There seems to be a wide range of approaches to awaken to “no I” – to find the ground it all arises from and as, for what is to awaken to itself with no “I” anywhere, and to find a release from content. Here are some I have come across…
This is the one recommended by Ramesh Balsekar and others. See if you can find any doer, or if everything just happens. For instance, take any activity in your daily life and trace some of its infinite causes in the world of form. And repeat, and repeat, until it becomes more and more clear that there is no need to assume a doer, and not really any room for one either!
There is no independent or personal will or choice, only the will of the larger whole – only God’s will manifesting in and as all there is.
In me, not I in it
This is more aligned with the Big Mind process. Whenever something happens that we habitually call “I”, ask am I in it, or is it in me? Through sincere inquiry, I for one find that it happens within me – it happens within this space and awareness which encompasses all that happens.
Everything – every thing – I take as “I”, turns out to be happening within me. What appeared as a subject in the world is revealed as an object in the world, within this larger subject – this impersonal “I”.
Through sitting practice we have a front row seat to impermanence. The whole world of form is process, but somehow sitting physically completely still seems to allow us to realize this more clearly. Experiences come and go, a neverending stream of always new experiences.
There is really nothing to hold onto in the world of form. And at the same time, it seems that something does not change. What is it that does not change? It seems to be this crystal clear awareness within which everything unfolds, itself empty of any characteristics.
Buddhist traditional teachings talk about aggregates, these composites made to appear as an “I”, fixed and separate from the larger field of what is. To explore this for myself, I look for what appears most as an “I” in my own immediate experience, discern out the components, and see if either one or their combination make up an “I”.
For me right now, there is a sense of an “I” – or a center – in and around the throat area. I can discern out a physical sensation of the throat subtly moving with the formation of thoughts, there are some feelings associated with it, some thoughts passing through space, attention to this area, the realization that it appears as a center, and the stainless awareness it all arises within and as.
The sensation of “I” is a composite of all these different things, but I cannot find any “I” in either one nor in their combination.
Clarifying the boundary of “I”
This is an inquiry suggested at the Center for Sacred Sciences.
First identity the boundary of what appears as “I”, and then explore it through some of the following questions.
Where exactly does the boundary go? What is inside and outside? What is the difference between what is inside and outside? What determines where the boundary goes?
This exploration seems to reveal how flimsy the construct is. It is added as a convention, not based in our immediate experience of what is.
Byron Katie inquiry
And finally one of my recent favorites, the Byron Katie inquiries. Find a belief, ask three questions, and turn it around. It is a very simple process, can be done with pen and paper, and often seems to bring about a remarkable release. The belief drops away and what is revealed is what really is beneath all the dust kicked up by the belief – stainless clarity and compassion.