Meditation is the art of mastering your attention. While in most styles of meditation we focus our attention on a certain object – either external or internal, gross or subtle – in Self-Enquiry (which is another name for I Am meditation) we focus the attention on the perceiving consciousness. This is the awareness that is behind attention itself, and that underlies all our experience.
In this guided meditation I start with anchoring the attention in the body and breathing, and then we start directing the attention to consciousness itself. For some people this may seem very abstract, or too subtle, but it is simply our feeling of presence, or existence. It is the open feeling of “I” or “I am”, unpolluted by any identification such as “I am this”, “I am <name>”. In order to perceive anything, or to do anything, you must be there. We here focus on this “you”.
The practice of Self-Enquiry, as taught by Sri Ramana Maharshi, is nothing more than the focusing of attention in this feeling of “I”. In the beginning this feeling is mixed up with other concepts, and with the identification with the body, so self-consciousness feels like a “me”, a limited individual, an ego. As we focus more on the pure aspect of simply existing – our informationless being, empty and unassociated -, consciousness drops the identification and concepts, and remains shining as pure I Am.
Discover all that you are not – body, feelings, thoughts, time, space, this or that – nothing concrete or abstract, which you perceive, can be you. The very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive. – Nisargadatta Maharaj