Self-Guided Study Course: “I Am That”

I Am That ~ Part 1 (2 hrs 8 min)

Nisargadatta Maharaj was one of the towering modern-day figures of nonduality. His book, I AM THAT, has become a beloved spiritual classic of the direct path to spiritual awakening. In this four-part study course, Adyashanti leads a transformational inquiry into the core teachings of this illumined sage, and clarifies how to apply them in the most direct and efficient way possible, not only in terms of spiritual practice, but also how they relate to everyday life.

This course includes a series of talks and dialogues, weekly exercises, and a 60-page study guide (printable PDF) with written Q&A between Adyashanti and the original course participants.

THEMES OF EXPLORATION:

SESSION 1

Topics: Who Was Nisargadatta? / The Beauty of Nisargadatta’s Teaching Approach / Nisargadatta’s Direct Single-Pointedness / Dwelling in the Sense of “I Am” / Refocusing the Spiritual Search to What to Give Up / Getting to the Root of Consciousness / The Deep Affinity for All Existence / Caller #1: Sensing the Essence of External Form / Caller #2: Face Fear Directly / Caller #3: Focus on Pure Perceiving vs. the Perceived / Caller #4: The Courage to Flow into the World / Caller #5: The Body as a Portal to Self-Realization / Caller #6: Earnestness vs. Enthusiasm

Quotes: “The entire core of Nisargadatta’s teaching is his relentless return to ‘Dwell in the sense of I Am.'” • “He had a very intense and fierce one-pointedness on self-realization, and yet it would be misunderstanding his teaching to think that he didn’t care. He speaks quite eloquently about love. That is the fruition of a deep and abiding realization.” • “He would say over and over that the I Am, the fact that you exist, is the one thing that you can know for certain in this life. Even if you deny your existence, you have to be in order to deny it.” • “When you go to the root of your sense of yourself, it opens to universal consciousness.” • “Earnestness isn’t a kind of energy like, ‘Okay, I’m ready to storm the gates of heaven and start meditating five hours a day.’ Earnestness is different from enthusiasm. What Nisargadatta is talking about has to do with what we love and what we cherish.”

SESSION 2

Topics: The Hot and Narrow Pursuit of Enlightenment / The I AM Practice / Seeing God Everywhere / Breaking the Spell of the Known / Pushing Back into Consciousness / Staying with One Simple Thing / Caller #1: “This” Is the Oneness of Everything / Caller #2: The Domain of Grace / Caller #3: When Detachment Arises / Caller #4: Pushing Too Hard Spiritually / Caller #5: A Deep State of Absorption / Caller #6: Awareness and No-Self

Quotes: “Universal consciousness is a profound and beautiful realization that will revolutionize the way you see and experience everything.” • “Nisargadatta’s teachings are powerful because they are very narrow and focused. That doesn’t mean you have to be very narrow.” • “You have to let go of trying to alter your experience. Nisargadatta would say that keeps you bound to the world of experience.” • “Consciousness is the source and substance of everything that exists. Everything is made out of what you are, and you are made out of what everything is.” • “Some people will see God in everything, right down to their own body, mind, and being. There is only God everywhere, as everything — God as the sky, a plant, a building, a car, someone disagreeing with you.” • “Sometimes people misunderstand this teaching as a denial of the world. But as Nisargadatta said: Once you’re realized, your sole concern becomes to alleviate the unnecessary suffering of the world. The only thing that will make sense, from that point on, is being a benevolent presence in the world.” • “Everything affects everything else. To say that spiritual practice has no effect on grace is to misunderstand how grace works.” • “What you want to get out of this teaching will be dictated in large measure by your intention: What do you really want, and how much do you really want it?”

SESSION 3

Topics: A Review of Universal Consciousness / Consciousness vs. Awareness / The Absolute Beyond Description / How Consciousness Is Fluid and Malleable / Releasing the Changing Invites the Changeless / Caller #1: Awareness Is Like a Sixth Sense / Caller #2: The Clarity that’s Not Lost / Caller #3: Judgment from the Absolute and Relative View / Caller #4: The Value of Awakening / Caller #5: Saying Yes to the Terror of Nonexistence / Caller #6: Functioning without a Fixed Center / Caller #7: Transitioning Beyond the Observer

Quotes: “There can be no consciousness without awareness, but there can be awareness without consciousness.” • “Awareness doesn’t expand like consciousness does. It’s exactly the same whether your consciousness is expanded or contracted.” • “The only way you can know the absolute is through a state of unknowing. You know it by unknowing it.” • “Everything exists within the absolute. It can’t turn around and look at itself. But it can notice itself to be the looking.” • “Everything in your experience is changing, but all that change is known by the changeless. The changeless is what knows the change.” • “If you’ve had a change of identity, even if the experiential qualities of awakening disappear, that change will always be with you.” • “Your own opinions have no more significance than anybody else’s, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have any opinions.” • “The absolute is beyond judgmentalism, but it’s not beyond having good sense.” • “There is a pre-existing yes within all of us.” • “If you’ve had some real trauma, you don’t want to push into that fear until you’re overwhelmed by it. You need to get some real help, not just jump into it.” • “Bodies and minds can function just fine without a fixed center.”

SESSION 4

Topics: Review of Sessions 1-3 / Dimensions of Experience and Perception / Awakening and Psychological Patterns / Nisargadatta’s Focus on the Absolute / The Descent of Spirit: The Infinite Journey of Embodiment / The Marriage of the Absolute and Relative / Availing Yourself to Revelation / Living a Realized Life / Contemplating Your Deepest Realization / Caller #1: Fear of the White Void / Caller #2: Letting Go into Real Non-separation / Caller #3: Linear and Nonlinear Processes of Awakening / Caller #4: Reopening the Aperture of Awakening / Caller #5: The Energetic Release of Revelation

Quotes: “It is easy to think that the ‘I AM’ is the end. It is the beginning of the beginning.” • “Your psychology cannot be divorced from your spirituality. It is a package deal.” • “It may take hundreds of thousands of small moments to embody what you realize is happening all the time. There’s an infinite capacity for embodying it; it’s not just crossing some spiritual finish line.” • “Contemplate the deepest thing you’ve realized in your life. Just get a feel for it. Let it incubate within you in a conscious way. Give it attention.” • “Notice that the edge is where your vitality is. It’s where the current unfolding is. That’s how you begin to live what you’ve realized, to bring the timeless and deathless into this dimension as a living expression.” • “Your deepest being and nature are even bigger than any moment of revelation. You are that infinity of awareness that that revelation occurred in. Only that always is. No experience always is, only that within which all experience happens.”