NA’HAM – I AM NOT THAT – THE WAY
Stone: Green Jade
The Mantra: Na’ham
The Key is a process of dis-identification from all mental formations
and system of thought, emotional reactions,
from every influence from the past that we ever identified ourselves with
until only our Higher Self’s essence is left.
What is your Higher Self naked essence?
The Divine, of course.
What else could it possibly be?
a) Obviously, to find out who we are we must stop identifying
with our past, our self-image and personality,
with all that we ever thought that we were, realize that all this are but ephemeral, illusory formations, and that besides a terrible and suffocating limitation
identifying ourselves with them is actually
a form of insanity.
Whenever you catch yourself
falling into your old identifications remember that
they are merely a conditioned reflex revealing your insecurity,
a weak need to hold onto something
that should no longer be.
How clearly can you see this?
Tell yourself with Shankara’s words:
Neither the mind, the intellect, nor the silent voice within am I, neither the eyes, ears, nose or mouth. Not water, fire, earth;
not even ether am I but Consciousness and Bliss.
I am Shiva! I am Shiva!
What does it mean, being Shiva, or its equivalent for you?
Shiva burns down the past to bring about
the Future of Light.
Begin by becoming free from the identification with your body
and see it as just a vehicle, and then become free as well from the identification with your human mind.
However, don’t forget that they have not only limited and suffocated you but on another level
they have also
nurtured you in a cocoon of inner slumber, preparing you
for the moment that you became ready to enter the Path.
Now the time has come to let them all go.
Don’t you think that now it is well the time to let them go?
Or would you rather keep them?
No, you can’t keep those you like most and discard some minor ones; it doesn’t work this way,
you must let it ALL go.
b) What happens when we let it all go?
Nisargadatta Maharaj answers this question thus:
The day when you will become aware that all your different “I’s” cannot be you because they are not real but only passing appearances –
that day you will discover the truth.
Better late than never!
His advice is:
Discard all you are not and go ever deeper.
Just as a man digging a well discards what is not water, until he reaches
the water-bearing strata, so must you discard
what is not your own,
till nothing is left which you can disown. You will find that what is left is nothing which the mind can hook on to.
You are not even a human being.
You just are – a point of awareness, co-extensive with time and space
and beyond both, the ultimate cause, itself uncaused.
The right attitude is
to consider our physical body and mind like a temporary shelter, like the house where we live or like the car or other vehicle we drive,
like any other INSTRUMENT we use.
c) The full realization of Na’ham, of all that we are not,
requires letting go of all our false identifications.
It is much easier if instead of mighty efforts, austerities, asceticism and strenuous meditations we simply observe with the utmost clarity but without any judgment all our old ways of being, reacting, in the awareness that they are part of the unexamined forces of our life.
To become free from all your identifications concentrate on NA’HAM,
see what covers up and suffocate your real nature,
and keep reminding yourself:
I AM NOT THAT.
“This is mine, this is what I am.”
But tell yourself:
The “I” which my mind always insisted that I was
IS NOT REAL.
Tell yourself all the time:
Na’ham: I am not my body
Na’ham: I am not my emotions
Na’ham: I am not my mind
Na’ham: I am not my memory
Na’ham: I am not anything that I ever identified with.
d) Rumi had the right attitude::
Neither beautiful nor ugly am I,
neither this nor that
Neither slave nor free, neither candle nor iron in love with anyone I fall not, nor anyone with me. Whether sinful or nice am I, both sin and goodness from another come, never from me:
wherever He leads me unresisting follow I.
When the Divine leads me, do I always
If not, why not?
Sri Aurobindo sums it all up thus:
I am not this thing that struggles and suffers, grieves and rejoices, loves
and hates, hopes and is baffled, is angry and afraid, cheerful
and depressed, a thing of vital moods
and emotional passions.
All these are merely workings and habits of Prakriti (Nature)
in the sensational and emotional mind.
Repeat these words to yourself
like a mantra
every time you become restless, sad, angry or depressed:
When the Kabuli was asked by a visiting Sheik why there are so many unbelievers in the world when Allah had spoken so clearly through the Prophet, Peace be with Him, He replied:
The reason, hajji, could not be simpler:
they are not yet themselves.
Another time when the Kabuli was asked how a sincere dervish can find Allah He advised him:
Concentrate on Fana, “the annihilation of the self in the Beloved”,
the realization that what seems separate from Him
is but a false appearance.
Once this is done all is already accomplished.
The Devil’s Advocate:
In the best possible scenario all that you have glimpsed of yourself and believe being is less than 0.0001% of reality, so how can you ever find out anything at all?
At the hippodrome, would you bet on a horse whose chance of winning are less than one in a thousand?
with your whole being.
Words of Power:
If I am not myself, who will be?
“There is nota “somebody” being empty,peaceful and aware.
There is only emptiness and peace inside
pure immutable awareness.”Mooji
“It is enough to know what you are not. You do not
need to know mentally what you are.”
What is it that you are not?
Almost everything that you always thought that you were.
“You are not as you believe yourself to be.
Stop believing.” Nisargadatta Maharaj
From “The Quest”
One of the first questions I asked Jean Klein when I met him was:
How can I become absolutely free of all my false
identifications, of all my masks?
He spoke of a gradual process of dis-identification on various levels and emphasized discipline, something which I was never very good at.
Even when I finally succeeded in letting go of some of my identifications I was stupid enough to soon let them be replaced by others.
It took me many years to learn something basically so simple: that whatever thought or emotion comes to my consciousness I ought to immediately tell myself:
How interesting! Through all my past conditionings this desire,
this reaction is now arising in me: what is its origin?
In which direction it is really going?
The moment I sincerely do this I am ALREADY free of it:
I am just observing a phenomenon.
Question/ko’han 1 and 2:
How much do you really WANT to find out who you are?
How will you discover it?
Question/ko’han 3 to 5:
Is anything else more important to you than this?
Question/ko’han 6 to 7:
How do you expect your life to be after you have found who you are not?
And when you start being who really are?
The last word warns that:
Even when one has reached a certain level of the Path, the identification with our old “I” is likely to stubbornly persist for some time.
The best way to dissolve it is with its opposite, a state
of constant identification with our Higher Self
and ultimately with the Divine.
How will you reach this constant identification?
Through Yoga of course, or an equivalent practice.
1) Make a list of all the qualities
that you once identified yourself with but have realized that after all your really aren’t.
– Make another list
of all the qualities
that you presently think that you are.
– Re-examine them all.
– Then tell yourself: I AM NOT:
– The body I presently wear;
– The self-image that I have of myself;
– The thoughts, convictions, beliefs, preferences, attractions, inclinations,
repulsions, fears and anxieties which I have absorbed from others, from
books, from my whole culture;
– The energies from the past driving me around;
– The apparent continuity of my experience in this world,
– I am not even quite my spirituality,
and the deeper I go within the more I distance myself from all
that I always identified myself with.
– I am NOT…
2) Meditate on this passage of Jeanne de Salzmann
Try for a moment to accept the idea that you are not what you think
you are, that you estimated yourself too much,
so you lie to yourself.
You always lie, every moment, all day, all your life. The lie governs you to the point that you cannot control it. You are prey to the lie. Lie in every situation. Your relationships with others is a lie. The education that you give, the conventions: a lie. Your teaching: a falsehood.
Your theories, your art: a lie. Your social life, your family life: a lie.
And what do you think of yourself
is equally a lie.
But you do never dwell on what you do or what you say, because you believe in yourself. You must stop inwardly and observe.
Observe without bias. If you accept for a time this idea of falsehood, and if you look at it this way, speaking with yourself, without mercy, giving up all your apparent wealth for a moment of reality, perhaps you will suddenly see what you have never seen up to that day.
You will see that you are something other than what you believe being.
You will see that you are two.
Learn to look until you have seen the difference between your two natures,
until you have seen the falsehood,
the deception in you.
When you have seen your two natures, that day
the truth will be born in you
3) Meditate also on these words of Nisargadatta Maharaj:
It is not the “I am” that is false, but what
you take yourself to be.
I can see, beyond the least shadow of doubt, that you are not
what you believe yourself to be.
Discover all you are not. Body, feelings, thoughts, ideas, time, space, being and not-being, this or that – nothing concrete or abstract you can point out to is you.
A mere verbal statement will not do – you may repeat a formula endlessly without any result whatsoever.
You must watch yourself continuously – particularly your mind – moment by moment, missing nothing.
This witnessing is essential for the separation
of the self from the not-self.
How will you separate your self from the non-self through witnessing?
1) This passage of Ramana Maharshi
The gross body which is composed of the seven humors (dhatus), I am not; the five cognitive sense organs, viz. the senses of hearing, touch, sight, taste, and smell, which apprehend their respective objects, viz. sound, touch, color, taste, and odour,
I am not;
the five cognitive sense-organs, viz. the organs of speech, locomotion, grasping, excretion, and procreation, which have as their respective functions speaking, moving, grasping, excreting, and enjoying, I am not; the five vital airs, prana, etc, which perform respectively the five functions of in-breathing, etc,
I am not;
even the mind which thinks, I am not; the nescience too, which is endowed
only with the residual impressions of objects, and in which
there are no objects and no functioning’s,
I am not.
And neither are you.
2) This passage of Nisargadatta Maharaj:
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.
The clearer you understand on the level of mind you can be described in negative terms only,
the quicker will you come to the end of your search and realize
p style=”text-align: center”>that you are the limitless being.
3) These verses of Krishnamurti
I have no name,
I am as the fresh breeze of the mountains.
I have no shelter;
I am as the wandering waters.
I have no sanctuary, like the dark gods;
Nor am I in the shadow of deep temples.
I have no sacred books;
Nor am I well-seasoned in tradition.
I am not in the incense
Mounting on the high altars,
Nor in the pomp of ceremonies.
I am neither in the graven image,
Nor in the rich chant of a melodious voice.
I am not bound by theories,
Nor corrupted by beliefs.
I am not held in the bondage of religions,
Nor in the pious agony of their priests.
I am not entrapped by philosophies,
Nor held in the power of their sects.
I am neither low nor high,
I am the worshipper and the worshipped.
I am free.
My song is the song of the river
Calling for the open seas,
I am Life.
I have no name,
I am as the fresh breeze of the mountains.
When still so far from myself, this sentence
I once read: “If I am not myself, who will be?”
So deeply it touched me, yet I did nothing about it:
how could I have? I wasn’t myself yet.