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Practicing “I Am Awareness”
Charles: Dear James, I’ve finished reading your book and I’m starting it over again. I would like to ask a few questions.
You mentioned studying the scriptures. What scriptures would you recommend? Is the Bible a good handbook for following dharma?
James: Have you read the Bhagavad Gita? There is a good English translation at my website on the home page. Start with that and tell me what you think. Then I will recommend others.
Yes, the Bible is fine for dharma, the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule, etc. Actually, dharma is built in to everyone and if you just listen to your conscience that is probably sufficient.
Charles: Also, in Chapter XII [of How to Attain Enlightenment] under the subsection “The Opposite Thought”: I’ve started using the “I am awareness” thought, then when other thoughts arise, I think (1) “I am aware of the thought,” (2) “I am aware of the emotion and physical sensation associated with that thought.” (3) Then I ask, “Am I these objects or am I aware of them?” (4) Then I repeat, “I am awareness.” Am I on the right track?
James: Yes. Just repeating it may not be enough. Is there a change in your perspective when you do this? Are you conscious that the body/mind/sense complex is not you, that you are the one to whom it appears? Does that negate or neutralize your identification with the thoughts, feelings, etc? If you are contemplating the meaning of the words and really get what they mean there should be a shift in your point of view or an acknowledgement of who you are.
Charles: Also, about karma yoga: Is it living my life to the best of my ability, with the attitude of leaving the results to God and being grateful and open to inquiry, whatever the outcome?
James: Yes! Absolutely. This will make the mind very introverted and peaceful so that the practice of “I am awareness” can bear fruit.
Charles: Thanks again.
~ Sincerely, Charles