Who Am I? A Guided Meditation

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Some years ago, Sri Swami Satchidananda recorded a self-inquiry process that he recommended as a meditation technique. Here is the process he gave:

One wonderful meditation technique is self-analysis. It’s a process that leads you to identify with the inner Self, the Knower, rather than with the thoughts or disturbances in the mind. This technique is purely a search within. It consists of asking yourself a series of questions. Let’s begin.

First, check your posture. See that the spine is upright, aligned but relaxed. Close the eyes. Begin to bring the awareness within. Now, ask yourself, either out loud or silently, the question: “Who Am I?” Take a moment to reflect on this question.

Now ask yourself this: “Am I this body?” Take a moment to see, “Are you your body?” Anything you call “yours” is not you. The body is your vehicle, but it’s who you are. Only when you identify yourself with the body do you speak of yourself as “attractive,” “fat,” “slim,” “sick,” “healthy” and so on. So, now, answer the question: “No, I’m not the body.”

Continue to question:

“Am I the legs?” And to answer: “No, I’m not the legs.”

“Am I the arms? No, I’m not the arms.”

“Am I the internal organs? No, I’m not the internal organs.”

“Am I the breath. No, I’m not the breath.”

“Am I the organs of senses—the sense of smell? No, I’m not the sense of smell.”

“Am I the sense of taste? No, I’m not the sense of taste.”

“Am I the sense of touch? No, I’m not the sense of touch.”

“Am I sense of sight? No, I’m not the sense of sight.”

“Am I the sense of hearing? No, I’m not the sense of hearing.”

Now, ask yourself an even deeper question: “Am I the mind?”

It is the same case with your mind. You have a mind but your mind is not you. When you identify with the mind you call yourself “a doctor,” “a student,” “intelligent,” “stupid,” “a success,” “a failure.” You say that you are happy, sad, angry, upset and so on. But you are not happy or sad or upset. Rather, your mind is experiencing these waves or mental modifications. So, now go ahead and answer with confidence: “No, I’m not the mind. I’m not my thoughts.”

Continue to negate the identification with all the things you call “yours.” Witness each thought that comes and try to stand apart from each thought.

Question yourself: “To whom do these thoughts come? To me? No. Who am I?

Now affirm: “I am the eternal witness, the pure Self, the Sat-Chid-Ananda—truth- knowledge-bliss absolute!”

Source: from the “Guided Meditation with Sri Swami Satchidananda” CD

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