I am, I am

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My fascination with the stilling of the mind has taken many turns, some fruitful, others dead ends. I have also found that there are some practices that endure and others that fall away, but when re-found, are wonderful old friends.

I am, I am is an old friend. I use it a lot when teaching and showing how mean and relentless the mind can be. It is a mantra that is as old as the hills, ascribed to no religion or person, but states that “I am my soul” . This makes the mind crazy and in just two minutes one can clearly experience the insanity that most of us assume is normal reality.

It is easy to attempt, quick to experience and can take ages to master just two minutes. But once mastered can be expanded into an endless experience of utter bliss. You are relaxed, at peace, calm and slightly amazed at each ending of the experience.

How to: Sit comfortably. You can be on the tube, the bed, at the office. In the kitchen. (Not bed, it will not work lying down.) Eyes are closed, hands comfortable but not touching, in the lap or palms up on the knees. If you have a timer on your phone or similar, set it for two minutes. The mantra is just “I am, I am” repeated mentally, not out loud. Watch your mind. Keep the mantra repeating and refuse to go with any thoughts that try to hook you out. Keep coming back to the mantra each time you are pulled away. Mastery is when you see you have been distracted. Keep returning to the mantra and start to take distance and watch, like you would a puppy playing, the insane attempts of the mind to get you away from bliss and peace.

After two minutes take a deep breath, hold for a few seconds, release and relax your mind. Open your eyes and think about what just happened, what you witnessed, what you understood, and how challenging it was to keep just two minutes of focus on “I am, I am”.