remains as the ever-present background of the mind.

Give up all questions except one: 'Who am I'? After all, the only fact you are sure of is that you are. The 'I am' is certain. The 'I am this' is not. Struggle to find out what you are in reality.

Go back to that state of pure being, where the 'I am' is still in its purity before it got contaminated with 'this I am' or 'that I am'. Your burden is of false self-identifications -- abandon them all.

You need not worry about your worries. Just be. Do not try to be quiet; do not make 'being quiet' into a task to be performed. Don't be restless about 'being quiet', miserable about 'being happy'. Just be aware that you are and remain aware -- don't say: 'yes, I am; what next?' There is not 'next' in 'I am'. It is a timeless state.

The sense 'I am' is always with you, only you have attached all kinds of things to it -- body, feelings, thoughts, ideas, possessions, etc. All these self-identifications are misleading. Because of them you take yourself to be what you are not.

All you need is to unravel being from the tangle of experiences. Once you have known pure being, without being this or that, you will discern it among experiences and you will no longer be misled by names and forms.

Human beings die every second, the fear and the agony of dying hangs over the world like a cloud. No wonder you too are afraid. But once you know that the body alone dies and not the continuity of memory and the sense of 'I am' reflected in it, you are afraid no longer.

People differ, but all are faced with the fact of their own existence. 'I am' is the ultimate fact; 'Who am I?' is the ultimate question to which everybody must find an answer.

Before the world was, consciousness was. In consciousness it comes into being, in consciousness it lasts and into pure consciousness it dissolves. At the root of everything, is the feeling 'I am'.

Go home, take charge of your father's business, look after your parents in their old age. Marry the girl who is waiting for you, be loyal, by simple, be humble. Hide your virtue, live silently. The five senses and the three qualities (gunas) are your eight steps in Yoga. And 'I am' is the Great Reminder (mahamantra). You can learn from them all you need to know. Be attentive, enquire ceaselessly. That is all.

As it is natural for the incense stick to burn out, so it is natural for the body to die. Really, it is a matter of very little importance. What matters is that I am neither the body nor the mind. I am.



FULL TEXT

Go deep into the sense of 'I am' and you will find.

...focus your mind on 'I am', which is pure and simple being.

Take the first step first. All blessings come from within. Turn within. 'I am' you know. Be with it all the time you can spare, until you revert to it spontaneously. There is no simpler and easier way.

Before all beginnings, after all ending -- I am. All has its being in me, in the 'I am', that shines in every living being.

On a deeper level my experience is your experience. Dive deep within yourself and you will find it easily and simply. Go in the direction of 'I am'.

My Guru ordered me to attend to the sense 'I am' and to give attention to nothing else. I just obeyed. I did not follow any particular course of breathing, or meditation, or study of scriptures. Whatever happened, I would turn away my attention from it and remain with the sense 'I am', it may look too simple, even crude. My only reason for doing it was that my Guru told me so. Yet it worked! Obedience is a powerful solvent of all desires and fears.

...in whatever role I may appear and whatever function I may perform -- I remain what I am: the 'I am' immovable, unshakable, independent.

When I say 'I am', I do not mean a separate entity with a body as its nucleus. I mean the totality of being, the ocean of consciousness, the entire universe of all that is and knows. I have nothing to desire for I am complete forever.

Establish yourself firmly in the awareness of 'I am'. This is the beginning and also the end of all endeavour.

Hold onto the sense of 'I am' to the exclusion of everything else. When thus the mind becomes completely silent, it shines with a new light and vibrates with new knowledge. It all comes spontaneously, you need only hold on to the 'I am'.

Refuse all thoughts except one: the thought 'I am'. The mind will rebel in the beginning, but with patience and perseverance it will yield and keep quiet. Once you are quiet, things will begin to happen spontaneously and quite naturally, without any interference on your part.

Just keep in mind the feeling 'I am', merge in it, till your mind and feeling become one. By repeated attempts you will stumble on the right balance of attention and affection and your mind will be firmly established in the thought-feeling 'I am'. Whatever you think, say, or do, this sense of immutable and affectionate being remains as the ever-present background of the mind.

To know what you are you must first investigate and know what you are not. And to know what you are not you must watch yourself carefully, rejecting all that does not necessarily go with the basic fact: 'I am'. ... Separate consistently and perseveringly the 'I am' from 'this' or 'that', and try to feel what it means to be, just to be, without being 'this' or 'that'.

Give up all questions except one: 'Who am I'? After all, the only fact you are sure of is that you are. The 'I am' is certain. The 'I am this' is not. Struggle to find out what you are in reality.

...just remember yourself. 'I am', is enough to heal your mind and take you beyond. Just have some trust.

Stop searching, and see -- it is here and now -- it is that 'I am' you know so well.

You cannot meaningfully say 'this is what I am'. It just makes no sense.

'I am' is first-hand and needs no proofs. Stay with it.

Be content with what you are sure of. And the only thing you can be sure of is 'I am'. Stay with it, and reject everything else. This is Yoga.

Go back to that state of pure being, where the 'I am' is still in its purity before it got contaminated with 'this I am' or 'that I am'. Your burden is of false self-identifications -- abandon them all.

The 'I am' that pursues the pleasant and shuns the unpleasant is false; the 'I am' that sees pleasure and pain as inseparable sees rightly.

Those who practise the sadhana of focussing their minds on 'I am' may feel related to others who have followed the same sadhana and succeeded.

You need not worry about your worries. Just be. Do not try to be quiet; do not make 'being quiet' into a task to be performed. Don't be restless about 'being quiet', miserable about 'being happy'. Just be aware that you are and remain aware -- don't say: 'yes, I am; what next?' There is not 'next' in 'I am'. It is a timeless state.

The sense 'I am' is always with you, only you have attached all kinds of things to it -- body, feelings, thoughts, ideas, possessions, etc. All these self-identifications are misleading. Because of them you take yourself to be what you are not.

Instead of seeing things as imagined, learn to see them as they are. When you can see everything as it is, you will also see yourself as you are. It is like cleansing a mirror. The same mirror that shows you the world as it is, will also show you your own face. The thought 'I am' is the polishing cloth.

All you need is to unravel being from the tangle of experiences. Once you have known pure being, without being this or that, you will discern it among experiences and you will no longer be misled by names and forms.

Human beings die every second, the fear and the agony of dying hangs over the world like a cloud. No wonder you too are afraid. But once you know that the body alone dies and not the continuity of memory and the sense of 'I am' reflected in it, you are afraid no longer.

People differ, but all are faced with the fact of their own existence. 'I am' is the ultimate fact; 'Who am I?' is the ultimate question to which everybody must find an answer.

Before the world was, consciousness was. In consciousness it comes into being, in consciousness it lasts and into pure consciousness it dissolves. At the root of everything, is the feeling 'I am'.

Go home, take charge of your father's business, look after your parents in their old age. Marry the girl who is waiting for you, be loyal, by simple, be humble. Hide your virtue, live silently. The five senses and the three qualities (gunas) are your eight steps in Yoga. And 'I am' is the Great Reminder (mahamantra). You can learn from them all you need to know. Be attentive, enquire ceaselessly. That is all.

As it is natural for the incense stick to burn out, so it is natural for the body to die. Really, it is a matter of very little importance. What matters is that I am neither the body nor the mind. I am.

That which makes you think you are human is not human. It is but a dimensionless point of consciousness, a conscious nothing; all you can say about yourself is: 'I am'. You are pure being, awareness, bliss. To realize that is the end of all seeking. You come to it when you see all you think yourself to be as mere imagination and stand aloof in pure awareness of the transient as transient, imaginary as imaginary, unreal as unreal.

The End

(x-posted to nonduality)

?

Log in