The Sense of “I am” (Consciousness)

When I met my Guru, he told me: “You are not what you take yourself
to be. Find out what you are. Watch the sense ‘I am’, find your real
Self.” I obeyed him, because I trusted him. I did as he told me. All
my spare time I would spend looking at myself in silence. And what a
difference it made, and how soon!

My teacher told me to hold on to the sense ‘I am’ tenaciously and not
to swerve from it even for a moment. I did my best to follow his
advice and in a comparatively short time I realized within myself the
truth of his teaching. All I did was to remember his teaching, his
face, his words constantly. This brought an end to the mind; in the
stillness of the mind I saw myself as I am — unbound.

I simply followed (my teacher’s) instruction which was to focus the
mind on pure being ‘I am’, and stay in it. I used to sit for hours
together, with nothing but the ‘I am’ in my mind and soon peace and
joy and a deep all-embracing love became my normal state. In it all
disappeared — myself, my Guru, the life I lived, the world around
me. Only peace remained and unfathomable silence.

Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Absolute Presence

Once it is understood that an entity is merely a conceptual notion, then what follows is a reintegration into universality. Then you just watch life ‘being lived’, realizing that relatively speaking, you as manifestation are but a puppet being manipulated in a dreamworld. When you apperceive this intuitively, spontaneously, thoughtlessly, then this itself will be the awakening from this Maya-dream. Having understood that there can never be any individual entity with independent choice of action, then how could ‘you’ entertain any intentions? And in the absence of intentions how could there be any involvement with Karma?
Then, you become perfectly aligned with whatever happens, accepting events without any feeling either of achievement or frustration. Such living would then be non-volitional living, an absence of doing and deliberate non-doing, going through your allotted span of life wanting nothing and avoiding nothing, free of conceptualizing and objectivizing. Then, when this phenomenal life disappears in due course it leaves you in absolute presence.

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Where all movement takes birth

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Jean Dunn quoting Nisargadatta at his death

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Free of all backgrounds

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Awareness

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Nothing to understand

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Quotes from Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Mind is interested in what happens, while awareness is interested in the mind itself. The child is after the toy, but the mother watches the child, not the toy.

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What happens to the body and the mind may not be within your power to change, but you can always put an end to your imagining yourself to be body and mind. Whatever happens, remind yourself that only your body and mind are affected, not yourself.

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What business have you with saving the world, when all the world needs is to be saved from you? Get out of the picture and see wether there is anything anything left to save.

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The mind must learn that beyond the moving mind there is the background of awareness which does not change. The mind must come to know the true self and respect it and cease covering it up; like the moon which obscures the sun during solar eclipse.

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While the mind is centered in the body, and consciousness is centered in the mind, awareness is free. The body has its urges and mind its pains and pleasures. Awareness is unattached and unshaken. It is lucid, silent, peaceful, alert and unafraid, without desire and fear. Meditate on it as your true being and try to be it in your daily life, and you shall realize it in its fullness.

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Awareness becomes consciousness when it has an object. The object changes all the time. In consciousness there is movement; awareness by itself is motionless and timeless, here and now.

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All consciousness is limited and therefore painful. At the root of consciousness lies desire, the urge to experience.

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To nourish the ideas: “I am a sinner, I am not a sinner”, is a sin. To identify oneself with the particular is all the sin there is. The impersonal is real, the personal appears and disappears.

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If you want to sin, sin wholeheartedly and openly. Sins too have their lessons to teach the earnest sinner, as virtues the earnest saint. It is the mixing up of the two that is so disastrous. Nothing can block you so effectively as compromise, for it shows lack of earnestness, without which nothing can be done.

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The very desire to live is the messenger of death, just as the longing to be happy is the outline of sorrow.

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Your own self is your ultimate teacher. The outer teacher is merely a milestone. It is only your inner teacher that will walk you to the goal, for he is the goal.

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The very desire to live is the messenger of death, just as longing to be happy is the outline of sorrow.

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Delayed response is wrong response. Thought, feeling and action must be one and simultaneous with the situation that calls for them.

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My experience is that everything is bliss. But the desire for bliss creates pain. Thus bliss becomes the seed of pain. The entire universe of pain is born of desire. Give up the desire for pleasure and you will not even know what pain is.

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Your personal universe does not exist by itself. It is merely a limited and distorted view of the real. It is not the universe that needs improving, but your way of looking.

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…ultimately you are the proof that God exists, not the other way round. For before any question about God can be put, you must be there to put it.

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Before the mind——am. “I am” is not a thought in the mind; the mind happens to me, I do not happen to the mind. And since time and space are in the mind, I am beyond time and space, eternal and omnipresent.

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By no effort of logic or imagination can you change the “I am” into “I am not”. In the very denial of your being you assert it. Once you realize that the world is your own projection, you are free of it.

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Consciousness and unconsciousness, while in the body, depend on the condition of the brain. But the self is beyond both, beyond the brain, beyond the mind. The fault of the instrument is no reflection on its user.

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Wisdom lies in never forgetting the self as the ever-present source of both the experiencer and his experience.

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The pure mind sees things as they are—bubbles in consciousness. These bubbles are appearing, disappearing and re-appearing, without having real being. No particular cause can be ascribed to them, for each is caused by all and affects all. Each bubble is a body and all these bodies are mine.

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To want nothing and do nothing—that is true creation! To watch the universe emerging and subsiding in one’s heart is a wonder.

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When effort is needed, effort will appear. When effortlessness becomes essential, it will assert itself. You need not push life about. Just flow with it and give yourself completely to the task of the present moment, which is the dying now to the now. For living is dying. Without death life cannot be.

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The moment you know your real being, you are afraid of nothing. Death gives freedom and power. To be free in the world, you must die to the world. Then the universe is your own, it becomes your body, an expression and a tool. The happiness of being absolutely free is beyond description. On the other hand, he who is afraid of freedom cannot die.

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Learn to look without imagination, to listen without distortion; that’s all. Stop attributing names and shapes to the essentially nameless and formless, realize that every mode of perception is subjective, that what is seen or heard, touched or smelled, felt or thought, expected or imagined, is in the mind and not in reality, and you will experience peace and freedom from fear.

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From my point of view everything happens by itself, quite spontaneously. But man imagines that he works for an incentive, towards a goal. He always has a reward in mind and strives for it.

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In reality time and space exist in you; you do not exist in them. They are modes of perception, but they are not the only ones.

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The mind creates time and space, and takes its own creations for reality. All is here and now, but we do not see it. Truly, all is in me and by me. There is nothing else. The very idea of “else” is a disaster and a calamity.

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Nothing profits the world as much as the abandoning of profits. A man who no longer thinks in terms of loss and gain is the truly non-violent man, for he is beyond all conflict.

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In reality nothing happens. Onto the screen of the mind destiny forever projects its pictures, memories of former projections, and thus illusion constantly renews itself. The pictures come and go—light intercepted by ignorance. See the light and disregard the picture.

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Unless you know yourself well, how can you know another? And when you know yourself—are the other.

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To be a person is to be asleep.

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To see everything as imagination born of desire is necessary for self-realization. We miss the real by lack of attention and create the unreal by excess of imagination.

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Just keep in mind the feeling “I am”, merge in it, until 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.

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There is no such state as seeing the real. Who is to see what? You can only be the real—

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