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A Morning Practice
By Rod Hunsaker
From The Essence of Enlightenment: “If you really want to know who you are, start by subtracting your personal history and all the stories you tell yourself about it. Then look to see if there is any thought seeming to stand in the way of your true nature as existence-consciousness-freedom.”
Now, commit to reading this out loud with feeling to yourself every day until you have committed it to memory. Then chant it with devotion at the beginning of your meditation.
I am not my personal history.
I am not the stories I tell myself about my past, present, or future. These stories appear and disappear in me, consciousness – but I am not limited by them, defined by them or identified with them.
Not an egoic entity. I am not this egoic entity that appears to carry forward from one year to the next, one season to the next or from one month to the next. I am not this egoic entity that appears to carry forward from one week to the next, from one day to the next or from one moment to the next. I am not the egoic entity that appears to exist in this moment. This egoic entity appears in me, consciousness – but I am not limited by it, defined by it or identified with it.
Not these roles. I am not any of the roles that I have played in my past, my present or in my future. I am not a father, a husband or a son. I am not an entrepreneur, a businessman, a success or a failure, nor am I any scorecard of successes and failures. I am not a lover, a rebel, a partier, an enjoyer or a liberal. I am not the one who longs for things to be different or who judges that things need to change. I am not a critic or an agent of change. I am not my vasanas, my fears and desires or hang-ups. And I am not my limiting beliefs, no matter how deeply lodged in my psyche they may appear to be. I am not my memories. All these roles appear in me, consciousness, but I am not limited or defined by them or identified with them.
Not my thoughts or perceptions. I am not my thoughts, I am not a thinker. I am not this body-mind or these sensations or emotions. I am not this karma. I am not bound to time, perception or this physical location. These thoughts, sensations and emotions appear in me, consciousness, but I am not limited or defined by them or identified with them.
Who I am. Scripture reminds me who I really am. My nature is perfect freedom. I am non-dual, desireless, unattached consciousness. I am unborn, uncreated, unmodified and unmodifiable, unburdened and unblemished, actionless, limitless, ordinary consciousness itself.
I am immortal, fearless and indomitable. I am the light of consciousness. I am the Light of light. I am the Glory that makes glory glorious, I am the Joy that makes joy joyful.
I am the light – I am the light. (Repeat with feeling.)
This is how the meditation goes for me:
Continue the practice by “standing in consciousness as conscious existence itself.”
When a thought or emotion pulls you in, just go back to “being” the consciousness in which the thought just appeared. You know that because you can recall the thought’s or the emotion’s appearance. And as you stand in and as awareness the thought or feeling will fade and eventually vanish and be replaced by – a thought or feeling that is dealt with the same as above or it resolves as consciousness that can be perhaps felt more strongly, as a presence. This is the practice that shows you that you are separate and therefore free from the jiva. You ARE free of the jiva for sure. Now you know that. Keep practicing this.
You also know this consciousness is living, at times you feel its presence. What is it? It is you. It has to be you because it is always there, the screen upon which all thoughts and emotions appear and disappear. It’s there, even when you don’t notice it, right? It’s you. It’s eternal and it’s the same for you and me.
Feel more into it, until you are no longer feeling into a separate object but you start to feel as if you are that very consciousness, which is light. Yes, you realize that consciousness IS you. You ARE the consciousness, you ARE the light, which is an astounding thing, right? But also it’s more than you, isn’t it? You KNOW this and you will want to know this over and over again until the knowledge is firm, as Ramji says. So the knowledge stays with you, even when the feeling of presence deserts you. Spend as much time as you like being grateful to have arrived at this realization. You’re home.
In these contemplations you may begin to feel surges of sattva, of joy and bliss. It is seductive and you may latch on to these from time to time. At times, go ahead and take these feelings as they are, as prasad. At other times, you may sense that they are not your final destination, because like all other objects, they are appearing in you, consciousness. You are also then the consciousness in which the joy appears. So let go of the joy even, reminding yourself that you are the awareness in which all things come and go. Take your stand there, over and over again. What is revealed in these moments?
You ARE the light; is it “your” light? You may remember Ramji talking about non-dual love. He defined love as fixing your awareness on something which gives you joy or delight. So in these moments, you are awareness fixed on what? You are awareness loving itself, no longer as an object, in union. You ARE awareness, you are loving the knowledge of that, whether you are feeling the presence of that or not. Feelings come and go, but the knowledge, once known, cannot be unknown.
And it doesn’t only include the jiva, it’s non-dual. It is love in love with itself, and everything is included. Your jiva, the world, Maya and everything above, below and beyond.